Canada / USA


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Published: October 5th 2014
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Having spent nearly two weeks in the San Francisco area we are beginning to feel like locals. We have been staying at Sean and Michelle's house in San Mateo (Lorna's son and daughter in law).They have two gorgeous girls, Hannah who is 4 and Molly who had her first birthday while we were there, who kept us entertained. They all made us very welcome even though they were having an extension built and managing without a kitchen. We have seen so many wonderful sights, had fantastic weather and enjoyed lots of new experiences, they are far too numerous to describe in detail so I am going to list some of the highlights and hopefully the photos will fill in the gaps: Riding the old cable cars up Powell Street hanging off the handrails, (Chris had to sit down because of his killer whale injury) Walking up Lombard Street, the steepest climb ever, with the zigzag road at the top, featured in several films Exploring Fisherman's Wharf, full of street entertainers, restaurants and touristy shops, but good for people watching. More fantastic eating experiences at the Cheesecake Factory on the roof terrace of Macys in Union Square, visiting Chinatown and eating excellent chinese food, the best sandwiches and salads at a range of delis and my favourite, a very traditional restaurant called Taddich's A boat trip to Alcatraz - a desolate place in an amazing location! Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly and the Birdman of Alcatraz were some of the more famous residents A visit to Stanford University campus - Sean gave us a tour of his laboratory where he is leading a team involved in new innovative stem cell research. The university building is very attractive built in a Spanish style and we went up the Hoover tower which gave us a good view of the extensive campus Lorna introduced us to Ross - dress for less as well as a number of other shops where good bargains could be found! We're now fans of the San Francisco Giants having been to a baseball game at the AT&T stadium. The game even made sense once we got the hang of it. A fantastic stadium right on the bay. They beat San Diego Padres 9-8, a very close game Two wine tasting trips, one to Sonoma and one to Napa Valley - beautiful vinyards and villas. Chris and I sampled some excellent, expensive reserve wines at St Jean vinyard for free because Sean and Michelle belong to their wine club - we could easily become wine snobs! Chris drove to Napa so Lorna and I sampled California's version of champagne at Mumm and Chandon, needless to say we slept all the way back. Our final trip was a cycle ride from Fisherman's Wharf, along the coast, across the Golden Gate Bridge to Saucalito, a lovely waterside town where we found another great deli, then caught the ferry back. An unforgettable experience! The one thing I did find a bit distressing about San Francisco was the number of homeless people in evidence, particularly at the weekend. One of the reasons it attracts so many homeless is the weather, as it's much easier to live on the street in a place where the winters are very mild, but it is not a good reflection on the USA's welfare system.

I left my heart in San Francisco!


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5th October 2014

Thank you
I love your blogs . I always feel as though I have had a trip myself after I have read them. How exciting your adventures just keep coming. However I cannot believe that you have already been posing with Father Christmas, how sad is that.Here at home we have been having a real treat, beautiful sunshiny days (admittedly it takes a little while for the sun to break through the mist) and some days the temperatures have even been in the low 20s. The ladies who lunch had a wonderful walk from Fawley to Ashleet creek on Thursday. After walking through woods and fields down to Calshot Spit and along the beach, we continued acoss the marsh in front of Fawley power station until we reached The Jolly Sailor in the creek. We ate luch outside in the sunshine in with a view of the old mill house and the comings and goings of the container ships and even a Tall Ship across the Solent. It was really lovely. The holiday feeling continued on Friday when Steve and I went to Hilliers Arboretum. The colours in the flower beds are still absolutely gorgeous. Once the evening comes I reach for my jumper and some socks but I cannot believe how lucky we are at the moment. I wonder where your next stop is going to be. I very much look forward to hearing about it. Take care, happy travelling.

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