Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 San Francisco Day 2

On Sunday we started the day with free breakfast at the hotel and then went to take the legendary San Francisco cable car to the Fisherman's Wharf, since that's what tourists do.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


After walking around in the rain and buying tickets for the Alcatraz tour we decided we'd go and have some Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl. On the way we picked up some lovely blue rain ponchos to keep us from getting absolutely soaked.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


We saw these sourdough bread creations at Boudin's where we then had some Clam Chowder.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


After the Clam Chowder we went out to see the crookedest street, Lombard Street in San Francisco. Apparently it used to be a normal two-way street but since it was two steep they eventually redesigned the street. Now it's one-way and curves back and forth.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


Many houses in San Francisco are plenty colourful.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


We still had time left and were cold and wet so Starbucks was the place to be until we had our tour of Alcatraz. Here we fixed our footwear. Carol had the awesome idea to wear plastic bags inside our shoes so our feet wouldn't get so wet. It worked really well. On one foot Carol's socks were too wet already so she wrapped them in tissue paper first before tying the plastic bag around it.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


Finally our tour starts and after a short ferry ride (think Toronto Island ferries) we arrive at the Island and start our trek to the top.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


(If you follow the link to the pictures you'll find many more pictures of Alcatraz and our trip.)

The audio tour on Alcatraz is quite amazing. I never thought highly of audio tours but the Alcatraz tour changed my perception entirely. One thing I found neat is how they showed how many inmates would try to make the cell their little home and do art, music or even knit to keep themselves entertained.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


People could see the city from the prison but had no way to participate in its life. It must've been one of the hardest things.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


After half of our tour on Alcatraz the rain stopped and we got some amazing views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


From 2010 San Francisco Day 2


We got back to our Hotel wet and tried. For dinner we ended up at an Italian place on Powell near Geary called Bellini after again being told that the wait for The Cheesecake Factory was one hour.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

2010 San Francisco Day 1

As many of you know Carol and I are expecting a cute little son. Well, we'll see about the cuteness when he arrives I guess. So two weeks ago Carol and I went to San Francisco to enjoy the last vacation just with the two of us.

We left Toronto on Saturday morning, flying American Airlines through Chicago to San Jose. Carol's dad graciously drove us to the airport at 5:30 in the morning.

This is us waiting at the Chicago airport for our connection to San Jose:

From 2010 San Francisco Day 1


Even though we had aisle seats the windows seat was empty so I was able to take some pictures of the scenery as we flew over.

From 2010 San Francisco Day 1


From 2010 San Francisco Day 1


We arrived in San Jose starving and had to rush for the Caltrain which only comes every hour on weekends. Unfortunately there was no food around the station in Santa Clara so we arrived in San Francisco absolutely starved and hour and a half after. We ended up walking up to our Hotel which took half an hour, then proceeded to look for food.

Wikitravel sent me through the Tenderloin on our search for food. Everyone who knows San Francisco knows that this is probably not the area you want to visit in the evening if you're tourists unless you know what you're doing. Well, I didn't know this so we walked through this and were reminded of the time we were looking for food in Montreal. We ended up walking into a similarly bad area there. Must be my luck.

Eventually we proceeded toward The Cheesecake Factory at Macy's at Union Square but were told that the wait is an hour. Since this was too long we went in search of other food and ended up settling for Panda Express, a Chinese fast-food chain.

We fell into bed exhausted that night.