A Drive past the 'Butter-nickel' Gardens...

Trip Start Dec 17, 2011
Trip End Jan 27, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, December 18, 2011

Breakfast this morning at Joanie's Happy Day Diner on Columbus St, only a few minutes walk from the hotel. Obviously a very popular place, it was busy and crowded, but great service and food – as usual, we couldn’t finish our platefuls. I was really disappointed to find the Alcatraz tours were totally booked out – should’ve booked, hopefully we can get in on our way back before we fly out. Overcast and grey this morning with rain in the air, we decided to go back to the hotel after our breakfast and grab out jackets.

A short walk to Fishermans’ Wharf and Pier 39, we briefly watched the handful of sea lions before getting on board and open top double decker bus for a 2 hour city tour – Grey Line tours, $20 adult, it was great value. Boy were we glad we’d got our jackets, it was FREEZING on top of the bus, even with jackets the cold air just sliced through us! When we hit a small section of motorway the kids ducked down under the seats and sat on the floor. We had a 30 minute stop at the Golden Gate bridge, on the opposite side where we were last night and the first thing we did was grab a hot drink. The bridge was spectacular from this vantage point and it almost felt like we were posing in front of a giant photograph. The tour guide was a crack up – very witty and very friendly – and we all had a giggle at his way of saying 'botanical’ – he pronounced it ‘butter-nickel’.

Back at Pier 39 where we started, we caught a streetcar into the center of town (Market St) and had a look at some of the huge department stores there, like Neiman Marcus (OMG expensive) which had a 4-5 storey high silver bauble dripping tree in the main atrium. After grabbing a cheap lunch of pretzels & hotdogs, we went into Macy’s department store and got a family photo of us all with Santa. The Christmas shop there was amazing and the choir singing made it really feel like Christmas. By this time Jan had had enough walking (fair enough, she is 71!) and so we hailed a taxi and sent her and the kids (who were complaining) back to the hotel while Fred and I waited to catch a cable car. Riding on the outside of a cable car up and down some extremely steep streets was a memorable and hairy experience – especially when cars are zipping past your backside! So we’ve had quite a workout today, I think that we’ll probably be ordering pizza in tonight, we’re knackered!

Josh's status: Tired & sore. Josh's quote: Uh.
Kate's quote: I love my toy seal that I got today.
Fred's status: Asleep at 6pm while kids & Jan are watching tv.
Jan quote: I thoroughly enjoyed today, but glad to get back to the hotel room.
Tracey's status: Enjoying being back in the hotel room. Tracey's quote: San Francisco reminds me of Wellington in that it's windy and cold at times, yet it has an appeal and character unique to anywhere else I've been.

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Rochelle on

Hey! Looks like you are having heaps of fun. Love the santa photo and Kate looks cute with her earmuffs!

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