Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay...

Trip Start Aug 13, 2007
Trip End Nov 12, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, October 20, 2007

"Yeah, I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay,
Watching the tide roll away.
Ooh, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the day,
Wastin' time.
I left my home in Georgia,
Headed for the Frisco bay.
I have nothing to live for,
Look like nothin's gonna come my way."
-Otis Redding

Happy 7th Birthday to our Katie girl this morning. Josh & Kate were up at 5am (!!). Josh ate his breakfast while Kate sat like a zombie on the couch - then we sent them both back to bed! Once we got organised we took the truck into San Francisco. First we went to Alamo Square in the hills of the city, which has a row of Victorian style houses with San Francisco spread out behind them - you will probably recognise this view when you see the blog photos. Then we drove over the Golden Gate bridge and took photos on the other side - coming back we had to pay a toll of $5 - lucky we didn't have the 5th Wheel on or it would have been double that!

Then down to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 for lunch and a look around. We walked out on to Pier 39 and watched in fascination (along with 100's of other tourists) the Sea Lions lazing about on rafts floating on the water. They were really cheap entertainment (albeit smelly & noisy entertainment as they never stopped bellowing) and the kids thought they were wonderful. After watching the sea lions, we moved on to watching a street theatre performer. She was a juggler/comedian, and we really enjoyed her show - it must have gone on for 40 minutes, (with us standing in the sun) but the kids didn't complain once and were spellbound the whole time.

Once we got back to the parked truck (and paid $15 for parking·!!!) we headed into town to find a gas station that sold diesel· well 1 hour later of driving and 7 gas stations later, we finally found one! By this time it was 4pm and we decided that we would go to the visitors centre and find out where was the best place to catch a ride on the famous San Francisco Cable Car - unfortunately there was no way we could find a parking spot and downtown San Francisco was just utter CHAOS with pedestrians everywhere & really bad drivers blocking intersections and showing no courtesy whatsoever. If you've ever been to Wellington (or you are a Wellingtonian) you know that we have some pretty steep streets in our city - but you ain't seen nothing until you come to San Francisco! There are some wicked gradients here. Even after seeing it in the movies, you don't really know what it's like until you see the road disappearing from under you as the nose of the car points almost vertically down (nearly lost the laptop off my knee a number of times!) Add to that the shocking state of disrepair that some of the roads are in...!

Along our ticky-touring around the city, we were saddened to see an amazing amount of homeless people, much more than we've seen in any other city on our travels. By the time we had given up on the visitors centre, it was too late to go to Chinatown, so we drove back down to the waterfront hoping to catch a cable car on the line we'd seen earlier. However once we finally got through rush hour traffic to get there and saw the HUGE crowds of people waiting to get on the cable cars, we had to admit defeat. We just couldn't find a park, and we would have been waiting in the queues for ages. So we gave the kids the option of driving around even more looking for a parking spot, or going to have something to eat.

The kids stomach's won out and we headed out of town to Kate's birthday dinner at Denny's. We have had only good experiences with the Denny's restaurants that we've visited in different places across the States - but boy, did we strike a bad one at the Pacifica branch. We waited over 40 minutes for our dinner while other people around us who came in later got served - and that was just one of our complaints (I won't ramble on here, we're planning to send the company an e-mail tonight!). All and all a tiring but full day in San Francisco. We really enjoyed our visit here & wish we could have stayed an extra couple of days.
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rossllen on

Wonderful photos! When were you there?
We spent 1/2 day in San Francisco and wished we could spend a week to take in all the wonderful city has to offer!

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