Day 12 - Our day in San Francisco & Alcatraz

Trip Start Jun 14, 2011
Trip End Jul 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, June 25, 2011

We slept in today, and finally got out the door at 10.30am.   We needed a sleep in, because we were all grumpy and tired from the driving.   The night before, we had walked past a crepe making place, so we had breakfast there.   The crepes were delicious! (see photos).

Our first experience in  the famous cable cars was from inside the car.   It took us up Lombard Street, and then across to Union Square.   I would say Union Square is a bit like Federation Square, with lots of famous shops like Macys, Barneys, Tiffancy & Co, Bloomingdales.    We used Bloomingdales toilets, because the public ones in the Square looked a bit shady. 

We also went into Tiffany & Co and I tried a ring on worth $52,000.00!!   Even Molly and Aimee put it on.   I wanted to try the $300,000.00, but we needed to go into a special room for that one!  Anyway, I felt special for a few minutes.

We saw our first shim (that's what the kids called him/her).  We think it was a drag queen??  Not sure, but he was dressed in glitter undies, high heels and red velvet top.   Certainly made the kids turn around and take a second look.   It was very funny to see the expression on their faces.

Jack was his usual self, checking out all the cars that went by, and explaining to Stephen what they were.   I honestly don’t know how he knows what they are… a boy thing I suppose.

While we were waiting for the cable car to take us back to Fisherman’s Wharf, a hobo came up to me and Aimee (Stephen, Molly and Jack had gone to the toilet again!) He was carrying on about paying your rent, and pointing his finger in Aimee’s face.  I told him no worries and stepped in front of Aimee.   Another gentleman with his family told him that he had frightened Aimee, and he should move on.   The drunk was very apologetic and said sorry to Aimee, and moved on.     

There was also a man standing with a sign saying… "Jesus loves you".  Just standing there, not saying a word, and holding his placard.  Another guy all of a sudden started preaching about all sorts of things.  A police officer came along and told him to move on.    There was also a group of people singing the American National Anthem, but had big pictures of Obama with a Hitler moustache painted on his face.   A man screamed in my face… “Did you know Hitler has returned? , except it’s Obama”  Weird stuff I must say!

We finally got a chance to hang out of the side of the cable cars.  The conductor was chinese, and had a very strange accent.  When he was saying  “tickets please”, we were certain he was saying “take a piss”.   This made us all laugh every time he said it, which was quite often!

We had an early dinner at Eagle Café as we had our night tour at Alcatraz.

Alcatraz was the highlight of our San Francisco stay.   We took a boat across the bay to the island.  It was freezing cold on top deck, so I only took a couple of photos.   We arrived at the island to meet Sheriff Al.  He told us funny stories on the way up the two hills to the jail.  Included in the price was an audio tour.  It was really interesting.  The audio tour could be taken at your own pace.   They supplied a gadget around your neck which had stop/start rewind buttons, and the commentary was by former prison guards and some prisoners.  We really enjoyed the experience.   We left on the last boat back to San Francisco.   It was funny, because Aimee kept panicking thinking we were going to miss the last boat back.   She didn’t want to spend a night on the island. 

We stopped for an ice cream on the way back to the Hotel.  We have an early morning, as we drive to the Airport and fly to Las Vegas…. Vegas baby yeah!!!

More to come soon … xox
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Jim on

Wow...Alcatraz......Spooky lookin place. But I reckon that Chinese conductor on the cable car...had to be from Bendigo I reckon. Cheers neighbours!!

Lorna on

Glad you are having a good time. Don't forget my pressie (a magnet please).
Kate has been keeping me updated on your travels, she sends her love. Love you all Mum xx

Andrew & Kylie on

Enjoying reading about your travels and seeing the photos.
Have a great time in vagas you might be lucky and win some cash

Maryanne on

Norm, I am enjoying your trip sooo much!!! Feel like I am along for the ride
keep safe :)

Alison on

You guys are having such a great time, I'm loving coming along for the ride so to speak! Yes there are many scary people over there, usually harmless we found, we will have to swap a few stories when you get back! Al x

lisa on

wow ! u guys are having a ball . Thankyou so much for my bth ph call sorry i missed it . so next camping trip you are on breakfast duty to cook us a upsize brekky lol lots of luv xxxxx

Liz D. on

Loving your diary Norma. Gee you're really wringing every drop out of every day. Good on you. Photos great too. We found people went out of their way to help us and were very cheerful and polite. Hope you do too.

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