Day 45: Finally get to actually see San Francisco!
Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
51Trip End Jul 29, 2010
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Where I stayed
Chez Kao-Chow, Sunnyvale
Kilometres: probably 100ish, via Caltrain
Even though we booked last weekend, today (Thursday) was the earliest day any tours of Alcatraz were available – at 9:30am nonetheless! Alas, we planned to hit San Fran working traffic with them, getting on the 7am Caltrain bullet train heading north, then eventually figuring out how to take the MUNI trains (the light transport trains, that run on cables at street level, many looking like cable cars) to the right pier where the start of our tour departed.
We loaded onto the Alcatraz-island bound ferry, giving great views of the entire bay (with some fog still over the Golden Gate bridge of course). We arrived on the island, and watched the quick intro doco about Alcatraz – letting the masses go ahead before we went and got our headsets
The only tour we were able to book on was a double-bill: Alcatraz and Angel Island. We both had no clue what Angel Island was about, and the website didn’t inform much, but it was a pleasant surprise when we got there! We had to take a small hybrid ferry about 30mins further into the bay, and were dropped off for a tram tour of the entire island. We toured through and learned about the many forts and barracks that were on the island, and used prominently throughout many wars
With the tour over, it was already mid-afternoon, so we made our way down to crazy-busy-mad part of San Francisco’s piers and found Boudin Bakery – the home of the sourdough! I wanted to come here for the traditional clam chowder in the original sourdough bowl... so yum. Then we walked to Pier 39, a hub for tourists really, and wandered through there awhile. It was kind of disappointing, and kind of sad, to take Cam to see the sea lions docks – I remember going there over the past 10 years or so, and it always being so deafeningly loud and stinky from the hundreds of sea lions crowded on all the docks.... and now there was maybe a couple dozen, on the far docks, all sleeping and barely moving or making a peep. Definitely a different scene from what I remember. Alas, we hopped back onto the MUNI trains in hopes to catch the Giants game that night. Even though we had to wait many trains in order to find some empty room (there were a few tourists about!), our wait was worth it when we stumbled upon a crazy ol’ lady talking loudly on her Bluetooth headset (which was so well hidden she just looked like she was talking to herself), wearing her crazy-looking Skechers (those new ones that look massive and ridiculous and claim to make you lose weight while walking), while pushing her baby carriage which, upon closer inspection, actually contained an ugly-looking pug dog that was dressed, of course, in a baby sailor suit
We finally made it back to AT&T stadium, home of the San Francisco Giants. We bought some great last minute tickets for $20, got some beer & hot dogs & garlic fries (of course), and watched the Giants take on the New York Mets. It was a great game, and another neat stadium to check out. Just before the 9th inning, we decided to take a walk around the entire promenade of the stadium, to check it all from all angles, then made the short trek to the Caltrain station and beat the game crowds to get on the next train back to Sunnyvale.