A bottler day in San Francisco

Trip Start May 31, 2009
Trip End Jul 01, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We had a wonderful day in San Francisco - it turned on the weather and everything went beautifully.

We started off with breakfast in the Fisherman's wharf area - at a place that only does breakfasts. Had their "world famous" waffles with strawberries and maple syrup, and a coffee - sitting outside in the sunshine watching the traffic go by. We shared the plateful, as there was no way I could have eaten them all on my own. Boy the meal sizes are huge over here!

We then went next door (funnily enough) and hired a couple of bikes for the day. From there we biked around the foreshore area, and up and over the Golden Gate bridge. It was a much easier ride than the Stanley Park bridge in Vancouver. However, I was surprised at the strength of the wind, particularly on the far side of the bridge. Over and back was straight forward, although we were dodging pedestrians and other bikes all the way, as they only have one side open for this trip until 3.00 pm, when they open up both sides and separate the pedestrians and the cyclists. Obviously biking the bridge is more popular in the afternoons over here!!! Saw the chaps walking on the bridge - what a wonderful view they have every day they go to work.

From there we continued around the foreshore and streets, finding our way to the Golden Gate park in the middle of the city. This is a well used area, but few people walk to it. There are cars everywhere. But there were areas within the park for everyone - archers, kite flyers, picnicers, large ball sports, small ball sports, etc, etc - not to mention the de Young gallery and the California Academy of Sciences - the latter of which we visited.

This was a stunning place to visit, and if you ever get the chance I would encourage a visit. The exhibits are interactive, and there is lots of chat going on. They have staff members discussing exhibits with anyone who wants to talk about things. The aquarium part of it was awesome, and was where we spent much of our time. The rain forest exhibit was closed for maintenance, but we could see in and didn't feel we missed too much by not getting to it.

We did miss the planetarium, purely because we didn't understand the system. We were there for 3 hours and found out that we should have picked up a pass to a show in there as soon as we came in. By the time we got there (at the end of the visit) we found we had to wait another 1.5 hours before we could get into a show, so decided to flag it.

From there, we continued biking around the Presidio district, up hills (and boy are some of them steep) and down dale. This city is certainly bike friendly - they have cycle lanes everywhere and cycle tours marked up so you can follow them by sign-post. Didn't feel at risk despite biking through all that traffic.

We returned the bikes at about 4.00 pm, and then spent the rest of the evening wandering in and around the Fisherman's Wharf area. The weather all day was lovely - they said it got to 75 degrees, which I found surprising. Malcy found it warm, I thought it was good to slightly cool with the sea breeze - but didn't need anymore than a t shirt and shorts on, so wasn't complaining.

To finish off we had Clam Chowder in a Sour Dough bowl for tea (well I had the tomato soup - but most people seemed to be having the Clam Chowder, including Malc), direct from the bakers of the Sour Dough bread.

We then had a 20 minute wait in the queue for the Cable Car to take us in the general direction of our motel. Did this from an "experience" perspective. We were generally surprised at the inefficiency around this operation, which is typically un-American in the way they deal with crowds of people etc, but more typical of what you would expect from the NZ railway system!!!! Gave us a giggle, however, and caused much discussion in the queue of people around us.

So back to our motel at a reasonable time, for coffee and bed - after a strenuous but very enjoyable day. We both like San Francisco very much - and along with Vancouver - it is a city we would come back to and spend more time in.
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