Sea lions bring in money

Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
America's Best Value Inn - Mill Valley

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, April 19, 2010


The owner of the Best Value Inn, in Mill Valley, just along from Sausalito, instructed us where we could catch a bus into San Francisco to the Downtown area. Des and I waited at the bus stop for almost an hour, for the number 4 bus. Eventually I asked an older lady, who was dropping her daughter off to catch the shuttle to the airport, if she knew when the busses ran to downtown. She gave us some information, drove around the block, then asked if we would like a lift to the ferry, which would take us downtown. Des and I were so grateful, because it was cold and windy (as it often is in San Francisco). The lady had become a widow in January this year and was having a difficult time coping with life on her own. We thanked her very much for the ride.

The ferry took us past the Golden Gate Bridge and The Bay Bridge and also past Alcatraz Island, which we had been onto in 2003. It still looked as daunting a place as ever, with the wind whipping up the waves around it. The Alcatraz Prison is (apparently) the second most popular tourist destination in the USA and there are ferries going there all day long. It's a cold, windy, desolate hole, and the prisoners who served their time there must have really done it hard.

The ferry dropped us at a pier, which was still a good walk from Fisherman’s Wharf, and Pier 39, both tourist attractions. We sauntered until we arrived at Pier 39, where we purchased a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream each. Mona had recommended we try some of this ice cream as it’s very creamy with unusual flavours. She was right, it’s yummy.

The red Hop-on Hop-off bus was at the pier, so we decided to do a couple of tours on the bus.

Our tour guide explained to us that the San Francisco Port Authority tried everything in their power to move the sea lion colony out of the harbor, because they felt that it was affecting the revenue they would get from yachts mooring in the harbour. They very nearly succeeded in driving the sea lions out, till they realized that the sea lions were generating more income, in the way of tourism, than the boats were in mooring fees. So now the powers-that-be in the city, love the sea lions and provide decks for them to laze around in the sun, and also provide good vantage points for the tourists.

The red bus took us on a downtown tour where we saw City Hall, the most curvy street, Chinatown, the Barbary Coast area, many parks and fancy buildings and finally across the Golden Gate Bridge, after which we took our leave, in Sausalito, and caught a local bus to our hotel, jaded and worn out from the busy day. It was fantastic to be in San Francisco again, a major city which we had seen so often on the television.
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Royboy on

Hi Guys - you certainly making up for lost time now.- I have worked backwards on your blog Jenny and decided to let you both know I am following your trip.
On current trip time you should be in Vancouver by the end of this week??
What is you schedule from there - going on the inside passage trip 7 days we have booked and depart 18th August.>>

mona on

i'm so glad you had ben & jerry's! hahahaha

Maria Li on

wow~~~~ Ben and Jerry's ice cream.. i am drooling now~~~ what a pity that i have no chance to taste the food~~~

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