Trip Start Jun 18, 2007
49Trip End Nov 14, 2007
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A leisurely breakfast in Surry Hills and off to the Airport. Checked in with plenty of time to spare, did some shopping which is always great at Australian Airports and then relaxed in the Red Carpet Room for United Airlines. Not so impressed with this facility but its apparently being upgraded and we were therefore in temporary accommodations. Still it was ok.
Previously we have only flown Business Class domestically. But after walking on board and settling in to the very roomy cabin, we decided that will all have to change. This is the only way to fly long distances!
Great food, wine, champagne and a reasonable nights sleep later we arrive in San Francisco 10.40am to a cool but sunny day.
Customs was remarkably easy to get through after all the stories we had heard, but I was not complaining
We settled into our hotel, the Westin on 3rd St just off Market St in the City. Newly renovated this hotel is very nicely decked out. The room is very comfy if a little expensive, but the location is perfect. (Thanks EJ great choice)
San Francisco 20th June - 25th June
Over the next few days we wandered around our local area and then headed off down Market St toward the Castro. It's a loooooong street!, about 18 blocks in fact. It's all very flat though and a relatively easy walk and certainly worth the look at least once. You can easily hop on the Trams which run the length of Market St and are a scenic and quick way to travel, or for something different you can also use the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) subway system that follows the street underground.We had a drink at a local bar and ended up having dinner there as well, jet lag set in and it was time to have an early night!
It's the weekend of the San Francisco Pride festival and the whole of Market St is lined with rainbow flags from one end to the other. The Castro is buzzing with international visitors and locals getting ready for the big weekend and we went to see some Australian Short Films at the Castro Theatre which is a beautifully restored theatre from the 1920's The Aussie Films are always a big hit we were told, and they certainly were entertaining. We spent a great afternoon out with Ari, a local from SF who very kindly showed us around the parts of the city that we would, without transport, have never seen. We have some great shots of the City from Twin Peaks, the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Coast
Mark and EJ (from Bakersfield) arrived Friday evening and we all headed up to the Castro to enjoy the Festival atmosphere, HUGE crowds in the central square. After a night out we all wake up very late and get up just in time to see the parade. As parades go it was ok... lots of political stuff ... no offence but Mardi Gras is way more fun!
We had dinner on Saturday night with good friends from Australia/USA, Helene and Kelly who live in Admiralty Quays, Brisbane Australia (for those of you who know where we lived for the last 2 ½ years), for part of the year and then in Kelly's home country the USA for the rest of the time. We had a great meal on the corner of Market down near the Embarcado. You can sit at the bar and watch your meals being prepared. Helene had just flow in from Australia ... we know how that feels, so thanks for staying up for us J.