Our first big city stay

Trip Start Sep 21, 2009
Trip End Oct 23, 2009

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Where I stayed
Grosvenor House Suites

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, September 24, 2009

We enjoyed a visit to the Maritime Museum in Monterey before hitting the road again for San Francisco via San Jose. This little side trip was so we could visit the Rosicrucian Museum, which houses hundreds of Egyptian artifacts, including mummies, and a replica tomb. We were expecting something local and dinky, but it was a beautiful museum with three floors chock full of interesting things.

Leaving San Jose for San Francisco in the afternoon, we encountered our first US freeway, complete with traffic. By now we were feeling very grateful for the GPS! As we entered SF, we  were suddenly on the bridge - but why isn't it red? As we discovered the next day, that would be because it wasn't actually the Golden Gate Bridge - it was the Bay Bridge (stupid tourists!).

The GPS lead us to our hotel, one street down from the top of Nob Hill, one of the most exclusive districts in SF. I had emailed the hotel with a request to be placed on a high floor, as I had heard that the views were spectacular, and we didn't do too badly - floor 18 (top floor: 19), although we are at the back of the building and because of the fog when we arrived, thought that our view was only of buildings. It was a big surprise the next afternoon, when the fog lifted, to find that we had a great view of the bay (not either bridge though!). We have two rooms (bedroom and lounge) with a mini-kitchen and tiny bathroom, way over my $100 US a night budget, but great value for SF.

The concierge recommended a 50s diner down the road (and I literally mean DOWN the road) for dinner, so we walked a block down towards Union Square - yes, SF is very, very hilly. Having walked another block or two down after dinner, we didn't fancy walking back up - it was a daunting climb - but it was too late to buy a pass for the cable cars (and at $5 each for a one-way trip, not really cost-effective), so we stood on various street corners and waved like idiots until a taxi driver finally felt sorry for us and let us get in. There must be a trick to finding a cab here, but we don't know it!

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