San Francisco...done!

Trip Start Jul 26, 2010
Trip End Aug 17, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hi guys,
I know the blogs are a bit random and you have just had one from our arrival at San Fran, but in reality we have now left and are about 300 miles south. So, we are going to try and fill you in on what we did in San Francisco...

After we arrived at 4am(!), we unpacked the car, and went straight to bed. The next morning, we knew we had to be up early because we were off to Alcatraz! We got up at 9am and left the room about 10:30. We walked about 2 blocks from the hotel and waited for the cable car. When it arrived, there was hardly any space, so we had to hang off from the rails on the side - really cool...just like it looks in the pictures! We rode it practically the whole way down to Fisherman's Wharf. We had no idea that the guy stopping and starting it, had such a physical job. There are literally two leavers, and he moves up and down the front pushing them backwards and forwards (with quite a lot of effort).
Anyway, we left the cable car and walked down to the pier. By this time it was 11am and we thought we were there in good time (departure at 11:30, pick tickets up at 11). Turns out, (surprise surprise), we were at the wrong pier...the one we wanted was a mile in the other direction - panic!
We had to grab a taxi (just as well they all drive like maniacs) and he got us there at 11:15. We picked up the tickets and waited to get on the boat.
On our way over, there was a sea gull flying the same speed of the boat - random!

We arrived at Alcatraz. You can actually see the island from San Francisco, but it looked even more imposing from up close. First off, we saw a 15 minute film about Alcatraz and how it was been used through the ages - defence in the gold rush, a prison, political movement for the Indians, etc. We then had an audio tour through the prison, and heard voices of former prisoners and guards. About half way through, a warden gave a half an hour talk about Al Capone and what his time at Alcatraz was like...all really interesting!
We carried on and heard about escape plans and foiled escape plans and general life in the prison. The prison itself was cool, and it was interesting to learn about prison life. There was a proper community on the island at one point, with wives and children of the prison guards living there.

We came back from Alcatraz and did some shopping on Pier 39, and ate fish and chips on the pier...just like being in Brighton (only slightly warmer)!
As our hotel was so close to Chinatown, we ended the evening with a chinese.

Next day, we got up and I (neen) had seen some yellow go carts the day before, and suggested we rent one. After some persuading, Tiff agreed, and we went to get one. After falling out with the taxi driver because we had called him for a $5 fare (get over it), we got our yellow go cart. It was really cool, and it had a built in GPS that gave directions and a run down of what we were seeing. We went out for about 2 hours, and got all the way down to East Park (near Golden Gate Bridge). Lots of people on the street were waving at us and said that the go cart was cool - the red safety helmets we had to wear were not so cool! After we finished here, we had lunch and went shopping - again!

As we had come off the coastal road before (because it was dangerous), we had missed Bodega Bay, so we used this opportunity to drive back up. Bodega Bay is where they filmed "The Birds", and we were told the church was still there. So we got in the car and drove up there. 2 hours later(!), we were at Bodega Bay, after asking around a bit, we did actually get to see the church. For anyone who is interested, Tippi Hendren (no idea how you spell it) is going to be here at the start of September!

Next day (today), we set out to leave San Francisco.

The scenery was lovely, the weather was nice, but the most interesting story has to be:
Whilst I (Neen) was driving around (trying to find Tiff food), I saw flashing police lights in the rear view mirror. Being absolutely shit scared, I pulled over, and the officer made a slow approach to our Jeep. She informed me that I had run a stop sign and also had been speeding (in a 55, I was doing 70....Im sure I wasnt, but I thought it best not to argue!). She asked for my license and asked if I was wanted(!) and then checked my details over the radio. She asked us what we were doing in America, and we continued to let her know everything...including that we were going to Neverland...turns out she liked Michael Jackson. We then tried to big up Hollywood and the stars, saying we were really interested in America...and do you know, I do believe, we talked ourself out of a ticket! She told us to have a nice day and left....phheeewww! Needless to say, I have stuck to the speed limit since then!

After that, we have just been on the road really. Just arrived at San Luis, and have checked in to a hotel, ready to set off for LA in the morning.

Hope all are well!

Speak soon,

Neen and Tiff

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Harry on

I like your helmet Aunty Nina - it looks like the one your mummy and daddy bought me.............

Glad you are having a good time

Ema on

Looks like MJ saved the day for you....
Can't believe you got pulled over, HILLARIOUS, but then I guess its part of the American experience. Alcatraz looks and sounds amazing, would love to go there.....Can't believe you have been gone almost 2 weeks........
Harry knows you are in "Merica", and keeps telling me "Nina Merica" when he plays with the balloon.........

D on

:-D :-D xx

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