Anyway, I got back to Andrea and she was still finding stuff to try on (not padded bras lol) and eventually she got into a change room with the help of the salespeople who are all head-phone connected- creepy but convenient. We got out just in time. While Andrea was paying the sales-people became determined to cover me with samples of different varieties of scented lotion (As it is obvious that I am not in the market for a padded bra.)
We got home, packed our pants, because we assumed it would be a bit chilly on the boat, and headed to the F-line cable car to take us to Fisherman's Wharf
! We are staying about two blocks from Market (Powell Station), so we are handy to basically every form of public transportation. We still managed to not be able to find the train we wanted without help. We thought the guy who helped was being nice but he asked for money once he told us where to go and got mad at me when I gave him only a dollar. This would where the saying "beggars can't be choosers" must have come from. We got Pier 39 without too much trouble and after perusing the many, many, many stores and restaurants available at Fisherman's Wharf we chose a nice quiet one with views of the sea lions and Alcatraz and I got to have my first of many bowls of clam chowder :) There were only two sea lions out on the docks but that is OK because that is two more than I see on a regular day.
We were on the last Alcatraz tour of the day which departed at 6:45. We elected to sit on the top deck which was open and great views of both the city and Alcatraz but was VERY windy. When we got there a guide took us up to the cell house. It is a 13 story climb but you get to see lots of plants and birds. At the cell house you enter where the prisoners would have entered, the shower room. It is a big open room with lots of showers and drains. Here you are outfitted with your headphones and radio which you wear and gives you a 45 minute guided tour of the cell house. This is cool because you can go at your own pace and pause it when you want to take pictures or talk to the people you are with or whatever
. It took us through the different cell blocks, showed us the wardens office, library, exercise yard, the "hole," and there are cells you can go into and pose (so we did, of course.) I thought it was really neat because before I came I read the auto-biography of Alvin "Creepy" Karpis and watched "Escape from Alcatraz" so it was interesting to see a lot of the stuff from that book and movie. The only part that I didn't like was that since we were the last tour they rushed us out of the gift shop and I was not done. But I did have time to grab some t-shirts for my nephews and a coffee cup that says " Regulation 21: You Are Required to Work at Whatever You Are Told To Do." That one is for me lol. I am tempted to take it to school and keep it on my desk but the fact that it is from a prison would likely send the wrong message and while I have always found that my students have a great sense of humour sometimes others don't. So...at home it will stay. The boat ride home had beautiful views of the Bay Bridge and the city all lit up in the night, but could I get my camera to take a good picture of this on the moving boat? No, sadly, I could not. We then attempted to take the f-line home and eventually succeeded but we were not picked up for 45 minutes because all the cable cars kept being full and it was SO COLD. We were beginning to realize why there were vendors everywhere selling mitten and knit caps (lol that's what Americans call toques.) Mark Twain apparently said that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Fransisco.
On the way back from China Town we made a stop at Union Square. We had lots of time before our Alcatraz tour so we (and when I say we, I mean Andrea ;) decided to go check out Victoria's Secret. It was very large, like two or three stories. I have never seen so many padded bras. That is apparently the secret. Who needs a boob job when you can just shop there. I wandered around looking for a bathroom while Andrea tried on stuff. The bathroom was hard to find but when I found it it was marble and had many couches. I generally find couches in bathrooms disgusting, possibly because I still remember the couches in the bathrooms at university and I know what people did on them, but these looked clean and I digress (do I ever ;)