Tips: 1. If you stay in the US over their Thanksgiving, be aware that a lot of places/attractions aren’t open. Plan accordingly. 2. If food is part of your travel adventure, sometimes it’s fun to look up cities that Diners, Drive Ins and Dives have visited, and see if you can go to one of the places they’ve featured – we tend to do that once in awhile, or something that Anthony Bourdain recommends. 3. We did the first Alcatraz tour of the morning (~8 or 8.30) which was amazing because we got there before anyone else was on the island. After that boats keep arriving every 30 mins, so if you get there first you get there when there’s the least number of people the entire day. At some points we had areas all to ourselves there.
November 27, 2009: West coast diaries #3
Happy Thanksgiving :o) Hope you are all enjoying yourselves. We are having a great time here in SF – with a couple more jam-packed days to tell you about. Yesterday morning we got up early and took the streetcar down to the wharf, where we caught the first ferry to Alcatraz. The weather is great, and we had spectacular views of the city and the Golden Gate bridge from both the boat and the island. We bolted up the hill to the cell house to do the audio tour before too many people got on the island – that was a real treat to walk around it without too many people. Even though I’ve been before, I’m still fascinated by this place – I couldn’t imagine being stuck on that island, so close to SF…I get antsy after a few weeks at home without even a roadtrip!! After a couple of hours here, we walked to the Ferry Building for a nice tasty burger and fries/onion rings, from a place called Taylor’s Automatic Refresher – my colleague told me about it being on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and we were not let down. The egg buns were especially good. From here we did a bit of shopping in some furniture stores d2 had looked up and then caught the train to San Jose. Do you know the way to San Jose?….ha. We met my boss’s boss (B, he and his wife live down here and have for the past 21 years) at the rink for dinner beforehand, and then we watched Chicago smoke the Sharks. Seeing as we of course shelled out top-dollar (ha) for tickets in the nose-bleeds, we were treated to some 19-year olds who were completely smashed when they got to the game, but lucky for us passed out (one of them, literally) in the second, and left by the third period. I also thought the Oilers entering the rink through the oil derrick was a sight to behold, but this is outdone by the Sharks entering through a giant sharkhead that is full of smoke and whose eyes glow red. Oh ya, the game was also good! Even though Chicago won, it wasn’t a boring game by any means.
This morning we got up and went for the killer of all runs. We did a bit of a city tour and me not knowing which streets are the steepest really did us in! We made our way to Lombard St first, and about 5 minutes in to our run, my legs were shaking like a lapdog’s on a winter walk! Then down to Fisherman’s wharf to do some sealion watching – that was super good – I think those guys definitely have the right idea about taking it easy in the sun – and then back to some hills – up Telegraph Hill, and back along a flatter (thankfully) route. There was a little cafe open near our hotel (remember it’s US Thanksgiving), so we sat down and had a tasty breakfast. Then we took the train out to a place called Menlo Park, which is about halfway between here and San Jose, to have Thanksgiving dinner with B, his wife, and one of their son’s families. We had a very fun evening with them – they were so hospitable and warm. We just got back to SF about an hour ago and are busy planning a full day of city-touring and shopping again tomorrow. Should be good- it’s our last full day here, then we pick up the rental car on Saturday and away we go down the coast.
That’s about it from us for now. More email from the coast on the weekend!
dpr and d2