Monday, 16 May 2011

San Fran: the whole shebang - part 1

We were only planning on staying for four nights... that turned into nine. Whoops. Luckily Adam's fine cooking and my fancy-dress-making skills stopped Sian and John from kicking us out.

*WARNING: these are image-heavy posts but it would do San Fran an injustice to try and condense all the fun. So here goes....

DAY 1:
Sian and John were around on the Sunday (which also happened to be Mother's Day over here) so we headed to Mission for brunch. Turned out that it was Mission's turn for Sunday Streets, "San Fran's official block party", where they shut off all the streets to vehicles and pedestrians and bikes take over. We were super lucky to stumble across this. Mission sure knows how to block party.

You've seen this guy before. But he's worth another post. He had some MOVES. Even some to rival yours, Llewellyn. Plus, we came across an impromptu gig from an apartment window. The guy was playing some pretty sweet slide guitar.

Ad made friends with some cheeky clowns for a bit of putting. He lost.

There are murals everywhere. This is the Clarion Alley Mural Project.

Valencia Street is packed with amazing shops. Needless to say, the plastic took a battering.

Later on, we sampled John's Official San Francisco Soft-top Tour. Highly recommended. It took in Twin Peaks, Lombard Street aka the Crookedest Street, Haight Street, the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square, Little Italy, Downtown and Ocean Beach.

That's Sian taking a photo of me telling Adam not to stand up in the back of the car. He didn't listen... but it made for a good picture.

DAY 2:
Today, we explored from Downtown and Union Square (where we had a slice from the Cheesecake Factory: overrated), up the Grant Avenue part of Chinatown to Little Italy, across to the Cable Car Museum (where we stocked up for our growing collection of American fridge magnets), to Powell & Hyde for a cable car ride down to Hyde Street Pier where we headed aboard the boats/ships/liners (delete as appropriate, I've no idea), then to Fisherman's Wharf to play on the vintage arcade machines at Musee Mecanique, have our photobooth pictures taken and eat clam chowder from a bread bowl.


Day 2 was also the day that we first ate a Snickerdoodle. Still don't quite know what they are (cookie? cake?) but I know that I hope it's not the only Snickerdoodle we ever eat.

DAY 3:
It's now Tuesday. Time for Alcatraz. Incredible audio tour. If you ever go to San Francisco, make sure it's on your must-visit list.

We went back to Fisherman's Wharf to go to the ever-tacky and stinky-sealion-inhabited Pier 39 (they had a whole shop of magnets, what can I say?), then climbed Filbert Steps right to Coit Tower on the peak of Telegraph Hill. Steep. We took the elevator to top (I wouldn't bother if I were you; the view from the car park is just as impressive and you'll save yourself 10 bucks. Although the view of Lombard St from above is pretty cool).

We headed back down Filbert Steps. Apparently, parrots live in the gardens. We didn't see any but the gardens themselves are incredible enough. At the bottom you hit Levi's Plaza and the Levi Strauss HQ. They have a ton of vintage and salvaged jeans and jackets in The Vault. Well worth a look, if only to see how massive Elton John's custom denim is!

On the way to the Ferry Building (lots of lovely shops and markets) from Levi's Plaza we found the chocolate shop/factory that Sian had recommended at Pier 17, Tcho Chocolate. Quite possibly the only proper chocolate in America, which it should be for $20 a sampler. We could only afford the drinks. But their hot chocolate is gooood - with that many o's.

OK, that's more than enough for part 1. Part 2 coming soon.

1 comment:

  1. Is that Big Geoff in the first photo?!