The night we arrived in San Francisco we met up with one of my old school friends Jo. We haven't seen each other for years but I knew she had moved to San Francisco and thought this would be a great time to catch up. She found a great little bar in the Hayes district for us to go. We had a few gin and tonics (Pete had beer!!, think he has gone off gin since he over indulged one night at our friend’s Heather and Matt’s, going to bed at 8:30 pm) and chatted away. After getting slightly tipsy we happened to walk past a Burger King and that was dinner sorted.
The next day we took a walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf to find the Sea Lions and take in the views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The Sea Lions on pier 39 were hilarious. They were really noisy and kept fighting over who was allowed to get on the floating platform. What was funny was that three out of about 12 platforms were full of sea lions and the others were empty, but they all seemed to want to be on the same one, probably for body warmth and comfort. After being entertained by the Sea lions we headed for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. I had been here when I was younger and wanted to see what it was like now. I think the portions were the same, we had a huge plate of nachos. we finished off the day with a walk around the Wharf and headed back to our hotel for a nap, this traveling malarkey is hard work you know!!!
Alcatraz was our next days adventure. The day started well, Watford dispatched current Premier League champions Leicester 2-1 to secure another 3 points. By all accounts Watford deserved to win and i perhaps they were slightly more clinical in front of goal then the score-line would have been more comfortable.
Anyway back to Alcatraz, it was absolutely hammering down with rain but the keen walkers we are, and equipped with our mac in a sac’s we walked the 45 mins to the pier to get the boat to Alcatraz. Suffice to say we turned up soaked to the core but were excited to visit Alcatraz so it didn’t dampen our spirits. We took the somewhat rough 12 minute boat ride across to the Island and set about exploring the prison. The audio tour here is awesome. It was a sobering place based on punishment, not rehabilitation (just how prison should be). One of the sayings that caught my eye was ‘ Break the law and you go to prison, break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz”. The hole cells were particularly harrowing and it is reported that prisoners could be in there for up to 14 days at a time. An interesting placed definitely well worth a visit.
Having not had any breakfast we were looking forward to visiting one of our favourite eateries, Chipotle. It’s a mexican fast food place, which sells burritos, tacos and salads. We met a very nice Australian couple and their daughter in there. They were interested in our upcoming visit to Australia. We happily chatted away for about 15 minutes. Once they left, Pete just looked at me and said ‘oh no Lil’. I didn’t know what he was going on about until he took a picture and said smile. When he showed me, I had been talking to this couple with a huge bit of coriander stuck in my teeth, very classy!!
We spent Sunday catching up with the family on Facetime, that took us up until about 2.30pm. Then we headed off out for Sunday lunch at Jo’s, collecting a couple of bottles of red wine on the way. We haven’t really had much to drink since we have been away, so are tolerance levels are quite low. I know it is hard to believe that Pete’s ability to hold his liquor can get any worse, but suffice it to say the couple of bottles of red wine meant his usual 2 day hangover followed. The meal was fantastic, lovely roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy, Pete and Jo had roast beef which by all accounts was very tasty indeed. Great company, great wine and a great meal resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Monday was basically a write off, we did manage to take a stroll along the Marina for a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped on the way back at Safeway to purchase junk food to help with the hangovers.
Tuesday we planned a lazy morning as checkout wasn’t until 12. However the prospect of a peaceful lie-in was shattered when maintenance arrived to change the carpets in the room next door! After a coffee we made our way to the subway and boarded the train to Oakland Airport where we collected a hire car for the last 5 days of our stay in the States.