Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vacation - Day Five

We woke up in the middle of downtown San Francisco!  I was a little chilly but looked to be a beautiful day to be out and about exploring this city.  My first impression....San Francisco is big.  Very big.  We wanted to do all the tourist stuff so we started out with the traditional trolley car ride.  The main stop or turning around point was right by our hotel.  

Sadly, all other 1.2 Million people visiting the city also had the same wise idea and the line was LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG!   

We watched them turn the cars around about 42 times.  You would think they would have this mode of transportation down to a science, but there was tons of room for efficiency improvements.  I think I could have turned this trolley around, loaded it up and had it on its way much quicker than the gents that were working.  They were soooo slow.  Ugh.  

We were patient though and after about an hour in line we were aboard!

From all the movies I have seen with San Francisco, you think I would have been prepared for how hilly it was...but I was still surprised. It is very, very hilly!  Not a town you would want to have to walk around much.

That is Alcatraz out in the water in the picture above.  We had planned to do that tour, but it was sold out.  Bummer.  Didn't realize it was something we needed to plan ahead for.

Cool customers on the trolley. 

First view of the Golden Gate bridge.  Concealed almost completely by fog. 

This was a street vendor down by the wharf.  Crab on the sidewalk.  I totally could have eaten here!  Instead we hit up an In and Out Burger. It wasn't bad. 

We walked several piers of Fisherman's Wharf.  Checking out the sites. 

Pier 39 is where it is at.  All the seals are up close and they are fighting and jockeying for space on these floating piers.  It was quite entertaining to watch them.

There was a big boardwalk areas with stores of all kinds.  Candy stores.  NFL store.  Ornament store.  You name it, they had it.

Look at the gorgeous flower baskets. They were everywhere.  So pretty. 

Then we got back in line for the trolley.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  

It is a fairly inexpensive way to get around the city, but my was frustratingly slow.  At one point there was a driver guy just sitting on the trolley reading a book.  Two hundred people in line and he is reading a book.  Not a worry in the world.  I wanted to hit him.  Actually, I wanted to drag him off the trolley and take it over myself.

So there is this one kind of disturbing thing that goes on in San Fran...major homeless problem and also tons of street performers.  Some of them were interesting (magician, robot guy spray painted silver) but some were down right scary.  This guy above is "Escape Man".  His buddy put him in a straight-jacket and chained him to a light pole.  For reals.  He screamed out all this crazy talk and then dislocated his arms to escape.  Took him about ten minutes or so.  Then he calming walked up and down the line of waiting trolley passengers for donations for his act.  Bizarro.  There was another guy playing a guitar and singing. He would start with one song and wander into a different song....every single time he stopped playing no one would clap and he would say "Thank you for that moment of silence."  Then he would launch into another song.  So not only is it annoying to have to wait in a line for an hour, but the entire time you are being entertained by the locals.   It was not my favorite. 

We finally caught a trolley back up town to where we started, hit a mall, grabbed a Starbucks and decided to head over the Golden Gate bridge to our next hotel. 

The bridge was still covered by fog, but we stopped to take a few pictures anyway.  

We arrived at the Best Western in Corte Madera, just a short drive from San Fran. 
This was much more my speed.  Although mileage wise it was not far from downtown, it felt a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  

We chilled out for a while and then went to dinner at PF Changs, which was right across the street.  We ate out on the patio and had a terrific waiter.  He recommended a chicken dish for me that was out of this world delicious.  It was a great way to wrap up a busy day.  

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