03.01.2014 - 07.01.2014 17 °C
Here is a photo left over from yesterday - I thought it might give you a laugh at how rugged up I am!
After a much needed sleep in today, we met James, who owns the apartment and had a chat about some things to do in San Francisco. Then we meandered 3 blocks down hilly streets to have breakfast bagels and breakfast burritos from 'chameleon' a little cafe on the list of good local places provided by James. They had good coffee! This is a big deal in the US, I haven't had a decent coffee since I arrived in America 14 days ago, so I will definitely be visiting here again before we leave for a coffee fix!
San Francisco is a pretty city, it is quiet and as the boys described it earlier today - more like our suburb back home, I think they mean the atmosphere because the buildings and sidewalk are nothing alike (we do have much more grass and natural elements back home) - but the feel of this city is homely, I can tell we will enjoy the time we have here very much.
Our apartment and view
On James advice we walked down our street which took us into China town, we checked out the crazy swords, knives and bb guns in their shops as well as the other junky wares being sold. Of course the boys loved it and came out with throw down fire crackers, another fire cracker (this guy was trying to sell all types to Teen1, I had to remind him we couldn't let them off or take them home!). We visited the fortune cookie factory down a dingy alley in china town, we tasted reject cookie coatings, watched an old Chinese lady put messages into the soft flat pancake like cookie, then fold and bend it and put it aside to crisp as it cooled. We bought a large bag of fortune cookies and a bag of reject cookies to Teen 1's delight.
We continued on through the financial district, along down the hills to pier 9 with views of the Bay Bridge and walked along the water in the warm sunshine to pier 39 for clam chowder, crumbed zucchini and more chilli fries for Teen2! Following that we visited the sea lions congregated in their haven along the pier. There must have been hundreds, barking their distinct sounds, smelling fishy, one of the platforms had them lined up like sardines all asleep, another had some playing, one kept pushing off another who would leap out of the water onto the pier, they were amusing to watch. I didn't realise, but they began coming to San Francisco following the earth quake in 1989. They grew to around 300 in months, then in 2009 hit an all time high at 1701. We also had our first sighting of the Golden Gate Bridge shining in the sun, it was a beautiful sight.
We continued to wander along up to Fishermans Wharf, exploring some tourist shops, the tween bought a huge bubble maker from a kite shop, we found a shop called Route 66 - that had many things old American. Again, I am a little obsessed with old American, and am looking forward to driving on Route 66 when we head to Vegas so had to visit that shop.
We were going to get a tram home, but had walked a while already so decided to keep it going. The boys really did experience the San Francisco hills, uphill!
Back home, we got some groceries from 'Le Beau' market, two blocks up..... There is a trader Joe's, but it was 4 blocks walk and after those hills too much effort! We were dying for a steak and salad after all the American food we have been eating, so bought some supplies. A night at home watching a movie is the plan...... We are doing that as I type. While I will miss NYC, it is nice to be in a city that does sleep!
Tomorrow the tween has chosen for us to bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and get the ferry back. Then our Alcatraz trip in the evening, I have never seen a child so excited about a landmark. He has been rattling facts off to me all day. An example of how playstation games (can be educational I guess, his favourite game black ops 2 is set in Alcatraz.