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Monthly Archives: July 2009

San Francisco Day 2

Day 2- Fri. July 24

There is nothing like starting the
day off with a Spanish news show… especially when there is a guy in a bumblebee
costume, an actual real guy! I watched for a bit to see if he would get into
any comical situations but alas he is no Bumblebee Man. This kind of TV is
expected when you wake up at 5am thanks to a wonderful backwards time zone
skip. A couple hours of TV later it was time to head out and find some coffee
(thankfully there was a wonderful little coffee shop in the Wharf that also
served Krispy Kremes and rice crispy squares the size of my fist!) and head to
the ferry to Alcatraz. With such an early start we were still some of the last
stragglers to arrive, but just in time to hear one of the employees (desperately)
try and get people interested in seeing the (apparently) award-winning gardens
on the island. As if that was why we were going, nevermind the “inescapable” prison,
let’s all go see some flowers! Alcatraz itself was pretty awesome and large
enough that the crowds weren’t too annoying, save for a few stubborn people who
would just stand there in my way and not move. The gardens were not that great,
partly because walking through was very awkward as there were volunteers at
work there. The views from the island were also stunning, the Golden Gate
Bridge was half visible, but the upper half was covered in fog.

Once we were back in the Wharf we
headed downtown, passing through the Financial District which is not as
impressive as the one here in Toronto, there was really only one (sort of)
skyscraper and it was weirdly shaped, the Transamerica Pyramid. We decided it
was shaped like that to withstand earthquakes. Eventually we passed a 7-Eleven
and on my insistence we went in. To my disappointment no Cherry Dr Pepper was
to be found so we continued on through the downtown core to Yurba Beuna Gardens
(which means “good herb”). On the way there we had seen some ads about a display
at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts (SOMA) of Richard Avedon’s work but
we decided against it on account of our hunger pangs. Instead we turned tail
and headed to the mall in search of nourishment. Instead we found confusion. Rather
than your typical food court what we found was a “food emporium” with a bunch
of food places we’d never heard of and the most confusing layout. We settled
for a grill+meat kind of place and I had an awesome turkey burger and some
garlic fries that were actually made with real bits of garlic, it was shocking.
Hunger satiated, we went to a supermarket across from the food “emporium”, only
to find out it was a ritzy fancy place, not exactly the best place to go
looking for Pop Tarts and Cherry Dr Pepper. After a quick trip to American
Eagle to buy a sweater (it was cold the whole time and I did not want to look
like a tourist in an oversized SF hoodie) we headed to our original destination
in the mall: the spiral escalator. It was not that interesting, the pictures
had made the curve seem sharper, yet it was barely noticeable.

We walked back up through the
middle street of Chinatown, this time going through the fancy gates. For the
most part everything there was really expensive, $4 for a small stuffed
elephant and same for a box of Pocky. It was only later on, further north that I
found some decently priced Pocky and as a bonus some panda cookies. Then I spotted
another 7-Eleven on another side street and insisted we go there too. This was
a good call, because not only did they have Cherry Dr Pepper, they also had
Dublin Dr Pepper and what we thought at the time was sugar-cane 7Up. I grabbed
3 bottles of Cherry Dr Pepper and garnered myself more than a few weird looks. We
took the Filbert Steps (as the guidebook had recommended but not forewarned) up
to Coit Tower. The stairs just kept going, no end in sight, a street even cut
across them! It was well worth the agonizing twenty minute vertical ascent and
leg pain because the views were absolutely gorgeous. From up there you could
see the bridge to Oakland, Alcatraz, and the entire Wharf and bay. The line to
go up Coit Tower was ridiculously long so we headed on to our next stop:
Lombard Street. At first it was a very steep decline so we had to slowly inch
our way down, being very careful given I was carrying my DSLR and did not
purchase any travel insurance, but also because we had the precious Dublin Dr
Pepper in its delicate glass bottle with us. As we got closer to the curvy part
the street started getting a really steep incline. There were so many cars
slowly inching their way down the curves of Lombard and even some people in the
small tour car and even a few bikers. There were a few tourists who would
actually stop and take a picture at every curve; it was great to laugh at.

All that uphill walking and stair
climbing tired us out really good so we collapsed in the hotel room, which is
sad given it was only about 4pm. Not letting the exhaustion get to me, I headed
out alone to take another walk through Pier 39, mostly in search of souvenirs. I
also was craving some tea (given all I’d had for the past two days was soda)
but apparently tea down there must be made of gold or something because it was
super expensive in most places, except for one: my beloved coffee place, The
San Francisco Brewing Co.) where they had some really nice flavours. I was a
bit intrigued by McDonald’s sweet tea but decided against it and went with the
Tropical Green Tea from my beloved, where they even had honey! After my solo
trip we went to Ghiradelli Square in search of food, which was helped by the
fact that it smells deliciously tempting down there! But we were both too tired
for a sit-down restaurant/battle with throngs of tourists so we settled for
Subway. I say settled because my original plan had been to only eat stuff I couldn’t
get back home. At the 7-Eleven near the Wharf I found some Cherry 7Up (which is
delicious) and I found out that Safeway (which I had seen people carrying bags
from) was a grocery store. I saw the famous “bushman of San Francisco” scare a
little girl who went crying to her mom. We collapsed again but this time with
food and drinks. Dublin Dr Pepper is the most delicious drink in the entire
world. Thankfully the TV seemed to know how tired and in need of dumb shows we
were because there was a Spongebob marathon on AND a Jackass marathon, so we
were kept entertained. Finished the day off with a 100 Grand bar which is also
delicious and I wish we had all these good things here.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Adventures of Pinka!

 

San Francisco Trip- Day 1 July 23 2009

Our flight was to depart at 8am, so we had to be at the
airport fairly early, which meant a 4am wake-up call. Not exactly the easiest
thing to do when you’ve been up until about 2am. As it turned out, we were up
before the subway and had to sit there and wait and wait… it was agonizing.
Little did we realize it was to set the tone for the weekend.

                The
first flight itself was rather nerve-wracking in that it was my first, I was
anxious, on edge and very very sleep deprived. We had to switch flights in
Chicago, but we had a two hour break in between so we wandered off in search of
food. We wandered into a food court and what a glorious lunch we had:
Chicago-style deep dish pizza from a place called Reggies. It was absolutely
delicious, some of the best (and most definitely greasiest) pizza I’ve ever
had, it has kicked Papa John’s out of the running. How could it not? It had a
buttery crust! We still had a lot of time to kill so we wandered aimlessly
through the airport (which has a very confusing layout). Did I mention it was
the airport from Home Alone? It also has an indoor playground! And food abound,
not to mention art and planes and other stuff to keep a bored person occupied. Our
appetites satiated and legs tired, we got back on a plane. Now that my nerves
had been quelled, I took the window seat. All the clouds seemed so fluffy and
light; it ended up making me crave whipped cream really bad. Eventually as we
got further east things got fairly flat, and grid like… bored me right to
sleep. Well sleep for a bit, every time I started to doze off, my head would
snap forward waking me up. Thankfully we passed over the Rockies so that gave
me something to look at to keep me from any more futile attempts at sleep. The
area near the Rockies was uninhabited save for a few towns that at first are
barely distinguishable; I had to squint to see if they were in fact towns or
just my sleep deprivation at work. There were also weird round things in the
middle of fields. I came to the conclusion that they were for navigation
purposes, what else could it possibly be? Crop circles? Nope. Oh wait, Google
says it’s irrigation systems. More fluffy clouds lead to more intense whipped
cream cravings, which were not helped by the fact that I was ravenously hungry,
which is a given since it was a 5 hour flight!

                The
San Francisco airport sucked food-wise so we just headed to the BART (kind of
like a cross between the subway and the GO train) to head to the hotel. Before
we headed through downtown towards “home”, I demanded a quick stop in at
Victoria’s Secret (for we do not have this gem in Canada) to satiate my
curiosity and did it ever. From there we headed north through Chinatown. Not exactly
the greatest of plans to head through a crowded neighbourhood when you are
loaded down with luggage, hungry and sleep deprived. Once we settled in, we
headed right back out in search of food, which was not that hard to do given we
were in Fisherman’s Wharf, the tourist hub of San Francisco. Less than five
minutes out the door and we found an In–N-Out Burger. It was hands-down one of the
best burgers I have ever had. Sadly, they only have locations in that small
corner of the States. Our appetites once again satiated we headed out into the
crowds. It wasn’t long before we spotted that hobo who is famous for hiding
behind a small bush and jumping out at people. It was great; he scared a little
girl who went crying to her mom. Pier 39 is overrun with seals who had
originally resided near Cliff House on the other side of town but after the
earthquake inexplicably moved. They are loud, stinky and oh-so-cute. There are
hundreds of them and they all just lay there on the docks. Every once in a
while one would get up and yawn, disturbing his neighbour who would get up and
make noise, irritating another who would then retort back with more noise. It was
already late in the day so we decided to just stay close and go to the Aquarium
of the Bay. In the Aquarium there is a really cool glass tunnel that you walk
through and fish and sharks and sting rays all swim overhead. There was a
starfish on top of whom a fish was sitting and another starfish overtop was
pointing down at it as if to say “hey look at this!” On the top floor there was
a pool where you could pet a leopard shark and a stingray, and another pool
where you could touch starfish and sea cucumbers. The starfish was hard and
rough, and the sea cucumber was really soft and very smooshy. I thought I was
safe from the Silver Elvis who haunts Toronto, but alas he has brethren abroad,
in San Francisco it’s the gold cowboy (actually, I think there is one in
Toronto too, I don’t understand the appeal) who is just as creepy. Fisherman’s
Wharf has some weird things, like a bench with two bronze monkey statues
sitting on it. One monkey is playing the drums, the other a flute. We topped
off our first day in San Francisco with some Cherry Coke, which I was overjoyed
to have found.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in Adventures of Pinka!

 

Fashion Review!

i may not the be the most fashion-forward, or style savvy person. but i happen to chance across the odd fashion article here and there in my random internet wanderings. lately i have heard that the white dress is the "must have" for summer. which explains why my sister was running around like crazy trying to find one yesterday!

but really? a white dress? it doesn’t strike me as the most worthwhile investment for summer. for one: summer is hot, the poor dress will eventually fall victim to gnarly pit stains. and if not that then everyone’s favourite stain culprit: ICE CREAM! ice cream is a summer staple and it will be interesting to now people watch and see how many people (ladies really) have ice cream stains down the fronts of their (no longer) pristine white dresses. speaking of ice cream…..

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

 
 
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