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San Francisco Day 2

31 Jul

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!

 

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