Monday, March 29, 2010

A visit to San Francisco (Day 1)

I promised some photos in yesterday's post and I'm a bit late in getting this put together. I got sidetracked yesterday afternoon and didn't sit down to go through the photos. So, I'm working on it this morning. As I mentioned yesterday, I went to San Francisco with my trucker friend and his fiance, who was here visiting from England. I went along to do the driving. My trucker friend was in an accident last fall and is still having trouble walking, plus sitting still in the drivers seat is a problem since the foot that controls the throttle is connected to the leg that doesn't want to work right. So, I got a free trip to San Francisco!

When we got to San Francisco, we discovered that the GPS unit that we had with us didn't work very well up in the financial district with all the tall buildings. We'd programmed it to go to the motel near the Wharf that we'd planned on staying in and the thing kept trying to send us in circles around the skyscrapers.. I finally picked a direction that looked as though it would lead us down towards Fisherman's Wharf and kept going while ignoring all the extra turns that the GPS wanted us to do. Once we got away from the tall buildings, the GPS finally "found" us and gave us the proper directions to get to the motel.

The motel we'd chosen, The Wharf Inn, is about a half a block from Fisherman's Wharf, so we just left the car in the motel lot and walked everywhere. Our first destination was Pier 39. We made a few stops on the block long walk just to enjoy the views and also enjoy the spring day. Thats when I took the photo of the tulips that I posted yesterday. And here's another shot of the beautiful flowers!

Alcatraz Island

Here's a view of Alcatraz from the end of one of the piers. When visiting Fisherman's Wharf, it's "required" that you take a picture of Alcatraz! LOL.. Nah, not really, but I know I saw quite a few other tourists on the wharf pointing their cameras towards the island.

SS Jeremiah O'Brien

This is the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, which is one of two remaining fully functional Liberty Ships from World War II that's docked at Fisherman's Wharf. If you're adventurous and able bodied, I recommend taking one of the tours through the ship. It's fascinating. We didn't take the tour this time, but I'd gone on it when I was in San Francisco on a previous visit.

We had a lovely lunch out on the end of Pier 39 at Bubba Gumps and then window shopped in quite a few of the shops that are all along the pier. By mid-afternoon, my trucker friend was really struggling with all the walking, so we went back over to the motel to get settled in to our rooms and give him a chance to rest before going out again in the evening. We actually had decent views of both the bay and in the other direction, we could see Coit Tower. (Nope, I didn't even think of taking pictures from the room! Some photographer I am, huh? LOL)

DSC02234a That evening, we walked another block or so to find the Rainforest Cafe. The ground floor of the place is mostly the gift shop with a bar (which is where this elephant was!) in the back near the stairs leading up to the restaurant. The whole place has a jungle theme with lots of animals that move and make noise. Plus you get a thunderstorm every 30 minutes! It was fun to watch the animals and listen to the music and then to hear and see their version of a thunder storm.


The restaurant also has a lot of very large salt water aquariums all over the place. The entrance to the bar is framed by two of these large tube shaped tanks with a "bridge" over the top of the walkway. The fish were able to swim from one tube, up over the top and into the other tube. Watching the fish and everything made the time pass pretty quick while we were waiting for a table upstairs. Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that the food was good too! I especially liked the coconut shrimp!

More later... I really need to do a few chores................

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