A Travellerspoint blog

Happy Thanksgiving

semi-overcast

26 Nov. Our very first and probably last thanksgiving. It started with a bike ride a very long bike ride. We hired some bikes at 10am and took on the road to the Golden Gate Bridge. PICT0189.jpgPICT0193.jpgPICT0194.jpg Once we arrived there we took the cycle lane and biked over the bridge. It was so cool and the bridge is extremely big. PICT0196.jpgIn the sea down below we saw a dolphin and some surfers obviously freezing. That reminds me, tip number one: do not cycle over the golden gate bridge in shorts in Nov. Lets just say I shaved last night and it all grew back today. There were also great views of the city and the beach. Once on the other side of the bridge we cycled to Sausilito. PICT0203.jpg A very posh little town with amazing houses and everybody owns a boat - there was even a boat with the name "Lady Jane".PICT0205.jpg We had lunch at the Lighthouse cafe PICT0204.jpgand then took the road back. There are extremely steep hills all over the show, which made us deserve our dinner. Once back on the San Francisco side of the bridge we cycled to the Golden Gate park. PICT0209.jpg Some places were so steep I thought I was going backwards. But we made it and it was worth the big trip. There were really cool things to see in the park which by the way is huge and stretches a few blocks. PICT0212.jpgPICT0213.jpg We returned the bikes with sore bottoms at 5pm.

We then had showers and went to the dining room at the sister hostel for a free thanksgiving dinner. The plate had a mountain of food on it but I luckily had the very hungry Dan which just cycled for 7 hours with me. Dessert was pecan nut pie and apple tart. The reason why I am writing this blog aswell is because Dan is lying on the bed as he can hardly move from eating too much.

Tomorrow is my "the day after thanksgiving sale" shopping experience. The shops open at 4am and everything is discounted. I will let you know how I survived it.

-Jane

Posted by funkyfairy 21:31 Comments (0)

San Francisco continues

sunny

24 Nov - After breakfast we went to the ferry building to find out about trains as we need to cross the states some way or another. The street in front of the ferry building was filled with stalls as they have a market there every single day. It was all food - off course! We also received heaps of free stuff which kept us going the whole day and which meant we did not have to go to bed hungry. Just joking mom and dad! We got 5 different kinds of coffee, 3 different kinds of energy drinks and chocolate. The people handing out the free stuff probably feel sorry for us, as the beggers are better dressed than Dan ;-)

We then walked around at the piers again where we bought a memory card reader - that is why you can see some of our photos and we also went to the fortune cookie factory. I expected a factory but got a shop. It is really cute, the shop hand makes all the fortune cookies and you can even get them in different colours including PINK.PICT0160.jpg At the wharf a guy was making a painting with spraypaint and a piece of metal - WOW. It is impossible to describe but it was really something amazing.

For lunch we went to the Rainforest cafe - another well deserved WOW! PICT0157.jpg It totally feels like you are in the Amazon on one level and trying to find Nemo on the next. They have animals moving and making loud noises.PICT0149.jpg Every hour the ground shakes and thunder flashes across the ceiling. The ceilings spray fine mist which gives you the total rainforest atmosphere. There are snakes hanging from trees, gorillas shaking trees, waterfalls and aqariums with big fish. PICT0153.jpg It is such a cool experience!PICT0155.jpgPICT0154.jpg

  • Please be aware that all animals referred to in the above paragraph, except the fish, are not real and move due to mechanical interior.

Back in our neck of the woods we went to the cheesecake factory. PICT0163.jpg It is like visiting Charlie and the chocolate factory. You go up a special lift and when the doors open it is all go. The waiters (Umpalumpas) have cute overalls on and you can find any cheesecake flavour your heart desires - even pumpkin. Walking back home we walked past a store with the name Pink. All the clothing inside carries the "I love pink" logo - they just know the way to my heart.

25 Nov. PICT0122.jpgToday we went to Alcatraz where the saying goes: "Break the rules and you go to prison, break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz. PICT0174.jpgWe had to take a ferry to get to the remote island.PICT0167.jpg PICT0175.jpg Once there you walk up a steep hill (yip yet another hill) and then you enter the prison. We received headsets as it is a self guided tour. They give you the history of the prison, make you go into tiny cells PICT0180.jpg, you see where they ate, showered and have prisoners talking over your headset in stereo - spooky. The prison is also ice cold inside and the walls are filled with photos of ex-prisoners. Some cool history: There were two escape attempts made at the prison. One attempt involved 5 scary looking men (yip I saw their photos). They managed to sqeeze the bars open with a thingamajik they made and squeezed their bodies through. After knocking some guard over the head they managed to get into the gun room and get some guns. To make a whole story short they had 8 guards which they kept prisoner - ironic - and could not find the key to open the large steel door to freedom. The reason for this is that one of the guards hid the key as soon as he realised what was going on. Anyway the prisoners shot the guards and were shot and executed themselves. The other attempt was made by 3 guys. These guys made fake heads with paper, cement and paint. They used spoons to make a whole in the wall of the cells through which they climbed. They then climbed up the pipes in the wall until they got to the roof, they managed to escape but was never seen or found so it is believed that they drowned or froze from the ice sea water through which they had to swim to get from the island to San Francisco. The reason why the guards were not allerted is because the fake heads were carefully placed in their beds so when the guards did their rounds it looked like they were fast asleep. Very clever.

The scariest of all was, when you exit the prison you walk through a gift shop and sitting there is Mr Coon. A famous ex-prisoner. After he did his time he wrote a book and now sits in the gift shop and signs copies for those who purchase a book - freaky! When we arrived back on land in San Francisco we walked and walked and walked and then decided to go back home as the city is too big to walk everywhere. Once we had a 3 hour nap we went looking for food and I found wholemal pizza - SCORE!

-Jane

Posted by funkyfairy 21:00 Comments (0)

San Francisco

WOW!

If I had to choose one word to describe San Francisco it would have to be - WOW!!!

22Nov. We took the Amtrak train from LA to San Francisco - 10.5 hours on the train and another half an hour by bus. Halfway through the train trip the train came to a complete standstill, roadworks apparantly (or track works) then we stopped at one station as a train had broken down and was blocking the rail. We saw some famous towns like Santa Barbara (My grannies favourite soap). PICT0096.jpg I had an apple to eat on the train and it was gigantic and awesomely floury.PICT0094.jpg So it became my new canvas as there was no way I could fit it into my tummy. 6PICT0097.jpg There were some crazy people on the train - which made us a little crazy too - you know the saying, when in Rome do like the Romans ;-) After finally arriving in Oakland we had to take a bus to San Francisco, guess what, the bus didnt want to move. Eventually after rebooting it the thing turned its wheels and dropped us at the ferry building in San Francisco.PICT0100.jpg Ok now how to get to the hotel we have booked at. We started walking in a direction we thought could work. It did, to our surprize. We arrived at our hotel at midnight.

23Nov. Our first day exploring in San Francisco - like I said previously WOW. PICT0138.jpg I will throughout the next few days give you the top WOW's of San Francisco. We walked towards the wharf via Chinatown which is huge. You always think of Chinatown as a street well china town over here is like a city itself. Heaps and heaps of shops and very cheap fruit so we were happy.PICT0105.jpg In order to get to the wharf you have to conquer a few hills. The reason why I say conquer is because every hill in San Francisco is like climbing Mt Everest. I use to have little calves, but those days are over :-) PICT0115.jpg Another stop we made on the way was at a lollie shop and we tasted some Pumpkin fudge - WOW. At the wharf there are various piers numbered from 1-45. PICT0123.jpg At pear 45 there is a vintage arcade warehouse with old arcade games. It was really cool and they are all in working condition so you could play which ever game you wanted. Dan had heaps of fun as it is games from ages ago around the time he was a little boy ;-)PICT0128.jpg There after we went to Pier 39 - a well deserved WOW. Sealions took over one of the docks and were barking at each other, a very cool sight.PICT0131.jpg At the Pier there is a street which looks like Disneyland. It had shops, a carousel, restaurants and best of all a Fairy shop.PICT0130.jpgPICT0142.jpgPICT0136.jpg It was really a cool experience. After spending some time there we approached the hills again which left us a bit thirsty and we decided to go to a supermarket to buy an ice tea. The supermarket is every Food Technologists dream - products which you would have never thought of. The dental section was our highlight. A whole shelf, filled horizontally and vertically with different kinds of dental floss - WOW. I found a can of ice tea for 99c and which measured in at a whopping 680ml - WOW. As you would have guessed the next stop after the ice tea was a toilet stop :-)

We got home and rested a bit as travelling and sightseeing can be a very tiring task. The evening we had savoury crepes for dinner and went exploring in Market street and found a great cupcake store on the way. We had a peanut butter cupcake - WOW. That reminds me, everything comes in peanut butter flavour even hot chocolate. In the middle of Union square is an ice rink which is there especially for the holiday season. There are heaps of beggers on the main streets in the city and they all have great begging signs. Some read: Im not going to lie, I need a coffee; I need money for Alcohol research; will take verbal abuse for some change - quite entertaining. BUT the highlight of our night out exploring was RAT GIRL. It was a skinny woman with pink torn fishnet stockings, piercings all over her face, petting a pet, which was - wait for it - a street RAT!

The WOW's of San Francisco will be continued on the next entry.

-Jane

Posted by funkyfairy 21:38 Comments (0)

Arriving in LA

Orange County - LA

sunny

PICT0003.jpgWe arrived in LA, California at 8am on 18Nov. After a 30min shuttle ride to our accommodation in Huntington Beach, The O.C. (Orange County) we had a nap - a long nap. Ok we slept until 5pm :-). Munro, the guy we are staying at (also a kiwi) took us for Mexican. The first place we heard the American accent and it was awesome.

19Nov started with a sleep-in, then a bike ride along the Pacific Coastal Highway to Huntington Beach Main street - Surfers Paradise. PICT0020.jpgPICT0005.jpganyway we had lunch at the International House of Pancakes which was so yummy! PICT0015.jpgPICT0013.jpg

20Nov - DISNEYLAND!!! Yip we went to Disneyland (The Original Disneyland in Anaheim, this is the birthplace of Tinkerbell and co.) today. From 10am to 6:30pm. It was really cool and Dan enjoyed it as well - he just pretends that he didnt. We went on superfun rides and saw some Disney Princesses. I missed Tinkerbell :-( . Totally my fault but I didnt realise she had her own little fairy town until it was to late and she had left. The Disney castle lid up with 1000's of lights at nightfall and fake snow filled the air, it was totally MAGICAL! Dinner consisted of Tacos at Taco Bells, 99c a taco, what a bargain. We experienced some Californian nightlife and saw some rather interesting characters.PICT0086.jpgPICT0042.jpgPICT0048.jpgPICT0093.jpgPICT0080.jpgPICT0072.jpgPICT0044.jpg

21Nov got up early to plan our trip, basically to plan how we are going to travel for the next 3 months as we realised renting a car is way too expensive and buying one is seriously dodgy. So our new plan is to make use of public transport. Seems like the next stop is San Francisco

  • Photos will be uploaded soon but we do not have a cable at this stage as Dan always knows best ;-)

Chat again soon

-Jane

Posted by funkyfairy 12:58 Comments (1)

Farewell Breakfast

Having fun with Jane's friends before we're off.
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Posted by funkyfairy 18:14 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

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