After NYC it was time for us to make the long trek to San Fransisco. We arrived at the airport with about 5 minutes to spare (we blame the cocktails at the comedy club!!) and eventually got to San Fran late that evening, and much to our surprise it was really cold! We had expected to avoid cold weather for the rest of the year so we literally only had one warm top and no long pants – not ideal! Our (very small) hotel was right on the entrance to china town which was cool and quite central. Our first day in San Fran we took the cable car to Fisherman’s wharf where we went to the aquarium (yes, another one!!) and then on a bus tour of San Fran, which was awesome (but we pretty much froze to near death during the tour!).
We got to see a great view of the Golden Gate bridge, and learnt a lot about the city, which is really beautiful and much cleaner then NYC!
Our tour guide was really enthusiastic, but again we had to strain to understand his accent! After some more shopping (our bags are getting fuller by the day) we got some Chinese food for dinner and had an earlyish night.
The next day we rented bicycles and confidently set off to explore San Fran, map in hand.
Things started off well and we made it to Golden Gate park without too many issues. Here we went to the California National museum of science which was great until Tashley got split up and we spent an hour trying to unite – it was the longest time we’ve been apart for practically the whole year and very traumatic! When we finally found each other it was back in the saddle and off to the bridge, confidently wielding our map. That’s where things started to go wrong – we landed up on a hiking path (we blame the map, of course) which was definitely not made for cycling on, as Tash found out the hard way after coming off her bike in a very ungraceful way. Turning around we had to carry our bikes up about 100 stairs and then push them on another hiking trail before some more stairs and finally tarmac. We had gone on a crazy detour and still do not know where we went wrong, at least we can say we saw more of San Fran on a bike then most people! We finally reached the bridge to find the view was obscured by some crazy mist so we didn’t even get to take nice photos (luckily we had some nice ones from the day before). After some scary downhill cycling to the small town of Sausalito we made it to the ferry dock where we joined the long line of tourists waiting to ferry themselves and their bikes back to Fisherman’s wharf.
It was with great relief that we gave our bikes back to the rental place at the wharf. It is really a great way to tour a city – next time we’ll just make sure we have a GPS with us. After a delicious dinner at Boudin’s bakery (sourdough pizza and sourdough bread with clam chowder) we headed back to the hotel, a little worse for wear, but proud of ourselves for completing our version of the tour de France! After a nice lie in the next morning it was off to the airport and onto Seattle where the weather continued in the same vain as San Fran.
Our first evening in Seattle was spent catching up with Tash’s family (Uncle Tim, Aunt Rita and cousin Amy – who are keen followers of our blog). Yesterday we did the tourist thing again and went on a duck tour of seattle.
For those of you who haven’t seen a duck, it’s a vehicle that can go on land and in water.
We bought “quackers” – these whistle type things in the shape of a duck’s beak that make a quacking noise – hours of fun really!
Definitely taking those home for use at sports matches! While we were on the water part of our tour we saw the house boat that was used in the filming of Sleepless in Seattle – pretty cool. We then used Tim’s handheld GPS (finally!!) to navigate to the Pike Place market and then to the shops in town. After some yummy lunch we headed to the space needle where we got a 360 degree view of the city – luckily the weather had cleared a bit by now so we had great views!
We came home to a great home cooked meal and some boardgames with Amy and her boyfriend, David. Its been really great to do some relaxing after some hectic travelling!