Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The San Francisco adventure part 1

For the first time in ages I have exciting things to post about  - and I'm doing it from my sick bed in San Francisco - Yep, we came on holiday and I got ill. Headache, sore throat, mucus - thats such a good word - MUCUS! I have basically got a bit of a cold and will be up soon, but if anything it has helped to enhance the enjoyment of our faux honeymoon.. Read on and I will explain and fill you in on whats been happening.....

So we left a wintry Winnipeg really early last Friday morning - flying out at 5.50am meant a 3am rise, a 3,30am taxi and a long tiring day. We did however get some great views over Winnipeg as we left the city and of San Francisco as we arrived.

SF and the Golden Gate

After getting a bus from the airport to the city and a short walk through the city centre, stopping at a deli for a wonderful sandwich and huge beer,  we arrived at our home for the week - a lovely airbandb apartment on Lombard Street, just a couple of blocks from the bit of Lombard street with all the switchbacks and with a view over the golden gate bridge - if you stand on a chair and look out the top of the window! We settled in and after unpacking went for walk. We found the Fisherman's wharf are and spent a pleasant afternoon messing about in the musee mechanique - an arcade full of old Victorian arcade machines much like the one we have from Skegness, before heading home via the store to pick up some bread, crisps, pop and booze for the fridge. For our first night out we stayed local and had a few beers, a pizza and some more beers on Polk street, just around the corner. A lovely start.

Saturday was a chilly cloudy day and we spent it riding bikes around the city taking in some of the fine views and enjoying a pleasant way to see some of the sites - especially since the bikes were electric and we had very little peddling to do - we are after all, lazy bugars. After a nice day out we decided not to go home but to stay out for dinner and drinks - which started about 3pm and went on well into the night - ending up at a cocktail bar drinking all kinds of stuff and not really knowing what was going on. It was quite late, raining and we had a walk home up some of San Francisco's most steep streets - so we decided instead to get an uber or a lyft (They are basically the same thing) and were really surprised at just how well the system of booking a pick up and meeting the driver was as well as being a nice bloke, the car was immaculate and the price was cheap. We are now sold on this system and cant wait for uber to come to Winnipeg!
On a bridge

Under a bridge

Another bridge, at night, in the rain

By this time, my cold had take hold and I needed to get some cough syrup - so on Sunday morning  -on the way to the drag queen show (Yes we spent sunday brunch being entertained by a bunch of drag queens and it was great!) we stopped off at a pharmacy and picked up some cough stuff.

Sunday morning moved into Sunday afternoon and we went from the drag queen show to the centre of The Castro - the main part of 'Gay' San Francisco. I didn't know what to expect but it was lovely. Nice people, a lovely area with lots to do and a nice little bar where we stopped for a pint before heading back to town to go to a magic show - Yes, this really wasn't your typical Sunday day out!

We had booked a couple of seats at the Marrakesh theatre magic show, where we sat and watched a really great magician perform his illusions in a tiny theatre. It made for a really good, intimate show and everyone was involved - my cough syrup in handy being chosen as an item for the magician to guess whilst blindfolded and Buffy also made it on stage as part of a group of people trying to to hide a coin from the performer.
Buffy's 15 minutes of fame.

The long day was finished off with a trip to an amazing little bar - The Whitechapel Inn. This is  gin bar that is based on the old Whitechapel Tube station in London - complete with green an white tiles sourced from the same company that actually make them for the tube in England. It felt like stepping back in time with the curved roof mimicking the curve ceiling of the tube in London. A great end to a great day.

Monday came and I was still feeling like shit - but we were off to Alcatraz today, so I grabbed my cough syrup, took some dayquil and some headed off toward our ferry. The weather had brightened up and it was a lovely pleasant day as we took the 15 minute trip over to The Rock and spent the next 3 hours learning about the prison, the escapes, the riots and all the wonderful history of the place. (We had actually watched Escape from Alcatraz when we got in late last night to get in the mood) as well as meeting one of the guides who we think was autistic and when we said where we were from instantly knew so much about Winnipeg, such as the name of the sports teams, roads and individual stores. I said I was form Manchester and he then rolled off a whole load of info about that too - including  the trafford centre, city and united and even that Droylsden was near! A really nice and amazing guy.

Recreation time

The way out

It was when we got back to the mainland that things went a bit......mental.
We had decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the exploratorium - a kind of science museum that you get to play with all sorts of cool experiments and things, but on the way there we realised it was closed in Mondays. Bugar. We noticed this as we passed a bar named pier 23, so decided to sit inside and have a pint while we worked out how to spend the rest of the day. This one pint turned into 2 and then 3 as we chatted with Michael the barman and a couple who sat at teh bar next to us from Texas. Buffy was bought a couple of huge free shots of whisky and it just so happened that at the end of the bar sat a couple of reps from a local brewery - who were giving away free pints - so I ended up drinking a whole lot more that intended and we were still in the bar 5 hours later - when a lovely old man came in and uncovered a piano, which he was there to play. Buffy was coaxed up to sing and at some point, the combination of free drinks and cold and flu drugs kicked in and I ended up at the piano sat next to the kindly old man, singing We'll meet again as he played along on the piano. My singing was terrible. I don't remember it, but Buffy took a video which you can see here! The funniest point was when a woman asked if we were a musical family and if I sing a lot and she replied - No hes just really drunk! Some time later we headed home and I remember nothing more!!!

So, now its evening again and we are heading out soon for more beers and adventures, Ill be back soon to let you know what happened!

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