Walking all day!

27 July 2018

Bugsy had an epic sleep waking only after we had both showered and I had drawn the curtains in an attempt to stir her. I am pleased as it means that she has switched to San Francisco time without any problems, and no obvious jet lag.

I, shamefully, had to get Ian to work out how to switch the shower on, after several minutes of me yanking levers etc. The switcher was under the bath tap and wasn’t at all obvious (to me, anyway!).

Breakfast isn’t included at the hotel, and we had seen a diner yesterday with a queue outside, so thought it must be good! It is only 50 metres from our hotel, and raced there, in the hope that we wouldn’t have to wait too long for a table. We were beaten there by a group of guys, and a couple but other than that, we only had to queue for 15 minutes before we were shown to our table. It was in the corner, perfect for people watching. What can I say?! This is the reason there are so many obese Americans…! We had pancakes (eurgh, with chocolate chips for Cornelia 🤦‍♀️), fruit with granola, French Toast, and toast. Cornelia managed two pancakes, and I necked about five coffees without even realising, thanks to the constant free refills… enough caffeine to keep me awake for a week, I think!

During breakfast, I googled running in San Francisco and discovered that it is the City Marathon on Sunday! Excitedly, I started the registration process only to discover that it costs $269 to enter and a whopping $600 for the Ultra Marathon. Having done our expenses last night, I know that we can’t afford that, so sadly, I closed down the browser and took another bite of toast….!

Our plan was to get out from the hotel after brushing our teeth, to catch an early cruise around the Bay, but I made the mistake of flicking on the TV, to Shrek (not sure which one!) and Cornelia and Ian sat together watching it, as I wrote up the notes from our blogs. That was a quick hour and a half wasted!! On the plus side, Cornelia did a massive poo, which meant that we didn’t have to be on loo watch all day!

We finally made it out and Bugsy walked all the way down to the harbour without asking to be carried once. Result! Obviously, it took aaaages, but we were really in no rush, and it was about a two mile walk there.

On the way there, Ian (and consequently Cornelia and I) diverted to the Cable Car Museum, an interesting little place explaining the history of the cable cars (as they are called) in San Francisco, and how they work. Cornelia was quite fascinated by the giant wheels that make the underground cables run, even though she couldn’t quite fully grasp how it all operates.

Our second distraction on the way to our Bay Cruise was a street acrobat, a British guy called Orion, who was very entertaining. He performed some incredible feats of stability and strength, balancing on a large steel can (on its side) with up to three tiers, doing a handstand. He was very funny with it, and had us all laughing, so earned himself a couple of dollars from us, which Bugsy dropped into his collection bag.

We finally made it to the Bay Cruise queue, and Cornelia had time to stuff a hot dog into her mouth before we boarded.

We sat inside, as I was cold just standing in the line, and figured the wind that would hit us on the deck would just about finish me off! The swell caused by the waves were too big for the boat to go under the Golden Gate Bridge so we had to do a u turn, and as we did someone next to us spotted a whale, so our eyes were glued to the window for some time as we caught glimpses of the two whales.

The cruise lasted for about an hour and a quarter, and there was a useful narration during the time on board. The trip was part of our C3 deal, so we didn’t pay any extra for it, which felt appropriate. It was worth doing, but not for $66, the usual full price.

After we disembarked, we decided to see if we could make it to the original Ghiardelli chocolate factory, and we enjoyed walking down the main streets of Fisherman’s Wharf. We discovered an amazing 3D printing shop that creates little figurines if you and your family. It was incredible! We couldn’t afford them on this trip, but will definitely look at this again in the future. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), the busiest store was the “Oxygen Tent” store, where you could go and receive a blast of pure oxygen, intended to give you a bit of a high and re-energise you. Frankly, I’d recommend going for a decent run…! Cornelia was handed a balloon animal which was meant to be a butterfly, but as you will see, could possibly look slightly, erm, phallic?! It was shoved into her hands by a man making them in the street, so I thanked him as we walked by, although Ian was sure he was expecting us to pay him for it.

As we arrived at the park in front of the old chocolate factory, I suddenly realised that this was the same place that Ian and I had shared our last piece of wedding cake, on our honeymoon seven years ago! A kind soul offered to take our photograph in more or less the exact spot we’d been in, this time with the three of us.

The factory is no longer operating in this building, but the chocolate shop most certainly was! We were each given a sample caramel chocolate, which was amazingly tasty, and guaranteed me making a purchase. Cornelia had an instant vile response to the chocolate hit, and was hideous to Ian as I filled up my “pick ‘n’ mix” bag. She lost the opportunity for another piece of chocolate AND the trip to the playpark she’d been looking forward to all day. It hurt, but she totally understands what happened and why.

Despite her being quite pissed off with us, she walked almost all the way back to our hotel, all the way up and down those incredibly steep hills. She finally asked to be carried, and specifically wanted to go on my shoulders. I felt quite hardcore stomping up the vertical hill, with my heavy rucksack on my back and a toddler on my shoulders! It’s all good training for something, I’m sure!!

After a quick change, we went out for dinner at a restaurant just a few minutes away. It was the best meal I’ve had so far on this second leg. Basa fillet with dirty rice, creole vegetables and remoulade. Bugsy had delicious mac ‘n’ cheese and ate the lot. On arrival, she’d been given a kids’ menu and a pack of crayons, so she was happily scribbling on the back of the card menu, when our waiter, Eddie, rushed up to her, snatched the menu out of her hands and told her she couldn’t draw on it. Oops, we didn’t realise that wasn’t okay! 😳 However, there were paper tablecloths, and she was very welcome to sketch on those, so constructed a very lovely dinosaur with an eel sitting on it. Apparently.

Eddie was quite off putting overall. When he came to take our drinks order, I’d asked him what a Soju lemon sour was and was told that if I wanted a cocktail to go next door, that this wasn’t the place to get drunk, and that they did beer and wine if I wanted a drink. I pointed out that it was on their specials menu, and that was why I was asking what was in it, but I’m not sure he took the point! Other than that, the meal was terrific.

Once again, and unsurprisingly, given the amount of walking she’d done today, Cornelia was knackered, so Ian gave her a bath and she went straight to bed. Ian wasn’t far behind, although he did manage to stay up for 20 minutes more than yesterday, and I gave in at 22:30, when I realised how bloodshot my eyes were!

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