beceh: (crater lake)
I got my camera chord the other day, so thought it was about time to upload some photos! :-) 

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beceh: (moi)
I have been neglecting this lately. And I am again. This is just from an email that I sent Nick, but it covers everything!!

I really really liked San Francisco. Really cool city, and combined with a pretty good hostel and an awesome group of people I met, made for a fantastic week!

The crew that I mainly hung out with:

-Corien (pronounced like Corinne Grant...sort of) from Holland. She was super cool. I really liked her. Very down to earth and funny girl. And super tall! 6ft 3! She was easy to find in a crowd :)

- Pedro from Portugal. I like the alliteration. He was really nice and cool. We hung out a lot, did a few tours and stuff with him so he is in heaps of my photos, and I'm in heaps of his, so we will have to exchange some of them.

- Luz (Luce) from Argentina. She was really nice girl. Very funny.

- Kiall (Kyle lol....) from Melbourne. He's really cool, and is going to be living in Vancouver this year! So I have a friend already, yay!

This is us after we rode across the Golden Gate Bridge:



L-R: Pedro, me, Corien, Luz & Kiall.


I also met up with Ian's cousin Jimmy a few times for drinks, which was nice seeing someone from home! And he vouched for me to the others that my voice is not normally a croaky husk like it has been this week!

I could hardly talk at all when I arrived on Sunday - just whispers, but could talk on Monday, but it didn't really improve much at all all week, so they have never heard my real voice. It's a lot better today though, but still kinda husky.

SO yeah spent 8 days here.

SUNDAY: Flew up from L.A didn't do all that much really, just went for a wander around the city (San Fran itself is actually pretty small - about 7 miles by 7 miles I think... so you can walk all over if you want to) and had a look at Chinatown and Union Square where all the super expensive shops are. Didn't buy anything.

MONDAY: One of the famous tourist areas of San Francisco is Fisherman's Wharf, so I walked down there. San Fran is VERY hilly... up and down, up and down, and some of them are VERY steep, so my feet got rather sore by the time I got down there! Had a look, thought it was pretty cool, then hopped on a tour bus to have a look around the city. Decided I liked San Francisco. Some very cool neighbourhoods!

TUESDAY: ALCATRAZ! You've heard of Alcatraz right? If not it is an old prison (among other things) that is on an island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. It's only 1.4 miles from shore, but is considered inescapable because the water is so cold and the currents and such. Anyway, I went with Pedro and Corien and we caught the ferry across to the island. It started raining on us as we were lining up, but once we got to the island it fined up and we enjoyed a lovely sunny afternoon, while it looked like clouds everywhere around us! The audio tour was really good - it was narrated by Alcatraz guards and even some old prisoners. Very interesting and half the time we just sat in the sun soaking up the warmth. Pedro has been living in Pittsburgh for the past 6 months, so he hadn't seen any sun for awhile!

WEDNESDAY: Corien, Pedro, Luz and I hired some bikes and rode around the city (along the flat bit - the foreshore) and then across the Golden Gate bridge. Amazing views, and a beautiful day.... until we got to the other side (and bumped into Kiall - he was going to come with us but slept in, and caught up to us on the bridge) and sat there admiring the view, then watching with some alarm as some very dark clouds came rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. Thought we'd better head back but we weren't quick enough. The storm started as we were a quarter of the way across the bridge and we got soooo drenched and cold and miserable! I have never been that wet (and fully clothed) and cold in my life! The rain was coming in sideways and I could hardly see, it was horrible! But we got home eventually and that hot shower would have to have been the best shower in my life.

Went out for dinner with Pedro, Corien & Luz, then later we picked up Kiall and went to a club/pub. Kiall is only 20 and the drinking age here is 21, but sometimes he manages to get into the clubs - he just hands over his passport and half the time they let him in anyway! One time they let us in, then he must have realised because a few minutes later the bouncer came in and said he wasn't old enough. Haha. That was a different night though.

THURSDAY: Pedro and I went on a tour that took us to Muir Woods where some giant redwoods are. Very nice and peaceful and beautiful there, and then wine tasting in the Sonoma Valley. Very pretty part of the world! I think Australian wine is better though... It was a really nice day though.

Met up with Jimmy that night and we went out for dinner with the group. We went to an Italian restaurant just across the road from the hostel. It was pretty much empty and I don't the the waiter was used to having customers. He honestly seemed disappointed with all of our meal choices
"I'll have the linguini please"
"Oh... okay then..."
And he had no idea where anything on the menu was... so I get the feeling he doesn't work very often! It was rather funny. But very good food!

FRIDAY: Pedro and I went exploring some of the neighbourhoods that we hadn't been to yet. Haight Ashbury where all the hippies live and the Golden Gate Park, which is a nice big park. Lots of walking! I need better shoes...
Corien and Luz left that day so the gang was reduced to 3 :-(.

SATURDAY: I went on a day tour to Yosemite (Yo-se-mi-tee) National Park. It's about a 3 hour drive from San Fran, so I had to get up super early (5:50am BLEARGH) but it was worth it. SO COOL!!! I wish I had'v'e done a 2 or 3 day tour of it, we didn't get to see much of it at all, even though we were there for 3 or 4 hours. It's so big and amazing. It's not like anything at all we have at home. Check out the pictures when I get around to posting them.

Met up with Jimmy again that night for a couple of drinks, then back to the hostel and collected Pedro and Kiall and we went to the Mission District which is meant to have lots of cool bars, but being a Saturday night they were being a bit more strict with ID, and Kiall couldn't get into some of them... but we got into a few... but lots of walking around again! It was a bit of a dodge area, but I felt safe enough being with the two guys.

SUNDAY: My last day in San Fran... rather sad. Hung out with Pedro and Kiall all day. We pretty much just walked around all day! It was a really nice day and we saw lots of the city. Tried to watch the sunset from Telegraph Hill. Very pleasant day.


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beceh

December 2011

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