Friday, March 27, 2009

A San Francisco March Break

For a little variety from the big smoke we venture down south - California way, to the great city of San Francisco. It was great to seem some of the world famous views, buildings and bridges - especially the Golden Gate Bridge, pictured above.

We flew out directly to California and survived the 5 hour flight. San Francisco is three hours time difference (fall back) and started checking out the sights right of way. The combination of scenery, city, water (Bay and Ocean) and surronding area make this a great tourist destination. One of the best things we did was rent small Go Cars which are small three wheeled vehicles that are classed as motorcycles. The Go Cars use GPS and provide an audio tour - they are tons of fun and you feel free to explore without getting concerned about being lost. We traveled all around the city with these mini cars. One of the areas we checked out was the famous Haight Ashbury District made famous by the hippies of the 1960's. There were quite a few of today's hippies in the area, traveling from city to city. We met with some of the kids including one girl that had a cute (but sad looking) tie died puppy. It was trippin' man!

We explored many of the tourist areas including Fisherman's Wharf, Telegraph Hill, Twin Peaks, the Aquarium, the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge Parks, Alcatraz, Union Square in the core of the City, the Castro gay district, Lombard Steet (the City's crookedest street). The waterfront had many parks and the entertainement was fantastic along the Piers with the most famous being Pier 39 - home of the many seals that hang out lounging on the floating docks. We also tried all manner of transportation such as the the famous trolley cars, streetcars, subways, buses and taxis. Some of these areas are shown in the photos below.

We also rented a car and went north to Muir woods, home to a grove of magnificent redwoods, and then headed south along the coast following Highway 1 to Carmel-by-the-Sea (made famous by Clint Eastwood). I talked to a surfer and said that California was supposed to be warm and she said that it does get warm, except for the water, you will still need a wetsuit for surfing. Most of the Ocean's coastal beaches had nice stretches of sand and almost all had posted warning signs indicating the danger of dangerous currents. It's like here is the beautiful Ocean - don't come close or it will kill you.

Here is a Youtube video of the visit.

And here is a Youtube video of the seals on Pier 39 playing a game of King of the Mountain. They climb up onto a floating dock and try to push the other seal off the dock.

It's good to be back in Toronto now (stuff is cheaper here in Canada than in the States, especially with the high American dollar compared to the Canadian looney).

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