Postcard from San Fran. July, 2012

Postcard from San Francisco

I’ve been reminiscing via Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ feature every day for a few months now, and for the past few days I’ve been paying particular attention to posts from my US trip three years ago. On this date, three years ago I was in San Fransisco, the last city in our west coast leg, having previously visited Los Angeles and San Diego (with a day trip to Tijuana thrown in). Here’s the post:

After a few hiccups which left us waiting for a bus in the Tenderloin & missing out on Muir Woods by a hair, the day turned out pretty nice.

We obtained our Alcatraz tickets quite early on, then went to Pier 39 to see the seals. We met Jay, a man diagnosed with cancer, who decided to walk the US coast with his dog Dwight.

Our Alcatraz audio tour was great and we even stumbled upon a talk about Al Capone. The list of films I want to see is increasing.

The day hit a bit of a sour note when the directions to Muir Woods we were given included waiting for a bus at the Tenderloin, which we’d been constantly advised to stay away from, and it got worse when we got to Marin City only to find out the last Muir Woods shuttle for the weekend had just left.

We took some great snaps near the Golden Gate Bridge then walked back into the city and dined at Fishermans Wharf. I tried my first clam chowder bread bowl.

All in all a good day. One more day in SF and then off to the east coast!

I really wanted to visit Muir Woods. I had recently watched Rise of the Planet of The Apes, which is partly set there (though I later found out that it wasn’t actually filmed there at all) and was considering doing an organised day tour that included Alcatraz and Muir Woods but for some bizarre reason I left it, and when I went back to book it the tour had sold out.

I tried to book Alcatraz on its own but the pre-booking allocation had been exhausted which meant that on the day we had to arrive early and wait in a queue to buy our tickets for an available time. Once we had our tickets, we had to kill time until our ferry was due to leave. This is when we visited the seals and met Jay and Dwight. I also discovered a Leftorium which I was very excited about, though once we returned from Alcatraz the store was closed.

I guess the main lesson to take out of this post is that on many occasions it pays to book things in advance, and if you see something you find interesting, check it out. You may not get another opportunity to do so. This also goes for visiting California without trying In-N-Out Burger.

At least it gives me another reason to go back some day.


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