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If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

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auckland
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If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Going to have a go at a trip report..

In San Francisco from 7-11 October.We stayed at the Chancellor, thanks to all who recommended it. We found the location great, the staff unfailingly friendly and the facilities provided everything we needed. D.H particularly approved of the

well- priced , cosy inhouse bar!

We travelled in from the airport via BART , thanks again for the advice as this was so easy and great value. We had prepaid vouchers which we exchanged for tickets, and we had no problemes getting into the city and quickly locating the hotel.On the way back to the airport, we had a minor blip when we had to transfer trains, but friendly San Francisco advice from a fellow train passenger and from the driver of the following train meant that it was no big deal.

auckland
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1. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

We bought Muni passes, then we were off. We quickly became addicted o those gorgeous cable-cars, used them far more than was practical, and despite long waits, just loved the whole hanging-off -the -side thing !

Friday, we went down to Fisherman's Wharf area, had a wander, some Boudin's Chowder, and enjoyed the seals.Big crowds due I think to Fleet Week,but we enjoyed the buzz, although an hour or so was plenty. Later on, we took the Powell- Hyde to the end, enjoyed that obligatory Irish Coffee at Bueno Vista and then a very average meal at an Irish pub down there.Wonderful views, a lovely evening, glad for those layers, though.We were too tired to do too much more, so after a very, very long wait for the cable-car we were off to the Land of Nod.

auckland
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2. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Day 2- up early for Dylan's Tours, waited outside the hotel, after 20 minutes we phoned them up. My mistake, read the info wrong, Dylan had waited for us around the corner from the hotel for 15 minutes, then given up on us. Totally my fault. Oh dear, middle-aged brain strikes agin. We arranged to do the tour the next day, and had to think of a new plan...

Wait, there's always the cable-car! After a very entertaining performance from a Marines' Band, we took a ride on the Mason line, walked through a very pretty residential area to Coit Tower. Good stretch for the legs, I thought!We loved the views, even got a little fog to add interest, and had a great view of the Navy and airshow. Remember we come from New Zealand and our navy consists of a couple of rowboats, so D.H was beyond excited at the destroyers, the Blue Angels(is that right?) and especially the chance to see the Stealth plane.(No idea if I have correct terminology, sorry.)Then we had another bracing exercise session down the beautiful Filbert Steps(thank heavens we didn't go up that way!)Now I really started to need those orthotics.. " Let's walk along past the airshow and back to that Ghirardelli Square area , " says D.H. "Good idea," I think,"Beautiful day and some chocolate at the end." Good stroll, D.H has quick pace , but that was okay, I was feeling good, and rewarded myself with a beautiful ice-cream at Ghiradelli- double scoop,well- deserved. Meanwhile, D.H hatches the next part of the Boot Camp.Apparently the golden Gate bridge is closer than it looks, just right for an afternoon walk.Hmmm...up and over Fort Mason, past lovely families enjoying the gorgeous day and the show, along the pretty Marina, and through the Presidio to the bridge. My feet!My legs! However, I wasn't going to give in. That dratted bridge appeared tantalisingly close, then just out of reach.. I think it was about an hour and a half all up?Finally, finally, finally we wre there, and I have to say it was worth it. I hate heights, but after that walk I wasn't going to miss out, so we took ourselves halfway over the bridge. I think the "Blue Angel" flying straight over my head woke me up enough, as I managed to crawl back to the cable-car, back to Union Square, and I'm afraid just as far as Sears for dinner. It was a good meal, and best of all right next to the hotel, so my poor old legs didn't have far to go!

auckland
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3. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Day 3- Dylan's brother, Brendan, had obviously heard about the dotty old lady who couldn't read instructions, as he walked up to meet us at the Chancellor. We loved the tour. Brendan was such a friendly, laidback and knowledgeable young man. We enjoyed the small size of the tour, and the opportunity to see areas of San Francisco we probably wouldn't have got to, due to the duration of our stay. My legs enjoyed the rest, with the only exercise being the hour at Muir Woods. It was busy there, but not as bad as I'd thought. We had a very friendly ranger on the quick walk we did, and he'd been to NZ, so we could compare our Kauri with your beautiful redwoods. Then back via Sausalito, although it was very busy there due to the airshow. I'm sure that many people were disappointed when the fog descended and the show was cancelled.

We had the Alcatraz night-tour booked, so we got ourselves down as quickly as we could, as we were a little worried about how the huge crowds would affect the time it took to get back to the wharf. Yes, the cable- car.. a long wait.. we knew we should try other forms of transport, but it really is quite addictive.

The Alcatraz tour was everything we hoped for- a beautiful evening, fabulous views back to the city , and wow, that tour is well-organised. We thought the audio-tour was excellent.Standing outside the prison and looking back to the city was a true "Pinch me, am I dreaming?" moment.When we got back, we took the lazy way out and hopped into a shuttle van to get back to Union Square.We had a beautiful meal at Scala's Bistro. I can heartliy recommend the Lemon Ravioli!

auckland
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4. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Day 4- up early as we were taking a one-day tour to Yosemite, withe Extranomical Adventures. I have to say, you were all right, one day wasn't enough, and we should have used that day to have a better look around some of the beautiful districts we'd seen on the Dylan's Tour. However, I try not to have regrets when I travel, and seeing those towering bluffs in Yosemite was a great experience.I liked the tour-guide, he had a good mix of information and an easy manner about him, despite one quite demanding passenger. I thought the bus was quite cramped, and had poor ventilation.It was a wet and humid day, and the windows wouldn't clear. Don't laugh, but seeing those cute little squirrels was a highlight!

It was a huge day, and when we finally got back we took ourselves up to Lori's Dine rfor hamburgers , then back for a couple of drinks at the Chancellor before beddy-byes.

auckland
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5. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Day 5- Last day;(We took the cable-car(!) to Chinatown and had a couple of hours wandering in and out of little streets and shops.Then we made our way to Lomabard St, this time it was me running the Boot Camp and I really enjoyed the walk up the street.We had a quick visit to Ghiradelli for ice-cream(my idea) and choc to take home.We popped back to the hotel to check out , leaving our bags for collection later. Then we took ourselves down to North Beach to Sotto Mare for a beautiful seafood lunch.

Time to leave... picked up the bags, onto the Bart and goodbye , San Francisco.

Fullerton...
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6. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Wonderful trip report...and I agree with you about the cable cars being addicting!

auckland
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417 posts
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7. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

What did we learn?

San Franciscans are friendly, approachable people.Thank you to you all for the help we received both on T.A and every time we were out and about.

Yes, we saw some homeless people and were hassled a couple of times, but not to the extent we had experienced in Europe. Safety really wasn't a concern, we were happy to be out at night, albeit we were obviously in touristy areas.

We definitely needed those layers, the nights were very cold despite the sunny, warm days, and the wind is cold down near the water.

We needed more time! What an interesting , vibrant city you live in.We have to come back, get on the public transport and get out to those interesting areas we never really got to visit.

Most of all, anyone contemplating a visit,remember - flat shoes, good socks and a box of sticking plasters for those poor old feet! Thanks, San Francisco, it's no wonder so many hearts are left behind.

auckland
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8. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Last comment- apologies for the typos.

Oakland, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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9. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Wow! What a wonderful report! I'm glad you got to see Yosemite, although it wasn't under the best of circumstances. And you certainly picked an exciting time to be here, the same time as Fleet Week! The Blue Angels were your bonus treat!

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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10. Re: If you're going to S.F, forget flowers, bring orthotics!

Thank you for the very interesting report. I felt as if I were along with you on the adventures. Come back and do the neighborhoods when you can.