July 27, 2005

Back again

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

to the oppressive 95 degree heat and oven like subways.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time in San Francisco. I had never been, and wish that I had more than 3 days to explore. But while part of our group chose to go shopping a couple of us rented a car and went to the Muir Woods, over the Golden Gate, and to Sonoma for a wine tour of Sebastiani winery. We also went for martinis at Top of the Mark sky-bar, went on a dinner cruise, danced at the St. Francis Drake, made friends with two drag queens, ate in Chinatown, bought Ghiradelli chocolate and went to Alcatraz.

Here's some things that I learned about SanFran:
  • It takes four years to paint the Golden Gate Bridge, and they never stop painting it, they go in one direction and by the time the finish, they have to repaint the beginning and start over again.

  • After going up and down the very very steep hills in the city in numerous taxis, I had to ask one cabby how often they had to change their breaks. Literally they have to ride down the hills on their breaks and sometimes stop mid incline due to traffic. It was like when you slowly edge to the top of a roller coaster, I just don't get how the cars don't simply fall backwards. Anyway, the driver laughed and said they have to change their breaks at least once a month. Yikes!

  • Redwood's are part of the pine family and are really freakin huge. (I daringly ignored the "Do not walk beyond trail" sign to get a better look and to be among the trees. It was amazing)

  • SanFran doesn't like Air Conditioners, even Macy's in Union Square didn't have AC and the first day we were there it was really hot and could use it. And typically to me malls=AC. Even our elegant hotel room also came without an AC unit, just a fan.

  • The Birdman of Alcatraz, Robert Stroud, was no Burt Lancaster! He has been compared to the intelligent psychopath Hannibal Lectar. Also Stroud really should be known as the "Birdman of Leavenworth," since it was at that prison that he kept his birds and did his research. He was not actually allowed any birds during his time at Alcatraz and spent most of his time in a hospital wing cell. (Besides the audio tour, a ranger gave us a free private tour because she said, "you guys are fun." We got to go into the prison's hospital wing, where we saw fake blood on the walls from the filming of The Rock, took photos in Al Capone's cell, oh and I got to lock up when we left).

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