San Francisco: Giants and Gaol

Thursday was our first full day in San Fran.  We started off the morning with some passive tourism – a hop on hop off bus tour.  It’s definitely not the most economical, or efficient way to see the sights, but it was a really nice way to get an overview of the city.  We made it up into Haight Ashbury, across the Golden Gate Bridge (super windy on the top deck!) and even to the Six Sisters, which are the houses shown at the start of Full House.  I was in my element!  Campbell wasn’t impressed that we had to get off at that stop so I could have my picture taken.  My eyes lit up later in the tour when the guide pointed us in the direction of the house from Mrs Doubtfire, but Campbell wasn’t having a bar of it.

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In the evening we went to see the San Fran Giants take on the Oakland A’s at AT&T stadium.  Arriving at the stadium was the first “holy shit we’re in America” moment for both of us.  The stadium is massive and encapsulates everything we typically associate with America – it was big, bright, totally full-on and just a little bit cheesy.  We were blown away by all of the facilities and the sheer abundance of everything.  The concourse of the stadium was more like the inside of a casino, or mall.  It certainly put the barren wasteland that is the Westpac stadium concourse to shame.

We ended up with pretty awesome seats – the only downside being the row of teenage boys behind us who sounded like the cast of Team America (“Team America – Fuck Yeah!”).  I didn’t actually mind their relentless commentary though, especially since I had no idea what was going on.  We both really enjoyed the game, especially once the Giants got ahead.  The Kiss Cam was also pretty funny when one old bugger gave his wife a good frisking in front of everyone.

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We were up bright and early today for our trip to Alcatraz.  We were greeted on the island by one of the original prisoners who was there signing his book and answering questions. He had been sent to Alcatraz because he kept breaking out of other prisons.  The tour was really great and definitely worth doing.  You have to embrace being a tourist and get amongst the audio tour – it made the trip.  Photos don’t really do it justice, but you should see it for yourself if you get the chance.

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Lessons from our trip so far:

  • Alcoholic root beer is absolutely disgusting.  It is actually the worst damn beer ever created.  Do not believe the labelling.P1010219
  • Hot dogs do not come pimped out like you see on TV.  You have to make a total disgrace of yourself at the condiments bar to get them to look like that.
  • Sneans (sneakers and jeans) is acceptable attire anytime, anywhere.  We’ve both gotten onboard already – San Fran is hilly and we’re both up against it with our massive flipper feet.
  • Do not stare at people.  A homeless man hissed at me last night and asked “what are you looking at?!” when I got a bit too curious.  I kinda felt like he was asking for attention given he had rolled up dollar bills and stuffed them in his nostrils, but whatever.
  • Travelling as a couple means you have to take a lot of selfies (much to Campbell’s disgust).  We are still perfecting our technique – Campbell is struggling with a chronic case of cat bum mouth and I’m still trying to eliminate my twenty chins.  We expect to be pros shortly.

A&C

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San Francisco: Touch down!

We arrived in San Fran safe and sound today.  The flight was pretty uneventful, except for the woman next to us who was obviously suffering from a head cold and spent the entire flight sounding like she was trying to clear furballs from her throat.  I was all good (having the benefit of the 50,000 pairs of ear plugs Dad “sourced” for me), but Campbell had a pretty sleepless night.  Lack of sleep combined with nicotine cravings, which kicked in the minute we landed, so customs and security were pretty interesting as was his conversation with the woman at the mobile phone store while trying to sort a US sim card.

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We’re all settled in at our hotel, which is actually less of a dive than we expected.  We are under strict instructions from the concierge to only venture in certain directions from the hotel though – other areas being slightly less “friendly”.  We made it as far as the Fisherman’s Wharf tourist trap this afternoon and just mooched about and stretched our legs.  We navigated our first dining out experience and sorted out this whole tipping business (which actually consisted of asking the waitress how much we should tip her – she was stoked!).  After some “robust” discussions and a lot of poring over the map, we managed to find our way home and are now parked up.  It’s looking likely that we’ll have M&Ms and potato chips for dinner and have an early night.

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We have a spare day tomorrow before the baseball in the evening.  I know nothing about baseball, but am super excited about the hot dogs and donuts.

A&C

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Wellington: T minus one

There is only one sleep to go before we head off on our big OE.  It is finally starting to sink in what a massive adventure we are about to go on and, after months and months of waiting, the planning and saving (boo!) is over and the fun bit is about to kick off.  It would be fair to say that we are equal parts excited and nervous, although Campbell is doing a much better job of playing it cool than I am.  Bags have been packed and repacked, lists have been checked and rechecked and confirmations have been printed and saved in every possible format.  This time tomorrow we’ll be winging our way to San Francisco!

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We have had an incredible last couple of months catching up with friends and family before we leave.  There’s been a day  at the races (very messy), BYO dinners (very messy), BBQs, a weekend at Waikawa, a 21st Birthday party (I was home by 9 pm; Campbell battled on bravely till 11.30 pm), a ladies’ afternoon tea, lunches, brunches, coffees and lots of lots of “quiet drinks”.  Thanks everybody for making the time to see us off.

We will do our best to keep this blog as up-to-date as possible, but make no promises.  Hopefully we’ll be too busy out and about having fun to spend too much time behind a screen.

A&C

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