Wednesday, August 11, 2010
11/8/10 - Alcatraz... Or is it!?!??
So before I start the usual blog, Peta has reminded me to talk about a lady which we saw at universal studios on the first day of my trip. In the line waiting for the studio tour, there was a lady who was wearing a scrunchie. She managed to sneak past EIGHT PEOPLE in the queue. Seriously, that's a good effort. Although now we believe that she is probably pure evil.
Ok, so today started with our usual breakfast of fail. My bagel was cream cheeselicious and Peta's toast and shredded potaoes was apparently slightly better today. At least she got butter with it, and I actually got milk with my tea!
We headed off for a day of adventuring down towards the Exploratorium and our Alcatraz tour. We caught a series of buses to the exploratorium, wherein we had to change buses several times. The first bus driver was vomiting rage all over his bus packed full passengers, including shaking a newspaper menacingly at passengers who got on his already obviously full bus. We waited for the next one, as we didn't want to get newspaper'd. The next bus driver was a quiet and helpful lady who whilst wasn't running the full length of the route we were on, she did manage to drop us at a bus stop that was along the right track. The next bus driver insisted us on taking us closer to our destination, but not to it. Our last bus driver was the nicest bus driver I've ever met. Seriously, he was like a guided tour, except without the tips.
We then walked around the park near the Palace of Fine Arts and the Exploratorium. It is really amazing. The architecture of the palace is similar to a huge dome supported by massive Greek pillars. Unfortunately, it was closed, and due to the large amount of bus changes from earlier, we were running out of time before we needed to be at pier for Alcatraz. The exploratorium would have to wait for another day. Therefore, we had a quick look around the lovely park and lake, and then dashed for the bus to take us back to Fisherman's Wharf.
We grabbed a pretty average lunch of eatery-grade fish and chips, and then headed for Pier 33, where our Alcatraz tour departed from.
Arriving at the pier, we went to claim our tickets. As the lady printed them off, she said "These tickets are for tomorrow." fffffffFFFFFFFF-
So yeah, we didn't end up going to Alcatraz today because neither of us bothered to check the booking date, and just assumed that it'd be on a Wednesday for some reason.
So with the day partially wasted, we decided to head back to the Exploratorium. A bus ride later, we were back in the wonderful park, with ample time to spare.
The exploratorium is like Queensland Museum's "Science Centre", but multiplied by ten. It had every single thing you would ever want to look, touch, smell, listen and, most importantly, learn about. It was great fun, and really indulged the kids inside of us. And there were alot of kids there. Thankfully they seemed to only be interested in the things that made bright lights and loud noises, so they stayed away from the more intellectual mind-benders on offer.
We had spent over two and a half hours in there, and then the damn place closed on us, with us not having seen almost half of the upper floor. Next time I come to SF, I'll have to come back.
All of this learning was making us very tired, so we caught a bus back to the city and to the hotel. As we were deciding what to do for the night, Peta discovered there was a couch surfing meetup happening at a bar a few blocks away from us, so we decided to check it out after dinner.
For dinner we went to a place called "Thai Stick", that, contrary to the name, did not serve sticks made out of Thailand, or Thai people on sticks. It did however serve some nice Thai food, and cheap too. We ate there, both getting some tasty duck dishes.
On a side note, I find it ironic that when I was in Thailand, I ate lots of American food, yet here I am in America, eating Thai food!
Anyways, after the tasty dinner, we headed out to the couch surfing meetup. It was great fun. I had a nice German beer, and met people from all over the world. Lots of local people from SF, too. It is nice to be able to go to a party where nobody knows nobody - everyone is on equal footing, nobody is hosting. It makes it alot easier to mingle and meet new people, mainly because everyone else is there to do the same thing, I suppose.
After a few hours, Peta and I headed back to the room for some well earned rest. A fun night all in all.
Tomorrow: Alcatraz! Fo' real this time!