Monday, August 9, 2010
9/8/10 San Francisco: City of Heavy Bags, Hobos and Awesomeness
Today I learnt my first lesson about America: NEVER bite into a candy apple! They do NOT make a viable Los Angeles breakfast, and there is a 99% chance that when you do eventually manage to pry the toffee off of your teeth, at least one tooth will no longer be attached to your gums. So save yourself the $1, and go buy a donut - a much better Los Angeles breakfast, and alot cheaper than the inevitable dentist bill.
Anyway, we began the day by me biting into a candy apple - it was painful. Actually, wait, no. Today started at 12:01am, where upon finishing my previous blog, I put away Peta's laptop. Peta, still asleep, had a strange conversation with me. It was something to do with the "difference between the two pills". I told her that I had no idea what she was talking about, to which she replied "well just letting you know, it makes sense in my head". I don't think I'll let her live her sleep talking shenanigans this one down any time soon...
ANYWAYS, today started with me biting into the aforementioned candy apple. Not recommended. We then cleaned up our room, checked out of our hotel, and then walked down towards Hollywood boulevard. I got to see inside a clothes shop called "XXI", whilst Peta looked at various clothes. I had a look at the tiny men's section, but all of the clothes were either quite expensive, or looked like they were aimed solely at the Texan market.
I finally got to see some famous things in Hollywood today - Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood star walk, and the Kodak Theatre. The interesting part is that all of these places are more or less connected to the Hollywood/Highland shopping centre. It was somewhat disappointing I guess, but I suppose that the TV cameras are very selective with their camera angles, to lessen this effect.
Speaking of the Kodak theatre, Peta and I then spontaneously decided to go on a tour of it. For those of you who don't recognise the name, it is the theatre where the Academy Awards has been held for the last ten years.
Our tour guide showed us the various levels of the theatre, the private rooms, the "walk of fame" - where Oscar winners go after accepting their awards, as well as the theatre itself. It was all awesome, yet, as Peta noted, it was somewhat diminished by the fact that this illustrious ceremony is more or less held in a shopping centre each year. Hopefully one day, I'll get to go back in there for other reasons aside from a tour... Unfortunately, nobody is allowed to take any photos of inside the theatre, so don't expect pictures any time soon...
We then grabbed a pretzel, took some happy snaps of us with the Hollywood sign in the background, and then we headed back to the hotel, awaiting our transfer to the airport.
In the van, we took a fairly direct route to the airport. Unfortunately, we did pick up two other Australian guys en route. They were the epitome of "bogan", and I actually felt embarrassed that they could be giving Americans a false representation of the Australian people. The way they leered at women like predators was very un-cool.
At the airport, we had some McDonalds while waiting for our flight. I managed to make it painfully obvious to the cashier that I was Australian, when I asked for "Tomato Sauce", instead of "Ketchup". Also, the serving sizes are huge. A "medium" is Australia's large, and there is no "small" size. I'd hate to see a supersize!
Delta Flight DL1134 Los Angeles - San Francisco
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 N390DA
Our flight on Delta was basic. I feel glad that I get to fly in Australia, as it is far more comfortable than what I've experienced so far. There was no legroom on the flight. My knees were glued to the seat in front of me. Thankfully, the seats weren't able to recline. I'd they were, my knees would've broken the seat in front of me.
The window view on the way to San Francisco was amazing - heaps of mountains and beaches - it looked like a very nice place to live from 30,000 feet in the sky.
After touchdown, we made our way to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport), and took it to Union Square. The train itself was longcat-long, over 9 cars in length!
We then had the job of dragging 60-odd kilos of luggage to our hotel. The first thing that is noticeable about San Francisco is the amazing architecture of the buildings - there is definitely a sense of history that is sorely lacking from LA.
The next most noticeable thing about San Francisco (hereafter referred to as SF when I can't be bothered to type the whole word) is the large amount of homeless people on the street. Most ask for change, others offer to give you directions, and then ask for money afterwards. Thankfully I had people tell me of this strategy before I arrived, so I didn't fall for the tricks. The iPhone gave me adequate directions to the hotel anyways.
After finally lugging our massive bags to the hotel, we checked in, and then realised it was 8:30pm! Apparently it doesn't get dark in SF until roughly 9pm.
So, we went out for some dinner at the most awesome Japanese restaurant I've ever been to. For those kmart people reading, yes, I had the teriyaki chicken, and yes, it was delicious. I also tried hot sake, which tasted like vinegar and salt, warmed in a microwave. I'm sure one of these days I'll find an alcohol I like...
So far Peta and I really like SF. It seems to be a much more exciting place than LA, and more importantly, it seems to be dripping in culture.
Well, once again it is late, and I need sleep. I'll be sure to let you all know about any more conversations I have with Peta great detail...
Tomorrow: Moar San Francisco!