Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Kathryn's Hols- Day 8 - San Francisco

Ann Marie made us a splendid breakfast at the Blackberry Inn. Vegetarians and wheat free diets all easily catered for. Very interesting retired couple at breakfast too. They had travelled all over the place and told us a lot about Butan and a load of other exotic destinations. They must have been very wealthy but regardless, were very interesting.

On leaving for our 4 hour drive to San Francisco we asked our prolific outdoors author for interesting stopping places between here and San Francisco. She said, "there is NOTHING but a boring drive". She mentioned a cowboy museum as the only potential entertainment.

Sure enough it was a boring drive but we swung into a town for some Starbucks action and had quite a nice chat with some of the staff there. One explained that California sunshine is great for people who get a bit depressed (we think she was speaking from personal experience having moved here from New York).

Driving around San Francisco was not terrible until we hit one of those infamous steep hills, at which the traffic light turned red as we pulled up to it. From the drivers seat it was so steep I could see NOTHING in front of the car at all, only sky (later a cabbie told me they generally park a bit over the slope). A hill start in a stick shift is difficult for some people to get their head around, for me, a hill start in an automatic was very counter intuitive and nearly went badly wrong. I've never felt an automatic plumet backwards in 'D' quiet so fast. My second attempt involved using what i would normally call the handbrake but in my car is operated with a foot pedal. This was not a neat solution! Very glad to survive that without redecorating the front of the VW Beetle behind us, we moved on intact but for my sense of humour.

We eventually pulled over and started phoning around hotels. Most of them were full but we got in at the Adagio for $179 + $35 for parking. Phoning around is not the way to get a hotel in San Francisco. The next day, using the Adagio's internet I used priceline.com and expedia.com to find other deals. I could've got a room at the savoy for $76 but in the end went for Cathedral Hill Hotel for $79 including parking! COOL.

We got quickly settled in our room and went for a walk towards lower haytlower haight, the colourful part of san francisco. After lots of walking we descended upon a busy coffee shop and had a bustled coffee. Whilst we were planning what to do next the guy at the next table decided to impart some advice to us for about 30 minutes. We found lots of San Franciscans very much like this, very willing to stop and give you ideas of what to do, even people that at first seemed grumpy.

That night we ate at The Millenium resturant in the Savoy, a surperb veggie restaurant. We thought we'd not get in but we were told we could sit at the bar. Our bit of bar was more like a booth with it's own waiter behind a BAR! Excellent! Food GREAT and waiter/barman absolutely brilliant too. A much needed quality feed!


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