San Francisco in a day
Thanks to Gully Bill for filling in. He's right; I wasn't really in the mood. Generally speaking, we like flying with KLM, but this wasn't one of the best experiences.
After a long (hungry) and tiring trip (thanks, lady in row 12) and two nights in the Holiday Inn San Francisco International Airport, plus a number of issues with my camera, my Mac, the RV, the weather, and ....
well ..... let's start at the beginning:
We arrived SFO approximately 1315 on Tuesday afternoon, and fought our way out of the aircraft. We were some of the first passengers off, although I took the time, (and more to the point; I was chivalrous enough), to help the aforementioned elderly lady in row 12 retrieve her coat from the overhead locker. Why? I don't know. Some kind of reverse psychology perhaps. Maybe I was trying to educate her about the existence of other people sharing the same planet. Although Jean-Marie Leboutte's post comment was true, and noted for next time - he pointed out that there's no problem if you're in row 1!
Anyway. Amazing how sharp her elbows were when, having recovered her coat, we both bolted for the door.
We were first in the queue to immigration. The officer was friendly and quick, once again. I hardly felt it. It was only when I heard the 'schmuck' of the gloves coming off that I realised it was over.
So straight through - only to wait over an hour for one stupid suitcase. It had reached the stage where I was discussing mitigations with Sarah; the suitcase was mine, and it was only full of clothes. All the important stuff (camera, computer, cables, books, more books) were in my carry-on. If it wasn't for one pair of my favourite cowboy boots in the suitcase, I could have just left after 45 minutes and bought my usual t-shirts, brogs, deodorant and a pair of jeans at Walmart. As it was we stuck it out, and finally it arrived; the one but last case.
Then another 45 minutes wait outside for the hotel's airport shuttle. A look at our phones when we reached the Holiday Inn, confirmed it was nearly 2 am back home. We got some hot food in the bar (Houlihan's), and finally, and gratefully, fell into bed about 1800 local. Somehow or other we managed to stay in bed until 5am, then got up, wondering what on earth we were going to do. I opened the curtains to a dark cityscape of South San Francisco, only to find - voila! The beckoning lights of a 24h iHOP just on the other side of the street. How fortuitous.
By 6am we were tucking in to a pile of butter pancakes with lashings of maple syrup, (as Enid Blyton might have said), and a delicious strawberry milkshake: just to complete the day's entire calorie requirement. I told myself that I'd need the energy, and I wasn't far wrong.
By 8am we were on the local bus to downtown. We walked from Mission Street, through Chinatown (some images from Bill's post), down Broadway, and then along the Embarcadero to Pier 39. Of course, along the way we had to stop at various cafes and little shops.
One of these cafes deserves special mention; it's only been open a couple of weeks, and the passion shines out. Cool atmosphere. A small Italian cafe (run by Francesco (suitably enough) from Bari in southern Italy, and his local San Franciscan partner), which is open on to the street. Best of all - it serves the perfect coffee and tiramisu. Check it out if you can.
We took more photos, wandered about some more, and finally went for a curry - funnily enough at the same restaurant that we went to last time we visited SFO. Henry's, I think it was called (or the co-located bar was Henry's). Reasonable food; most memorable part though was when Sarah went to take a drink, only to find an animal swimming around in her glass. It was a weevil or earwig or something; doesn't matter which I suppose. Point was, it didn't have wings, so it must have dropped from the rafters above. Lovely. I tried to reassure Sarah by pointing out that it was better a little bug, not a rat. The lesser of two weevils?
We took a taxi back to the hotel, and made it an early night. Pick-up was booked for 7.30 in the morning to take us to San Leandro Camping World. Which would be a relief: I remembered after two nights exactly why I don't like staying in hotels. If you'd like some argument for that opinion, here's a nice image. That next morning, as we were about to leave, I checked under the bed in case I'd left anything; like a book, or shoes etc. And what did I find? No more than a few inches under the bed valance - which says a lot for the maid service - XXL size boxers. If you've lost your brogs, please let us know.