Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Day 4: Monterey to San Francisco

Day 4: Monterey to San Francisco

Having to throw the original plan out of the window due to the lack of spare tyre and a space-saver on the front of a big 4x4 full of luggage, we missed Santa Cruz and the famous boardwalk from The Lost Boys.

Stupid Dollar. Again.

So we crawled up the 101 to San Jose airport as directed, stopping for a Denny's on the way.

The swap over, in all fairness, was quick and painless and both cars ended up side by side to save us lugging things around. Given we had a cooler bought cheaply from Walmart full of drinks and ice for our road trip this was a godsend.

Then back onto the 101 through Palo Alto which was nerd heaven for me, passing big names like Oracle, NASA, Evernote and some famous universities.

Once into San Francisco the fun starts. Think London is bad? The one way system is beyond madness and well into insanity.

Bring Valium. Even as a passenger.

With the Golden Gate Bridge a must-do we continued by our hotel and over it. Even at 1pm the layers of fog obscure the top of it today, and the temperature noticeably drops over the space of 100meters or so. Pop out the other side and all clears up; truly a surreal experience!

Next stop Sausalito, which Mel had heard was a nice place to stop and indeed it was, with a cracking view of the bay. We had some wine, coffee, meatballs and ice-cream and watched the adults play bowls. Kids not allowed to play by decree of signage. Heh.

Back over the bridge with the delight of the toll being free at that time and onto the hotel.

...Meaning back into the horror of the one-way system and utter confusion.

Being so close many times was frustrating, especially when getting round the system includes getting on the interstate in rush hour!

Finally getting close enough, we drove round one block four times trying to park outside the hotel. Those steep streets you see in the movie? They are worse in real life and if you were driving a manual you'd be changing your clutch every 8 miles.

We got a space in the end just ahead of another car, who proceeded to leave it sticking out into the road.

Which was amusing when the tram, on rails of course, tried to get past. Then she argued with the tram driver when he got out and asked her to move!

Picture to come.

The room isn't bad for the money in SF. It's on the low end of what I'd call a suite. We had the choice of a "Quiet Room" or a "City View" room at the Villa Florence. We chose the quiet room which I knew would be facing a wall but not overlooking a rowdy jazz club. But make sure you keep the window closed as food be a-cooking on this side!

The bed is ok, the toilet seat can be seen from the bed or separate sofa area via the door mirror, the fridge is barely that. But I've read about worse and at least the wifi works here.

We head out for supplies as paying £3.50 for a can of coke in the hotel is more insane than the roads, to find the Walgreens a few doors down was holding a private party.

A private party in a pharmacy? Odd.

Further into Union Square we find a Thai Noodle bar and another Walgreens and load up on water and fried rice. I also track down a small liquor store and get a short bottle of Smirnoff which was plastic and served in a brown bag. Feels like Alabama.

All this time we could smell very strong cannabis! It seemed everyone was smoking it.

TV food then bed. Once the noisy arse air conditioning was tamed. Seems to be a common theme for our holiday so far.

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