Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Big City San Francisco- The Finale!

We lost several days and several opportunities on our trip that we wanted to cover before heading back to Canada.  So, after discussing what would be the most practical thing to do at this time, we decided on Pier 39 at my brother's suggestion and then the Conservatory of Flowers.

So we started off on our last adventure day in San Francisco hoping to be able to leave California with less of a bad taste in our mouths than what we had the previous two days.  This is a shot of downtown San Bruno where we stayed the last few days.

The train station was surprisingly close to the hotel, so it only took about 5 minutes to get there.

San Francisco, here we come!

And here comes our train....yay!

We arrived at our "starting point" and had to catch another bus from there.......

crossing the street in San Fran is an interesting experience since the trains run right down the middle of the thing!  You'd better be cross when that little hand turns yellow....haha

Scootard has to figure out which bus to take to get to Pier 39

When I saw this, I could not believe that I was possibly looking at the biggest bow and arrow I had ever seen!  I couldn't even get the whole thing in the frame....haha

After getting off of the one mode, we had to take an escalator to get to the other thingee....

This is Spear Street.  Scooter Central!  However, San Fran reminds me of Seattle in that it is very hilly in some areas.  I would not be at all comfortable riding Ms Vicky in some of the places we saw like Powell Street for instance.  

We didn't get a chance to go into this building, but I thought the picture was nice if you can see beyond all of the trolley wires.

We made it to the trolley and headed for the pier.  This trolley was first used in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It was very funny as when I was a young girl I used to ride these to and from school.  So, to be sitting in one after so many years was very weird.

And Scootard was taking in all of the scenery.....:-)

We passed an out door market that was busy with people buying and selling their goods....:-).

The entire trip was just over an hour, but we arrived at the Pier ready to see what it had to offer.....:-)

And it was very busy with people like us.  I thought about one of my daughters who happens to be a musician and plays the guitar when I saw the over sized instruments at the head of the pier....:-)

and then it really starting getting interesting.  I mean who thinks of this stuff???

Spring seemed to be in full bloom even though there was a slight chill in the air.  Notice the coats and jackets?

If you have ever seen the movie Forrest Gump, you will know what this sign is referring to....hahaha.  I first saw one of these resturants in Mexico a couple of years ago.  They actually have signs for you to signal a service person that say "Run Forrest Run!" and another one that says "Stop, Forrest Stop"!  hahaha

Alcatraz Island was right across the bay and you could see it clearly.  We had discussed taking the tour there at some point.  They even had this gift shop dedicated to it...

We took the elevator to the second tier to see what was there.  I was able to get a better view of the marina from there..

 But before we went up, we saw this sling thingee that this girl was riding or flying or whatever you do in a sling thing.

And man oh man was she ever having a great time.  She was screaming "Weeeeeeeee!!!" with every sling, or fling she experienced.  Although I have been para sailing, It just seemed a bit to brisk to me to go flying, slinging or flinging through the air!   

Of course the theme of Pier 39 was seafood of whatever kind you wanted from crab to swordfish.....

Now, who thought of this ????? haha

Not bad....:-).  A Sea horsey.......

We stopped outside of this place considering lunch, but decided we needed something with a little more substance after we reviewed the menu.

 I thought this was a nice touch for the kiddies....:-)

ok, this is possible for lunch.  I thought the name was unique.  And then I saw why they called it that.

Holy Moly!  who cleans up after these guys?  hahaha

They even have a "night light"....ha.  What a life!

 But we finally decided on a place called Neptune's for lunch.  We were starving by then.

and of course "the locals" were always near by waiting for someone to notice them and give them a treat.

We had a splendid view of Alcatraz Island and discussed taking the tour boat over to it and see what was what.  I mean after all, that was Al Capone's last legal residence!

but after thinking about the 2 hours of walking and the fact that it was freezing on that boat, we decided to let it go without us on it!

For an appetizer, we order some Lobster Macaroni and Cheese.  It was a little disappointing.

Scootard ordered something kind of seafood medley dish.  I took one bite and I was done with it......;-(.  I love seafood, but that was the worst tasting scallop that had ever passed my lips.  Yuck!

I don't know what I ordered, but it "ok"....nothing spectacular though.  It occurred to me that we didn't have veggies.  But I was quite turned off by then.

We decided that it was time to go if we were going to make it to our next stop before they closed.  We passed this guy on the way out.....It's a good thing it was free!  It was kinda lame.....

Scootard wanted desert, but these are hard plastic!  ha... I can't turn my head for a moment! ha

they had the strangest things around the Pier.  We passed a huge bus like thingee that was really a vendor selling "stuff".

I kept hearing music that sounded like rythm and blues and wondered where it was coming from.  Then we saw this guy when we stopped to get some coffee.  He was playing the harmonica AND playing the guitar at the same time.  He had a very striking voice full bodied and soulful.

By now, my feet were tired and we needed a break.  I sat down and so did these guys; right next to me...:-).  See how close they are to the camera?  One of them actually nestled down beside me in the sun and stayed until I got up to leave......:-).

Scootard fed them cookies that we had with our coffee....Then they ALL starting showing up and somebody told the gulls!  We left...hahaha

 And I took what was left of my coffee with me!

The topiary thingees were everywhere......  These had not filled in yet.

I took this shot on the way to the bus stop. I hope that one day my little garden looks this good....:-)

I noticed this the first time we were here last month.  The trees have been cut down to the "nubbins"...It gives the appearance of a hundred "ET" fingers pointing into the air.....hahaha

after getting twisted around a couple of times, we made our way to the bus. I think  Scootard knocked his noggin..haha.

We asked the bus driver to please announce our stop as we were not familiar with the area.  We has a lot of small talk since our ride was going to be about 20 minutes.  He was a riot...haha.  He told us that he was going to be vacationing just like us in about a week for a .....a week!  He was tired! haha

and there it was!  The Conservatory of Flowers.  If you remember, at the start of this trip, the goal was to visit as many places as I could that were in a game I played.  This was one of the places.....:-).

This is a picture of some of the grounds which were so large that we did not get a chance to walk the whole thing.

We wondered what it was going to cost to go in.  We found out once inside that Tuesday was the "free day".  I like "free" is good sometimes...:-)

I wonder what strange sites I would see.  I love flowers and am always amazed at what natural beauty they can hold.  This was the wall that greeted us when we walked through the doors.

I think this was two plants that had grown together.

I don't know why these reminded me of windmills.....:-)

These look like cream sickles on prozack.....ha

and in one room there was set up a train station of sorts with various little homes and settings surrounding them.

they even had a sucken ship complete with smoke.....:-)

The trains were running too, by the way....:-)

They had this TNT station set up.  There is a yellow button by Scootard that he pushed to set off the TNT and the barrel starting shaking and you could he the voice of men yelling telling everybody else to watch out....hahaha.  It was too funny...

Now THIS is a topiary that I would like to have in my yard!

These reminded me of hearts, but I know that this was not the bleeding heart plant.  I don't know what any of them were except maybe the one in the background I think is a strawberry begonia.

 hummmm.  Now that different....

and that is very different.  I've never seen anything like that either.  Have you?

I like lily pads......:-).

Now THIS was something else.  Scootard told me that this is a "Pitcher Plant" and that it is filled with nectar in the base of it.  Flies and other insects are drawn in to it and become trapped in the fluid and are consumed by the plant.

So, I reached up and took a "blind shot" of the inside of the plant simply by placing my lens over the mouth of the plant.  And this is what was inside....EEEKKK!!!

The Conservatory was going to close at 4:30 and it was 25 after 4:00.  We decided to take a couple of more shots on the way out.

We thanked the lady at the front for a lovely day and started to make our way back to the entrance.

I loved this shot as well and wanted to get closer to the flowers with my little "point and shot" camera.

 We had to walk a few blocks to get back to a bus stop that would take us where we needed to be.  Some of the buildings in San Francisco are very impressive.....  

These are just a couple of the ones that we saw.  Scootard was able to get a shot of the historic "Painted Ladies" while we went flying by on a bus.  I missed the shot....:-(.

We arrived back and City Hall and had to catch another bus going to the CalTrain station.

And here we found ourselves at the begining of this Big City Adventure once again having worn ourselves to a frazzle and ready to head back North to Canada...

This was the Finale of our Big City Adventure. Thanks for coming along!  Now, for the long drive home.....

stay tuned.