Yes I know, shockingly I have another blog post within the space of a week – but it’s a quick one I promise.
For the few people who do wander over here, I just wanted to let you know that the new site I blogged about last week has been turned off. The experiment with Azure shows that although Azure is pretty nifty for putting things in the cloud, it’s not really cost effective for me and my meagre site.
But I did like the new theme I found for the new site, so I’ve ported that over here 🙂 Also – sorry DDOCentral but I’m still not changing my image sizes!
Have fun, see you around!
Today was probably the day we were most looking forward to in San Francisco. Up early, we had to be at the pier by 7.30am to set off at 8am. We were off to the Farallon Islands in the Pacific to go looking for whales!
It was cloudy when we set off, but reasonably warm. That changed as we got further out to sea. The cloud stayed with us and it got colder. But the sea was calm and the journey lovely.
We didn’t get to go over the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday, but we sailed under it today 😀 (um…… you guys know its red rather than golden – right?) On the way out to the islands we spotted several pods of porpoises, a few sea lions and lots of sea birds. Once we reached the islands about 90 minutes later we were told to be on whale watch, we were heading in to deeper waters. It took a while, about 30 people all peering about looking for the telltale water spout or fin, but somebody eventually spotted one. We had found a female humpback whale and her year old calf.
We had plans for today. We were going to look at the Palace of Fine Arts then go across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Then we woke up.
I slept badly because of this bloody cold I’ve picked up. Rachel slept badly because of this bloody cold I’ve picked up :-\ We were both knackered when we got up this morning – so we decided to have a lazy day.
We wandered around the neighbourhood a bit, making sure to find a pharmacists to pick up cold remedies for me, bite remedies for Rachel.
And we did go look around the Palace of Fine Arts later today. It is just down the street from us, after all. But mostly we have chilled out and taken it easy, which I think we needed as we do have a busy day planned tomorrow – whale watching!
Definitely a mini blog today 😀
Thursday was another day with a pre-planned event. I had bought tickets for the California Academy of Sciences nightlife tour. This means the museum is open from 6-10pm for people with tickets and over 21 years of age.
Because the museum is situated in Golden Gate Park we decided to spend most of the day there. We had a leisurely breakfast at the Squat & Gobble (much nicer than yesterday’s although we noticed they too do the blancmange like omelettes – must be a west coast thing). Then we caught a tram back to Union Sq. While there we did what we should have done while we were in Indianapolis, bought a burner phone. We’d tried to book a taxi online but we need a US phone number to do so. So I now have a nice cheap little smart phone for emergencies over here and can bring back with me for the next GenCon we go to. I have been really tempted to send Samius some weird texts while I’m still here… 😀
Wednesday was not our best day. For starters I woke up with a sore throat and sneezes. I’m fairly sure I picked that up from a French tourist stood near us on the ferry back from Alcatraz 😦
Then we went for breakfast and the omelettes we ordered looked more like blancmange and weren’t that great. We did manage to work out the bus journey to Union Sq easily enough. It’s a nice area used to show off various performances on different days. From there we walked a few blocks to the cable car terminal where you can purchase bus passes. No more needing exact change 🙂
We caught a tram over to the Castro, which was a place I was really looking forward to seeing again. The Castro is San Francisco’s gay village with pride flags hung up around all the streets. We stopped for a coffee when we got there at a Starbucks and sat outside drinking it. Rach lit a cigarette and then got told off by an old guy who informed her it was a no smoking area, though he waited until she had almost finished her cigarette. She apologised, put out the cigarette, then sat there quietly ranting for 5 minutes about the no smoking signs being hidden 😀
There are a few things we have planned for while we are in San Francisco and Alcatraz is the first of them. The tickets sell out several weeks in advance, so if you intend to visit you need too get them beforehand. Also this meant we had paid for them a month ago, which always makes me feel like the holiday is less expensive 🙂
The night before we had logged onto the San Francisco Muni website http://www.511.org to plan the buses needed too get out to Pier 33, where the ferry goes from. We are having a bit of a confusing time with the buses, so that site is very helpful.
We get to the bus stop early – good thing we did, the bus was early – and arrive at Pier 33 with plenty of time to spare. The ferry is large, clean and a really smooth ride over to the island. We got some lovely pics of San Francisco from it.
Aaah sleep 😀 An early night last night and I was awake by 7am feeling much better. After several cups of coffee and some breakfast we headed off for the day.
We have several things pre-booked this week. Tomorrow we’re off to Alcatraz and the ferry sets off from Pier 33. This is just past Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39 a well known tourist attraction, so we decided to walk over to there, look around, then find Pier 33 so we know where we’re going tomorrow.
It’s been cool and cloudy today which made the walk nice (not to hot). We just walked to the Marina front then we worked our way across, passing Fort Mason & Hyde Pier.
At Fisherman’s Wharf we had a look around a WWII submarine, the USS Pampanito. Wow, I have no idea how the guys back then coped living in something that small and cramped!
So, Sunday morning we were meeting John & Ben in the hotel lobby to share a cab to the airport. We were in bed by 12.30 am, after the burlesque show, alarm set for 5 am. Obviously that was the night my brain decided I needed to worry about my alarm not going off :-\
But we got downstairs on time, got to the airport easily (its a pain getting up early but worth it for no traffic!), checked in, then said goodbye to Ben. We were on the same flight as John to Atlanta. In fact he was sat directly behind us on the flight too 🙂 We arrived at Atlanta 10 minutes earlier than our given time, were off the plane 10 minutes later than our given time And I’d realised that morning we only had an hour between flights. We head rapidly towards our next gate, in a different terminal. John gives moral support by running with us even though his flight is an hour later and he doesn’t need to rush 😀 We make the gate easily but we worry that our luggage won’t be with us when we arrive in San Francisco.
We didn’t have to start quite so early on Saturday so we had a few extra hours sleep and walked across to the Convention Centre. We had a class at 9am with Tobril, John & Ben on building a soft leather journal,. This entailed choosing our piece of leather to use, marking where the paper should be attached and sewing it onto the leather. I even managed to cut the leather to make a strap that allowed me to close it by threading it through some slots rather than having to wait until I got home and could fasten a snapper or button to it.
I also have to say that the guys surprised me with their sewing skills – so much tidier than mine! 😛
We spent a few hours looking around the booths before heading off for lunch. From there we decided to go get a random board game as we all had a few hours spare. Tobril chose the worst board game ever (yes you did, don’t be blaming it on Ben!) called “The Worst Case Scenario” (or something like that) where you were asked a question about how to cope with various events i.e. bitten by a snake, trapped in an avalanche etc. Unfortunately the game was a bit old and some of the answers offered on the multiple choice were bizarre! Also, Tobril skipped reading the rules & just made it up as we went along 😀
Day 2 was an early start with Teddy Bear Chainmailing at 8am. We met up with Torrance and stopped off to grab some breakfast before trying to find where the class was. Which, after we had walked over to the Convention Centre, we realised was taking place in a hotel back near where we were staying Well the walk gave me time to eat my muffin 🙂
The class was fun. We were given a teddy, a bag of chain links and 2 pairs of pliers (unfortunately we couldn’t keep those) and instructed to start by getting a pile of open links (twist slightly with the pliers) and closed links. From there we were shown how to start putting these together, basically building a strip to go around the chest of the bear. Once I had the pattern down it was fairly easy. Then I had to create two smaller strips which were added above my original section, front and back, and connected over the shoulder. My bear looked like he had a chainmail halter top 😀
Rach decided to go for a bondage/thing look and Torrance had the best looking bear IMHO with a chainmail bikini!!