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Way Out West - Day 2 – Pier 39, Aquarium and my number one must-see

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by wickesy, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    As usual I was awake at 4:30 but managed to doze on and off until 6:00 when the noise of the dustmen woke us up and Dad got up. I got up at 7:00 and after washing and dressing we went down to get breakfast from the restaurant next door to the hotel.

    We both had coffee, French toast topped with sliced banana and strawberries with a side of applewood smoked bacon and Dad had orange juice while I had cranberry juice. Total spend on breakfast including tip was $52.

    After breakfast we popped in to Safeways for Dad to buy some disposable razors as he had dropped his on the bathroom floor this morning and broken it. From there we went back to the room and gathered our stuff together to go out.

    First stop this morning was Pier 39 to see the sealions.

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    From there we had a wander down the seafront before returning to Pier 39 just after 9:30 where went in to Aquarium of the Bay.

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    The aquarium houses many species of fish that are found in San Francisco Bay, including anchovies

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    And a couple of familiar faces

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    From the first exhibit area we took the lift down ‘under the bay’ where there are moving walkways that take you through the main exhibit

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  2. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    After the walkways we took the lift back up to the entrance level where there a few ‘touching pools’ containing rays and starfish.

    We left the aquarium around 10:15 and made our way down to the Boudin Bakery where we had intended to take the tour, which was supposed to open at 10:00 but when we got there we discovered that it was not opening today until 12:00 so we stood outside for a while where they have a viewing area for people to watch the bakers making sourdough bread.

    From the bakery we wandered up to Ghirardelli Square and went upstairs to the Ghirardelli chocolate shop where we were given a free sample and had a hot chocolate each. We then made our way back down to the Maritime National Park where we admired the view and watched the people who had rented bikes making their way to the Golden Gate Bridge.

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    The main event for today was booked for 1:00 and we were due to check-in for it at The Cannery at 12:50. We arrived there at around 12:30 and sat and waited for time to pass. This main event, and my number one recommendation for must-see in San Francisco – the Big Red Fire Engine Tour. This tour had us smiling from beginning to end and was worth every cent of the $45 each that we paid for it. It is run by ‘Captain’ Robert and his wife Marilyn who live in the old San Francisco fire-house and takes place on their lovingly restored and kept 1955 Mack Fire Engine. Robert is the driver, Marilyn is the guide and sings her way through the 75 minute tour that goes around San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge, into Sausalito and back again. The open-air fire engine holds 13 people and we were all provided with fire jackets, which we were grateful for as it gets particularly breezy going over the bridge! On the other side of the bridge we stopped for photos and Marilyn took her time to make sure everybody had photographs taken in front of the fire engine with their own cameras, before she and Robert posed for photographs themselves. Everybody on the tour thoroughly enjoyed themselves and I would say if you only do one thing in San Francisco do this, you will not regret it.

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  3. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    The tour dropped us back at The Cannery just after 3:00 and we walked back down towards Fisherman’s Wharf where stopped off in an electrical shop we had seen earlier for Dad to buy an adaptor and for me to get an SD card reader as I had forgotten to bring mine and wanted to start uploading my photos to Photobucket ready for this trip report.

    We then went back up to the Boudin Bakery to do the tour only to find that it was now closed for a private function so we had to place that on the list of things to do on Sunday. We decided instead to go back to the room for a break, which we did and I did a bit of internet browsing using the free wireless in the room and updated my trip report.

    We were downstairs again for our free glass of wine and we then went off to Pier 39 where our first stop was La Salsa Cantina, a Mexican fast-food restaurant.

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    We both had an overstuffed chicken grilled burrito (which was a new item and isn’t on the menus above), Dad had a Margarita and I had a bottle of Budweiser which we enjoyed whilst sitting outside on the balcony overlooking the Marina.

    After we had eaten we had a look around the Marine Preservation and National Parks shops before going back to Lefty’s where I bought a shot glass and tumbler.

    From Pier 39 we walked back up towards the hotel and had a look around a shop called Cost Plus, which is kind of a pile it high and sell it cheap shop where Dad bought some soap, shower gel and a new shower brush. We then decided to call it a night and went back to the room where we spent an hour relaxing before going to bed at 9:30 (party animals eh?!)

    Tomorrow: Day 3 - Wine Country Tour
     
  4. mInNiE
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    mInNiE Earning my ears

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    Great photo's at the Aquarium! I love the fire truck, it looks like fun! Off to read day 3 :)
     

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