Thursday 16th April, 2009.
A long day today. Up just before 7am and packed and out the door at 8am. Caught a 8:20am train from Pennsylvania Station and it had us at Jamaica Station at 8:45am where we transferred to the Air Train to JFK Airport. It all went very smoothly and we arrived at Terminal 8 at a few minutes after 9am. Cost $21 for the two of us, I heard a taxi costs $40 plus tips and tolls for a total of $60.
Just a word on Pennsylvania Station - part of New Yorks Subway system, much of it is below Madison Square Garden. This station is enormous- there are shops of all sorts, I saw two Dunkin Donuts, a Krispy Kremes there is even a K Mart down there!
The usual hassle checking in and getting through security - this is one thing I won't miss. We have had a number of flights on this trip and the flights are fine. It is the checking in and security procedure that is a pain. Of course I understand the need for both but the problem is that they become procedure for the people working them and they are bordering on rude and dismissive when you struggle with that procedure, especially when it can be so different between airports.
Anyway we got to our gate with an hour to spare - Scott went and got McDonalds for breakfast - jst as well as the food on the plane cost an arm and a leg. $10 for a grilled (toasted) cheese sandwich and a pack of potato chips. They did provide drinks for free.
It was a 5 and a half hour flight with a 3 hour time difference between the east coast and the west coast. We backed out a few minutes early but there was 21 planes aheard of us as we slowly taxied to the end of the runway. Took off just after 11:30am and arrived in San Francisco at 2:00pm. I did watch the Jim Carrey movie Yes Man on the plane.
Another Air Train to the car rental place and then we drove our rather weird looking Chevrolet to the hotel which is just a kilometre from Fishermans Wharf.
We had iHop as a late lunch early dinner and as we were both wiped out spent the night in front of the TV.
Friday 17th April, 2009
Head colds has slowed us both down a bit. We have been to Walgreens for medication and are plodding on as best we can.
Today was intended to be a day at Akcatraz but those plans came to nothing when we found that you have to book tickets in advance these days and when Scott checked the internet he found there was no tickets available today.
So we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and headed slightly north to take in some of the magnificent scenery around the SF area. The weather is good and the drive was pleasant. We checked out two shopping malls and drove over the Bay Bridge to get back into SF and eventually back in the direction of our hotel.
Our hotel is on Lombard Street and we did detour so that Scott could drive down the part that is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns that have earned the street the distinction of being "the crookedest [most winding] street in world." Quite a drive this.
We had had a largish breakfast at the iHop across the road from the hotel so the plan was to east cheaper in the afternoon but we ended up at a 50's style diner which was a bit disapppointing.
An OK day, the colds are slowing us down.
Saturday 18th April, 2009
Another slow start to the day. Check out of the hotel is at 11:00am and we had the bags in the car at 11:15am and then wandered over the road to iHop breakfast.
We then set the GPS for a house about a mile from the hotel which was used for the outside shots of the house used in the TV series Full House.
Scott wanted to go to a specific shop to buy a game and so we GPS'ed a shopping mall and went across San Francisco and over the Bay Bridge and past Oakland towards this mall. It all looked familiar to me and I wasn't surprised when we ended up at the same mall as the second one we visited yesterday!!!! Scott couldn't get the game there so we back tracked to a Target store which had the game shop nearby and Scott got his game and I managed to get a DVD that was on our wanted list.
We then drove on to the Six Flags amusement park and spent a few hours there before heading on towards the town of Stockton. We had tickets for an Arena football game - same as a normal game of American football but on a smaller indoor field. It was very interesting game, we were right behind the coaches and players and the banter between the two was as fascinating as the game. Neither Scott or I could give two hoots as to who won bit with a minute to go it looked very likely that the home team would win, all they needed to do was keep the ball and not do anything silly. So some of the home fans turned on the away players and the banter became a bit more severe so both Scott and I turned into away fans and were pleased when the home team (Stockton Lightning) made a silly mistake, lost the ball and the away team (Central Valley Coyotes) scored a touchdown with seconds to go to win the game. It was a good experience, we both rate it better than the NBA game we saw a few nights ago in NYC.
After the game we drove the 80 K's to Sacramento and spent the night at a Residence Inn near the Airport.
Our plan was to drive to Lake Tahoe tomorrow and then head north towards Crater Lake in Oregon but Scoitt is keen to go to an ice hockey game in Stockton tomorrow night so we may do that and then head for Crater Lake on Monday.