Fall 2012 Vacation in California: San Francisco Day 1

After getting some restful sleep in the comfortable bed in our spectacular suite at the W Silicon Valley we had a little breakfast in our room. We did not order from room service but had our own bread and stuff.

We then drove to the Hayward BART station. On our way there we happened to pass an E-type Jaguar which was quite cool. We did not park directly in the parking garage attached to the BART station but instead in a different parking structure nearby. It was only a few minutes away from the station and also free, so that didn’t matter much.

We entered the station and bought some tickets at a TVM. I purchases two tickets with enough value for going two round trips to San Francisco. On the platform we had to wait only a few minutes before the next train towards San Francisco arrived.

We exited at the Powell Street station in San Francisco and headed directly to the SF Muni ticket counter to buy 3-day passes. A 3-day pass cost $21, while a single ride with an iconic cable car  was $6, so we figured that we would be better off with these passes. Especially, since we were to go to San Francisco on three consecutive days. Kinda perfect 😉

As always the line at the turn table is always ridiculously long so we decided to walk the street uphill to the next stop. I’d say we had to wait there for far fewer cable cars then we would have had to wait at the starting point.


Powell Street going uphill


Hot motorcycle … or what?

After a relatively short wait we were able to board a cable car and even could stand inside the vehicle and did not have to hold on to some pole from the outside. We did not have such luck very often during this trip.

We rode all the way towards Fisherman’s Wharf where we bought tickets for the Ride the Ducks tour. We had about half an hour until next departure so we headed just across the street to buy us some drinks at the Burger King. Considered that we only wanted some drinks and nothing to eat we had to wait quite long. Of course, there was a family ahead of us in line, and they were quite unsure what to order. But we were back in time and had something to quench our thirst.


Ride the Ducks

Captain John, our driver, took us on a quite entertaining tour crisscrossing San Francisco and the port. We had some great fun and I think we were his best group that day. The tour is supposed to last 90 minutes but ours was a little longer. For one it was due to traffic, and the other reason was that the station was blocked when we returned. So we had to circle the block a couple times before there was enough room to navigate the amphibian to its final stop.

We then walked around Fisherman’s Wharf, watching performances on Pier 39, the bay,  sea lions, etc. And almost suddenly it was time for dinner 😉

We decided to go to the Bubba Gump at the far end of Pier 39. After almost an hour wait we were seated and ready to have a great time with some great food. I ordered my all time favorite, the shrimper’s heaven, while Karin had a bucket of boat trash. It was my task to crack open the lobster claw. This was only the second time that I did that. The first time I needed like an eternity to get some meat out of the the hard shell. This time it worked better and Karin did not have to wait long to get something to eat.us-fall-12-0476sm.jpg

Me and my Shrimper’s Heaven


Bucket of Boat Trash

Karin was also so bold to order a Corona-rita, a mixture of a margarita and a Corona. At first it tasted great since the ratio was in favor of margarita. As more and more beer poured into the mixture it started to tell taste-wise. Well, beer is not something we are ready to die for, so it was not the ever best drink after a while. But the concept was fun though.



After dinner we walked up Mason Street to catch a cable car. We walked a few stops and then waited there and waited and waited. We waited so long that I decided that I needed to visit a restroom. Bummer! So we got into the pub there, I gave a tip since I was no regular customer, and went to the bathroom. Of course, while being inside, a cable car came and left without us. After leaving the pub the waiting started again. But, luckily, this time it did not take as much time till the next cable car arrived. Karin got inside and I held onto a pole all the way to Market Street.

There we entered BART station and waited another while that felt like an eternity for a train to Bay Fair where we could transfer to another train to bring us to Hayward station. Finally we arrived, walked to the parking structure, got into our car and drove back to our cool hotel, the W Silicon Valley, where we could fall into our comfortable bed.

We had to wait long several times but all in all we had a great day.

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