A Travellerspoint blog


San Francisco

Leaving Vanouver and arriving in the US was a bit emotionally confusing. I've had an amazing time in Whistler, and am really sad to be leaving, but then I'm pretty excited about the next leg too.
There was some madness at the airport where they wouldn't let me on the plane without buying a visa. Me! A British citizen! No idea how this works but even though they accepted the fact that UK passport holders don't need a visa to enter the USA, they said I still had to buy some ESTA thing if coming from Canada. No idea. Dodgy $15 scam I reckon. After the panic to buy one before the check in closed I had to say a very rushed bye to Val, who's been out here for the last week or so, which has been fantastic. It's not been easy being apart for so long so I was pretty sad to say bye again, and was a bit homesick again on the plane. But then I arrived in San Fran, and immediately picked up another little hottie from airport. And I'm not talking about Jamie.

I'd been trying not to build it up in my head as the reservation had those annoying two words on the end - "Ford Mustang, or similar". I'd done a bit of research and "or similar" in this case could be a Crysler 200 or a Miata (aka MX5). Similar my arse! Anyway, I'd phoned several times in the previous weeks to try and bribe someone into guaranteeing a mustang but to no avail. The guy behind the desk went through the booking and as he started to speak my heart sank.
"We've got a couple of crysler 200s..." he started before I jumped in.
"Look, I really, really want a mustang. Have you got any?"
"Hmm... well, there is one that's just come in, a brand new red one, but it's first come first served at the parking lot and there are two people on their way over there now. If you dropped your bags here and ran then maybe..."
I dropped my bags and ran.


I'm so in love with this thing! Could a car ever replace a girlfriend? I guess not... but then again girlfriends don't come with a rag top and a 3.7 litre V6.

Met Jamie a few minutes later and I think he got excited when he asked about the car and saw the grin on my face. The road trip was looking good.

So off we went to downtown San Fran to find our first nights accommodation. As we cruised around with the top down, the areas we were driving through started getting more and more sketchy. Turns out Jamie's choice motel that he'd booked for the night was slap bang in the middle of the ghetto. Pulling into the carpark - watched by no fewer than 6 homeless people - in my brand new bright red mustang with the top down, I started to feel like a bit of a knob. And I feared for all 3 of our lives.
Shouldn't have worried though as we all survived the night, and the next morning we headed off for our city and Alcatraz tour. The tour was actually really good, although the driver/tour guide wasn't amazing. Commentry consisted of incredible nuggets like:
"If we were to turn left down that street, which we will not, you could see......."
"2 incovenient things occured to Mr Stamford that year - Divorce and Death"
"This tour doesn't go past the painted ladies or certain other sights in San Francisco. But I'm going to pull over here and hand out some photos of what we missed..."
Saw the bridge and the park, and even a colony of sea lions down at the docks.

Bridge.jpgSealions.jpgWindmills and Tulips in the park - it's not even Amsterdam

Windmills and Tulips in the park - it's not even Amsterdam

Alcatraz was really cool too, and the tour there was pretty interesting. I won't bother with any details though - if you're interested in Alcatraz there are better sources than me. They also had a massive art exibit there, from some Chinese fella. It was all about wrongful incarceration or something, but I wouldn't know about that. I don't quite see how it fits, but who cares - dragons are cool.


Following that went for a drive around the bay, over the golden gate bridge, saw some of the California scenery (and some more big trees!) and got possibly the best pizza ever at Lori's diner (double cheese, peperoni and sun dried tomatoes, if you're interested - now named the "Road Trip"). A day driving around in the sun with the hood down had revealed a serious need to get headwear, and a visit to Lidz labelled both of us as Giants fans for the trip. Go Giants! We worked out they're a baseball team.


Now we're all set to hit the road!

Posted by Matt Cocken 17:35 Archived in USA Tagged roadtrip

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