Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What've I been doing in San Franc for the past few days? (Part I)

Day 1: 8 July Thurs - Arrival
We arrived San Franc Airport (SFO) on 8 July 8.20pm via SQ2.
The flight was fine despite the 1 hr transit in HK that made everybody get out and then q up for the security check to re-board the plane before heading to SFO.

RY & myself cleared the immigration together and get our finger prints and eye ball scanned.
But at the custom, we were randomly selected to do the detailed custom check.
We were held up at the custom since they cant locate if RY's "confirm check-in" in their system.
So we were brought to immigration counter to check witht the officer that cleared our entry, and after 15 mins of waiting, it was confirmed that he already did "confirm in".
Then we gotta go back to the custom to get his entry clear.
We'd waited for 45 mins and RY was not very pleased so he became rather impatient.
I tried to clam him down for fear that the officer may delay us further if they picked on us.
Finally they cleared us after almost an hour and we took a cab to Stamford Court Renaisance in Nob Hill for our 3 nights of hotel stay (we'll then move out to stay in RY's company pre-booked hotel in Union Sq - Hotel Nikko).
Due to my frequent travels in my previous job, I'd clocked up good points to redeem free stay with Marriott chain of hotel.

Day 2: 9 July Fri - Yosemite Park Tour
We've pre-booked Yosemite Park Tour with Extranomical Tour @USD139 per pax,
The Tour bus picked us up at 6am on Fri morning for the tour.
The drive to Yosemite was 4 hours but a really scenic one!
We saw El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral, Yosemite Falls, Ribbon Falls etc
We packed sandwich & sushi for lunch during the toilet stop at the tour guide's recommendation since this would give us more time to do sight seeing then to have a sit-down lunch in the Yosemite restaurant.
We chose a really scenic spot over looking the intersection of the Yosemite & Ribbon Falls for our picnic......
The view was awesome!
The tour also brought us to see Giant Sequoias - a really Giantic Tree!
On our way back to San Franc, we packed Taco Bell for dinner since the guide warned us that we'll only be able to get back to SF at about 9pm.

For info on Yosemite, pls go to this link:

Day 3: 10 July Sat - Gilroy Shopping
We started the day by walking to O'Farell street to collect our rental car.
The q was really long and we only managed to drive off at about 10am and arrive Gilroy at about 11.30am.
The facotry outlet is so hugh that it's not recommeded to walk since building A, B, C & D are not very assessible without a car .......
Things are really cheaper in US for the American Brand like Polo Ralph, Coach, Calvin Klein etc .......
I didnt manage to cover all the shops since RY got a last min invitation from his US boss to have dinner at his place, so we left early at about 6pm.

RY had too much wine and he forgot that we're in San Franc which is long drive back to hotel (about 2 hrs), unlike SG where the drive home is less then half hour.
He tried really hard to stay awake during the drive and I'd to constantly check on him so that he wont fall asleep ........

Thank god we got back to hotel safe & sound.

Day 4: 11 July Sun - F&E Dive Around
We started the day by walking to Chinatown for Dim Sum breakfast.
The quality was pretty good and we'd Char Siew bun, har kow & beancurd roll.
We then walk around the Russian town, visited Fairmont Hotel, Grace Cathedral etc and then check-out of the hotel to check into Hotel Nikko.

We then drove off to Golden Gate Bridge.
It was very windy & freaking cold there.

Next was Mauir Woods and we stopped by Mauir Beach point to experience the chill of the decending fog.
The drive to Mauir Woods was really scary since the road was winding as we were climbing up the mountains and driving thru the valleys ..........
As we've been used to SG's right hand drive, our eye line tend to fix to the right which make us align the car to the right (USA is left hand drive).
Imagine, we were driving along the cliff with no fence to prevent the car from sliding down and if we were to align too far right, we may fall off ..........

Then we drove to Stinson Beach for a picnic (we've brought potato chips & cherries).
The ang mohs (causians) were very brave.
It was so windy and cold and yet they were in bikinis and swimming trunks sun tanning, swimming and surfing ......

Later we went to find a restaurant for clam chowder & fish & chips for late lunch.
We joined the crowd cheering for Spain as they won their 1st goal in FIFA World Cup Final.
We then drove back to San Franc to return the rental car.

We took our shower then walk to Cheesecake Factory for our dinner.
As the q was terribily long, we gave up (our q would be 9pm slot) and instead went to a Thai place for beef noodle soup.
After dinner, we head back to Cheesecake Factory to tah pau (take away) a slice of cheesecake to eat in the hotel room.
The cake was really yummy!

Day 5: 12 July Mon - Fisherman Wharf
RY gotta work so I'm left alone the next few days to do my own thing.

I started of by walking to Fisherman Wharf Pier 39 to get my SF City Pass @ USD64.
I get to go to 5 sight seeing spot and free MUNI rides.

I started by going for the 11.30am Bay Cruise.
It sailed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and passed-by Alcatraz.
I also saw the sea lions docking comfortably in Pier 39.
Then I went to Aquarium by the Bay.

I did some window shopping, then Tah Pau In-Out Burger for my dinner.
I decided to walk to Lambard Street to look at the World's Crokedest Street.
It's really amazing to see those car driving along this steep & twisting/ turning street.

Too tired and cant lift up my foot walking anymore, so I took a cable car at the Lombard St to head back to Hotel.
The SF City Pass allows free access on all MUNI transports for a good 7 days!

Day 6: 13 July Tue - Califonia Academy of Science & De Young Museum

I took MUNI No.. 5 from Market Street to get to the Golden Gate Park to access Califonia Academy of Science then to De Young Museum.

The Califonia Academy of Science is equivalent to our SG's Science Centre except that it's more interesting with live animals display.

The De Young Museum's collection of arts were great and unfortunately I was too tired to appreciate the arts.
I hurried to get back to hotel as I was meeting RY for dinner.

We went to Califonia Pizza Kitchen at Market St for dinner.

To continue.

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