Wednesday, November 14, 2012

8-13th November

With Halloween as a bit of a non-event, didn't even do Trick-or-Treating. We were told not to because it wasn't 'okay' for us to go, and then told the next day that it was 'okay' because we were living in a college town... grr... there was only one thing to look forward to! SAN-FRAN-CISCO and SEATTLE!
We flew out on the 8th, after doing some of our classes and skipping the rest with a very quick, hectic trip to DIA from my beautiful, wonderful roomie Synovia. After a long journey westwards with an Asian lady with smelly breath sleeping with her mouth open on my shoulder (eww!!), we landed and (Thank you Emily and your transport apps) made our way on the BART (Public transport in San Fran) to the doorstep of our hostel in Union Square. And what a shit hostel... squeaky beds, no wifi.... sigh... We walked all the way to the harbour that night... just for shits and giggles... and it was amazing just to see the ocean again. Missed that big blue thing!

San Fran that first night.

Our hostel was right on shopping district of San Fran... OMG. Not to mention that a seven-storey's high Macy's had a huge one-day sale. So the 9th of November was spent... lest I say it, shopping. ALL DAY!

I wanted to throw my hands to the sky some times and be like 'Emily... STARP!!'... She does like to shop... and picks out everything. The day went slowly. we all bought shoes...Oh, my shoes... a beautiful pair of Micheal Kors lace up black suede booties, they are so pretty. I stand about 6 foot 5 in them but I don't care, they are BEAUTIFUL!!

<-- Kathryn in Julia Roberts stripper boots

A 'One man band' street performer -->

They had the biggest most beautiful Christmas tree up outside, with an ice skating rink just next to it.
That night, we decided to find California Street. You know, the most photographed street in the world... Yeah, well, we found it... and it was up the most god-awful street in the world! You see, we saw it from the top, where we had to climb a hill to get to it. Had our exercise for the month!

 Dan flew in later that night, after all the shopping and walking to see California Street. The next day we were up early again, walking to the Street Cart to catch the ferry over to Alcatraz Island. The Island is rich in American history with it obviously being the famous jail but also was overtaken by Indian Americans

<-- Aussies on our way to Alcatraz.

First sight of the island.

The island is obviously a prison.

The board that organises Alcatraz set up the jail for self guided tours with an audio box and headphones. The pictures are the voices of the people on the audio tour.

An average cell for inmates.

The view of Golden Gate bridge from the steps of the recreational area for the inmates.

 Sad, sad inmate! :P it is TINY in there.

 The solitary confinement cells. Pitch black with two doors. People would go insane in these cells. One man escaped insanity by pulling a button from his uniform and would play with it by throwing it around the cell and then trying to find it.
 Sneaky Picture in the library.

The inmates were given ample opportunities to read and learn. The most commonly lent book genre... literature... these boys were very well read! Jealous.


 The view of down town San Francisco... the best view out there!
 The wardens of Alcatraz for the approx 10 years it was in use -->
 Outside, a place where inmates weren't able to go, but families of soldiers in the jail played, and didn't lock their doors at night! o.0

The Kitchen. Notice the outline of all knives on board. So the guards would immediately know if something was missing!


 Private, very funny joke on one
Emily Cribb.
Someone doesn't eat all her dinner in the dining hall....

 The erosion on the building.

 Notice the line of calm water? Not so calm, that's were two currents intersect --> very cold, dangerous water. This is one of the reasons Alcatraz was so famous for being impossible to escape from.

 After Alcatraz, we met up with Caitriona again and decided to sight see San Fran a little more. After lunch at Pier 39, we caught a cruise bus that took us around to the GG bridge and showed us the sights of that side of San Fran.

 Pier 39:

 California street in the daylight... from the bottom.
Some of the original Victorian architecture that wasn't destroyed in the famous earthquake.


 Walking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Took about 30 minutes to cross the bridge! Go us! It was super windy but crystal clear, couldn't of asked for a better view! Breath taking, still doesn't feel real!

Driving back under it.

 So, we got sightly obsessed with this California street, can you tell?

 China town:

Kathryn and her ballet 'kangaroo' pose.

 Also, as we were walking back to the hotel from China Town, I was walking beside Emily with Dan on her other side, and she got MUGGED! WTF?! She was fine, her glasses fell on the ground but they were fine, her purse was at the bottom of her handbag and her phone was in my pocket, but what a movie moment... sorry Em, but truly, it had to happen to one of us and, tick, off the bucket list.


 I was up at 5 or so to be on an 8am flight to Seattle with Caitroina. Let me tell you, no one was happy with us, but we were quick and quiet and awake before them so they can get knotted! :P So, the BART doesn't start up until 8am on weekends... yeah, didn't know this little fact, so everyone was calling out to us as we were heading that way. We didn't know what to do. Then this homeless man came up to us and took us to the bus and got us on the right bus. He was helpful but he really didn't give us a chance to say no to him, then expected a tip... not happy Jan. I was running from the time I got off the bus as I went through security to get to my plane. I didn't have time to sit, walked straight down the runway and onto the plane. Two hours later I was in another state with another city to explore. The rest of the gang were coming in at about 12 and I was in at 10 so I made my way to Starbucks, grabbed a coffee and settled in. Excellent!
We took the LINK train right to our hostel again. Wasn't in the best area... in China town, a little bit dodgy. Daniel kept getting kudo's from people around us for having 3 women around him all the time... creeps.
We explored Seattle after we stowed our bags at the hostel. Went down to see that big blue again and was excellent to smell the salt in the air. First stop was Pikes Place market, the place to see in Seattle. That was cool, about 6 stories of market shops and fish shops. And yes, Emily and I saw the men singing and throwing the fishes around... eeep... so much fun! We went to what we thought was the first Starbucks on the corner and all ordered coffees... awkward moment when we find out wasn't the first Starbucks, and the real one is down the street about 4 blocks... Was excellent coffee right about then though, never ever will I say that about Starbucks coffee again but needed that warmth! We made our way to the Space Needle after our much needed coffee. Wow-oh-wow! It was drizzly and cold up the top but it was also amazing! And a little tick went off the bucket list again! It was right on dusk when Dan and I went up so we got to see the city starting to light up.

 My phone died right about then... no battery. Damn. So I didn't get all the pictures I wanted, but am so stealing everyone else's so, not worries. It was getting dark and I think I twisted my ankle walking around that morning so I left the guys to walk China Town and I went back to the hostel to shower and recuperate. Aparently Dan found dice... and started checking them out on our floor. He had no chance staying sane staying with 3 girls in a very small room! For some reason, this is still one of my favourite photos!

 Up early again the next day and I was in AGONY. Ankle was twice the size it should of been but I kept going. Not sure I should have but hey. I would end up regretting it... We decided to take the ferry to the little island of Bainbridge island.

 We walked this quaint little island all day. Was so pretty... I know where I want to live if I move to America! It was kind of eerie and so very Twilight... Loved it! I bought some tape to tape up my ankle and did so but didn't exactly work....
We looked when the ferry was returning to the main land and we had an hour wait, so instead of sitting and resting our weary bodies, we decided to head to the foreshore and explore!

Dan, Emily and I explored the logs (so carefully, I might add), Kathryn stayed behind, not trusting her co-ordination. We laughed and laughed and awed at the view. These are the times we remember. 

Going back to Seattle. 

Kathryn had the idea to go on the Ferris Wheel to see the city. I'm not a huge fan of Ferris Wheels but I sucked it up and went with. Apparently Kathryn isn't either... so she was freaking out, and I was trying to stay calm... great combination.. but it was laughing at her that kept me the most calm. Great view though!

 We went home after this. I piked like crazy, both Emily and Kathryn walk really fast which is fine, until you can't walk that fast without pain. Ouchies. Plus I had an early flight back to Colorado... Sigh. Dan and Emily did decide to try find some cheep Seattle souvenirs, anyway it started raining on the 30 min walk there and Emily came back just soaked and ranting. Hilarious...
So was up again at 4 to get to the airport... by taxi this time. $40 and on time... very happy. I may have skipped out on my first Creative Writing class and just headed to my two others... :P
So much happiness!!

The next day

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