San Francisco, April 2011

Union Square, San Fransisco

So, as some of you may have noticed there have been some wonderful guest posters looking after my blog over the last week (thank you!), because I have been soaking up the sun and hitting the slopes in California! I only flew in from San Francisco yesterday afternoon, but as so many of you have been asking to see my photos from the trip (after sleeping all morning!) I’ve put this post together!

I’d never flown a 10 hour flight before, and it was a killer, but I was lucky to be sitting near the window so I got some incredible views as we were passing over Greenland and Canada! I watched The Social Network, Black Swan and Burlesque during the flight, all incredible films I’d wanted to see for ages!

Once we had checked into our hotel we walked to Pier 39 for dinner. It was a bit tourist orientated for my first ever snapshot of America, but the food was fantastic and it was fun to have a wonder around.
Pier 39, San Fransisco

The port was so beautiful, and I loved how warm everything was! You can see the island with the old high secutiry prison on Alcatraz island in the background – I visited it the next day. 

Sorry that this photo is a bit blurry, we were not really supposed to take photos in the store but I just had to show it to you! This is a picture of some of the Halloween decorations in the Holiday Shop, a shop full of Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and decorations for every other holiday in-between, open all year long. Absolutely mental. Only in America. 

The next day we had breakfast at the Hard Rock Cafe on Pier 39. This made me very happy because it meant that I was able to get a San Francisco Hard Rock tee shirt!

The breakfast was absolutely incredible – bacon with syrup and cinnamon french toast – amazing! The eggs and orange juice were also really great too! 

They opened up especially for us, so we had the entire restaurant to ourselves! I absolutely loved the atmosphere and the background music – it was like listening to a hybrid of my and my Dad’s iPods!

It was incredible how much rock history there was littering the walls, it was like the very best type of museum! I spent ages just gazing at the stuff that littered the walls… 

My friend Amy took this photo of me on the boat out to Alcatraz island, it was so beautiful and sunny! It looks a bit windswept here, but I have found the best hair product ever. It is not available everywhere. The water in California is incredible, all of us notices how glossy and silky and free from fly aways out hair was, even after the first time we washed it with our regular shampoo! 

This is the view of Alcatraz you get as you approach it. Its fine for it to look that grim as a high security prison, but the guards families, including children also lived on the island until it closed on 21st March 1963 – what a horrible place to live! 


This was one of the nicer cells. 

However, the view from the island was absolutely stunning. This was my first ever sighting of the famous Golden Gate bridge. 

This is what San Francisco looked like from Alcatraz.
Union Square, San Fransisco

After Alcatraz we took a tram up into Union Square. I was shocked that on the way up I could see a Starbucks literally every block. I had another o-m-g moment when I saw people caring the new extra large size, but that was nothing compared to when I discovered that outside the city Starbucks was a 24h drive thu affair!

As a dedicated follower of all things Apple (my Blackberry being my only sin) I had to take a photo of the incredible temple store!
Union Square, San Fransisco


While I saw loads but did not manage to get a photo of a yellow school bus, I also loved how different their fire trucks are!

I think the funniest thing I saw in San Francisco was while we were waiting to get on the famous cable car. I study American politics, so in reading the constitution I know all about freedom of assembly, of speech, religion and expression, but I had never seen it first hand. We were heckled by one of the rudest, most outrageous but the funniest Christian street missionary protest outside Forever 21. I had never seen anything like it. You would never see anything like it in England. 

My friend Alex has his arm around his girlfriend, and he was yelled and condemned to hell for being an adulterer. This slogan was also on their baseball caps. 

I took this photo from the famous cable car, it took me a while to get used to the fact that all the streets are in ‘blocks’ in America, but I do quite like it I think. 

I was so excited to find you can get Wonka Candy in the USA. I used to LOVE Nerds as a kid, and I was so upset when they stopped selling them in the UK! 

After the cable car we took a road trip up to out ski resort in the mountains. On the way we stopped for dinner at Taco Bell. Now, we only have one of these (I think) in the UK, and its about 2 hours drive away. My friend Tristan has been trying to get me to learn to drive for ages so I can take him, but not yet. So when I found out were were stopping at Taco Bell I felt very smug. 

The chicken soft taco I had was really good, and we all filled up on unlimited Mountain Dew soda. That stuff tastes amazing, even if there is over 300g of sugar per litre! 

This was the view over Lake Tahoe from our hotel room. So beautiful – but it took me quite a while to get used to the idea that there was snow on the beach! 

I took this photo as we where heading back into San Francisco. You know that Phantom Planet song, ‘California’ with the lyric ‘Driving down the 101’? That is why I wanted a photo of one of the 101 signs! 

I took lots of artsy shots of the American flag during the trip. This one was my best one, taken at the viewing area of the Golden Gate Bridge! 

And here is me in front of the Golden Gate Bridge – thanks so much to my friend Briony for taking the photo! I’m wearing my battered old Topshop sunglasses I need to replace, and a slouchy striped tee by H&M. 

The view of San Francisco from the Golden Gate viewing platform.

When we got back to San Francisco I had a really nice Fishwich for lunch while everyone else had the famous clam chowder in sourdough bowls. 

It is basically what you see in the picture, a sub with tasty olive oil infused coleslaw and a piece of battered Haddock, but I had a half one because of American portion sizes. And it was still huge!
Port of San Fransisco

I just could not get over how beautiful the port was!

And, finally, I just had to show you these two tees I snapped at Fisherman’s Wharf – so funny!

Has anyone else been to any other exotic locations recently, I’d love to see some links of photos!