Thursday 9th October – Saturday 11th October
San Francisco, USA
Our journey from Monterey to San Francisco on Thursday involved a bus to San Jose (the civic heart of Silicon Valley), a short train ride to Emeryville Amtrak station, then a coach and subway to our apartment in the Castro neighbourhood.
Ferry Building and AT&T Park, Downtown San Francisco
For our first full day in San Francisco we decided to explore the downtown area of the city.
We remember the Ferry Building really well from our last visit: a beautiful old building on the waterfront, with some fantastic food stalls inside.
We eventually decided on lunch at Delica, which was a fusion of Japanese and Californian food.
We haven’t written much about the baseball season for a while, but never fear: it’s still going! There are now just four teams left in the playoffs (and the winners of those games will meet in the World Series very soon), of which one is my team: the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants weren’t playing at home while we were in town, but we took a quick trip to AT&T Park, the Giants’ home.
This is basically where our fascination with baseball began: we saw the Giants play a really exciting game here on our visit in 2010. The ballpark is absolutely beautiful, including fantastic views of the waterfront (it’s so close to the water that some people sit in kayaks in the water alongside the ballpark during home games, to try and catch home run balls that end up in the water!). It was great to see the ballpark (and much of the city) adorned with reminders of the Giant’s great postseason run. This picture is of Buster Posey, the Giants’ catcher and one of our favourite players.
Fleet Week, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
“So are you here for Fleet Week?”
We decided to take a different tack with accommodation in San Francisco – for the first time we decided to use Airbnb, and rented an apartment in Castro from John, a lovely guy who gave us some great tips about where to go while we were in town. He had also assumed Fleet Week was our destination. As it turns out, Fleet Week is a huge event, attracting about one million people each year, that honours the men and women of the US Armed Forces, as well as other Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response personnel.
It seemed rude not to go.
On Saturday, we boarded a bus to the Marina Green, where the main event was taking place. The bus got stuck in traffic on the way – at first we thought it must be a traffic collision, but we overheard a few people talking about the President. Sure enough, we caught a glimpse of motorbikes and police cars speeding by, along with a huge car complete with US flags on the hood! Turns out, Obama was in town for a political speech on Friday night, followed by a fundraisers in Pacific Heights (where we were travelling through) on Saturday morning. The local media seemed less impressed than us, though, mainly complaining about the traffic jams!
Finally at the waterfront, and a walk along to the Marina gave fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
We then took a walk and settled down to watch the airshow.
It was a fabulous show, and the Blue Angels (the US Navy’s equivalent of the Red Arrows) were particularly impressive (and loud!)
Song of the day
‘Save Me, San Franciso’ by Train is one of Joanna’s favourite songs, and the video is a good excuse for some great shots of the city.