Thursday, June 24, 2010

day 4…chinatown

I think day 4 was my favorite day. But let me start out by telling you about our experience with public transportation…

We (meaning Jeremy) asked the hotel concierge about using the public transportation. We found out it was cheapest most cost-effective to ride the bus ($2 vs. $5 for a cable car). So we found out which bus we needed to take to get us to Chinatown and where the nearest bus stop was located.

So we tootled along, pretending to be native San Franciscans. Pretending we knew exactly what we were doing. However I’m thinking the camera around my neck and San Francisco guide book may have given us away. People boarded the bus at each stop. Very obviously going to Chinatown. So far, so good!

We started to notice the signs on storefronts were no longer in English. However, we (again, Jeremy) neglected to find out when to get off the bus. And before we knew it, we were back in “America” where they spoke English. Oops. So we decided we better get off the bus as soon as possible and figure out where we were and where we needed to go. But apparently we also didn’t know how to get off the bus. Literally. We stood up at the next stop, but the doors didn’t open. So we continued riding until we finally realized you have to push a bar on the door to get it to open. So now we know (for the future). And I’m sure no one noticed our ineptness. Yeah, right!

So there we were in the middle of Union Square. Fortunately I had my trusty SF guide book and we studied the maps to figure out how to get back to where we should’ve gotten off the bus. Apparently, the bus went into a tunnel and ended up on lower streets. We needed to be on the upper streets. This time we used a form of transportation we are familiar with. We walked. And lo and behold, we actually found our way to Chinatown!




I hope they are enjoying their $5 ride!!!





This is the Golden Gate Cookie Factory where they make fortune cookies. You could access it through an alley. They gave out free samples and let you take a picture for 50 cents! (Very little is free in this city!!) This lady sitting in the front would pull the flat, warm cookies off the conveyor belt, insert a fortune, fold the cookie and set them in the tray to harden.


There were little outdoor markets all over the place. Selling fruits and vegetables and dried roots. And smelly fish!


We ate lunch in Chinatown. How very brave of us!! It was actually very similar to what we would eat at our local Chinese restaurant. I had shrimp with string beans and Jeremy had chicken with mushrooms. And we shared a pot of tea.

Once we had walked up and down every street in Chinatown and shopped in every shop, we decided to head back. And since we (you know who I mean) didn’t find out which bus to take back, and given our recent history, we decided it would be easiest to just walk. We need the exercise anyway, right?


These bathrooms are located all over San Francisco. I had seen a show about them on The Travel Channel awhile back. They are self-cleaning with a 20 minute time limit for use. Of course, we had to try it out. This was the first time I actually had to push a button to give me instructions on how to use a bathroom!

IMG_5422 On our way back to the Wharf, we decided to walk to Coit Tower, located on Telegraph Hill. Lots of steep hills to climb to get there.





Inside the tower, on the first level, are these murals. They were painted during the Depression to give work to artists. We didn’t go to the top for two reasons. First, because it cost money to ride the elevator (of course). And also because I’m terrified of heights and I was afraid I would freak out at the top or even possibly on the ride up. I know. I’m lame.


So that’s it. Four fabulous days, with the 5th day left for traveling home. Good bye, San Francisco. Until we see you again!


  1. I love San Francisco! It looks like you had a wonderful time.

  2. I have loved reading about your trip! Great pics and fun commentary! I wanna go!!