Monday, June 29, 2009

San Francisco Tour, Alcatraz, Pasta?

On Monday morning, Jonathan's parents and I took the Caltrain into San Francisco, then a bus down to Ghirardelli Square so that we could take in some sights. The bus tour (operated by Tower Tours) was very good, and over three and a half hours, we saw a lot of different places. We had an opportunity to get off the bus and photograph city hall, Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the city from Twin Peaks. John was the name of our tour guide, and aside from being rather obsessive about a silent bus was a great guide. There was a sing-along and trivia questions, making the trip pretty fun. Because we saw so many different things, you can easily understand how Jonathan's dad and I ended up with a combined 230 photos!!
City Hallthey even have garlic ice cream at this place! just a few of the many posters about townAIDS quiltGreen parking only! there have cable cars from all over the country! Lombard Streetthe Painted LadiesView from Twin Peaks

Afterward, we asked to be dropped off at Pier 39, where we had lunch at the Boudin Bakery, where I bought a loaf of sourdough three years prior, on my first trip to San Francisco.
I liked this crab topiary.
We walked down to Pier 33, and took the 1:45pm ferry to Alcatraz. This time I was able to watch the Discovery Channel video about the island, which was interesting. Less emphasis was placed on the Native Americans this time for some reason, and part of the audio tour was also different.
In the late 60s, Native Americans took over Alcatraz Island in a protestview of the city from the islandthe morguetypical cellrecreation relics

After we took the ferry back to the mainland, we headed for home. Sadly, we were about 5 feet too short to make the bullet train (the guy literally closed the door of the gate when we were less than ten feet away), so we had to wait half an hour to catch the regular train. In Mountain View, we met up with Jonathan and ate at Pasta? Trattoria, where our server was truly Italian! The bread was good and crusty, but I wasn't too impressed with the Macaroni ai Fromaggi, which was macaroni and cheese with ham. It wasn't really "baked" like the description stated, and the hint of nutmeg in the sauce was strange and uncalled for. Jonathan tried the Gnocci Tartufati, which he liked but I didn't care for due to the truffles in the cream sauce. His dad liked his Fusili con Salsiccia (corkscrew pasta with sausage), and his mom had a spicy penne dish with tomato sauce.

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