San Francisco – Theme Parks, Trams, and a bag of chips..

13 Aug

It’s been an interesting time in San Francisco… in one sense, I haven’t done much, but in another sense, lots has happened.

I’ve enjoyed a lot of people watching – and on occasion been quite dismayed at the judgements I have made about people.  I’ve seen a lot of homelessness: and people who are simply down on their luck – a lot of people who are quite angry – a lot of wealth, and a lot of poverty, all in a few blocks…..

San Francisco is where old trams come to retire…. from all over the USA, it seems.  No two are different, and in a 20 minute period I managed to find these:

I also managed to find these in the coffee shop

Yep, extra thick and crunchy seems to sum me up…

The hostel here is huge – 6 floors, quite impersonal… and very pink (must have been on sale that day).  I think I managed to break the dryer this morning.  This shot is actually the inside of the building.  My room mate narrowly avoided being thrown over the balcony after coming in and turning the main light on at 1am this morning, rousing me from a well earned slumber…

A couple of days back I took a trip to Great America theme park – those who know me well will know that I have a fondness for thrill rides (my boys and I love them), and so I decided to take the day to go and have a little bit of fun (in fact, the whole question of ‘fun’ caused a whole new thread of thought for me – take a look at www.exploretheadventure.com if you’re interested!). It’s not as much fun on your own though…

One of the great things about Great America was that it was really quiet.  My last trip to Alton Towers in the UK had queues of up to an hour for most of the good rides.  Here, queuing for more than five minutes was rare…. And so I indulged myself by going for front row seats on all the rides.

I had a bit of a soft spot for Grizzly – as a wooden coaster it’s rickety and rattles, producing a feeling of being closer to the ride (and, I have to say, it feeling as if it’s about to fall apart at any moment).  Best in the park for me was Flight Deck, though – a fairly standard steel construction with loops and twists… but the proximity to the lake and the sheer speed of the thing made it far more fun than it would have been.  I think I rode that one five times.

Great America is only about 12 miles outside San Francisco – but it took a train ride, bus ride and tram ride to get there (not to mention quite a long walk!)  And somewhere in that trip my glasses and I became separated, bringing the total losses for the trip to

  • glasses case (one)
  • Buff bandannas (two)
  • folding hat (one)

I may be going to theme parks too often – but I am starting to recognise the rides.  Alton Towers has RipSaw to GA’s Firefall (less water, more volcanoes) – Thorpe Park has Tidal Wave, where GA has White Water Falls (much less water!) – but the up and over Pirate Ship/Endeavour was good fun…although someone will have to tell me the point of ‘Survivor – The Ride’.

Tomorrow I leave San Francisco for a tour of the Canyons and Coast – so I might be quiet for a couple of weeks.  Keep you updated if I get chance!

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