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Monday, April 4, 2011

Goodbye Hotel California...

Last Friday was our last full day in San Francisco. First on the agenda was a trip to a store called Britex which is a fabrics and sewing and craft notions shop and the stock covers 4 floors! DH allocated 20 mins for me to check it out. The stores don’t open until 10 so we had a little wait. It was then that I noticed that next door was another of those ‘All Saints’ Clothing stores with all the old sewing machines in the window. But any way back to Britex...20 minutes to do a 4 floor fabric store???? After 25 minutes and 1 floor I went outside and ‘negotiated’ some more time. I didn’t actually buy too much but I certainly had a good look around!

There were 3 very large windows on the second floor filled with vintage sewing machines

A closer view of one of the windows

The Britex store and to the right of it, the 'All Saints Clothing Store'
On Friday we also went in search of a Post office. We had been warned by friends at home that PO s are not as easy to find as in Australia. We had post boxes in our street but I wanted to send a parcel so it had to be a PO. So I looked up Post Offices near Geary St on the net and found that there was one in the next street...funny we’d never seen it! Then I noticed some comments on the site and someone had written that the basement of Macys was a strange place for a PO! So off we went and got some big USPS envelopes and went up to the counter to pay for them , just like you have to do at home...Wrong! They are free, you pay just for postage after you fill them. So back we went to our hotel, filled and addressed the envelope and then went back to the PO. Apparently I put the addressee on the wrong side of the envelope! Hopefully, Pat will get the parcel in Portland sometime! Lol

The sign indicating that to the right and  then a turn to the left and there is a US Post Office.
But the day’s activities weren’t over. DH and I went to a theatre production in a tiny theatre not far from our hotel. The play was ‘Party of Two’ a two hander musical and the 2 performers did a great job. When we got back to our hotel, we packed up ready for our flight to New York the next day. So after breakfast next morning we were able to walk downtown and get on another cable car route as the maintenance was complete and more than the one route was working. On the way back we stopped at the cable car museum and what a delight it was! As well as the obvious historical display, the museum is in the depot where the cable cars are kept and it is also where the driving mechanism for the system is located. You can see the cables working and they move at 9.5 miles per hour and each cable car grips into that system...guess who didn’t take their cameras on this little outing? Both of us! However I found this video on YouTube which shows the machinery that runs the system.
An interesting display in the museum showed how close SF came in the late 40s, early 50s, to losing the cable car network. Many routes did close but between 1947 and 1954 some people worked very hard to keep the cable cars running. By now of course they are a symbol of the city!

In the lobby of the Hotel California is this mural of song lyrics which all mention San Francisco

Another view of the hotel lobby
By midday we were heading for the airport with all of our luggage. We shared the shuttle bus with some young people from Germany and Holland. These young people had all travelled in Australia. At the airport the checking in process wasn’t as onerous as we’d expected and neither of us had to endure the full body scan...they seemed to select young people for that???? We did get one ‘surprise’ though...luggage trolleys cost $5 to use and you don’t get any of that back when you click them back into the return off surely! But we did get some nice surprises too! We thought that we had to pay for every bit of checked in luggage and were gritting our teeth...but no! First bag each is free! Next nice surprise was that we’d been told that it would cost about $90 in cab fares to get to our hotel...wrong again! It is a set rate of $51 from the airport to downtown NY. It was after midnight when we got to our had been a long day!

DH helping put our luggage in the NY cab

Our room in New York


Claud said...

Maria - Welcome to the east coast! Very different from where you been so far but beautiful in it's own way. Enjoy NY!

Maria said...

It certainly is Claud and thank you for that lovely welcome! The architecture here is amazing and especially so with those old buildings; they are so beautiful!