How hot was it, you ask? Look at this manly pancake breakfast and then swallow your jealousy:
Yep, San Francisco, home to crazy vertical hills and those wonderfully quaint townhouses from Full House.
Those hills sure gave our calves some intense exercise, but it also amounted to many beautiful views.
Our friendly neighborhood was Mission, which boasted some of the sunniest weather in San Fran and was a cool hub of funky shops, tasty-looking eateries and colorful graffiti. Lots of colorful folk too, as we were just in time to witness a football victory and subsequent riot two blocks from our place (don't worry, it was a controlled fire...), as well as happy Halloweeners. While we didn't really partake in either beyond the role of spectator, we sure did a lot of things, namely sightseeing, walking, and eating.
Typically our preferred method of sightseeing isn't visiting tourist traps and loading up on souvenirs. On our second day we went to the beach, checked out the old bath ruins and discovered a creepy Thai restaurant.
We do have to admit to doing a few touristy things though, like going to the fisherman's wharf and Alcatraz. But who can say no to floppy aggressive sea lions and Al Capone (which are pretty much the same thing)?
Actually, I'm glad I went to Alcatraz, otherwise I wouldn't have realized that Shawshank Redemption is loosely based on the cool prison escape attempts that happened on this island.
Interesting prison escape #1: Prisoner Bernard Coy had starved himself prior to his escape in 1946 so he could fit through a weak section of bars on the upper gun gallery. He succeeded in overwhelming the guards and freeing other prisoners. The plan went awry when the lock to the cell house got jammed and the escapees got desperate, shooting hostages. The alarm was raised, a shootout occurred and the Marines were called in and dropped grenades from the outside. The two day seige ended when armed guards rushed the cell house and found the escapee's bodies. Two prisoners were executed.
Interesting prison escape #2: A group of prisoners in 1962 fashioned dummy heads out of soap, hair and toilet paper and placed them in their beds for nighttime inspection. They crawled through cell vents that they had dug out with a spoon for over a year and climbed up the ventilation shaft to the roof. After climbing down and scaling the fence they launched into the water on a raft made of raincoats and cement. They were never seen again, and it is speculated that they drowned.
To top it all off, we biked over the most famous feature of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge. What we didn't know before our trip was how foggy it got by the afternoon.
Hmmm? Oh don't mind him, he's just a tad hungover from birthday beers...