Touring, Shopping, and the first show.

After a big day yesterday, today started at a much slower pace.

I’ve set up the IT Department in the hotel room so I’m all good to go, blog-wise 🙂

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We had breakfast in the hotel, around 10:00, (it was pretty good value!) and decided to follow our tradition for pretty much every city we visit – a hop-on, hop-off bus tour.

The Big Bus  was very opulent but luckily we were able to score two seats on the upper (open) deck, so we had a good view – and a good amount of sun (i.e. too much!).  It was interesting to learn a bit about the history of San Francisco, and little facts such as – if you’re on flat land, it’s reclaimed landfill.  After the great earthquake of 1906, no new wooden buildings were allowed to built – so if you see a wooden building count yourself lucky as it’s one of the few areas oft owned that survived the fires after the earthquake.  The one surprising thing I learned – you can’t get buried in San Francisco.  Nope, you have get buried way out of town, no burials permitted in San Francisco.  

So here’s a bunch of photos from the streets of San Francisco…

One thing I’ve noticed on the roads (apart from the fact that everybody drives on the wrong side of the road 🙂 ) is the amount of Teslas around.  Back home they’re still as rare as hen’s teeth but here they just seem to be everywhere.  I guess it’s all those technology companies and the money they bring in.

We took things at a bit of a slower pace today – I think the whole loop around on the bus took around three hours, so that didn’t require a lot of effort.  After that we grabbed a hotdog from a street vendor for lunch, and went over to Ross For Less, an exclusive San Francisco shopping boutique. Lol, just kidding, it’s just a massive clothing discount store, but got some good bargains including a pair of Skechers sneakers for $30.  Bargain!!

We then went back to the hotel room to get ready for the first show of the trip – Beach Blanket Babylon, apparently a San Francisco institution.   So much so, that they renamed the street the the theatre is on “Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevarde”

We can tick off yet another mode of transportation – trolley bus. They’re all over the place, looking kinda like a bizarre bus/locust hybrid with the big legs sprouting from the back to hold the power lines above. Still, they’re faster, smoother, quieter and a whole bunch less smelly than your standard diesel bus, so it’s a great idea as far as I’m concerned.

Dinner was at “Michaelangelo” a great Italian restaurant – solid, traditional, delicious. And bottomless cups of iced tea – bonus! At the end of the meal, along with the bill, we were given a plate of gummi bears and a plate of ridiculously tasty almond biscuits – a lovely way to finish dinner. A good tip was assured.

Ah, the whole tipping thing. Just accept that everything will cost at least 20% more, and deal with it. Simple, really! Hopefully we’re doing our bit to shake the reputation that Australians are lousy tippers.

Next stop, Beach Blanket Babylon.  We didn’t know much about what to expect with this one, other than apparently  its one f the San Francisco “must do” things when you’re visiting. (though who knows, maybe it was their website that said that …).  The show has been running since 1974, and moved to its current location, the very lovely Club Fugazi, in 1975.  All red velvet curtains and distinct ‘old theatre smell’, it was kind reminiscent of the theatre from the Muppet Show.  Only small, I think it would be lucky to hold around 300 people at the very most. But that ensures a good view of the stage from pretty much everywhere. The show itself was an absolute riot. pretty much zero storyline, but just song-and-dance number after song-and-dance number, costume change after costume change, the pace did not let up the whole way through.  And it was stupidly funny – they must see updating the show very frequently – there was Melania saying “I don’t care .. do you?” so the writers must really be on the call.  A great many American political figures were skewered, probably none more so that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who in an instant costume change transformed straight into Kim Jong-Un.  Glad to see Harvey Weinstein getting ripped into as well, and the Bill Cosby jokes were “are they going to go there? OK, so they totally went there”…  terribly funny, giving the ridicule that, well, he deserves.   The whole show was ridiculously funny, all of the performers had incredibly strong voices, and the costumes – particularly the hats, for the show is famous for big hats, were just stunning.  Except maybe the french poodles, eh, whatever, it was all good.  A thoroughly engaging way to spend a good hour and half.  Perhaps it’s not for everyone –   you could quickly read the political leanings of the room – for some reason the people next to us didn’t find the Sarah Palin or the ‘von Trump Family’ jokes amusing.  Not even sure why they came to the show to be honest, they should’ve known better.

After the show it was a simple 1.3km walk back to hotel.  Easy perhaps – but in this city, not so much.  With hills that go up hill for there city blocks at a time, it took a little while, but we made it.  No wonder the cable car was a necessity in the city’s younger days.  Speaking of which, even the the streets are dead quiet, the cable isn’t – you can hear it rumbling and buzzing away just beneath your feet, especially around corners where it’s getting nudged around by a whole bunch of pulleys and wheels and things to keep it where it needs to be.  Even late at night the cable cars were still full of tourists – glad we got our cable car rides out of the way last time back in 2013 🙂

We stopped in at Walgreens near the hotel to once again marvel at the fact that a tub of Ben & Jerry’s is only $6 – and they sell it by the slice now, which is good for people like me who have no concept of portion control when it comes to ice cream 😀

And so, another great day was had by all. Looking forward to whatever tomorrow brings.

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