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Trip Report 13th April -19th

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posts: 286
reviews: 42
Trip Report 13th April -19th

I travelled with one of my daughters aged 23.

We went from Australia to San Francisco then onto Las Vegas.

We love to shop in America as the prices are less than 1/2 the price in Australia, so some of this report is our shopping.

posts: 286
reviews: 42
1. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

Day 1

Left Australia Saturday night arrived San Francisco Saturday morning.

We bought a 7 day cablecar,buses, f-line pass at the airport, then headed to the train station to catch the Bart.

After working out how to buy a Bart ticket we headed to the platform where a train was waiting.

On the train we met 3 young guys in their 20's, who at first look you would not go near, but they moved over to give us seats and started chatting. They helped us about where to get off and told us about theTenderloin area.

One guy was black and looked tough, and they were saying that he had gone into the Tenderloin area the day before and he was scared and got out as fast as he could, so dont go into that area.

We arrived at Powell stop Union square, got off and headed to the information centre at the station,then walked to our Hotel the Chancellor in Powell street.

(more to come)

posts: 286
reviews: 42
2. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

Day 1 cont-

We checked into the Chancellor. It is a lovely hotel well situated, I think it was the best spot you could pick.

We would come out the door and get a cable car across the street to take us down to Fishermans Wharf area or catch one in front when real lazy to the end of the line at Market street to catch other buses or go to Westfield shopping.

The room had 2 single beds and it had enough room for everything. We put our bags in the walkin closet so it left the room free for us. The bathroom was right next to the front door but was still a good size to shower and dress in.

The room had a lovely feel to it even better than the huge room we had in Vegas the next week, it was homely and thats how the entrance to the hotel felt.

There was a coffee machine that you could get coffee from all day, and water and fresh baked cookies to enjoy.

After we put the bags in the room we headed out to start shopping.

It would be the first time using their buses, and our Muni passpot for transport. We were heading to Harrison st and Mission sts for TJMaxx and Nordstrom Rack. We headed to the furthest away from Union Square so if it got dark we would be close to the safe areas.

We shopped at the 2 stores and also found a Trader Joes while out, and bought some chocolate covered coffee beans to take home and a snack. This was our first experience in a Trader Joe and really loved them.

To all that intend to shop in San Francisco bring along a few fold up bags or you will be paying for bags in every shop you go into. We purchased a paper one in Trader Joes and kept using it and a small bag that folds up really small that we had bought over with us. Really missed having the bags you usally get when shopping to pack our purchases into for the suitcase.

The buses were really frequent and easy to use.

That night we went to Cheescake Factory to eat and had to wait an hour so looked at the Macys store that it is in while waiting.

After eating we went to Ross Dress for Less for more bargains, then called it a night.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 2,422
3. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

So far, I really like your trip report! Thanks.

posts: 286
reviews: 42
4. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

Day 2

We caught a cable car down to Fishermans Wharf.

We spent most of the day down there looking at the souvenier shops and walking along the piers.

We started at Pier 431/2 and walked all the way to the end to pier 1 the Ferry building and markets.

I thought from reading different posts that the sea lions were down the end near the ferry buiding only to find out we had passed the pier with them pier 39 in the first 20 minutes of walking.

Along we way to the end we passed a chocolate factory I think it was near pier 15 and went in and booked a tour for the afternoon.

When we reached the end we were tired of walking as it is a long way so caught a Fline car back along the street to pier 39 to have a look at the sea lions and shops and have a icecream at Ben and Jerrys.

We caught another F line back to the chocolate factory to do the tour. The tour is free and you get samples at the end as they explain to you about different sorts of chocolate and their taste.

I learnt on the tour that the chocolate I normally eat is not really chocolate but more a chocolate confection full of sugar. We were able to taste what real chocolate should taste like and the sound it should make when snapped.

The tour was very informative, but you do need to book we were lucky when we passed in the morning to be put on the reserve list and able to get in when we returned.

After the tour we headed to Ghirardelli square and looked at the shops on the way.

We arrived at the cable car Powell Hyde turn around and joined the line to get back to Union Square, it took us over an hour to get on to a cable car ( dont know if it was because it was a Sunday) and in hindsight would have walked to the start of the Powell Mason line and got one there instead. We found out from experience that there was never a line up at the Powell Mason cable car so we never used the Powell Hyde line to get back to Union Square after the first day, we would always walk across to the Powell Mason line and jump straight on the next cable car.

By the time we got back to Union square it was late, we went and shopped at Loehmanns just as they were closing.

We put all the shopping back at the hotel and went out to eat only to find out that the food places at Westfield close early on Sundays so we went to Cheesecake Factory again, we could eat straight away if we ate outside or wait an hour for inside. We went outside and it was cold as there was a breeze blowing so we ate fast and left.

Edited: 1:01 am, May 10, 2013
posts: 286
reviews: 42
5. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

Day 3 Monday-

Today we caught a Powell Hyde cable car across the street fronm the hotel and haeded to the crookedest street/ lombard. The cable car drops you off at the top of the street, so you can head down it.

We took lots of pictues as we walked down the street, as it was early in the morning it was nice and empty of people and cars.

We then walked down the Piers to buy tickets for the Blue and Gold ferries tour The bay cruise adventure. It cost us about $21 each as we used a coupon that we found on a map or free brochure that we had picked up.

This tour takes you along the coast line and under the Golden Gate bridge then back under and around Alcatraz, it is very informative and had very few people on it as it was the first for the day. We didn't want to do a tour of Alcatraz as that didn't interest us in seeing inside so this tour was a really good alternative as it is very full of information as you go sail around the outside.

They told us the day before that if you do a later tour it will have more people on it but you wont get fog on the bridge so will be able to see it better.

The whole week we were in San Francisco there was no fog covering the Bridge so we have not one photo with fog. People complain of not seeing the Bridge without fog we were the opposite we wanted at least one day with fog but it didn't happen.

In the afternoon we went to Target, DSW (what a big shoe shop that is) and Walgreens and CVS to get makeup for people at home. The same makeup at home is at least twice the price.

It was my first time in a CVS it was good the more I spent the more money I received back on coupons to use next time, it felt like winning the lottery. We were already saving with the cheap prices and then they had deals that gave us dollars to use next time. One time we received $24 to use next time.

That night we ate at Panda in Westfield.

posts: 286
reviews: 42
6. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

Still to post Cliff House, Painted ladies and Coit tower experiences. Will post in the next few days

Down Under
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 6,543
reviews: 17
7. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

"it felt like winning the lottery."______love it !

Thanks so far.

Looking forward to the rest.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Borrego Springs, San Francisco, Solana Beach
posts: 32,584
reviews: 26
8. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

Thanks for the great report and I look forward to reading more.

BTW, stores will provide bags for $.10. Even large shopping bags if you bought a lot of stuff. It's a city ordinance to cut back on trash (I volunteer at the Symphony Store and it's amazing how much they've saved on bags since it went into effect).

San Francisco Bay
posts: 2,958
reviews: 13
9. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

I thought it was interesting to note that you do not have plastic bag ordinances in Australia. Here, it's on a city by city basis. It's great not to have these bags blowing in the wind, getting caught in fences and trashing up the environment. London, England, makes you pay for bags, too. Most shoppers have the small fold up bags like you brought.

I wonder what accounts for the prices you pay for clothes and cosmetics in Australia?

Keep up your reports, they are great.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 28,337
reviews: 136
10. Re: Trip Report 13th April -19th

Thanks for your TR The Tcho chocolate factory is the one you went to. Sorry not sure where you read about the sea lions being near the Ferry building.

Glad you ate at Cliff house besides The cheesecake factory and Panda Express I am sure CVS loves you for all your purchases