Monday, December 14, 2015

Chinatown, Trolley Rides and Chocolate

The folks visited San Francisco again on Saturday.  This was their third visit. The first time they drove the entire way. The second time, they took a ferry and the third time, they took the BART train.  The BART station is just a few miles from where we are staying, so it was the most convenient.  The cost was $11.50 a person.  The train had a stop right at a trolley stop, so that was convenient.  The cost to ride the trolley was $17.50 a person.  That is for an one day pass which allows you to get on and off as much as you want.  That sounds pretty good, except there were long lines to get on the trolley.  It was at least a half hour wait two times that the folks rode.  They were able to get on once almost instantly, but they had to stand the entire ride because it was so crowded.

This is the end of the line, so workers have to turn the trolley around.

Mom says that riding the trolley was very uncomfortable.  They had seats for two of their rides, but there are bars that people hang onto if they are standing and those bars hit Mom's legs.  When the trolley jerked, her legs hit the bars.  She couldn't really turn to see out the windows, so she doesn't have any pictures of the hills. Cars and trolleys share the same streets and there was a lot of traffic. The folks noticed that it took a lot of effort for the driver to stop the trolley on the hills. He kept ringing the bell to tell people to get out of his way.  It's not like the trolley can go off the tracks to avoid things.

Inside a trolley before it filled up.
The folks rode the trolley to Chinatown.  Mom was really not interested in seeing Chinatown, but Dad said they should.  Mom didn't like it at all.  It was extremely crowded.  It was not full of tourists, in fact, Mom said there were just a few. The people were there to do their shopping and the folks were in their way. Mom was pushed and shoved.  Dad was oblivious to it all.  He thought it was fun.  He said it was interesting to see people with food that was still alive.  Yes, some of the fish was still alive and flapped in the shoppers' bags.

The most interesting thing that Mom saw was a funeral procession.  She did not know anything about Chinese traditions when it comes to funerals, but she learned they are quite different from hers.  At first, she thought it was a parade because there was a brass band. She then noticed the hearse. Paper or something like it was thrown from the sunroof of the hearse.  Behind the hearse, there was a truck where the person's portrait was displayed and two sons (she assumes) sat behind the portrait.   Mom didn't take any photos because she thought that would be disrespectful. After she got home she started researching the custom and it is definitely different than ours.  She said it is very interesting.

They then caught the trolley. They had to stand the entire ride which is not easy going up and down the hills.  They stopped at Ghirardelli Square.  There are at least three chocolate stores there.  They ate lunch at a pub and then they did some chocolate shopping.

Inside the Ghirardelli store.

There were several shops in the store.  Mom liked the dog store because they had greyhound items. No, she did not buy me anything.

Mom likes the apron that says "My dog thinks I am a real chef"  Isn't she?  BOL!

This bird had fun in a puddle.

People boarding a trolley.

Ship in the bay.

Golden Gate Bridge

They had planned on checking out Lombard Street because it is one of America's crookedest streets, but they ran out of time since it took over a half hour to board the trolley.  They decided to just ride the trolley back to the train station and head home.  The trolley ride took a long time due to all the traffic.  Saturday was the Santa Claus Crawl which is where people dress up as Santa and visit all the bars.  There were hundreds of people dressed as Santa.  Unfortunately, Mom didn't get pictures that really showed large groups of them.

This is the plaza where the Santa people gathered, but you can't really see them in this photo.

The only picture of a hill that Mom was able to take. 

Mom said she enjoyed the day except for Chinatown.  We have enjoyed our stay here.  Mom said her favorite things were Alcatraz and the Winchester Mystery House.  I have enjoyed all the treats that the office ladies give me. 

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