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California - June 2022 - Day 2

The morning after the night before.

I was awake today by 6am and got up to ice my knee. I also had another go at starting the insurance claim for the stolen goods. I decided to claim through my Amex card but the process was challenging. Trying to lodge it online proved impossible as they did not have an online ‘journey’ that covered having a rental car being broken into. It kept trying to insist I fill in the 3rd parties’ details as if I had spoken to the scum who caused it.

So, I resorted to calling them. This didn’t really work either as I spoke to 4 different departments before being passed to an Indian Call Centre where the girl insisted on referring to me as Mr Karl. I’m still not confident the claim is properly set up but I now know need what documents I need to send and that I must pay for replacement items using my Amex card.

With the food we bought at the ill-fated shopping trip we had breakfast in the apartment before setting off out for the day. Just before we left, we planned our route for the day and decided where to leave the car. We settled on a central car park and booked it through Spothero in advance as it was much cheaper to do so (I may have mentioned a few times how much I hate paying car park fees). The booking system was very good and I was emailed a QR code which if scanned would let us in and out of the multi-story car park.

The plan was to ride the famous cable cars to start with. So, after parking we walked to Powell Street which is at the end of the lines and where they turn the cable car by hand on a turntable. There was already a large queue which didn’t appear to be moving very quickly. My knee was already hurting and so I left Karen & Neil in the queue whilst I found somewhere to sit (a bus stop). After 10 minutes I checked how far the queue had moved and the answer was not far. Neil suggested I walk back to a Walgreens we had passed to buy some sweets to help my still annoying him cough, as I had forgotten Ellie’s advice to purchase some at home. I wandered off to do and also added in a toilet break. When I got back, Karen and Neil were frantic as they were now at the front of the queue with another cable car rapidly approaching. They were not happy with me despite we following their suggestion.

We made it onto the approaching cable car. We had an outside seat which made Neil happy again. It was a lovely way to see the centre of the city. The weather was now lovely as we made our made up and down the hills of San Francisco. I could help but comment that it was a really stupid place to build a city on 50 hills like these, and even more so to have such unnecessary steep hills. I suppose it must build up your calf muscles if you live here though.

Our pleasant journey took us through Union Square and Nob Hill. We rode until the end of the line which was on the edge of Fisherman’s Wharf. We decided not to explore that area as doing so was on our plan for tomorrow. Instead, we got Karen a drink in Starbucks before getting back on the cable car. We rode until we got to California Avenue where we changed lines and rode down to the Ferry Building. It was another pleasant journey. These cable cars are hard work for the drivers as it involves an awful lot of effort pulling on the break and then jumping off to do things with the cable underneath. We all bemoaned that Norwich had ripped up all of its Tram network and what a tourist attraction as well as being useful that they would be now.

We wandered over to the impressive original Ferry building which is now an eclectic food hall. We found a table outside in the sunshine overlooking the Bay Bridge and all wandered off separately to choose our lunch. Neil had a Cuban Sandwich, Karen had a pastry whilst I went for a Ham and Cheese empanada, all of which we enjoyed.

After this we sat for a while in the sunshine. It was almost like being on holiday.

Then we headed back onto the cable car, changed again at California before heading back to the Powell Street stop where we had originally started. This is also main shopping district and so we headed in to try and replace some of the clothes that had been stolen. In particular I needed a sweatshirt for later on this evening when we would still be outside and the temperature would be dropping.

Karen and I bought replacements from Old Navy whilst Neil got another one from the Levi shop. Apparently, Levi’s started up here originally. I was less than convinced with this fact but it turned out to be true. My scepticism came from the fact that San Francisco seems to claim many firsts that I doubt. Yesterday we saw a statue to a local man who it said invented television. Hmm – I thought it was Logie Baird. Then another statue for someone described as the Father of the Cinema – again no one I had heard of. Then Neil said that San Francisco also claimed to be where Irish Coffee was invented, which seemed totally ridiculous to me on so many levels. They will claim they invented the wheel and the jukebox next (actually one of these is true as well).

We had some time to kill before we headed to Oracle Park for the Baseball. We found a Peets Coffee House and sat outside for 30 minutes just people watching. Then we caught the Muni train to 2nd & Kings station which was right outside the stadium. When we showed our tickets, our accents fascinated the stewards who just waved us straight in bypassing all security checks. A bit strange really.

The stadium had dozens of food outlets of all types. Neil had his usual moan about how Carrow Road should have the same. We wandered around, or rather I hobbled around. Our seats were on the top level and we needed oxygen by the time we got to them. Karen kindly then went and got us some food, although she had to make 2 trips with only arm able to carry it. We both had Chicken Tenders with garlic fries (apparently, they are famous for them although I don’t think they claimed to have invented them). They were very acceptable.

From our seats we had a great view of the stadium and over the bay. This was just as well as the game itself was not very exciting. It ended up 6-2 to the Giants against the Royals. There were no home runs and several of the scores came from the bases being loaded from people given ‘walks’. Still, it was a nice way to spend the evening and although the crowd was spartan as the local basketball team were also playing in the NBA semi-finals at the same time just 1 block away. The atmosphere though was good. The updates from the NBA were put onto the screen at regular intervals and were eliciting great cheers as the Warriors were winning. Disappointingly we didn’t make it onto kisscam.

We left at the end of the 8th innings which the match all but over, so that I could hobble back to the Muni station before the rest of the crowd.

Our all-day passes were on our phones. The problem we had was that for some reason the app on Neil’s phone wouldn’t now display it. Again, our British accents meant Security just waved us through when we explained the problem. They were just more interested in where we were from.

It took about 25 minutes to get back to the car. Then we had another technology problem in that the car park pass we needed to scan on my phone was inaccessible due to my network provider considering the pass now to be ‘adult material’ and prevented me looking at it. We tried various things all of which failed. I couldn’t believe it that again we were being prevented from just go straight back to the apartment for a second night.

Eventually I resorted to rebooting my phone which seemed to clear the problem and the pass was now allowed to be accessed. All very strange. We hastily made our way to the exit and drove the 4 miles back.

Another good but at times stressful day. I sat and put ice on my knee before going to bed.

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