Back to Canada. Canada?
Hahahaha, you thought this was only about Alaska. Yes, dear readers, the last stop on our cruise was in Canada. Victoria to be exact. Our time in Victoria was again pretty short, just half a day, so up early we went and out onto the doc. We had a tour lined up through Grey Line tours for later in the morning, and so we thought we would take the shuttle bus into town and just hang out, dudes. On our way to the suttle bus, we were waylaid by a PediCab tour guide.
And, boy, were we ever glad to be waylaid. Our peddler, Ian- he of the handsome red-hair, he of the Lance Armstrong build, he who I wouldn't mind dating if he lived less than half a continent away - customized a tour for us and drove us through the Victorian sections of town, the downtown area, and into the secret alleys of Chinatown. In the space on 90 minutes, we learned more about Victoria than we had in just about any other place we visited.
After we had put poor Ian through a workout, we got back to the doc in time for a potty break and a little gift shopping. Then we ran to our double-decker tour. Which was terrible. It was nothing more than an info-mercial. See here the million dollar condos? They too can be yours!
We were so bored. We would rather have had our money back so we could spend another hour with Ian the Yummy. So, when our tour was done, we went back to our rooms an waited to cast off for San Francisco.
Soon, we were back in the City by the Bay. We were able to check into our hotel early and then we headed off to the Asian Art Museum, which was just down the street. Past all the homeless sleeping in the park. San Fran has a serious homeless problem. It was very sad.
We enjoyed the Museum greatly, until we got to the gift shop, where our helper was terribly rude, then made an error with our Traveler's Check and then damaged something Mom had purchased, although we didn't know it at the time. Then we went back to the hotel and napped for a bit and prepared for our evening dinner at the Fog City Diner.
My god. What food! Mom had a calamari appetizer and cioppino - a kinda Italian seafood stew. I had a beet, heirloom tomato, and nectarine salad with a sweet lime vinagrette and an appetizer size order gouda mac and cheese with black forest ham and peas. I cannot describe how good this was, and I normally hate mac n cheese. I can still feel it in my mouth. In the words of Homer Simpson, *drool*
The next morning we got up and went to the post office where we waited for 30 minutes for it to open. We had to mail back a bunch of our crap so we didn't have to pay the over-weight luggage fee of $50. We then went and had breakfast across the street from the hotel at Steve's Cafe. Again, excellent food. But we were running a little late. We took the trolley to Fisherman's Wharf and it took forever. As a result, we missed out very expensive tour.
As dear readers know my mother is partially disabled. She has rheumatoid arthritis. She does use a cane once in a while. But she doesn't like to make a big deal about it and 9 times out of 10 doesn't need any special treatment. Well, the tour guide made a huge deal out of it. He had promised the handicapped seats to two skinny little blondies and spent most of the tour apologizing to them that he had to kick them out of those seats 'cause he didn;t know a special needs person was getting on. Get over it. Jerk.
Either way, the tour was about 4 hours long and we did get to see highlights of the entire city - Golden Gate bridge, Height-Ashbury, Chinatown - a little bit of everything. I wish we could have spent a lot of time exploring the city, but hey! We did what we could with the time we had.
Then we went back to Fisherman's Wharf and waited for our evening tour to Alcatraz. We were starving, so Mom got a hot dog at a nearby stand. That's when her nemesis struck - an evil seagull bomber from hell! It dived her, knocked the hot dog from her hand, and gulped it whole. The entire dock was in shock! Insanity.
Onto the boat and off to Alcatraz. Scary place. Very oppressive. And filled with great sadness. We wanted to get off asap, but there were no ferries until 8:30.
In the morning, we got up early and headed to the airport. And that was the end of our Alaskan adventure! Where we will go next? Stay tuned!!!