We got to San Francisco area last night, and spent the night camped out in a Walmart carpark (a little different to the 5 star hotels my mother is used to!!!!). Today we drove into the city. Went over to Sausalito for breakfast and then Mum, Chris & I went over on the ferry to Alcatraz. Such a cool place (actually my third visit! - and would have been Dad's 5th or 6th hence he opted out and rode the cable cars all morning!) Did the audio tour, lasting about 45 mins round the cell block - narrated by old residents - be it prison wardens or inmates. Went to a ranger talk on the 'famous' inmates - Al Capone, Robert Stroud 'the birdman' and others, and finally watech a discovery video about the island. Time flew by - we spent about 3 hours in all and such great views of the city, the bay and the Golden Gate bridge from the ferry.
Dad is pretty familiar with the city so it was great have a knowledgable driver. Went up to Coit Tower where we got some great views of the city from 'up high', drove down Lombard Street (the wiggliest street!), went to the cable car museum and engine house, and generally cruised around a bit! Chris and I had been recommended a great curry house by a Pakistani guy who worked in a gas station up the coast, and we then found the listing in our Rough Guide so we headed there. In 22 months we definately haven't had as good a chicken tikka masala as this! (well apart from our 3 weeks back in the UK earlier this year!!). Great dive called Shalimar - by the looks of it you would SO walk past! But isn't that the way with great authentic food!? The guys in there barely understood what we were ordering - that's how Indian they were!, and the food was great.
For sunset we drove out to Lincoln Park where we walked along the cliff path with a great view back east into the bay and the bridge lit up 'golden' by the setting sun, then when that light faded there were great sunset colours with just the right amount of clouds in the sky to make it really pretty.