Alcatraz and a big bridge

It’s an early start today as we agreed to take our bags to April and Tim’s before 0830; Tim will be gone and April wants to leave at 0900 as she is volunteering till 1430 at what we would call a soup kitchen we guess. We learn later that she has literally served over 2,500 homeless this morning!!! Told you they had a full on weekend.

Anyway we make it there in plenty of time. They live in the Castro district of San Francisco, right by where the film “Milk” was made and the memorial to Harvey Milk is. Great movie – Bernice saw it in Zurich when out there on exchange. April is really welcoming and so is Sasha (their cat), we have a cup of tea. We find it highly amusing that all Americans without exception offer us tea, even though they might not drink it themselves, thinking we don’t like coffee. April is a tea lover though so we’re in safe hands. When she’s ready to leave she gives us a key and we all set off together. Our plan is to do some sites, get a view of the Golden Gate bridge though we know it’s unlikely given the sea mist hanging over the town and likely to be hiding it!!

We start in a coffee shop as we want to contact Hanako and see if she’s around, she’s CSing in the same street it turns out!!! A coffee shop with a difference at that! It’s called: Castro Country Club and open to the public, but essentially a place for reforming drug and alcohol abusers, it holds group meetings and one-to-one counselling sessions. Great idea. Run by volunteers and great coffee.

Hanako arrives about an hour later and it’s good to see her and get chatting. We walk down through the mission area and make plans to meet up again later. Then we take a bus down to Fishermans Wharf. As anticipated, the bridge is half hidden in a veil of mist though Alcatraz is pretty clear. There’s lots of boats on the water and although not a clear day it is a bit warmer than the other day we were in town. Photos taken and views absorbed, we make our way on foot up Columbus and towards Bar Vesuvio, famous for being the hangout of Jack Kerouac and chums. We stop for lunch first in a great wee find, a place called Giordino Bros Cafe, where we have a sarnie complete with chips (yes chips) and coleslaw inside the sarnie! Yummy!!!

After our cultural beer in Vesuvio we walk on through Chinatown and down to Market St where we take the muni back up to Castro to meet April and Hanako at 4pm. Only to find the meeting place doesn’t open till 5pm 🙁

April is running late, and with no sign of Hanako or Wi-Fi to contact her we go for a refreshment some place else, but thee´s still no Wi-Fi though. Soz Hanako!!

When we do get internet again, we find out about all the riots in London. What is going on? It looks and sounds terrible. We feel for you guys back home in the middle of it. Chin up and stay safe. Hopefully the madness will subside soon.

April plans to cook a Thai curry tonight for Kelly (their flatmate we’ve yet to meet) and her friend Natalie and invites us to join in. We agree provided we can contribute something. Wine it is. We are even invited to a leaving party afterwards. Mutual friends of all three have just got married and they’re about to move to Vancouver. We have a fun ride on the bus to their flat, quite late as it turns out as we’ve been chatting and having fun, not realising how late it’s got. But it’s ok, everyone is pleased they could make it and don’t bat an eyelid that they brought 2 randoms (us) with them. We even get a contact for a CS host in Portland should we need it 🙂

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