The Rock and Brooklyn

Our trip to The Rock turned out to be one of my favorite excursions of the trip.

We had managed to book ourselves on a dual tour of The Rock and Angel Island. So in the morning we headed out to The Rock. Upon arriving we were unable to dock thanks to a cheeky Sea Lion that had decided to stand guard on the gangway blocking the ship from docking. This seemed to stump all the park rangers who had no idea how they could shift the animal. After someone had found a large stick and administered some gentle prodding the animal was on its merry way.

After a short walk to the prison entrance we were handed our audio tour guide. This turned out to be the true highlight as the voice guides were the ex inmates and guards of the prison. We were able to experience all the different types of cell including the hole. Rather oddly the biggest cells were reserved for the worst criminals but rather sneakily placed in a wind trap.

The real life stories of the prisoners really hit home and portrayed the true horrors of prison life and the difficult acceptance of the outside world upon release. Some of the funnier parts of the tour included one of the ex inmates returning as a tourist so he could finally see inside the wardens office.

After our audio store and a quick snickers and dorito recharge it was time to board the hybrid ferry to Angel Island. Angel Island is truly picturesque and i would undoubtably return to spend a few days on the island camping. The island is an old military compound that protected the bay from any naval attacks, of which there was none.

A lot of the buildings lay as rubble but a few dotted around the island have been restored to former glory and are used as teaching aids for the local school children.

Back to the hotel and an early night for our early morning flight. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare but Delta managed to mishandle the entire ordeal and we only just made our flight, having to suffer some of the worst customer relations to date.

The flight was barely any better, no food on a 6 hour flight! thankfully I slept through the majority.

Arriving at JFK luggage retrieved time to grab a taxi. Slight problem all the taxi drivers serve Manhattan and had no idea where the Brooklyn mansion was. So with rough directions at hand we set off and true to form the taxi drivers simply ask directions of any driver who happens to be at a stop light.

Arrived at the mansion there was just one word WOW! The place is phenomenal, they even had a little food platter ready for us. Chicken wings, spinach and cheese, grapes, nuts and olives and oh least I forget the iced tea.

After our bite to eat we headed out into Bedstuy and stumbled upon Breadstuy where we had coffee and cake and wondered around the neighborhood. Managing to bump into our inn keeper at every turn.

Tomorrow Manhattan, so a few museums and giant cheesecake!

J Town

Last night when we stumbled upon the J Pop fest in J Town, it was all tied into the grand opening of New People. Due to us arriving late we were unable to have a nosey around the new store.

So this evening we decided to head down and check it out. We ended up walking through the ghetto part of town where I am sure its all about the 1st and 15th.

Arriving in J Town we headed down to New People. And a phenomenal store it is. It is billed as [checks website] an entertainment shopping centre. Downstairs is a small HD theatre where they will be airing the latest and greatest from japan. The following 2 floors are dedicated to the toys/fashion and anything to do with japanese pop culture. The clothing is a cosplay lovers dream!

On the top floor sits a gallery. This left me and Sian longing for a house big enough to even display some of the pop art on display. The work by Yoshitaka Amano of Final Fantasy fame was truly brilliant. If I had the money and space I would of definitely made a few purchases.

You can check out the store at

After J Town it was time to grab some food. This turned into the worst meal of the trip. With our favorite places closed for sunday we headed to the closest joint to the hotel. MISTAKE we actually saw him microwave our meals!

Tomorrow is Alcatraz time so hopefully we will be able to trap Sian in a cell

San Francisco Part II

So much seems to have happened in SF that I really should be updating the blog more often. However now the car has gone we are walking around so much we generally get back to the hotel and simple collapse.

We have been busy visiting many museums and checking out all the tourist attractions.

We started by visiting the academy on sciences down in golden gate park. This is the museum with the living roof. The academy itself was a bit of a let down. However the aquaria was fantastic. With my personal favorite being the Giant Bass which easily dwarfed me.

We spent a while walking around golden gate park and decided to come back at a later date to visit the Tutankhamun [Sian assure me that is the correct spelling].

After the park we heading into Haight which is a funky district of SF, I amaged to absorb the local flavor by eating Quesadillas at ChaCha’s. I did want to go for the jerked chicken but it was cooked in raisins!

The next day we went on an open bus tour of SF and drove across the golden gate bridge. This was without a doubt the coldest windiest event of my life! Could of easily lost my hat and sunglasses!

Yesterday also signaled our hotel change. Which went far smoother than we imagined, dragging the cases through SF only took us a few minutes. The trouble started when Sian turned on the TV, which quickly exploded and poured out smoke into the room. After some complaining at the front desk we got moved to a room with 2 single beds. Less than ideal. Then to make things worse Sian found cockroaches in the bathroom. So a little more complaining and we are now on the executive floor!

Today saw the actual visit to the Tutunkahmun [pffff close enough spelling] exhibition. I believe Sian perhaps enjoyed this more than I did as it was ll a little dark. However the pieces at the end of the exhibition were fantastic. There was a tiny little version of his burial tomb for the liver! Was about the size of a KAWS stormtrooper [maybe only squid will get that size reference]

So thats pretty much SF so far condensed. I am going to try and post a little more regular so I can remember more of the unique little things we did.

Like keep visiting a pet store so Sian could see the Puggs awake
Our many trips to the pizzaria around the corner
The crazy homeless people who like my kicks
The MTV J Pop festival
The cosplay kids
The dude breaking his face in niketown
The bus driver who was comin up round here
Buffalo stew at Mikes Joynt [as recommended by the bus driver]

maybe i should just post all these events as one liners and let everyone imagine how they actually went down

Twitter Updates for 2009-08-16

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Twitter Updates for 2009-08-14

  • @The1BigTuna you not taking the car?!?!?!?!?!? loving the punctuation there hehehe in reply to The1BigTuna #
  • really need to sort out starbucks addiction before the east coast! I was puking White choch mocha last night, then still had one this morn! #
  • @CorNEILiuZ give my best to your mum. hope she gets well soon in reply to CorNEILiuZ #
  • gotta love china town new luggage £14! t shirts are a pound!!! #

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San Francisco

San Francisco marks an important point in the holiday, time to give up the car. After 3470 miles it was time to return the little car that could.

Dropping off the car was incredibly simple so onto our first public transport experience of the holiday. We used the BART system to head downtown to our hotel. Arriving downtown we headed out of the station with the hope of relying on our GPS to find the hotel. The only problem, no signal.

So after asking for directions and arriving back at the hotel it was time to head out for food. After the usual debate [read:arguement] of where to eat we ended up at Pearls. Which has won the award for best burger in SF. I will definitely be heading back before we leave SF!

So today we decided to go on a short walk around Union Square this turned into a massive hike to pier 39. Although it did involve a great walk through china town and some amazing views of the city. Sian shot some great photos and we even managed to walk down the famous winding street [cant remember name]

We will be heading back down to pier 39 later in the break for the one event we have both been waiting for our tour of Alcatraz! Which is solidly booked for a week with surprise surprise the one option being available being the most expensive.

We are loving SF and really love the feeling of the union square district for shopping. Sian is managing to drag me into every single urban outfitters [read:fape fitters] we pass by. So today was no exception and she managed to buy a hat. So we aint eating for a day now!