Pre-WWDC: Escapée

After furiously uploading the previous post, and having a furious amount of sleep, I awoke nice and early and Paris not long afterwards. Showers, clothes, and a pile of chat happened, and we slowly assembled on the couches in the lobby.

Breakfast ensued with food from Starbucks in the lobby.
Breakfast ensued with food from Starbucks in the lobby.

Plans for the day were: Alcatraz, UP in 3D if we had time, and an iPhone party. We checked the session times for UP and found out that it wasn’t on anywhere useful, so we decided to mehffort on that for today and just head out. Thus we went to Chinatown, via another Starbucks. Much camera was used. Every second store sold the same toy swords in a basket out front, reminiscent of the markets in Melbourne. We managed to attract a local for a fair while as we proceeded up the street.

Gates to Chinatown
Gates to Chinatown

Some church
Some church in Chinatown
LOL O CUP - an example of fail ordering
LOL O CUP - an example of fail ordering
Nice day to air your dirty laundry
Nice day to air your dirty laundry
The Stinking Rose - what?
The Stinking Rose - what?

Of course, Chinatown is just next to Italy-town, so we wasted some more time doing touristy things there too. Like photograph the scenery. But just as I thought Chinatown was behind us, I found a torn-out page from a Sailor Moon manga book

Where Chinatown and Italy merged
Where Chinatown and Italy merged

It's an Italian Chophouse. Well I thought it was funny!
It's an Italian Chophouse. Well I thought it was funny!
Photo friends!
Photo friends!
Another church, quite picturesque with the trees
Another church, quite picturesque with the trees
Coit Liquors, LOL - I hope they don't try to use *all* of "Happy Hour"!
Coit Liquors, LOL - I hope they don't try to use all of "Happy Hour!"

Which brings us to Coit Hill. Tony was all rearing to go, and managed to stay ahead of us most of the way up to the tower-–but that didn’t get in the way of having more camera fun.

A street view, with the rest of the group steadily approaching
A street view, with the rest of the group steadily approaching

Stairway to the tower; the bricks have names in them.
Stairway to the tower; the bricks have names in them.
Tower and statue
Tower and statue
Scenery!
Scenery!
The statuesque Tony measures up
The statuesque Tony measures up

After walking up, we walked down again!

Cameras all around
Cameras all around

More classic San Fran
More classic San Fran
Stairs that go to a dead end. Andrew had apparently never seen a dead end so he went up to explore, and found that the stairs stopped and a wall started.
Stairs that go to a dead end. Andrew had apparently too much energy so he went up to explore, and found that the stairs stopped and a wall started.
Sign of the times - the Jeebus sticker is not part of the original sign however.
Sign of the times? The Jesus sticker is not part of the original sign.
The Photography of a Cactus
The Photography of a Cactus
Camera wars
Camera wars

We kept walking down and then made a line for Fisherman’s Wharf. This time, I paid attention to some of the touristy restaurants and shops.

No Thongs - Except on Feet. I think the Americans are catching on!
More signs of the times: No Thongs - Except on Feet. I think the Americans are catching on!

Best Thing Ever: Mini donut machine
Best Thing Ever: Automatic mini doughnut machine
Tony with finger and crab
Tony with finger and crab

At this point we really couldn’t avoid the Alcatraz departure queue and so we enqueued in the pre-queue. Tony had a panic attack about not bringing his passport for ID to go on the boat, but it turned out we didn’t need any ID other than our pre-printed tickets and we boarded without any further dramas.

Pre-queueing pays off, by this much!
Pre-queueing pays off, by this much!

on a boat, m-- (strangling noises)
We're on a boat, mothe-- (strangling noises)
Jess helped invent a new superpower---the Blinding Wrists!
Jess helped invent a new superpower\---the Blinding Wrists!
Obligatory shoe shot
Obligatory shoe shot
Scenetastic
Scenetastic
Alcatraz from a boat
Alcatraz from a boat
MC Tony, rockin' the boat
MC Tony, rockin' the boat
I call this one "Window"
I call this one "Window"

There were boatloads of other Alcatraz photos but I can’t be bothered uploading them, just go yourself. It’s a great excursion, thoroughly recommended! Alright, three more…

Hydrant with flowers
Hydrant with flowers

Gaunt prison stairs
Gaunt prison stairs
Myself and Andrew performing the zero-legged trick
Myself and Andrew performing the zero-legged trick

After returning from an epic run of the Alcatraz audio tour, ending in the prisoner dining hall (Note: the date on the menu in the dining hall was Tony’s first birthday), I headed through the gift shop and scored myself an awesome warm black jacket plus some postcards. My bags are going to be quite full on the return flight of this journey, I can smell it already!

We disembarked from the boat back on Pier 33 and decided it was time for post-lunch pre-dinner stomach fulfillment. The nearest place was a swank restaurant called Butterfly. They were so swank they had fancy art installations, a terrific view of the waterfront, and all the meals were “Entrée”s!

These items were tabled for discussion.
These items were tabled for discussion.

After this I decided I had used way too much iPhone battery and gave it a rest for most of the rest of the day. We ate our delicious, swanky hamburgers and desserts, and played around with exotic settings on Paris’s camera.

Green Jess is green. :S
Green Jess is green. :S

Tony parted with us. At this point we had to decide what to do before the iPhone party. Since we were unfamiliar with the location of the “iPhone Mansion” that the party was at, we mehfforted dropping stuff off at the hotel in favour of going straight there. Thus we caught buses.

The bus ticket scheme is a bit different to the one for Hobart buses. Instead of using magstripe tickets, the tickets are just bits of paper that the driver rips off and hands to you-–after the machine accepts your $1.50 in exact change.

So after two buses, we made our way to the mansion and decided we had another half hour to kill. What to do? Coffeetime!

The Cafe Abir was the first one we decided was good enough to grace with our presence and the baristas were certainly the strangest I’d ever had the pleasure of buying a latté from. Did I want a single or a Gemini? Was I going to pay $325 for it? For voodoo purposes, was I born on October 13? (Close, dude!) Charisma and oddness was to the guy who served us, what sass was to Faye from Questionable Content. Definitely a cafe to visit again!

Then we went back, had an iPhone party, listened to Neal Goldstein (author of iPhone Application Development for Dummies) talk about, well, iPhone development, and socialised it up with the iPhone Boot Camp people.

Then we went back to the hotel in the dark on a bus that went through the tenderloin, via McDonalds. And thusly I now bid you, dear reader, goodnight!