I booked a compact hire car to drive from Grand Junction to Denver (so I could leave the car at the airport as I was not returning that way)......... this is what my 'compact' car looked like:
Only in America!! :-D
I flew out of Denver on Sunday morning to San Fransisco, where I was meeting my sister who was flying in from Melbourne. It was so awesome to finally see her in person after 5 months apart! Skype is wonderful but it is not the same - we normally catch up at least once a month in person in Australia!
We spent a whole afternoon and day exploring the city - we had both been here before so we deliberately chose to explore some areas we had not gotten to see in our previous visits. The first afternoon we arrived we rode the street car along the piers and revisited Pier 39, taking the cable car back up and down the hills to our hotel after dinner. (By the way - it was Cold!! A very different feeling to what I am used to from Colorado at the moment!)
|View of Golden Gate Bridge from Pier 39|
|Pier 39 entrance - it was just a tad windy!|
|Cable cars lined up ready to be turned around|
|Turning the cable car with good old fashioned muscle!|
(and a turntable)
The next day we caught a local bus and rode out to the other side of the city from where we were staying. We had two destinations - to find the 'famous' row of townhouses that have the city skyline behind them (and that were featured in the 'Full House' opening credits) and to see Golden Gate Park. We also planned to see Lombard Street - the crookedest street in the world. By day's end - seen, admired and captured on camera! Along with some other 'odds and ends' shots............
|In front of the Alamo Square townhouse row|
|View from Alamo Square|
|A cool house we walked past |
on our way from the park to the bus stop
|The Dutch Windmill at Golden Gate Park|
|Bison in their pen...... yes, that's right - actual Bison!!|
|Explaining why there are bison in Golden Gate Park......|
|Also saw this little guy next to the footpath....... so cute!!|
And not afraid of people either. He posed for
about a minute before he went back inside.
|Panoramic view - one of the lakes in Golden Gate Park|
|Waterfall in Golden Gate Park|
|Lombard Street - cars were lined up for three |
blocks to drive down here!
|Alcatraz Island is behind me on the water|
Amtrak to Grand Junction
In order to experience a different way of travel, Ashlee and I decided to take the train 25 hours from San Fransisco (Emeryville actually) to Grand Junction. Another reason was that the plane to Grand Junction is a tad tiny and Ash doesn't love little planes :-) Anyway, we boarded at 9am Tuesday morning and sat in our little roomette - it had two chairs facing each other in a little room that we could make private by closing the curtain and/or the door. Above us was a bunk bed that folded down at night and we had toilets and a (tiny) shower/dressing area in our train car as well. Our 'attendant' was a very gracious man named Rob and he came around and set up our bed and gave us an extra pillow. Our two chairs extended and combined to create a bed bunk which we both half stretched out on as the top bunk was very very close to the roof....... you would be sliding in and would not be able to sit up at all!
Overall the train ride was great - the scenery in California was amazing and so different to Colorado. We spent night going through what I assume to be the 'desert' area (we pulled through Salt Lake City at about 3am) and in the morning woke to the flats of Utah and the mountains of Colorado - familiar scenery to me after 5 months :-) Our tickets even included two lunches, dinner and breakfast which we ate in the dining car.
However we were definitely ready to disembark when we arrived in Grand Junction - stretching out on a real bed that was still was lovely that night! :-)
|Ash ready to start our trip to Grand Junction!|
|Nevada at sunset|
|Ash admiring the view of Nevada|
Exploring Grand Junction and Palisade
As I mentioned above, we arrived in Grand Junction on Wednesday morning and were picked up by my friend Janel and her son Garret. We spent the morning and afternoon chilling out and adjusting Ashlee's body clock to Colorado time - by a HUGE snooze in the afternoon! (I had to wake her for dinner). The next day we spent checking out some of the stores in the mall area of town and doing a bit of shopping.
Friday we explored the Colorado National Monument, driving from the East entrance to the West entrance via Rim Rock Drive. It was a gorgeous day, if a tad windy!! :-)
Friday afternoon we spent an hour at my friend Janel's house catching up with her and then that night we had a great dinner with my friends Sara and Tanya. I enjoyed introducing my sister to a few of my good friends here in Grand Junction - I was just sorry I didn't have time to introduce her to all of them!
More to come .......... Keep smiling!