It had the long bar with the bar stools, the fixed tables with bench seats and at each table was the ubiquitous juke box operating system. Fantastic, it brought back the Whimpy-bar era to me.
We got ourselves seated, straight away 2 mugs of coffee, 2 glasses of water and the menu, the nice waiter (I remember them as waitresses but I suppose we had hit on a one in Castro) came and took our order and was very patient and explained that yes they had pancakes but as theirs are cooked on a hot plate not in a pan they called them hotcakes (me redfaced stupido), we had ordered the whole wack, hotcakes, eggs, bacon and sausages.
Of course you are allowed as much coffee as you wish (in fact you have to tell them that you don’t want any more after the third mug). He was very helpful, we asked about the hop on hop off tour bus, out came one of those smart-phone thingies with apps (we have dumb-phones with numbers)he told us that we needed to get the street car down to Fisherman’s Wharf and there was the start of the round tour.
Just outside was the street car stop that took us all the way (I get senior citizen rates of 75cents) to the warf.
and the harbour Sea Lions that were basking in the morning sun on the decking that has been specially constructed for them. Interesting story, but they only started congregating there after the earthquake of 1989, they had at first tried to scare them away (they do pong a bit), but have now become such a tourist attraction that the city have decided that it is better to admit defeat and make their lives as comfortable as possible.
But all was not lost across the road is Californian Academy of Sciences, it was a wonderful experience with loads of hands on exhibits for the kids (I am just a big kid in reality), a rain forest section with free flying butterflies and rain forest birds. We met a very nice lady who explained all about them, she was originally from Wimbledon, but had emigrated many years ago, though she still had an English accent, a veritable fountain of information. You wind your way upwards from the forest floor and river with their monstrous fish, ever upward through the differing levels until you reach the canopy. It is truly amazing and is the next best thing to actually going to a rain forest (I have been to both the Amazonas and the Central American (Panama and Belize), the only thing missing is the actual Howler Monkey’s .