Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 23 Summer Vacation 2009

Today we have 3 things that we want to do. Number 1 is to go to the Gift Shop at The Golden Gate Bridge to buy some T-Shirts and other souvenirs. Number 2 is to drive on Lombard Street, The "Crookedest" Street in America and Number 3 is to ride on a cable car.
After buying our T-Shirts we headed for Lombard Street. It really is a twisty turney road, and very steep as it winds down the hill. Traffic was lined up for several blocks because there was a film company who had the street blocked while they made a short film We eventually got our turn to drive down the road.
3457 Lombard Street San Francisco CA3458 Lombard Street San Francisco CA3461 Lombard Street San Francisco CA
We were going to stop at the bottom and try to take a photo looking back up the street, but the traffic was ridiculous and there was not a safe place to stop. So although I did not take this next picture, it shows you a better view of Lombard Street and all the twists and turns.
Then we went for a ride on a cable car. The cable car is as much of an icon for San Francisco as The Golden Gate Bridge is. Cable cars have been running in San Francisco since 1873. Each cable car has a grip man and a brake man. The grip man uses a combination of levers and grips to grab onto the cable that runs under the street, and he uses his body strength to apply pressure to the levers and he grips that cable so that the cable pulls the heavy cable car loaded with people up and down the hills of San Francisco. The brake man is at the rear of the car and he applies the brakes as needed. At each end of the track there is a turn table to spin the cable car around to head it back in the opposite direction. This is a very labour intensive job and you need to have strong upper body strength to be able to grip onto the cable and drive the cable car and to then spin it around on its turntable. I have some photos and video on my FLICKR site, and here are a few photos for the blog.
3466 Cable Car San Francisco CA3472 Cable Car San Francisco CA3480 Cable Car San Francisco CA
3493 Cable Car San Francisco CA3481 Cable Car San Francisco CA3506 Cable Car San Francisco CA
After our cable car ride, we got off at Union Square in Downtown San Francisco and had a wonderful dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. This restaurant specializes in Cheesecake Desserts, so it is fitting that we stop here to sample what they have to offer.
3511 Union Square Downtown San Francisco CA3514 The Cheescake Factory San Francisco CA3515 The Cheescake Factory San Francisco CA
Patty had the Key Lime Cheesecake, I had the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake and Karen had the Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake. Unfortunately the photo does not show you the true dimensions of these massive pieces of dessert. Believe me when I say that they are massive, especially the Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake, layers and layers of fudge cake with chocolate truffle cream and chocolate mousse.
We all had a great laugh because there is no human on the planet who could tackle such a large slab of cake. We think that Karen has finally met her match and she will not be able to devour this piece of cake despite her love of dark rich chocloate. We brought most of it back to the hotel room to enjoy at a later time when we are not so stuffed. I have seen big slices of cake before, but this was the biggest ever.
3516 The Cheescake Factory San Francisco CA3518 The Cheescake Factory San Francisco CA
To see all of our photos from today you can click on my FLICKR site.

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