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Today at least half the snow we saw yesterday was gone; instead there were semi-green fields - beautiful, and almost like a completely different park again from yesterday.  But there was still enough snow left to build a giant snowman!

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We still held out some hope that there’d be real, actual snow in the park itself.  It seemed that our hopes were granted beyond our dreams.  The entire place was just covered in snow, making some paths treacherous, and others just plain wet.  Everything, however, was beautiful.  We even saw a bear which stopped traffic for a bit—no photos or footage, though, as no one was quick enough on the draw to catch him before he disappeared into forest.

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Today was the day to do the more classic San Francisco sights: Cable Cars, the sea lions, Azkaban Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Muir Woods.  The weather tried to do all it could to convince us to turn back, but except in the case of Alcatraz, we were steadfast.  The catch phrase of the day was one from someone yesterday, who told us “It’s like this all year round!” in the kind of voice that suggested that would be a good thing.  And we were looking at each other trying to to say: You’re kidding, right mate?  It’s frigging freezing!  We’re from Brisbane.  We tried our best, but we couldn’t pack clothes warm enough for this weather.  And no one here sells warm clothes, because it’s apparently spring.  Which means, by definition, it’s warmed up enough to put away all the woolens.

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We were pretty darn tired last night.  At one point in the very early morning, I decided to track down my watch and check the time in the light from the crack in the curtains.  It was 10am.  Oh.

So we dragged ourselves out of bed, managed to partake of the hostel’s free breakfast before it closed at 11am, and were on our way to cruise around Silicon Valley sign-spotting.  The Computer History Museum got, in our opinion, a 10/10 for awesome to warm the heart of any geek (a working Babbage Difference Engine?!?!!!!), while Google reported an unexpectedly low 0/10 for fun.

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So day one of our little jaunt began, as always, on extremely little sleep. 

Yesterday we made the decision to finally FINALLY take the plunge and, rather than struggling with printouts from Google Maps, purchase our own device, add on US maps, claim the duty back when leaving Australia, and have it available to the family pool for various trips.  Hubby’s never used a GPS navigator before, so he’s dubious.  I know better.  :)  So, we now have purchased a Garmin Nuvi 1350, which promises to keep us on track, at least in Australia.  He's known semi-consistently as The Colonel, in response to the rather pretentious British voice we chose for the directions after laughing ourselves sick at the absurd Australian accent that had come as default.  Honestly, it reminded us of the Google Maps April Fools Day prank.  :)

Too long, don't read - just look at the pretty pictures... )

Despite being light on sleep, however, once we’d settled in and chosen beds (Penski declined to sleep with Hubby in the double which would have let me have a bed to myself, which I thought was most ungentlemanly of him), we headed out for a bit of minor sightseeing and some clam chowder.  We ended up walking all the way from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, through Chinatown and via Coit Tower (ie. the telegraph tower on highest hill around) which had seemed like a doable way to beat the post-flying stiffness at the hostel and stay awake/physically exhaust ourselves a bit. But after charging about trying to make it up the hill and down again before the sun set, we ended up very nearly falling asleep in our soup. If I'd had the clam chowder as well, we would have needed a lifeguard for the drowning risk.  Agatha, it seems, doesn’t like any kind of fish product, particularly after vigorous exercise.  I’m not usually much of a fish person, but I enjoy shellfish and crustaceans quite a bit, usually.  At the moment, however, it seems not.  Luckily I realised this early when I considered running to the bathroom to throw up while reading the menu, ordered something vegetarian that she didn't like much either, but significantly better than the obligatory spoonful of Hubby’s chowder.

We caught the tram back to our hostel, and slept all the way through to 10am the next morning in real, horizontal beds that were warm and soft and, after a 24 hour transit day + sightseeing, absolute heaven.

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The White Lily

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