Rainbow Brite

The Castro, San FranciscoNeen only had one place she wanted to visit in San Francisco, apart from Alcatraz – The Castro, San Francisco’s gay district. So for our last day, we spent the morning there. We knew we were getting close when we saw rainbow flags hanging from buildings. The Castro’s really cool and one of our favourite areas, along with Fisherman’s Wharf. On this one crossroads, instead of zebra crossings, they have rainbow crossings! We insisted on crossing all of them. They also have the rainbow honour walk, where they have large golden plaques of gay celebrities, or people who fought for LGBT rights, along with their picture and what they did. This is so much better than the regular walk of fame, which tells you nothing about what they did to earn their star, other than being famous. There were also small plaques detailing the history of The Castro from the 1700s to 2013, which was really cool. It’s clearly an area that is proud of its past and that’s great to see. We love history, so to have an area’s history integrated into the pavements was brilliant. Plus we always look at our feet when we walk, so it gave us something to read too 😀

The Castro, San Francisco

Harvey Milk’s house

Harvey Milk, the gay politician who was assassinated, lived there and his house is still there. There’s a painting of him in a window. After his murderer was only convicted of manslaughter, riots broke out. In retaliation, the police raided a bar, The Elephant Walk, and beat up the customers. It later burned down and was renamed Harvey’s. We had lunch there. They had vegan fries! They had a lot of vegan choices, or food that could be made vegan on request, yet this place wasn’t listed in ‘Vegan places in San Francisco’ when we googled places where we could eat. We also had an adult raspberry drink made from raspberry vodka, lemonade and raspberry liquor, which was lovely. It was a great place and the menu had the bar’s history in the back. Every time we bought alcohol in America, we were asked for ID. In Harvey’s, Cat was on a really high chair so leaned down to get her ID from her bag, holding onto the table so she wouldn’t fall off. The table started to tip. So she let go. Then her chair tipped, nearly pitching her into our waiter. She climbed down. We’re not built for high chairs and causing a pile up in a pub wasn’t how we wanted our San Francisco adventure to end.

The Castro, San Francisco

rainbow crossing

We headed back to our apartment for our bags then lugged them down to the BART station. We were originally going to get a tram, but some people told us it was only three blocks down. Three blocks is a long way when you’re dragging heavy cases. Especially as America’s roads are ridiculously long. The BART train was in the subway. So we had to take our suitcases down several flights of stairs. Not easy. The machines then wouldn’t accept Lynx’s travel card or debit card, so we had to ask a guy from the Muni desk for help. There was no one at the BART desk. He eventually found a machine that takes credit cards, so that accepted her debit card.

The Castro, San FranciscoWe then had to take our suitcases down the escalator. Lynx nearly fell with her two, so sent the briefcase trolley down by itself while she got the other one on. Cat just managed to fit the large suitcase on a step. We asked a woman if we were getting the right train and she said we were. Then when we were on board, she came up to us and told us we actually had to transfer at San Bruno – she’d looked it up for us as she didn’t want us to miss getting to the airport! Some people there were so nice and helpful. We got to the airport in plenty of time, but security took so long, we only had half an hour before boarding the plane. One man in the security queue complimented our tattoos, saying he’d never seen such badass ink. Thank you, kind sir! Our films for the way back were Ant-Man (brilliant) Jurassic World (the dinosaurs were fantastic, the lead female should’ve been eaten from the start) and a horror, Maggie (boring.) And security didn’t confiscate our decorative dagger! Ok, it was in checked in luggage not hand luggage, but still. Cranberry and Raspberry squash in unmarked bottles – Very Bad. A dagger that could carve out eyeballs and cause panic in the airport – Perfectly Acceptable.

The Castro, San Francisco

Oscar Wilde’s rainbow honour walk

We only managed a couple of hours of sleep on the plane. Again there was no choice in the vegan meal. So we chose not to eat it. We weren’t given breakfast. Clearly vegans don’t eat breakfast. Dear god the woman in front of us was possibly the vainest person we’ve ever met. She spent the entire flight reapplying foundation (she was already wearing it) for ten minutes at a time, then she’d spend half an hour at a time in the toilets and went several times (either she a terrible case of the squits or was using the time to further Barbify her face) then she’d constantly put her hair in a ponytail, take it out, mess with it, put it back in a pony, twist it round. Twist it round again. And again. Put more foundation on. Twist her pony tail. We were tempted to do a nature style documentary voice over for her. “And here we have the female Vainius Maximus, who spends 23 hours a day grooming herself. Easily identified by their immaculate appearance, their inability to ignore their own reflection and their lack of personality.

The Castro, San Francisco

Harvey’s, formerly The Elephant Walk

They can often be found doing duck face in reflective surfaces and Instagraming their perfect faces in public toilets.” She did her makeup with her compact mirror then her hair with her phone’s camera. We should’ve pulled faces and photobombed her. After doing this constantly for the entire flight, she looked no different. She put her hair in a ponytail just before landing then as soon as we landed, she took it out then spent the whole ten minute walk to baggage, messing with it. We were tempted to cut it off – it was clearly bothering her. She got off the plane looking like a supermodel. After 9 hours of being on the plane, our hair was flat in places, our red eye shadow was smeared under our eyes and our fishnets were even more torn. Maybe we should spend more time on our appear- sod that we’ve got better things to do. Like world domination. You can’t achieve world domination by looking in a mirror.

The Castro, San Francisco

The Castro theatre

As we got to baggage reclaim, we were going to text our mum to say we’d landed. We couldn’t find Stormborn (our Smartphone) anywhere. We emptied the rucksack – not there. Lynx had taken photos with it on the plane then didn’t put it back. We went to find someone to ask who we should speak to. He sent us back down to baggage reclaim to find the Virgin Atlantic desk. The guy there took the details then told us to come back when we’d got our bags. Our bags didn’t come ‘til 1:30. Our coach was at 2:10 so we were starting to panic. Lynx returned to the desk, but nothing had been handed in. She was given a number of the lost property to phone when we got home, after the cleaners had been. Considering we knew where we were sitting when we lost it, we were confident we’d get it back. Two weeks later, no one has handed it in 😦 Stormborn has clearly been stolen. Tesco has blocked the sim and phone and we had a passcode on the phone anyway, so to whoever who took it, if we find you, we will act out a scene from one of our stories on you. And it won’t be one of the rare happy scenes! It’ll be one of the ones from the Romance is Dead trilogy. Yeah, you heard right. Is that how you want your life story to end? With a lovespoon?

The Castro, San Francisco

one of the information plaques

Our coach was on time. We slept until we reached Newport. We slept much better on the coach than we did on the plane. There was so much traffic when we hit Cardiff and Sarah was stuck in it on Western Avenue. We got home at 7ish. Bandit was so excited to see us! He didn’t know what to do with himself. He was running back and forth across the settee. He’s never that excited. He normally just waves a front leg at us then rolls over, flashing his armpits. He then couldn’t settle for the evening. We were glad we were home in time to put our rabbits and duck to bed, so we wouldn’t have to wait until morning to see them. We said hello to Peking and she gave an almighty quack, like she was pleased we were back. It’s nice to be missed. The cats all flocked, demanding feeding. Even our adopted stray, Moussy, appeared. We celebrated our return with ice cream (proper food at last) and spent the evening unpacking and washing our clothes. Continuing living the high life! We went to bed at our usual time (half midnight) then got up at our usual time of eight a.m. No jetlag! Perhaps having bad sleeping patterns for seventeen years is good for something.

The Castro, San Francisco

us in Harvey’s. Great bar, great fries, great drink

2 Comments

  1. Have loved reading every one of your American adventures blogs.

    • thanks 🙂 Still can’t believe we went. It seems so long ago now.


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