Monday, July 29, 2013

There's no hills in Illinois

I hope you pronounced the "s" in Illinois, because that's how I meant for it to be read.
We slept in this morning.  We are getting used to the time difference, which will suck when we head back home.
Had breakfast at Sam's.  I think they will start to consider us regulars before the week is out.  It's convenient and the food is great.
Hopped on the F Line trolley to start today's adventure: climbing to Coit Tower.  We weren't exactly sure where the stairs were, but when we came across a sign that read, "Stairs to Coit Tower," we figured we were on the right path.

And stairs, they are.  And they have a name:  The Filbert Steps.  It's something like 397 stairs to the top.  It is beautiful, but holy hell, it's a workout. I stopped several times to catch my bre-, I mean take some photos.  I cannot believe that people live on that hill.  Where do they put out their garbage?  Do they have to drag it up and down those stairs? No garbage truck is getting anywhere near those houses.

We decided not to go up in the tower itself. The line was long and we had another hill to climb, so
we went back down the other side.  It was less scenic, but a workout in itself as we had to put on the brakes.
The next hill we climbed was Lombard Street, as we made our way up to the World's Crookedest Street.  No stairs, just a near 30% grade.  I didn't dare turn around for fear I would topple over backwards.  For reals.  For this photo, I turned the virtual horizon on the make sure I was holding it flat.

The Crooked Street is a sight to behold.  It is beautifully landscaped, but again, people actually LIVE on this thing.  I can't imagine the headache that comes along with the constant stream of tourists driving down your road daily at 5 mph. We climbed to the top, along the convenient stairs, and I took a photo looking back at Coit.  Photos don't do it justice, but it was one hell of a 1-mile walk.

We hopped on a cable car and, much to the kids' dismay, stopped at the free Cable Car Museum.  The cable cars are so awesome.  You can actually see the workings of the cables.  It is amazing.  After we left there, I paid more attention and realized that you can hear the cables running underground.

After the Cable Car Museum, we walked through China Town.  It was one of those things that I wanted to be able to say we did.  We purchased such typical Chinese things as a fan, a bottle of water and a Gatorade.  

We wrapped up the day with some shopping.  JJ needed a hat to cover his poor sunburned head.  KJ took advantage of the buy one, get one half-off to get himself a flat bill Raiders hat.  These two have serious street cred.  Boo and I hit Pandora and an awesome stationery store.  

After four days, I can now distinctly discern the scent of homeless person and pot.  It took me until I was nearly 40 years old to figure the second one out.  Pretty sad, huh?
Time to get a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow's adventure is renting a car and actually driving in the city.  

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