American traffic while going to prison.

Our blog had a bit of a delay because our WiFi was non-existant in San Jose, but all should be good now. Expect day 4 in a couple of hours too!

Day 3 was long and exciting.. After just driving around in Redwood City & Palo Alto, today we had some real driving ahead of us. A 1.5 hour drive to the center of San Francisco and a 2 hour drive from San Francisco to San Jose. As usual An was already awake at 5.30 so Kevin was on his way for coffee and bagels around 6.30 AM.

First of all some quick observations about the American way of driving :

  • To get on the highway, sometimes you have to wait in line at a red light, so the traffic can go in 1 by 1. There are a lot of lanes, so you don’t have to merge…
  • When you pass someone in Europe, you do it on the left side. Americans dont care about any sides, if you are faster you just pass anyone wherever you want.
  • You have a red light,  but need to go right? Just go, you can.
  • An intersection without lights? If you are first, you go. No matter if you come from the left or the right. (priority from the right side seems to not exist here in the US)
  • Never speed. Ever.

Take in mind, this is just our observation and how we view the American way of driving for the past 3 days.

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Wooo, San Francisco. We have to say, the freeway going up to San Francisco is great. A lot of lanes, not too much traffic. And FANTASTIC VIEWS !

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Our first tourist trip: The prison of Alcatraz ! Amazing place, amazing stories and ofcourse An is obsessed with prisons, so it was a MUST DO on our trip. We went with the alcatraz ferry to the island. It was about 12 minutes away and we had a really good view on the golden gate bridge.

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In San Francisco and in Alcatraz we really noticed a difference in the smoking culture from back home. In San Francisco you cannot smoke in public within 3 metres of a building ! When you do smoke in public, people look at you really weirdly, they shush at their kids so they wont go near you. It’s a healthy, but surreal environment.

After Alcatraz we went for a walk on the piers and went to the famous Fishermans Wharf. It was a lovely experience, Kevin found a magic shop ‘Houdini’ and An found a the most amazing chocolatier  ‘Chocolate Heaven’ (and it was like being in heaven :)). We also stumbled upon a few hundred wild Californian sealions near the pier.

One thing you really notice is the American ability to turn everything into a tourist attraction. The themes of the bars, the signs, the advertising, … Its like living in a permanent commercial from which you cant escape.

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The drive from San Francisco to San Jose was awesome. From driving beside all the skyscrapers, looking at the hilly roads in downtown San Francisco to all the natural scenic panoramas on the way to San Jose. Such a contrast in only 60 minutes. Arriving in San Jose!

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Our hotel for today is located in a more rural area. We tried dinner at the Smoking Pig BBQ place. It looked exactly like in the movies. It tasted like shit, never again.

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Tommorow Kevin will be 12 years old again, we are going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium ! Oh you might notice An finally found her Canon camera today. We have more pictures every day now 🙂

Here are some pics from Day 3 :

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