We were awoken by our alarm at 5.30am, after a restless sleep, we headed to breakfast just on ten past six. There were still quite a few people here but we did manage to get a table easily. Yummy breakfast again, the same as usual on offer, plus omelettes. After eating we packed our bags into the car only the big suitcases in the boot and our cabin bags went on the back seat. Steve then dropped the kids and I off at the airport with our bags, before returning the car to rental car place. He then returned on a shuttle about twenty minutes later.
Upon his arrival we wheeled our bags into checkin. Today we are flying Virgin America. From the sounds of it, this airline is new to this route. We are met by a chatty checkin lady who seats us all together, we ask how busy the flight is. Her reply not very busy, only half full! We make our way through security, where we have our cabin bags xrayed, we must take our shoes off and have all electronic devices out of our bags. We then queue for a huge full body X-ray machine, only to be asked how old Shannon is, we reply nine years and Shannon, Stacey and I are asked to go through a normal X-ray machine, Steve had to go through the other one. We then pick up our gear and make our way to the gate. There aren’t many shops here, just a snack bar and a newsagent. We sit and wait for our boarding call.
Once on the plane we sit in our assigned seat, there is plenty of leg room. I think the most we have had! We are then delayed due to the fog in San Francisco, so wait for twenty minutes before we are given the all clear. During this time Steve and Stacey swap seats. They both have a row of seats to themselves. We are given complimentary drinks during the flight but if you want snacks you must order and pay on the screen in front of you. There is TV, movies, and games. All but the TV you must pay for. Most movies are $8. We have an amazing flight, we can see clearly out the window. Lots of fields, forests and mountain ranges, huge roads and small towns.
We arrive at San Francisco an hour and ten minutes after take off. There is no sign of the fog, it’s a beautiful sunny day. We make our way to the baggage carousel, where one again we wait. They change the carousel number but let us know. We collect our bags and pick up a taxi. Our taxi driver is a maniac and very rude. Not at all chatty. We pass a huge football and baseball Stadium. We finally arrive at our hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf. The sign at the airport said $53, he demands $60 at the hotel. He tells us that includes the tip!
Unfortunately our room isn’t ready until three o’clock so they lock our bags in a room and we set off to explore Fishermen’s Wharf. We walk down to the harbour and down the street. There is lots of people here. There are also lots of cafes, takeaway bars selling crabs, lobster and clam chowder in a bun. The smell of sea food fills the air! We continue on and finally come to a McDonalds. We have lunch, check the emails and continue on. We come across an information booth for the Americas Cup, so stop to find out what is happening and where. They tell us to continue further down the road and we will come to the Americas Cup Park.
We continue on and find a little piece of NZ, a restaurant called Waiheke Island Yacht Club, so we go inside and Steve books a table for dinner. We carry on and come to the park, there is security they check our bags, to the left of the park there is a mini Staduim, they are having a Jonas Brothers Concert tonight and Steely Dan is on Saturday night. They are part of the Americas Cup Concert Series. To the left is a big area with a huge screen and bean bags. We plonk ourselves down to watch a replay of Luna Rosa vs Team NZ. It’s really hot here in the sun! The kids play table tennis and then Steve and the kids check out the shops.
They have a couple of AC 45s (yachts) anchored up near by. We walk to the end of the pier. They have bars. The Moa bar from NZ, a kids zone area and a history and science area. All of these are in old port buildings. We wander into the kids zone. The kids race yachts in a PVC pipe, using their breathe, they can race to winch up sails, bounce on a bouncy pillow and colour in a yacht. Next door they have a Team NZ shop and Luna Rosa shop, plus Emirates have a stand with a match racing simulator, the kids went head to head around an Americas Cup course. We then wandered through the Oracle area, which showed some of the equipment they have and past history of the cup, before getting into the scientific explanation areas of sailing, in which they used simulators. It was all interactive and interesting.
We then saw the Jonas Brothers doing a sound check. The security was heavy handed about not taking photos, but you could see them all and hear them quite clearly. We walked away a bit further and took some photos. Shannon and I them helped colour in a huge mural, which was set up to help encourage people to protect the ocean!
We then wandered back to our hotel, collected our keys and then dumped our gear in our room. Steve quickly raced off to the supermarket and the kids and I just blobbed on the bed in the room until he came back, we then raced back down the road to the restaurant for dinner.
Dinner was very yummy, but it was one of our most expensive meals we have had. It was all very gourmet. Stacey had Silver Fern Beef, Steve, Shannon and I had Marino lamb. We pass on dessert and headed back down the street. We decide to try out the Hard Rock Cafe for dessert. Shannon and I had Chocolate Brownie and Stacey had Strawberry Cheesecake. Very yummy!
After this we found the Safeways supermarket again and bought supplies for breakfast and lunch, as breakfast isn’t supplied and we have a little fridge. We grab some stuff and head back to the hotel. We are all very tired! We open our bags to discover that TSA have searched both Shannon and Steve’s bags while travelling today! They would have had fun, emptying them and then getting it all back into the bag to shut it! Not sure what they were looking for?!