Pretty exhausted from the flight, we were gutted to see the mega queue for customs as we stepped off the airbridge. It took us 1.5 hours to even get our passports stamped. By the time we had got our bags, found a ride share bus, got stuck in traffic on the freeway, got into town and found the apartment it had been just over 4 hours of madness since alighting the plane.
Friends Rich and Dev had kindly offered to host us and it was great to see them again after not seeing them since they left Singapore a few years prior. Our timing worked out perfectly as they were off to Spain for 10 days, so in their absence we had the run of the apartment and the added fun of looking after their dog Bertie who is a great little character.
There is so much to do in San Fran that you are almost overwhelmed with choice of sights to visit, obviously we had to ride the cable cars, visit Alcatraz and get on the Golden Gate bridge!
In the gift shop there was an unusual event happening. A guy called Bill Baker, aged 83 was sat at a desk signing books. Bill was prisoner number 1259 in Alcatraz and was sent there in 1957. He is widely recognised as the LAST surviving convict.
We immediately joined the short queue to meet him and ask him some questions, Kaitlyn was most excited and impressed to be meeting a real prisoner!
Q. What did you go to prison for?
A. Originally for stealing a car, but I kept escaping, so they sent me here instead.
Q. Was it easy to escape the other prisons.
A. Yes, very!
Q. Did you try and escape from here?
A. No, I knew I couldn’t beat the ocean, hypothermia will get you, even if you made it across to shore, you would soon die. You can’t survive in there for any longer than 15 minutes.
Q. Do you believe the 3 men that did escape are alive today?
A. I don’t know, only if they had a boat waiting for them, then maybe. But I know this, if they died, they died free men, they escaped and they were free.
Q. How was the food in prison?
A. The food here was very good, I never missed a meal.
It’s not often the family have split up during our travels, but this particular day called for a boys v girls day. The girls went out for haircuts, shopping and ice creams at the famous San Francisco chocolate shop; Ghirardelli, whilst the boys test drove a Tesla!
For those not aware of who Tesla are or what they do, they make 100% all electric cars, and are Dans dream car! The car is awesome, with massive acceleration and loads of cool technical features, not to mention the highest safety ranking ever awarded to a car. On one charge you can travel from 275-300 miles and supercharge to full battery again in just 20 minutes. Amazing cars and technology, the future of all transport!
Weebly are the company we use to build this website, they make it super easy for total novices (like Dan) to build websites from scratch and they are also based in SF, so Dan decided to tweet them and try his luck.
The offices were great. They, like Google, are redefining office culture on how to inspire and retain employees. Inside the offices are a free fully equipped gym, secret drawing room/library, bar with DJ stand, free canteen serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, pool table, fusball table, shuffle board, soundproofed music room, fully equipped with instruments, massage room, laundrette, and of course you can bring your pets to work too.
Learning about and seeing these offices first hand was an incredible experience for all of us, especially for our daughters to meet such a successful female in such a male dominated corporate world. We thank everybody for taking the time to show us around. Let’s all hope that treating employees in such a way is a trend that filters into many other sectors as we all know how stressful and demoralising the general and traditional office culture can be!
SF, you delivered on every level!