Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A Perfect Day for a Sunday Segway Sashay!
Huzzah!  It's Segway time again!!  Blogwatchers, you may not realize this but - in addition to my PhD in Pharmacology from Cambridge (oooOoooo - fancy pants!), I am the proud holder of yet another PhD - this one in Advanced Segway Navigation.  This monumental achievement of electric ambulation was the result of my first ever Seggers excursion with Thomas, back when I first moved to SF.   In addition to helicopter rides over and under the Golden Gate bridge, U2 concerts, skateboard lessons in Central Park and model plane flying trips to Brooklyn Park,  I also upped the Awesome Auntie Brownie Points stakes by taking him on a Segway tour round Fisherman's Wharf and Ghiradelli Square.  It was GREAT fun, although bloody freezing (and yes, this was in August), so I've been looking for an excuse to repeat the experience!  This time, I also was forearmed with the insider knowledge of Goldstar.com, one of the best places to go to get discounted tickets to all the main tourist attractions in SF.  So, instead of paying the full price of $70, it was job done at $35! 

As ever, Lori had gamely agreed to accompany me on this latest adventure so, this Sunday morning, we arranged to meet at Golden Gate park at the ungodly hour of 8.45am, ready to check-in for our Segway tour at 9am!  I hadn't been to Golden Gate park for a while and the rendezvous point was just across from the Academy of Sciences, so I was getting some entertaining flashbacks to Penguins and Pyjamas!  Because it was so early, parking was no problemo, which was nice (unlike one time where I'd tried to visit the park later on a sunny Sunday morning last summer - it took me an hour to slog through the city traffic to get there - then i couldnt find a single spot to park!! (sound familiar?) - so all i could do was just turn round and drive back home again!) 

Here's the blurb from the tour, so you can see all the various places in the park we visited.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to get pictures of all the different points of interest (we'd been told that taking photos or sending texts, tweets, updating Facebook status's etc (who, me??)) was strictly verboten  while on the Segway.  Pictures were fine when we were parked up, but otherwise nope.  It reminded me a bit of when I did my cycling tour through SE Asia, particularly going through the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, where I was cycling past all these incredible sights but i was very limited in how often I could stop to take photos, lest I fall even further behind my turbo-charged group of ridiculously over-acheiving peddlers!!  But, nonetheless, I managed to get a few good pics, hopefully enough to give you a sense of some of what we saw.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable way to explore the whole park, and we discovered bits of it I never even knew existed!!  I think all in all we covered about 7 miles over the course of 2.5hrs, so damned efficient exploration too!!   I would heartily recommend this to anyone visiting the city - its a lot of fun, you see a shed load of stuff PLUS you get a very cool certificate and badge at the end of it.  What more could you possibly want from a Sunday morning out?

Enjoy your ride!!

lide through the 1,000+ acre Golden Gate Park on this fully narrated Segway tour.
Guests will have a blast gliding through seven beautiful miles of Golden Gate Park’s landscaped trails and roads, visiting hidden sights that include the Lily Pond, Shakespeare Garden and Fern Grotto. The tour explores the east end, including the National Aids Memorial, Music Concourse, Pioneer Grove, and Stow Lake.
Tour guides share tidbits and trivia about the Park’s stewards over the years, the impact of WWII on the Japanese Tea Garden, and the story of the park’s historical transformation from bleak sand dunes to today’s lush vista.
Tour is 2.5 hours long, including training time.

    You Will See and Learn About:

  • The seven mile (11.2 km) tour route explores the eastern section of the 1017 acre (411 ha) park on winding trails and bike routes.
  • The transformation starting in the 1870's of a bleak sand dune area in into the lush park you see today.
  • The Music Concourse and Temple of Music
  • The California Academy of Sciences and the deYoung Museum
  • The Japanese Tea Garden and the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894
  • William Hammond Hill and John McLaren's vision for the park
  • The Conservatory of Flowers
  • Hidden sights including the Lily Pond, Prayerbook Cross and Fern Grotto
  • The historic Carousel and Sharon Art Studio
  • San Francisco Botanical Gardens
  • The Lawn Bowling Courts
  • The National Aids Memorial
  • Shakespeare Garden
  • Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill
  • The Rose, Rhododendron and Dahlia gardens
  • An amazing Redwood grove, Pioneer log cabin and many other hidden gems!
Remember, kids.  Always practice Safe Seg.
Lori taking the training VERY seriously.
Actually, getting on and off is the hardest
bit of the whole thing.   
Our very cool and funny guide, Joey
Very short Scottish dude who was the Gardener-in-Chief
 for 50 years and is largely responsible for how the
park is today.  Apparently had a thing for pine cones.
And ironically HATED statues. 
Lori cops a quick feel of his seed case while
I fail to resist the chance to be an arse in a photo 
Loopy! We made it - guess where we were?!!
Yep - the Conservatory of Flowers!!

"....Agave to the left of me, cactus to the right,
here I am, Seg Seg Segway'ing with you..."

Getting ready for the Segway version of the Daytona 500
One of the places we visited was the AIDS memorial garden
Names of those touched by AIDS inscribed
 in the circle of friends

Radical, self-timer CRAZINESS!!!
  Sometimes you just have to live on the edge.
The slightly bemused/concerned look on my face was because
 the guy taking this shot CLEARLY had no idea what he was
doing.  Its a camera, people!!  Have you never seen one of these
 before??  You just press the button - how hard can that be??
Everything is now bursting into life - i loved the bright
green new tips on the tree branches.
Though it triggered a Pavlovian reflex to go find a
 bauble to hang on it. 
Big Bloom blooming
Exploding flower!  POW!  Take that, Spring!!! 
Tiny waterfall in the Pedalo Obstacle Course 
I know, I know.  I make you do some crazy shit.
Lori reminds me just how good a sport she is.  
OK.  I have no explanation for this pose.
 I think i was pumped up on adrenaline after
having just cruised at the top speed of 10 mph
 on my Segway steed
Very cute baby geese.  Less cute were the dollops of poo
that i had to squelch my way through to take this piccie
and FINALLY, Lori demonstrates the
PROPER way to wear your safety helmet when riding.


mumsiemumsie said...

Thanks darling for another great blog and showing us another section of your great city.I would dearly love to see you ,lou and Thomas doing that tour .laughter city!!! Lori is a really good sport everyone should have a friend like that. !!!Thespring flowers were beautiful,because we have had the hottest april for years the grass is already brown and the olive trees are looking dusty. No relief till end of October for us ! lots love xxxxxxxxxx

louise holloway oymak said...

you made it at last to the conservatory of flowers!!! hope it was worth it, and loved the fact the head garderner hated statues!!! you have such a great time wish I could join you in some of your crazy stuff to give lori a break!! she is a great sport and co participant!!! you a bit like doctor who with lori as your companion going to crazy assed places and using segways instead of running.... much more civilized!!!! love and miss you lots xxxxxxxxx