Segway Tour of San Francisco

by janet on March 23rd, 2010

Tinx and I decided at 11 pm last night to go on a Segway tour.  We snagged the last two spots on the 1:30 pm tour today, and took the good ol’ 30 Muni over to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Where we went to In-n-Out, which is a little silly because we were both in LA not 24 hours earlier, but when the grilled cheese animal style calls, you answer.

At $70 a person, the tour is a bit pricey, but absolutely worth it.  The people are so nice, and make the 45-minute training sesh relatively painless with their funny jokes.

Our tourguide was Sarah Silverman.  I’m not joking.  Well, I am.  But for serious.  She looked just like her, talked just like her, scrunched her nose up just like her whilst talking just like her, and dead-pan humored just like her!

Example: [going by a disgusting, padlocked porta-potty] Anyone need to pee.

Getting ahead of myself (as usual, but more so since I am eager to blog after a long time of bizziness).  Did you know that Segways were codenamed Ginger?  This was exciting to us because Tinx is a ginger.

So the training truly is 45 minutes long.  They do a one-on-one with you, AND you watch a video, AND you do training as a group, AND you do training in pairs, AND you do figure-8s through a mini cone obstacle course.  The actual ride on a Segway is actually very intuitive. The trainer dude joked that it works by reading your brain waves, but it really does feel like that.

They each had funny names, too.  I wish mine was Panda Socks but I had Special Sauce – very apropos given what was all over my fingers at the time.  Tinx’s was Misplaced, which was, if you will, lame sauce.

In our group was your requisite jackass who was trying to show off and being all crazy and dangerous on the tour (almost rear-ending me multiple times, fuckin assballs) and your requisite out-of-it-uncoordinated lady who did the falling-on-one’s-face thing for everyone else’s comic benefit. Oh, and the requisite scaredy-cat (who of course was in front of yours truly in the caravan) who was definitely doing some wishful thinking when she chose the helmet with speed flames painted on it.

On the tour, we learned:

  • There are more dogs than children in San Francisco
  • For the 60th anniversary of the boardgame Candyland (or “Xandyland” as it says in my iPhone notes) they turned Lombard (the crazy loop-de-loop street) into Candyland and lined the streets with marzipan and decorated it with lollipops.  SWEET!  [Tinx – “Literally sweet, get it?  Hahahaha that was funny joke put that in”]
  • The oldest Italian restaurant in America is in North Beach (not anywhere on the east coast), where they have a scale outside so you can weigh yourself before and after you eat.  I do not remember the name of the resto but a quick Googly search will surely getcha there.

Our path: Fisherman’s Wharf to North Beach & Washington Square to Pier 39 to the swimmy place to Ghirardelli Square to the outlooky pier on the other end of the swimmy place and back.

Near the Pier were the famous bathrooms SF imported from France – the completely automated ones where you pay to use them and the toilet folds back into the wall.  They cost $250,000 each and the city bought 25 of them.  Waste of monayyyy, especially when you hear, as we did, that since the toilet folds back into the wall you don’t have to flush it, but this confuses people, who end up pushing the emergency button instead, calling the fire department to the toilets time and time again.  Dumbasses.

Oh, also, the toilet doors open automatically after 20 minutes so you have to “make sure you get on with it” said Sarah S.

The outlooky pier, our final destination, was really fun because this is where our guide SS said that we could race each other, go really fast, pull fancy tricks, etc.  Tinx and I had fun zooming around and around the gun turret at the end, and then we posed for some pictures for the company’s FB page.

Our noms:

  • Pregame: In-n-Out (PS that In-n-Out is a clusterfuck – only one in the city)
  • Bread nom at Italian French Baking Co., which supplies basically the entire city with its bread (with the oldest ovens in the city; see above) – we got an Italian Stubby which we ate throughout the rest of the tour.
  • Pistachio gelato at Gelato Classico – not your usual neon green pistachio, folks (see below).  This was oozy, silky gelato with huge, whole and shattered, roasted, slightly salty pistachios throughout.
  • Postgame: Irish coffee at Buena Vista Cafe
  • Post-postgame: Hot fudge sundae at Ghirardelli Square

A note about Buena Vista – it is famous for its Irish coffees, which are made by placing two sugar cubes in the bottom of a glass, hot coffee on top with generous room for a huuuge splash/cascade of Bushmores (hee), topped with freshly whipped half and half.

Tinx and I were apparently not looking cheerful enough so the other bartender (with a crazy spiderweb of facial hair and an almost mullet, but all very Santa-esque) threw a sugar cube at Tinx, who promptly picked it up and ate it.

It was the most gorgeous, non-SFy day for a tour, but I can imagine on a shitty foggy drizzly day these things would be moan-inducing.  Good moan.  It’s warm on your tongue and warm in your belly; just a hint of sweet and  the foam was very pleasingly chilly yet rich.  And just one will do it – Tinx and I were weaving around Fisherman’s Wharf and hiccuping.

And we then stumbled into the sundae shop at Ghirardelli and had a hot fudge sundae with dark chocolate fudge.  The three spoonfuls I could stomach were quite thrillingly delicioso.  Continuing the hot/cold treat train, I enjoyed how the cup was almost too hot to hold from the fudge.

So.  I highly recommend this for SF inhabitants who want something touristy to do with their out of town guests but are sick of doing the same touristy shit over and over again.  Just riding the Segway around for three hours is fun enough, not to mention eating your weight in random foodstuffs.

Book your tour here!

    One Response to “Segway Tour of San Francisco”

    1. […] are more dogs than children in San Francisco. So, the collection of pictures of dogs that R2 has texted me is a well-curated […]

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