Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

Well, I’m on my way home after six and a half weeks in the US and I’m spending a couple of days in San Francisco before jumping on the plane late tomorrow evening for about 17 hours of travel to get back to Melbourne.

In San Francisco I’m staying at the Hilton San Francisco on O’Farrell Street, just a couple of blocks from Union Square, Powell Street (where you can jump on a Cable Car) and Market Street.

You do need to be careful around this area, there does appear to be a good number of homeless people… I don’t think I’ll be taking a midnight walk around the neighborhood.

The hotel itself is huge, I’m in tower 3 and it’s 19 stories. Tower one is 46!

The room is pretty standard but the bathroom is minuscule, you couldn’t swing the proverbial cat without hitting each wall. The bathroom is a big letdown.

I’ve had room service a couple of times and the prices are about standard and the serving are on the largish side… though all meals I’ve had in the US have been of ample proportions.

Breakfast is up on the 46th floor and is called Cityscape and has absolutely magnificent views of San Francisco. I stared out the window for around 15 minutes this morning as it was a great day outside. To top it off breakfast, a buffet, was reasonably priced.

Would I stay here again? Yeah, if the InterContinental Mark Hopkins was unavailable.

Outback Steahhouse, Campbell, California, USA

It was with some trepidation that it was decided that we’d head off to the Outback Steakhouse in Campbell for dinner on Friday evening. I say trepidation as I was imagining just how corny an Australian themed restaurant would be, Mark Jackson, Yahoo Serious… you get my drift.

Anyway, we made the drive from Los Gatos to the Pruneyard Shopping Centre, don’t ask me about the name as I have absolutely no idea, in Campbell to be presented with a one hour wait for a table… Us Aussies must be popular in the old US of A.

The menu was a bit of a laugh… a US menu with smatterings of Australian place and animal names in an effort to give the local food an aussie sounding name. For example, The Melbourne is just a steak, it’s a 20 ounce steak, but its still just a steak! But, you have to give them points for trying.

Despite the dodgy sounding names on the menu I will have to admit that the food was good. I went with the 14 ounce ribeye steak done medium rare with “Aussie” chips and steamed veggies and it was a struggle to finish.

BUT, there was Australian beer, you could have had a Foster’s if you wanted (Does anyone actually drink Foster’s?) but I went with one of my favs, James Boag’s Premium Lager. They also had some Coopers and Tooheys beers. A good selection for being so many kilometers, or should that be miles, from home.

All round, it was a pretty good evening, and not all that expensive at $37 a head including the ubiquitous tip.

InterContinental Mark Hopkins, San Francisco, California, USA

Now this is one swish hotel.

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins is located on Nob Hill in San Francisco at the corner of California and Mason Streets so you can’t fault the location. Right outside the hotel’s front door is the California Street cable car. At the other end of the block, California and Powell, you find the other two cable car lines Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason.

Only spent two evenings at the hotel as I needed to head down to San Jose / Los Gatos on the Sunday afternoon but during my time I was able to partake of some quite good room service and I can highly recommend the “Top of the Mark” for a meal as you will get some of the best panoramic views of San Francisco while you enjoy your meal.