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Trip Report - SF June 5-June 11

Old Jun 25th, 2008, 06:50 AM
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Trip Report - SF June 5-June 11

Tues - Left early for our drive down the coast. Began at Pacifica Beach. Very beautiful. Drove all the way down Hwy 101 to Pebble Beach. Stopped in Santa Cruz and walked the boardwalk. Boys rode the 80 yr old Giant Dipper and we all rode the sky ride across the park. It was the boardwalks 100th anniversary this year. Back on the road again, my boys loved playing on the many huge rocks on the beach and in the tidal pools, etc. We made lots of stops here. Then drove on down through Monterey and nearly to Big Sur where we saw the famous arch bridges you see in books. Very high on the cliffs. Built in 1932. Took the inland route back so we could go faster. Went home and started packing up .

Wed - Finished packing, drove over the Bay Bridge and then headed for airport home. Great trip.

This was our first trip from Alabama and was so wonderful in every way. The people everywhere we went were polite and nice and so helpful. I couldnt have asked for a better trip. We didnt see all the architecture and eat in great places liked I would enjoy, but rather pandered to the kids and ate where convenient and made sure they had a great time. The next trip whenever, will most likely just be Dh and self and will be more of a walking tour and more discovery of great restaurants, architecture, etc. But it was great to see all the things I had been reading about. One thing we didnt have time for, but I think would be fun is the free tour of Scharffenberger chocolate factory in Berkeley. We tried to do that our last day, but just didnt have the time.

Tues - Left early for our drive down the coast. Began at Pacifica Beach. Very beautiful. Drove all the way down Hwy 101 to Pebble Beach. Stopped in Santa Cruz and walked the boardwalk. Boys rode the 80 yr old Giant Dipper and we all rode the sky ride across the park. It was the boardwalks 100th anniverysary this year. Back on the road again, my boys loved playing on the many huge rocks on the beach and in the tidal pools, etc. We made lots of stops here. Then drove on down through Monterey and nearly to Big Sur where we saw the famous arch bridges you see in books. Very high on the cliffs. Built in 1932. Took the inland route back so we could go faster. Went home and started packing up .

Wed - Finished packing, drove over the Bay Bridge and then headed for airport. Great trip.

This was our first trip from Alabama and was so wonderful in every way. The people everywhere we went were polite, nice and so helpful. I couldnt have asked for a better trip. We didnt see all the architecture and eat in great places liked I would enjoy, but rather pandered to the kids and ate where convenient and made sure they had a great time. The next trip whenever, will most likely just be Dh and self and will be more of a walking tour and more discovery of great restaurants, architecture, etc. But it was great to see all the things I had been reading about. One thing we didnt have time for, but I think would be fun is the free tour of Scharffenberger chocolate factory in Berkeley. We tried to do that our last day, but just didnt have the time.
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 08:44 AM
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mommybryant, was there more to this post? As I read it, you were here only Tuesday and Wednesday, and repeated both of those days!! Looking forward to reading the rest.
 
Old Jun 25th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Ahhhhhhhhhh! I dont know what happened. Actually it is a long post and I did have trouble with it disappearing when I previewed it, but thought it was fixed. I will rewrite it tonight. Thanks for bringing that up. Sorry
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Okay, everyone that is reading this, so sorry all my prior writing disappeared from this post, but I will try and recreate it. Basically, our family with two boys, ages 10 and 14 travelled to CA to visit Yosemite first and then San Francisco. It was a fabulous trip. (I have created a separate post for the Yosemite portion which was our first five days). Weather was great in SF while we were there, no fog or cool days. Just warm days and breezy afternoons. We only used our sweatshirts in the evening. A rare, dream trip it was.

Thurs Day 5 - Left Yosemite and saw some beautiful scenery while in route to San Francisco. We were all so excited to get to the city and start exploring around. We were booked at the Columbus Motor Inn and really enjoyed the free parking. The location was great for us too as it was just across the street from the Powell-Mason cable car stop and also on the #30 route for the bus. After checking in the hotel that afternoon we walked down to Fisherman's Wharf and looked around. We saw street performers, sea lions and enjoyed getting familiar with the area. It was really fun for our two boys. We had dinner that night at Bubba Gumps with a table overlooking the bay. Perfect! Later we walked through Fish Alley and down along Jefferson. A fun way to start off our first evening. My DH and 14 yr old even got taken by the "bush man". Perfect! I had heard about him, but wasnt sure where he hung out. So be watchful around the boat docks. It cost us $.50 to be the but of his joke.

Friday Day 6 - Drove over the GG Bridge, stopped at GG Natl Rec Area on left side of road for the best views! Took tons of pictures and went to Muir Woods to see Redwoods. I must admit after being in Yosemite, this was not as impressive as it should have been. Had a picnic at Stinson Beach. Then drove up coast to Pt Reyes National Seashore. Wanted to see lighthouse here, but was too windy that day, 50 mph winds, That was disappointing, but still was a fun drive. Drove back to SF along the Presidio, Ft Mason, Ft Point, Crissy Field, to Cliff House, Seal Rock, GG Park, and through Haight. We also saw Postcard Row in Alamo Square. Honestly, there are so many pretty houses and great architecture! Lombard St was just two blocks away from our hotel, so we drove down it too. We would return another day to walk down the stairs.

Sat Day 7 - The next three days were all in SF so we purchased a Muni pass. This was great, giving us unlimited access to all public transportation. We wore it out! Our hotel was right across the street from Powell-Mason stop, so that was our first thing to ride. The boys loved the turntable turnaround. We rode to the end of the line and then took the F-line to the Ferry Bldg. It was great to be there on Sat morning to see the Farmer's Market. SO much to see there! Then we rode the F-line streetcar to Hyde Street Pier and toured the Jeremiah OBrian Liberty Ship, saw the Pampanito, played in the Musee Mechanique and then took a muni to the Exploratorium. This was around 2:30, so we only had 2 hrs there. I swear there were more grownups(men!)there than children. This was also a favorite thing for the boys to do. Then we took the bus back to our hotel where we changed and grabbed our warmest clothes for the sunset ferry to Alcatraz. Great cruise! We actually stayed past sunset and took the last ferry back because from 8:00-8:30, they opened up the hospital area and Robert Stroud's solitaire cell for us to explore. Neat to see the old operation rooms, dental equip, wheelchairs, etc. Then at 8:45pm, they had a movie to watch for 15 min. Then at 9:00, they had a demonstration with lights out and all the cell doors opening and closing at the same time to get a feel of what it would be to be locked up there. Eeery, but neat. It was fun seeing the city at night from across the bay on the return trip. We got ice cream after we got back. And then closed out the evening by riding the cable cars, just for fun. There are no lines in the evening and is a fun time to ride.

Sun Day 8 - Today, we took the Powell-Hyde cable car and toured Chinatown. We walked both Grant street for the touristy part and also Stockton Stand several alleys. Both very interesting. On Grant, we did buy several of the $1.88 Tshirts. They seem to be decent quality too! Had snacks in a bakery there. Also toured (?) the Fortune Cookie company and paid the $.50 to take pictures. Brought several bags of fortune cookies back and shared them with family members while showing them our picture! Afterward, we went to the Cable Car Museum which was neat and rode the California cable car. Interesting. Late that afternoon, we took a bus to Telegraph Hill to see Coit Tower. We had seen so many great views of SF at that point that we passed on going to the top. The murals inside were great though. Also, saw all the wild parrots outside. It is early evening and they were really squawking as they came back to the trees. Took the bus back to Fishermans Wharf and ate somewhere and played a little more at the Musee. Very fun day!

Mon Day 9 - Today was one of our favorite days. We rented bikes at Bike n Roll near our hotel on Columbus and rode down to the Embarcadero. All along the bay. We rode through Crissy Field, Ft Mason, Ft Point, up a hill to the Golden Gate, across the bridge, down the hill into Sausalito and found a neat Hamburger place to get lunch. We picnicked in a park across the street. After exploring around the town, we took our bikes and boarded the Golden Gate Ferry. It arrived at the Ferry Bldg and we biked back down to Mason and then up a few blocks to the bike store. Just another cool thing we did. The bikes were in great shape too. Then we got in the car and drove to the Golden Gate Park and parked this time. It was closing time, but still saw the Rose Garden and Stowe Lake. So we just walked around. Then parked off Haight St and walked around. Took pictures of the Haight-Ashbury sign, saw the Free Medical Clinic famous in the 60's, and kids ate pizza. DH and I ate at Askew Grill (beef skewers, jasmine rice and veggies). It was really good. I was sorry the thrift stores were closed already. I would have loved to shopped there! BY now, it was evening again and we went back to the hotel and decided to ride the cable cars again, just for fun. Most of the drivers were informative and my kids love it!Muni passes were just great!

Tues Day 10 - Left early for our drive down the coast. Began at Pacifica Beach. Very beautiful. Drove all the way down Hwy 101 to Pebble Beach. Stopped in Santa Cruz first, and walked the boardwalk. Boys rode the 83 yr old Giant Dipper, old wooden roller coaster and we all rode the sky ride across the park. It was the boardwalks 100th anniverysary this year. Had a quick dinner there before we left. Saw lovely coastline, golf course, and understand now why they call it Pebbble Beach. The beach is not sandy, but lots of tiny pebbles, soft to the touch. Lots of tide pools and huge rocks the boys loved playing on. Spent lots of time at every stop. It is a 17-mile drive (toll) but worth it all. Then drove on down through Monterey and nearly to Big Sur where we saw the famous arch bridges you see in books. Very high on the cliffs. Built in 1932. We drove over two of these and then headed back. Took the inland route back so we could go faster. Coast route very curvy and slow. But so beautiful. Started packing up when we got back.

Wed Day 11 - Finished packing, drove over the Bay Bridge one more time and then headed for airport. Great trip.

This was a great family trip for us. The people we came into contact with were polite and very helpful. The town is safe, eclectic, and so interesting. We hope to return one day. On that return trip, my husband and I will eat in unique restaurants and spend more time walking the city and viewing the architecture. But this trip was about seeing the touristy things and getting to know the city and having fun with our kids.
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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Then at 9:00, they had a demonstration with lights out and all the cell doors opening and closing at the same time to get a feel of what it would be to be locked up there. Eeery, but neat.

I wouldn't even venture into one of the solitary cells (even without locks) when I was last there. What if they wouldn't let me out??


Brought several bags of fortune cookies back and shared them with family members while showing them our picture

Shared? Don't you mean bribed?

Great report. It truly sounds like a wonderful family trip, to be remembered for a lifetime.
 
Old Jun 25th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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Great report mommy. I am so glad you enjoyed our state. Don't be too disappointed with the coastal redwoods. They are a different species than the Sierra redwood, so they really shouldn't be compared. Both are wonderful.

Thanks again.

MY
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Old Jul 16th, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Your trip report is really helpful for us. We were there 2 years ago and just decided to return this fall. We are staying at the Columbus Inn also so really appreciate the details about the area. Also plan to do some of the things you did (already did some of them) that we missed last time -- have copied the report to take with us.

Other than that -- it was very enjoyable to read. Sounds like a really great trip.

Question -- did you get the muni pass or passport (or is it the same)? We only had a one day pass the last time but plan on a longer one for this trip.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 09:45 AM
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Hey, We did have a great time! Yes, we purchased the 3-day muni passports @$18 each and planned our trip so that we would be inside the city touring around for three consecutive days. They were great! We left the city on the other days for a coastal trip and up north. They did check the date of the passport on each cable car ride we took, but not on the busses. So plan accordingly. It was well worth it! We used those passes like crazy!
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