Day 31

Trip Start Mar 07, 2009
Trip End Apr 17, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 31
Oakland to SF

Our first stop today was Berkeley. Just about everything we have heard about Berkeley was bad- that it is a little off, the pot capital of the US, and a liberal bastion. Sounds like a good reason to check it out. :-) Actually, we loved the area. Because it's such a college town it had a great energy about it. The downtown is very cool, so many cool little stores, kind of like Birmingham a bit, but packed in a little tighter, and a different feel, kinda hard to describe.  This is a place that we would love to own a restaurant or something that stays open late. After a  bit more looking around we headed to the Bay Bridge to make our way into San Francisco. I always thought Golden Gate was impressive, but even the Bay Bridge is pretty immense. Ethan needed some play time so we decided to make our way to Golden Gate park. But, we got a chance to see the downtown on the way there. What a cool town. It looks so much like New York City, but with warmer weather :-) It is a very urban city, we honestly haven't seen anything like this outside of Manhattan. But, first the park. We found a big field and kicked a soccer ball around a bit and played frisbee. It was a really nice day, about 73, heard they got 6 inches of snow back home. Not missing the snow at all, I love CA! Next, the Golden Gate Bridge. Justin had told us about a place to go look at the bridge, it was definitely the place to go, it was amazing. It was such a clear day, you could see the whole town. After hanging out up on the mountains for a bit we headed back into town and drove around some more. Man, there are some very neat areas here. We headed for our hotel to check in and park the van. After that we headed into town on foot. We grabbed some yummy chinese food and then headed for Union Square. After walking around a bit we hopped on a street car. We learned all about the differences between street cars, trolleys, and cable cars. So, after taking the street car to the wharf we hopped on a trolley to head back to Union Square. They were two very different experiences. The street car is similar to a subway ride. The trolleys are a rough noisy ride all controlled with these crazy levers. They are mostly for show, I'm pretty sure no locals would take them :-) The operators has to be very careful to brake at the right times with the San Francisco hills. And man, some of the hills here are crazy. We drove one earlier, they are nuts! Overall, we like the town a lot, but were pretty disappointed to find that many of the places closed at 10pm. That's where it parts company with NYC. Ok, well a bit more looking tomorrow.
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