Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
270Trip End Ongoing
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Today we woke up early to go complete our check-in and also to get on the tour van/bus for our day trip into San Francisco.
Our tour guide was Angela, and she was born in Berlin, Germany but has lived here for 16 years or so. She was very nice, informative and fun the whole day. We began by driving back over the golden gate bridge and stopping at the rest area. It is a nice view of the bridge and also gave us a chance to walk out on the bridge. We took some time here and got our pictures in then hopped back on the bus.
From there we drove down the west coast (ocean side) of San Francisco and saw part of Presidio, Lincoln Park and Ocean Beach
From there we drove through Haight Ashbury, which was an area populated by hippies in the 60's. It was a neat area full of color and tattoo parlors. This area was full of Victorian style houses that survived the fires and earthquakes of 1906.
Next was Alamo Square, which is a park adjacent to the painted ladies (the famous Victorian houses). You may recognize this park from the start up credits of Full House. I believe it is the scene where they pull up in the red convertible and throw the frisbee around. Then maybe even have a picnic
From there we headed through the civic center and down California St. This brought us to the San Francisco Bay at Pier 1, then up the coast and we stopped at pier 43 for lunch. Pier 43, aka Fisherman's Wharf, was a sort of touristy area full of restaurants and gift shops on the pier.
After we had an awesome lunch at Pier No 9. Fisherman's Grotto. Jen ordered the Halibut linguini and I had a dungeoness crab and clam chowder. It marks the first time Jen ordered seafood for herself for dinner.
After we met back up with the bus, we drove through Ghirardelli square. This is an area containing the original Ghirardelli chocolate factory. Then we drove by the "crookedest street" aka Lombard St on our way to check out the cable cars up close.
The cars work in a really simple but cool way. Between the tracks under the ground is a cable that is constantly running. The cable car clamps onto the cable and it just pulls it up the hill
From there we drove up to China town. Here we walked down this alley to a hole in a wall, which was the golden gate fortune cookie company. We got a free cookie and watched them make some cookies. We had to pay to take pictures, therefore we have no pictures inside the little shop. Then we wandered around China town for a little before heading out to Pacific Heights. Also called the Beverly Hills of San Francisco. There were some gorgeous houses and mansions up on top of this hill. It was developed as the ritzy area, mainly because of the view it has over San Francisco. Which also means it is really steep to get up there. It was interesting driving it in a big van. We definitely aren't going to be taking the RV up there tomorrow.
We headed to Fort Mason from there to have another view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Base. It was our final stop before we headed back to the campground.
After we got home we blogged, took Nash out and had an excellent "Primanti brothers" style dinner and relaxed
Tomorrow is the Alcatraz tour.
Friday, May 20th
Today we got up again to take a day trip into San Francisco to see Alcatraz and to do/see some other things we didn't get a chance to yesterday. Since we only have the RV, we asked our tour guide yesterday what the best way to get into the city would be. She suggested driving to Larkspur and hopping on the ferry, but the only concern is the parking lot at the ferry doesn’t allow RV’s so we would have to rely on street parking. So we got up and left early to get to larkspur and hopefully get a spot on the street. When we got to larkspur there was a ton of street parking right next to the ferry, so we gave Nash his treat and headed on our way.
We bought our tickets and pretty much got right on the ferry. It was a really nice ferry, mainly because it was newly remodeled. It was only the 3rd day it had been in use. We got nice window seats and Jen got us a coffee to share on our ride. On and odd note, we saw Julie’s (my sister) doppelganger while we were waiting for the ferry and she was sitting right behind us then on the ride. The ride took us into the city, right by Alcatraz Island, it would have been nice if we could have just stopped and hopped off on our way, but alas we couldn’t.
The ferry pretty much arrives at Pier 1, and the Alcatraz ferry leaves from Pier 33, so we hiked it up to Pier 33 and got in line for our 11:30 ferry ride to Alcatraz
We got back to Pier 33 and walked up to Pier 39 to check out the San Francisco harbor sea lions. They were very entertaining to watch