Riiice-a-roni - The San Francisco Treat!

Trip Start Jun 04, 2011
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bye, bye Mendocino...can't wait to come back and visit!!

Another early morning (and a few cups of coffee) and we were on the road for San Francisco! Our playlist for the ride was filled with songs referencing San Fran, and it set the mood for the drive - we were excited! We stayed along the ocean for another twisty-turny up-and-down drive through cliffs and valleys, and the beauty around every corner was stunning. We made a quick stop to see the Point Arena Lighthouse, but it was unfortunately closed. A few pics snapped from afar and we were back on the road. A thick fog quickly rolled in, making the drive that much more "interesting" (read: scary), but it was perfect for our drive through Bodega Bay - the setting for Hitchcock's creepy film, The Birds! We even saw the old school house featured in the movie, it was creepy too!! We drove through some very cute little towns and felt like we were back in the Red Woods with the way the tall trees on each side of the road swooped over to meet each other and create a tunnel of leafy green for us to drive through. Nature, you are amazing!!

Pretty soon we came upon huge mansions set high in the hills and knew San Fran was getting closer. And closer. And closer!! We entered a tunnel and on the other side, the sun was shining bright and we were moments from San Fran... And we had to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to get there!!! We were literally jumping in our seats with excitement. I quickly turned the iPod to The Beach Boys "California Girls" and as soon as those opening notes started, the bridge was in view. Wow!!! You cannot even comprehend the sheer size of it until you're driving across it, jaw on the floor in awe. We were just blown away. A-ma-zing! Once we crossed (and paid our $6 toll), we were in the thick of San Fran...street cars, townhouses, hills that go up - and up - and up! It was all that we had pictured and more.

First up was the 49-Mile Scenic Drive that would take us around the city and through some of its main attracations. However, messy construction kept throwing us off-course and we were constantly pulling over to figure out just where the heck we were, and where we needed to be going. Finally we found our way and began the drive. We drove along one of the longest beaches we've ever seen and checked out the gorgeous oceanview houses lining the street before heading into the greenery of Golden Gate Park. One of the first exciting sights we saw were the free-roaming bison of San Fran, grazing in an open field in the middle of the Park! Unreal!! Our first stop was the California Academy of Sciences...from our research, it looked to be an amazing place, with an aquarium, a 4-storey indoor "rainforest", and a planetarium. Once inside, we wandered the first floor to check out the different exhibits...the best, by far, were the African penguins! Soooo cute and playful, they were diving off their little cliffs and blowing bubbles at the little kids who were pressed against the glass in sheer amazement. Adorable! Next up was heading downstairs to the aquarium displays...and they were absolutely fantastic!! So many amazing creatures of the sea, all in aquariums that resembled their natural habitats - a far stretch from the bare concrete tanks you'd find at most aquariums! I couldn't stop snapping pictures, everything was just so bright and full of life! Needless to say, quite a bit of time was spent on this level, and by the time we were done we were HUNGRY! We headed to the Academy Cafe for a quick (and delicious) lunch and decided we better get back on our route if we wanted to check into the hotel and get to the ball game at a decent time. A quick pitstop at the Shakespeare Gardens for me (of course!) and we were on our way.

Our hotel ended up being in the most amazing location in Union Square - literally a 15 minute walk to AT&T Park! A quick change into our ball game attire (jerseys and a Blue Jays hat for me - easy to spot on TV!) and we were off...I'm pretty sure Kory was floating the whole way there! Once we got to the park and presented our tickets, we were told to head into the Lexus Dugout Club entrance...you know, where all the other "big deals" were going - eeek! Once inside we had a quick bite to eat and bought a Giants tee for me (my Phillies jersey was NOT being well-received lol!), and then headed out to find our seats. As promised, we were in the second row behind home plate, and let's just say Kory's smile could not have been any bigger! We had the best seats in the house, by far, and it was just awesome to see one of Kory's dreams materialize right in front of him. And the ball park? Geez Louise!!! AMAZING! We walked around the entire promenade to check out the different vendors and of course the oceanview behind the outfield. Kory was snapping picture after picture the entire time, he just could not believe how unreal the park was. I grabbed a mojito for the walk, which turned out to be a great tool in spotting us on TV - did you see that bright orange cup? Haha! Soon we were back at our seats, waiting for the game to start, and making friends with the fellow "big deals" sitting around us. There was a large group beside us from...Google! Boy, did they ever rack up a huge food/drink beer ($576.50 total) - all on the Google credit card, of course. We ordered some snacks as well and settled in for the game (so glad we dressed in layers because it was COLD!). Unfortunately the only winners for the night were us...the Giants lost to the Reds, which was disappointing, but not enough to kill our "big deal" buzz! I walked and Kory floated back to our hotel, and we were toast after such a long day...'night 'night, San Fran - see you in the a.m. for Day 2!!!!
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