This Place Is Golden!
Trip Start Mar 28, 2013
56Trip End Jul 31, 2013
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Near San Simeon we saw a sign ahead saying you could view Elephant Seals. We love finding things along the road that we aren't expecting and the elephant seals were amazing. We thought we would only see a few seals swimming in the ocean so we were thrilled to see about 75 huge seals laying together on the beach and out in the water. It is so neat to observe wild animals in their natural habitat and we loved watching them waddle in and out of the ocean. The sounds they made were hilarious and it almost sounded like they were snoring! It was a great find. We drove through the Los Padres National Forest on our way to the San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica. The campground was basically a parking lot but was right on the ocean and only 30 minutes to Fisherman's Wharf. They lost some of their sites due to erosion and it was crazy to see some of the parking lot had just fallen away down into the ocean. Gramps taught Caleb how to play crib while we were here and they spent the next few nights enjoying some competitive games. Gramps said just like a lot of the other games he has taught him, it won't be long until Caleb wins a majority of the time!
The next day we headed into San Francisco and first went to Lombard St. (the famous crooked street). Bruce wanted to drive down it and had no doubt the truck would be able to make the turns. He was right and the kids thought it was pretty cool! We decided to take the double decker on/off sightseeing bus again and the first stop we got off at was the ferry building. They have a farmers market three times a week and we were fortunate that it was a market day! We browsed through the booths, stocked up on fruit and veggies, and tasted some delicious Italian pastries.
After looking at the Bay Bridge we got back on the bus and drove into Chinatown. We searched through the back alleys looking for the Fortune Cookie Factory. It was a hole in the wall but really neat to see how the cookies were made. You could write your own message and they would put it into a cookie. We had a great Chinese lunch and Cohen had a the world's largest bowl of wonton soup. Clare loved stabbing the fish balls with the chopsticks and it kept her occupied the whole meal!
We took the bus to Pier 39 and saw Alcatraz across the bay. Bruce and Aimee had visited it before so we decided to pass on it this time. We looked in some shops and watched the sea lions that live by the pier. We strolled along the water to Fisherman's Wharf, checked out some shops, then went to Boudin Sourdough Bakery. We walked through the museum and did the bakery tour. Sourdough bread is a favourite in our house and it was fun learning about it and watching how it is made. The samples were pretty good too!
On the way home that night we drove by the "Painted Ladies" Victorian houses, the ones you see from the opening credits of the old TV show "Full House". Then we drove through the Castro district which really has its own distinct flair! It was our last night with my parents so we spent the rest of the evening just hanging out postponing the inevitable as long as possible! We said our sad farewells the next morning and watched Gran and Gramps head off for the next part of their own adventure! A much quieter, more relaxing trip no doubt! We were so excited when they told us they were going to be able to join us for part of our trip. We so appreciate them driving all the way across the United States to travel with us and we have some wonderful memories of the time we spent together!
Our truck had been making a bit of a funny sound so we thought we should maybe get it checked out before we left San Francisco. It turned out to not be anything that we needed to get fixed right now and they said it wouldn't be a problem if waited and took care of it when we got home. It was a bit of a relief and at least the truck is new enough that it was still covered under warranty. We threw our bikes into the back of the truck and headed to the Golden Gate Bridge. The kids glimpsed it from the tour bus yesterday but we really wanted them to see it up close and thought no better way then riding our bikes across it. It was very windy and quite busy but after listening to Aimee go on and on about bike safety they did a great job biking across. We stopped in the middle to look across the bay at Alcatraz and the city's skyline. The boys had fun, like on any other bike ride, but I don't think they really "got" they had just biked across one of the U.S.A.'s largest landmarks. It was a great experience, even if they don't realize it until they are older! Clare was so excited to bike across the bridge she actually fell asleep on the way back!
Next we drove through the Presidio neighbourhood and to Chrissy Field where we watched the wind and kite surfers for awhile. Bruce and Aimee had only driven by Golden Gate Park so we were interested in actually getting to explore it. They have an archery field we stopped at for awhile then we found a parking spot so we could ride our bikes through the gigantic park. We visited the Japanese Tea Garden which was absolutely beautiful and Aimee could have spent the whole day there walking around the peaceful garden. At this stage in the trip a little peace is just what she needed! Bruce recognized this and took the kids for a bit while she enjoyed a cup of tea all by herself. Heavenly!
We made a stop at the playground and a big open field where we could try flying the kite Gran and Gramps had bought for the boys the day before. It didn't take too long to get it up into the air and everyone tried their hand at flying it. It was lots of fun and a great way to spend the afternoon! We drove through the park a little bit more then took the truck for another spin down the crooked street! We headed back to Fisherman's Wharf and had Bodin's famous bread bowls with chowder and soup for dinner. Delicious!
We walked to Hyde Street to take the popular Hyde-Powell cable car line and were very disappointed to find out it wasn't running at that moment. They weren't sure when it would be going again so we walked to Ghirardelli Square and drowned our sorrows in the huge, 8 scoop ice cream sundae they call the earthquake! We all felt better after, well everyone except Bruce, who ended up finishing most of the sundae! We saw how they made their chocolate and after sampling some walked back, hoping the cable car was running again. No such luck! We headed back to the campground adding yet another city to our list of places to visit on another trip! San Francisco has definitely been a family favourite!