Monday, July 20, 2015

San Francisco

There are a lot of people in this city.  A lot.  And Sunday, our first day here, was 85 degrees and sunny, and every single one of those people was outside.  It was quite the greeting.  But once we got used to, you know, being around other human beings again, we had a great time here.

We stayed at an Airbnb place and we totally lucked out.  It's the ground floor apartment of a single family home in the Outer Sunset district, one block up from the beach and two blocks over from a main streetcar line.  It was a great little space and we found on-street parking for both the camper and the car, which would have been unheard of in other parts of the city.  Pete and I even got our own room, while the kids split an oversized sofa in the living room.  What a luxury!  

While we had to fight through traffic on the Bay Bridge and Pete basically white-knuckled it through town, we got here exactly when Google Maps said we would, which was perfect timing to meet up with friends.  We took a little detour from our planned destination across town to stop on the beach.

Pacific Ocean!

Our plan had been to try to hit Golden Gate Park, but we didn't realize how long it would take to get from where we were staying to the place we had dinner reservations, so instead we went to Dolores Park in the Mission (with the other half of San Francisco) and the kids had some playground time.

Sadly, we're missing the wedding of dear friends in a couple of weeks, so we took them to dinner at Delfina, which was super delicious.  And then we got ice cream at Bi Rite Creamery.  Looking at the line I wasn't convinced that it would be worth it, but a few bites of my creme brulee ice cream convinced me otherwise.

Goofing it up in line.
We returned home and got a good night sleep and basically hung around for a bit in the morning, which was a good way to spend the morning.  

Then it was back across town to tourist things up.  We were heading to Fisherman's Wharf to ferry over to Alcatraz.  The last time I was in San Francisco (a million years ago) we had wanted to go to Alcatraz but the tickets had been sold out.  So this time I bought them well in advance, which was good, because when we got there the sign indicated that the next available ferry was on August 18 (!)

The ferry ride over gave some lovely shots of San Francisco, the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz itself.

San Francisco and the Coit Tower


Golden Gate Bridge

It was cold and windy and fun on the ferry.
Alcatraz itself was really interesting, although I admit it did leave me wanting to work for prison reform.  

Regular cell.

My jailbirds.

Prisoners are still treated like this today.  Not ok.  
View from the exercise yard.

Prison baseball.

So beautiful and so horrible.
We didn't spend as much time as we would have liked because we wanted to get back in time to get the kids over to Ghiradelli Park.  

After a little break for some chocolate, we headed back outbound to meet up with friends again for some West Coast Chinese food that was absolutely delicious.  We all ate our weight, I think.

Jax tried kimchi.  It was spicy.
And then back on the streetcar to the end, for one last look at the Pacific Ocean before we point ourselves Eastward.

West coast sand dunes.
We only really explored a tiny fraction of the city, but I'm so glad we came.  Like we've said about many places, we'll just have to come back.

Tomorrow we head off to Yosemite and then a couple days later, Sequoia.  It will be a real change of pace, yet again, but another adventure I'm sure.

for more San Francisco pictures, click here

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