Awoke at the KC Airport Days Inn and after a quick breakfast were on our way to the airport. We had lots of time so everything went smoothly with tickets, secutiry etc. Finally we took off and after 3 1/2 hours we arrived in San Francisco (Hereafter referred to as SF) Our shuttle picked us up and we got our first unofficial tour of downtown while the shared van let off people all over downtown.
At our hotel, or hometel as our kids always call it, our room was ready so we could unload our things. The Holiday Inn Express- Fisherman's Wharf looks great and the people are very helpful. We rushed a block down the street to Fisherman's Wharf (FW) and looked around. We had lunch at a food truck (fish and chips). This gave us nourishment to go to the conveniently located Walgreens and get some things we couldn't fly with. (No checked bags.) Next we rushed to the Cable Car ticket booth and bought 7 day passes ($27) which will get you on all muni buses, cable cars and street cars. Good value if you don't have a car and plan on going places. Then another 3 block walk to the bus stop. We rode across town to within 3 blocks of the ballpark and caught the Giants-A's game int the second inning. BEAUTIFUL ballpark with the bay in the background, but the weather was chily and it was windy and we were in the shade. After watching 3 innings we bought Cooper a cap and went back to the bus stop to reverse our trip. Back at our hometel we walked all over FW and ate at Boudin's. Kathy had more fish and chips and I had Macaronia and cheese with Dungeness Crab. Delicious. And oh yea we also had a bread bowl of clam chowder and a big helping of sourdough bread.
It was now time to find the Segway Ride. They had five riders including 3 I wish had not stopped by. A mother and her two teenage daughters, they were horrible. The mother took forever to get comfortable, but her daughter gave us fits, wandering ahead of us or into other lanes of traffic. Most segway tours use sidewalks.
This one tooke us through 5 miles of busy streets, AT NIGHT! Our guide was great and knowledgeable, but it wasn't my favorite Segway Tour. And it was cold.
When I talk about it being cold, I should preface it by saying the weather is great for SF. No rain, no clouds, no FOG. Great for SF means gloves, sock caps and at least two jackets.
Got up late (7:30), ate our free breakfast; cereal, sausage, bacon, eggs, biscuits & gravy and lots of milk. At 9:15 we started walking toward our 10:00 tour and made it in plenty of time.
This was Dylan's Tour. Fifteen people in a fifteen passenger bus. We toured
ChinatownMission District (stopped for photo op)
Twin Peaks (Stopped for photo op
Haight Ashbury (Stopped for 30 min)
Golden Gate Bridge (stopped on north side for photo op from Marin headlands)
Muir Woods (stopped for 1 1/2 hours for hike to Cathedral Grove and quick sandwich)
Sausalito (stopped for photo op)
We saw a lot on this tour and with some great commentary we learned a lot and got many good pictures.
Back home we had some time to kill so we rode the F Streetcar down to the Old Ferry Building. Her we perused all the food stalls, had a cup of coffee, then traveled badk to Pier 39, checked it out, had an ice cream then back home to freshen up. Thirty mintues later we're back on the streetcar to Pier 33 and the Alcatraz, tour. First you get a boat ride to the island and then after walking way up a hill you get to take an Audio Tour of the Prison. The audio tour is great, a must do for anyone visiting here.
Once back we tried the In and Out burger. It was late, we were hungry, they were good. What a busy day; time to go home to the hometel.
Nothing set in stone today. Big breakfast then on the the cable cars . No line early, rode them to Union Square. We took our pictures with the 4 hearts located on each corner of the square. Had time to kill, walked down Post St. to Market just taking in the air of the city. Then back to Macy's where we did a little looking and then across the street to the Golden Gate Park Hop on - Hop off bus tour. We got to see the park although we didn't stay. Came back for lunch at Lefty O'Douls and then shopped some in North Face, checked out Williams-Sonoma and then rode the cable car back to FW
After a brief rest we boarded the Downtown Loop Bus and saw the city again for 90 minutes. Got of at Pier 39 and saw the Sea Lions this time.
We are cold, we decide to forgo the Night bus tour. Instead we walk up to Little Italy and eat at Il Pollaio. Great grilled chicken. Then we decide to check out crooked Lombard St. on foot at night. We walk 5 LONG blocks uphill, before going 3 blocks down to Lombard. It was beautiful, a full moon rising over the Bay Bridge, Coit Tower lit in the distance and car after car maneuvering through the many turns on the way to the bottom. We walked down the stairs and then four long blocks downhill to our hometel. Shin-splint city. Always hungry after exercise, we walke down to Coldstone for some unneeded and empty caloires. Then before turning in we walk 7 blocks around FW.
Today we took the GGB-Sausalito hop on-hop off tour. We got some different views of the bridge and spent some time in Sausalito. Kathy did some window shopping and we ate lunch at Scoma's (Not the one in the picture above). Coming back we rested a minute then took bus 39 to the Coit Tower and made it up the elevator to get some dazzling views of the city. Then we walked down the stairs (several stories) and caught a streetcar home. We finally ended up taking the night tour HO-HO and it was cold, redundant and not night.
One of the few Easter Sundays I haven't been in church. Woke up at 5:00 and were dressed and ready downstairs by 5:45 and didn't get picked up til 6:15. Yosemite Tour here we come. After picking up people all over town, 29 in all, we headed east, through Oakland, over the hills, down into the Central Valley, up into the foothills then seriously into the Sierra Nevadas. We made it into the park at 11:00 and stopped for part one; a one mile hike down a partially snow covered path that descends 400 feet to see a Giant Sequoia tree. We went to make sure we got our worth. It wasn't too bad going down, but it was difficult going back up. Next time I'll send a camera down to get a picture.
Down in the valley we saw several simply amazing vistas; El
Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Half Dome. We stopped at the park and walked to the base of the falls getting several good pictures. Kathy spent a half hour on the phone trying to solve the problem of Cooper's white baseball pants getting washed with his red sox. Back from the falls our calves were too sore to attempt any more hiking so we sat in front of the lodge taking in all the scenery. Soon it was time to leave.
The drive back was long but topped off with a trip around Yerba Buena island and a great photo op of SF and GGB at sunset from Treasure Island.. Tired and sore when we got back, but we were hungry for more fish so we wound up at Alioto's on the wharf. We had a combination shrimp and crab cocktail, fish sandwich and fried seafood platter. We share most of our meals. Back at home we did some daily housekeeping; downloading pictures, getting things ready for tomorrow the last day..
The breakfast line is LLLLLOOOONNNGGG. But we get something to eat anyway. Off to the Bike tour and we learn to use the electric power assisted bikes. Off we go through Fort Mason, by the Marina, by Crissy Field, up the hill to the bridge and finally onto the GGB. It is crowded, one lane open and people walking both ways and bikes riding both ways. It is amazing to be out at the center of the bridge looking down, looking up looking at SF, its a great place to be. Then a mile to the next support and then on to the rest stop with some more great views. Then down to Sausalito where we get the honor of buying a 13 cent bottle of water for $2.50. Anything to help the poor people of Sausalito. Then the ferry back to SF. This is a fun ride. By this time I realize that my tailbone is perhaps permanently damaged from riding the bike. I limp back into the starting place and once more we return to the hometel.
Now we start getting ready to leave in earnest. We clean up the room, put stuff away and get packed. Tonight we go out with Marcy and Juan at 7:30 and we leave in the morning at 3:50. We have to have everything ready.
Juan and Marcy pick us up at 7:30 and take us to their part of town, Pacific Heights. They showed us their building and took us to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant that offered several appetizers and entrees. We enjoyed many. Marcy was happy to visit with people she knew and Juan is so courteous and so interesting to visit with. We had such a great time and it was hard to say good-bye at 11:00 but we had to be up at 3.
What a wonderful way to end a wonderful vacation. We got up and before we knew it wer were back in KC three hours from home.