WOW! What a city! There is so much to see and do, a week wasn’t nearly enough.
We stayed north of the city in Marin County. Our spot was a bit tight. When we parked next to this green fence, looked over to see train tracks are eyes widen and the thought of how much sleep we might lose this week popped into our minds. Luckily, after walking up to the office to buy a new black hose because ours wouldn’t reach (first time for that), I asked about the train. They laughed and explained they are abandoned tracks. Shew! We had fun walking along them out to the bay.
We could see San Quentin prison from our windows. San Quentin state prison is the oldest prison in California, opened in 1852. The state’s only and the country’s largest death row for male inmates, though the prison hasn’t performed an execution since 2006. The prison has been home to many notorious inmates and featured in many movies.
The Golden Gate Bridge
In my opinion, the Golden Gate Bridge is the iconic picture representing San Francisco. I wanted to photograph it from all of its sides which lead to finding some amazing views and walking across it. The 1.7 mile long bridge is constantly being painted, International Orange- not Gold or Red 🙂
Paying the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge is all electronic now, you don’t stop, they just take a picture of your license plate and bill you. You can pay in advance online at http://www.bayareadfastrak.org, instead of waiting for the bill to arrive in the mail. You only have to pay going southbound and it costs $7.25.
It’s true that you can see the fog roll in over the bridge almost daily.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, National Park, Ghirardelli Square, Fort Baker, Sourdough bread
We enjoyed touring the Boudin Sourdough bakery and museum. It’s been there since 1849 and bakes amazing true sourdough bread. They are know for their creative shapes and their clam chowder in a bread bowl. We had lunch on Pier 39, at a window table inside the Pier Market Restaurant, where the girls tried Clam chowder for the first time and loved it. We watched the fog clear up over the bridge. The sea lions that have claimed Pier 39 as their home were loud and playful. We were pleasantly surprised to find a national park on our way to Ghirardelli Square. We enjoyed exploring the ships and museum of this maritime park. We indulged in two giant desserts, one was a banana split and the other a cookie sundae, at Ghirardelli marketplace.
Watch our video of the main San Francisco highlights
This street has a famous very steep, one-block section with 8 sharp turns which claims to be “the crookedest street in the world”.
When in California, you must eat at In-N-Out Burger. The original one is near Los Angeles but they tore it down for the highway. The built a replica near the original location. We did not go visit that one. We have been trying to eat at one since we arrived in California but something else always came up so we finally were able to in San Francisco. Their fries were not as good as I remember but the Animal Style was just as good as I remember (from when I lived out here 17 years ago). We all agreed that we like Five Guys better.
Walt Disney Family Museum, Presidio
If you didn’t know this already… we are huge Disney fans so when we found out about this museum in San Francisco we quickly found a way to fit it into our schedule. Along with daily screenings of Disney classics in their bottom level theater, this museum has interactive galleries and exhibits narrated by Walt himself. I thought they did a fabulous job with this museum. It starts off with a timeline of his family and childhood and progresses through until his death. There is a huge model of Disneyland, you can’t miss. The museum is housed in a history building in Presidio. There is a huge green lawn in the middle of the square where children where practicing soccer. It is a nice break from the city.
You get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from here.
We took an afternoon and visited ‘The Rock’ aka Alcatraz island. We purchased tickets months in advance to get the day and time we needed. The last ferry goes out at 3:30 PST and because of Chris working this was our only option. Even though Alcatraz island is run by the national park service now and it is free to visit, you have to buy a ticket to ferry over there. We found a family combo pack and saved a little money, but it is still expensive at $112 for all four of us. This does include the self guided audio tour. I highly recommend visiting, it is well worth the money.
Check out our video here.
Mission San Rafael Archangel
Along along the El Camino Real they have placed a bell on a hooked staff to mark the trail. We have seen a ton of these from San Diego to San Francisco. Here is a picture of what one looks like along the side of the highway.
The girls and I searched out number 20 out of 21 of the California missions on the Mission trail (El Camino Real); San Rafael Archangel.
The things we have to figure out when leading a nomadic lifestyle… where to get our teeth cleaned. The girls have been going to the same dentist all their lives so this was a little nerve racking for them. Three months ago I made all of our dental appointments for this week. The girls when to a Pediatric Dentist: Aparna Aghi, 912 Grand Avenue #202, San Rafael, CA 94901-3552. 415-459-1444. Dr. Aghi was very through, efficient and sweet! They made the girls feel so at ease and they left with a ton of fun loot!
Happy Pi day!
Not have trash pick up and the dumpster being only on the entrance not the exit of the park left me with this little gem hanging on my Jeep when I got to Safeway.