Ok, this was the stuff I was going to say with my SF photos that I didn't because I pushed the "publish" button instead of the "save now" button in my post-road trip leg- and brain-numbing haze.
We arrived in San Francisco about 1:00 on Thursday. We came over the Bay Bridge, the one in this photo: and headed straight to Pier 39. After nearly dying of shock over having to pay a probable parking fee of $35, we parked the car. We might have been able to find cheaper parking, but you know, it was worth every penny just to be there and get the children out of the metal torture device we call our over-stuffed van.
We walked around the shops at Pier 39 a bit, then decided to take a boat tour. It was so chilly. We knew it was going to be a bit cold, but there was pretty much nothing we could do about it. David told me we wouldn't need the jackets. We finally bought Aubrey this adorable poncho (made in Peru) from a shop at Pier 39, but the rest of us just suffered on an off all day with winds and temps in the lower 60s. Except for David. The man is made from boiled meat or burning coal or has a secret life as a werewolf or something, because he is never cold.
Picture of the boat I thought we were taking. We actually took the boat behind this boat.
The boat had an inside, so that was good. Too bad the windows were basically worthless and so to get a view of anything, you had to go outside (and freeze). We took shifts. Aubrey was really cranky. 90 minutes was probably a bit too long, but the boat ride was awesome. We got to go under the Golden Gate Bridge, which was so cool. David took some video I might share later if I can figure out how to get it to work. He thought he was taking stills, but nope. Still, it's pretty cool. And you can feel like you're bungee jumping off the side of the ship as the camera bounces on the strap.
We ate at Chowder (Chowders?). It was yummy. Clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. I'd gladly go there right now and have another bowl. After we had cotton candy and ice cream.
We grabbed a hotel for $60 from hotels.com while there. We were planning on driving to Stockton to stay with David's brother, but with the travel time and gas and everything, we thought we'd look around a bit and found a steal. We stayed here. I was so impressed with how clean and well-taken care of it was, despite the 80s wallpaper. It was also on Lombard Street, the most crooked street in the world, but we didn't know that until after we got home. I would to have loved to drive down it if I had known. Driving in San Fransisco was interesting. You have to be rule-conscious to drive in the city. There were all these signs about no left turns at certain times and street-cleaning on certain Thursdays. It's good to have a small car and a small waist if you want to actually park and then exit your car. We had quite the contortionist show getting in and out of our van at the hotel.
Here's the kids at the hotel. They all look exhausted. At this point, they've had too much fun, too little sleep, too much car time and they've been kinda cold all day. We started out with them all on the bed, but Aubrey is not good at sharing and the boys all ended up on the floor and the princess got the bed all to herself. They were full-sized beds. David and I have a King at home. We sure were cozy.
We also left David's cell in the hotel room, but that's another story.
The next morning, we went to the California Academy of Sciences. It was pretty cool. I was expecting a bit more, but it was worth it. The kids loved it.
Aubrey looking down at some sharks and sting rays.
Checking out the stuffed zebras.
Sitting on the front steps waiting for re-entry after eating ham and cheese sandwiches in the car.The roof-top gardens. I was kind of thinking there would be pathways around it, but it was more like a viewing area. Still very neat though. Those guys in the first picture are not tourists. They are workers, doing something to the roof. So, it looks like you can walk over there, but you really can't. There were actually quite a few complaints I had about the experience, but I'm not going to air them out right now. It was a quite neat building and the architecture was stunning.After wandering around for four hours, we were pretty tired and ready to head home. We went over the Golden Gate Bridge, which was neat. I these two shots while driving.
Then we did an impromptu stop at the view area on the other side, which I'm glad we did. Got the previously shared shots of the bridge and a photo of each kid with it.
After that, we headed home, which took about four hours longer than we thought due to all the traffic from San Fransisco to Sacramento. It was like the hive mind decided that they had too many cars on the road and so lets all drive at 2 miles an hour for 40 miles for no reason at all except to enjoy each other's company and drive the tourists batty so they will leave California and never come back and we can have San Fransisco all to ourselves. Pbbbttt. California needs to learn to share.
After getting home and sleeping for eight hours and doing nothing at all for two days, I'm still not recovered. Does tomorrow really have to be Monday?