Monday, September 15, 2014

Summer Road Trip: California Arrival and Day 1

I did all the driving through the state of California, Adam hated it the last time we headed out. I took over in Reno Nevada, and I knew I was getting close to the border when I started to see trees on the mountains in the distance. I got really excited because we were finally in the state we were going to end it.

 Traffic was a breeze until we hit rush hour in San Fransisco! We were stuck in dead stop traffic for an hour and a half. And because we were actually heading for San Matteo, we still had a bit left to go. But when we did arrive, our hosts (Andy and Monica) were waiting for us outside. Everyone was so happy and in shock that we were really there! They made a wonderful pork taco dinner and then wanted to take us somewhere special!
 They took us to Facebook!!!!! Oh yes, that is it! At the main corner off the busy street, is this thumbs up billboard. As we pulled in, there were already a group of people standing outside taking pics in front of it. We weren't sure where to park, but found spots in their parking lot. There was a worn path in the grass leading to the sign. Our friends took our family picture in front of it, and while we were standing there, 3 other groups showed up. We helped take their pictures for them as well.

I got to check in while I was here on Facebook. The funny thing is that on Facebook it said,"Kelly is at Facebook", and yes it threw off a few of my friends. We decided to walk to the building just to take a look. A worker was walking out the door with his bike, L ran ahead of us, and held the door, and started to head in. We yelled for him to stop. But once we got up to the door, noticed we needed to be buzzed in, just about to turn around, and got buzzed in. We actually got inside of Facebook! The security guard there was extremely nice and explained of course that it was a closed campus. We thanked him and headed back to the house for a nice night of sleep.
 Facebook's street name actually Hacker Way!
 Our hosts woke us with a fantastic breakfast of coffee, bacon, and cinnamon bread before heading out. These two had a wonderful plan for the day, the girls all rode in one car while the boys rode in a separate car. We lucked out and found parking in a lot just blocks from Fisherman's Warf and Pier 39.

 This is the Boudin Bakery and they have a really neat demonstration area where you can stand and watch them making breads and rolls. When we walked up, this nice lady was making turtle shaped sourdough rolls. L of course spied the giant alligator made of bread!

 Alcatraz!We didn't head out there this time, nor the time before. The boat trips out sell out very quickly each day. Plus we thought that the kids might be a little too young to appreciate it yet. Maybe when they are a little older and want to hear the history.
 We walked most of Pier 39, and the kids had fun finding things to take pictures with. They LOVED these guys.
 Normally all these platforms are covered in sea lions, but the day we were there we saw just 1 lazy sleepy sea lion. The kids still thought it was neat.

 We found a neat little candy shop. The kids both picked out Harry Potter candy. D picked out gummy slugs, and L picked out a chocolate frog with wizard trading card included.

 L found a really cool magic shop and picked out a magic wand with book as his souvenir, and D wandered into a shell shop and picked out a small jar that she filled with tiny shells to bring home. There is an aquarium on the pier as well. We had thought about heading in, but decided that there were so many other neat things to see that we would pass. While we walked past, a worker from the aquarium was outside and had a few free games set up. This was a giant sea creature Jenga game that got the whole family involved.

 There are tons of really neat boats that are available for tours, and also museums to go and explore. These signs were set out by them, and D got really excited. She knew exactly who Rosie the Riveter was because I went as her for Halloween a few years ago.

 Andy showed us an amazing video game arcade! The games here range from over 100 years ago all the way to the 80's and 90's. This scary looking lady was called Laffin' Sal and she came from the original penny arcade that used to be just off the coast near what is Golden Gate Park. She has frightened children for decades!

 Adam had to try this strength games. You had to push and pull the handles to lift the hammer, then you push the button to release the hammer and hopefully hit the bell. He had a crowd around to watch and he did indeed hit the bell. The kids even had fun finding all sorts of games to play for themselves. I think all 4 adults and 2 kids could have stayed there for hours.
 We decided to have lunch at In-N-Out Burger for lunch. Sadly everyone else thought the same thing. So we ordered our food, Monica and I took the kids for a walk to a close park while the boys waited for our food. On our walk, we went right past a Ben & Jerry's scoop shop and they had this cardboard cut-out. The kids thought it would be fun to take a picture in it.

 This is where we stopped to eat our lunch. Just under the Ghirardelli Square on these concrete benches. It was the perfect place. The boys only took a little bit to arrive with food, and in the meantime we were interviewed for a college research team.
 While the guys walked our trays back to In-N-Out Burger, Monica and I walked the kids to see the cable cars. This is one of the places where they turn around before heading back up all the hills. I have read the kids a bunch of books about the trolleys. One of my favorites is Maybelle the Cable Car by Virgina Lee Burton.

 We met the guys at the Buena Vista Cafe! The story goes that they are the ones that brought Irish Coffee to America. So while the kids had fresh squeezed lemonade and practiced magic tricks, the adults tasted the Irish Coffee, and the Nutty Irishman coffee. AMAZING!!!!
 Across the street was a fun little Bay Area museum put on by the National Parks program. They had tons of interesting artifacts and information about the history of the area.

 We then headed up to Sutro Park to see the ruins of the Sutro Baths, Sutro House, and see the Seal Rocks. This place has some amazing history that I have never heard about. I found it so fascinating and loved that our hosts has researched it previously and were able to tell us about it. The kids favorite part: Do you know why the Seal Rocks are white? From all the bird poop!

The temperatures had dropped by the time we headed to this area. We all needed jeans, and sweatshirts, but since we were so close to the beach and the ocean, we just had to head down!  This is North Shore Beach, there is tons of parking right off the beach, a bunch of fire pits free to use, and best yet, no one was there. The kids were so excited to dip their toes in the ocean on the other side of the country then they did last year. We have now been officially coast to coast in the States!

We dried off, and hopped back in the car to head for their house. On the way though, Monica thought we should stop off to see the sunset at the amazing lookout point up in the hills. It was a wonderful way to end our first full day in San Fran.


Related Posts with Thumbnails