S: Kris and Jena in San Francisco - November 2013
BC: DEPARTED | SAN FRANSISCO | 30 NOV 2013
FC: San Francisco | November 2013
1: SAN FRAN | SAN FRAN | ARRIVED 25 NOV 2013 | is renowned for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills and iconic landmarks. San Francisco is located on California's west coast along the Pacific Ocean.
2: We made it to San Francisco! Our first trip away since Cadence was born, we checked into our hotel (Hyatt on the Wharf) and set out to explore Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 before our night tour of Alcatraz. We checked out some shops, had lunch (where we watched a ferry boat nearly crash into the pier), watched the seals, saw some amazing views of the harbour and saw some impressive boats and a cruise ship in the marina.
4: SAN FRANCISCO BAY & PIER 39 Pier 39 is full of shops, restaurants, activities and sites for tourists including amazing views of San Francisco Bay, the marina, seals, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. We spent a lot of time in this area taking int the sites, enjoying food (including a crab meal and sourdough bread) and setting out on tours, including Alcatraz, a bicycle tour of the bridge and our Go Car tour of the city.
6: ALCATRAZ ISLAND famous for its history as a military garrison, military prison, federal prison and later as a place for activists and wildlife. Our night tour of The Rock included a ferry ride out to and around the Island, stories & anecdotes of the history of the island, including famous inmates and movies filmed on location, a self-guided (audio) tour of the prison facilities and spectacular views of San Fransisco and the Bay Area during our night boat right back to the pier.
8: BICYCLE TOUR | We set out on a bicycle tour of the Golden Gate Bridge, picking up our bikes across from our hotel at the Wharf and setting out for an adventure. Along the way we passed Ghirardelli Square, Fort Mason, the Golden Gate Yacht Club and Crissy Field before beginning the uphill trek towards the Golden Gate Bridge. We crossed the bridge on our bikes and continued on to Sasalito where we boarded a ferry with our boats headed back to San Fran. Kris loved the tour; Jena ... not as much!
13: golden gate bridge | SAN FRANCISCO'S GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable symbols of San Francisco. The iconic bridge, with it's signature International Orange colour and Art Deco styling, boasts 746 foot tall towers and sweeping cables as it crosses Golden Gate Straight, connecting the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. The bridge sees more than 10 million annual visitors and can be crossed by vehicle (tolls apply), bicycle or on foot. It was not peak season when we crossed the bridge but we still needed to weave our way through groups of tourists taking in the breathtaking views from and of the bridge. We even stopped a few times to capture our own photos and memories as we crossed.
14: golden gate | BRIDGE
17: Our trip to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without a day of riding the cable cars through the famous hilly streets of the City. We boarded a trolley near our hotel and set out for the day exploring China Town and Union Square, visiting Tommy's Joynt for a Thanksgiving lunch, taking in a movie, witnessing Black Friday shopping mayhem and enjoying views of the city including the Bay and Lombard Street.
18: Any trip to California must include a visit to Napa and Sonoma Valleys to tour the country-side and sample various wines from these famous regions. We boarded a bus in San Francisco and headed out for our guided tour. The tour guide informed us of local history and facts of San Francisco landmarks, including the Bay Bridge, earthquake history and current building code requirements and the Golden Gate Bridge, among others, as well as interesting facts pertaining to the geography along our route and the wine making and tasting processes. Our tour included stops at three vineyards (Madonna Estate, Sutter Home Winery and Sebastiani Vineyards) as well as lunch at Napa Style in the V Marketplace, downtown Napa. | WINE TOUR - NAPA & SONOMA VALLEYS
20: GO CAR TOUR OF SAN FRANCISCO One of our favourite memories of this trip was our Go Car tour of the City. We hopped in a two-seater "car" and followed our GPS tour guide through the City to see several famous and beautiful locations and listened to the information provided via the speakers in our "car." We got out to explore at several locations and saw many places in the City that we might otherwise never have visited. Our tour took us along the same route as our bike tour initially, then to Baker Beach (where we had spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and explored an abandoned bunker), Ocean Beach along the Pacific Coast, Golden Gate Park, to the famous Painted Ladies, down Lombard Street ("the Crookedest Street"), by China Town, through Union Square and back to our starting point, near Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf.
22: SITES ON OUR GO CAR TOUR Our Go Car, since we did not reserve in advance, was a little worse for wear (our initial survey of the car for damage before we took it out simply included scribbling all over the page to show that it was dinged and scratched everywhere) and along the way we lost one of our side mirrors (Kris pulled over to let Jena out to pick it up off of the street) and our GPS unit fell to the floor early on in the trip. Made for some great memories though!
24: Farewell San Fran... until next time....