We ended our trip in San Francisco, the beautiful city by the bay. Our first day, we rode a trolley down to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we had the uber-touristy sourdough bread bowls with soup. (James had pizza). The trolleys are cool and are refurbished from other cities around the world. Some have placards that show where and when they originated.
We took a cruise and sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge and close to Alcatraz. It was windy and we got a little wet. After walking up Lombard, the “crookedest street,” we then wandered up and down hills and through neighborhoods back to the hotel, which was just south of Market. We ate at an Italian restaurant nearby (our waitress’s very first day!) and Dan got an ice cream sundae and a serenade when we told her it was the eve of his birthday.
On July 21, Daniel’s 14th birthday, we brought his tiger, “Hobbes,” with us to see more iconic San Francisco sights. Hobbes was a gift from Anne Alexander, Daniel’s godmother, when he was born, and I took pictures of him with it every month on the 21st for his first year. Since then, we take pictures of the two of them every year on his birthday.
Starting on a cable car from Powell & Hyde, we rode to the end of the line. It was cool watching the workers rotate the cable car on its turntable to switch from one route to the other. We got a chocolate sample at Ghirardelli Square and then caught the bus to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautiful day and we walked half way across before turning around. I noticed several crisis intervention kiosks with suicide prevention numbers at various points along the walkway. We found Bethlehem Steel's name on a plaque for the bridge. Standing at the base of the suspension towers, it was a long way up and a long way down!
We returned on the bus and rambled around the waterfront, going to a Maritime Museum and seeing a display about the history of San Francisco. We had lunch (my second bread bowl of chowder - yum!) and I when I placed the order, I gave the name “Birthday Boy Daniel.” The cashier gave him some cookies and the server laughed as he dished up our soups.
After lunch, we rode on the Rocketboat, a super fast speedboat that did 360’s as it raced under the Bay Bridge. We had gotten a little wet the day before, but nothing like this! We were soaked! Fortunately, they gave out ponchos that said, "Soak in San Francisco... and no charge for the hairdos!" We saw a few sea lions (most were breeding in southern waters) and watched a unicyclist at Fisherman’s Wharf. We wandered back through Chinatown and picked up some birthday cupcakes in a nearby bakery.
On our last day, we took a bus to Golden Gate Park, which was very pretty. It was warm and sunny as we toured the beautiful Japanese Garden, but got increasingly foggy as we made our way towards the coast. We saw the bison and then hopped on a bus back to the hotel, where it was sunny again! We sadly said farewell to San Francisco and flew back to LA, where we caught our red-eye to Philadelphia.
July 6 - 8 Nevada - Las Vegas & Hoover Dam
July 8 - 9, Utah - Zion & Bryce National Parks
July 10, Arizona - Antelope, Horseshoe Bend, Little Colorado
July 10, Grand Canyon Desert View & Sunset
July 11, Grand Canyon South Rim & Bright Angel Trail
July 12, Rafting in the Grand Canyon & Helicopter Ride
July 13, Palm Springs & Pee Wee
July 14 - 17, Los Angeles
July 19, Yosemite
July 20 - 22, San Francisco
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