Day 6 – California Trip 2011

It’s 10/20/11 – our 7-year wedding anniversary!  YAY!  Well, we awoke to a thick fog in Monterey.  We grabbed breakfast at the hotel and then began making our way to San Francisco.  We did stop briefly at a town called Capitola.  There wasn’t much to see with all the fog, but we still took a stroll near the beach.  After that, we headed to Santa Cruz and stopped at a park there.  We saw a few interesting things, as you can see:

In the last picture, the unicycle dude went for several miles, riding his unicycle the whole way down the beach and back.  I could tell he loved the attention he was getting.  Rightly so!

We drove on and we stopped for lunch at Half Moon Bay at a place called Joe’s.  It was diner-like and hit the spot.  Back on the road, we kept an eye out for Mavericks, a popular surfing spot.  It’s not supposed to be easy to find and with the weather as yucky as it was we just kept on truckin’.  Besides, we were close to San Francisco!  As soon as we got there, we made our way to the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was still foggy, darn it, but we got to see at least some of it.

[vimeo vimeo.com/32061410]

When we were at the other side, we stopped at a vista to take a look at the bridge.  I happened to notice an interesting group of buildings a couple of miles away below us.  We decided to investigate.  It ended up being a place called Fort Baker.  We were able to walk around the battery where the monster-guns used to be housed.  It was a lot of fun to explore the area.  It makes you wonder what this place looked like when it was running full-time back in the day. After hiking around the area, we decided to go check out our hotel.  Some of you may remember my facebook post about trying to find good lodging at a decent price in San Francisco several months ago.  It’s nearly impossible!  I did a ton of research and decided to stay somewhere in the Fisherman’s Wharf area.  I ultimately decided to splurge on our hotel.  I reserved the penthouse suite at the Wharf Inn.  Why?  1) the price per square foot couldn’t be beat (the penthouse suite is 1000 sq feet)  2)  Free parking (most hotels charge at least $30/night!)  3)  We could walk to a ton of attractions or easily catch mass transit from this location  4) It had decent reviews on tripadvisor  5)  Last but certainly not least, it was our anniversary!  We checked in and took a look at our suite.  We were not disappointed.

[vimeo vimeo.com/32062238]

The suite was lovely and we felt like a king and queen during our stay!  We quickly unloaded our stuff and we were checking out the view from our decks on either side.  We noticed a couple newish double-decker busses loading up tourists on the street below.  I quickly asked David if he wanted to do a tour of the city on the bus.  He said “YES!” so we grabbed our stuff and headed back out to see if we could catch that bus.  The outfit was called Open Top Sightseeing Bus Tours.  We got our tickets and, of course, headed to the top of the bus.  David wanted to sit all the way in the back.  I am SO glad we did this tour.  It was great!  Here are some of the cool things we saw along the way.

We had a knowledgeable (and adorable) tour guide, Katie.  She told us all sorts of neat stuff as we drove all over the city, including… another ride over the Golden Gate Bridge!  This time it was sunny and clear and perfect!   Here’s a picture of the entrance to China Town.  The Bay Bridge was really pretty too.  We even got to see the Occupy dingalings camping out in a park.  By the time the tour was over, the sun was setting and I was a frozen solid mass of Wendy.  It was awesome though and completely worth it.  We didn’t have much time in San Francisco and were happy to have a quick tour to see so many cool things.  The bus dropped us off right next to our hotel.  We went back to our suite so I could warm up a bit.  We then walked to the famous Boudin Bakery.  

 

It was a short stroll there and we got a great supper, which included their famous sourdough bread, to take back to the hotel.  We ate in our dining room while looking at the awesome nighttime views of both the city and the bay.

After dinner we reflected on our amazing our first day in San Francisco.  We settled into the living room and made hot chocolate, chatted and watched tv.  David took a smoke break and took a pic of me from outside 🙂

Very soon after this picture was taken, at 8:16 PM Pacific Time, we experienced an earthquake!  It was a 3.9, so not huge (thank goodness).  The whole suite shook…slightly at first, then hard at the end.  We sat in silence throughout, even though it didn’t last long.  After it ended, we responded differently.  David yelled out several expletives over and over.  I yelled out “COOOL!!!!!”.  I ran to look outside and it was business as usual.  People were walkin’ down the street as if nothing had happened.  Wow.  By the way, we learned on our tour that all the flat land in San Francisco is actually not land.  It is land FILL.  The ground is not stable where there is fill, so I think both that and being on the top floor of our building was why we felt the quake as strongly as we did.  …and do you want to see something ironic?  Check out this poster that I saw the next day:

How wild that an earthquake occurred on the same day as The Great California Shake Out!!!  Too funny!

Sooooo what’s on tap for tomorrow?  ALCATRAZ!

 

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