Widgets Magazine

Mar 22, 2012

San Francisco

Ghiraidelli Chocolate Factory
We haven't really been on that many vacations during our married life. It wasn't until Bossy was in middle school that we actually took our first real one where we did all the planning, scheduling, you know.  Sometime I'll tell you about that one, but today I want to tell you about our first out-of-state trip.

I wanted to take the kids to see the ocean. I had been there once as a child and it was something I wanted to share with them. California is obviously the closest for us, but we couldn't really afford Disneyland, so we decided to head for San Francisco. My sister had recently been there and she gave it glowing reports. It was the summer of 2004 and from the pictures you can see that Sport was the baby and Scout wasn't born yet.

While I was busy making reservations, I ran across City Passes for the first time. They saved us SOO much money! But even more importantly, they helped us plan our trip. We got these 4-star hotels in Burlingame which is just a short drive from San Francisco. I'm pretty sure our room rate was $46 per room per night. I loved that hotel! It was beautiful and clean and new. I brought home all the extra shampoo bottles and every time I wanted to remember that trip, I would sneak one out of the drawer and use it.

My first glimpse of the bay was absolutely breathtaking. We didn't know where we were going and we were traveling by this wall of rocks. I told my sweetie to pull over and I would quickly scale this wall (I was much younger then...) and I thought we might be able to see the bay in the distance. Wrong! When I got to the top, the bay was right there! I could have stuck my foot in it. I had the kids carefully climb the wall to see what I saw and we were all mesmerized by the sight. Thankfully no one fell in.

One of the things the kids were most excited about was the cruise we took around the bay. We had never really spent much time in boats, so it was a whole new world for us. We took my MIL with us. She was sweet and patient with the kids (although she has refused every vacation since!) and I think she had a little fun anyway.  The Pier itself was awesome even though we didn't shop much. We loved the underwater aquarium and the seals sunning themselves.

I have always been a little terrified of tons of water, so the bridges were scary to me. Not because I'm not a good swimmer, but because I didn't know how I could possibly save all these kids if we were to suddenly plunge into a large body of water and how would I choose? But I digress...

My sweetie wanted to drive on the bridges. The Golden Gate Bridge was fine, but then we got on the San Francisco/Oakland Bay bridge. It was rush hour and we were stuck there for quite some time. After nearly an hour, my very autistic Dog Walker announced that he had to go to the bathroom. He was bouncing around in his seat, doing the potty dance until we finally got off the bridge. We stopped at the first gas station and wouldn't you know it, it was closed! The poor kid, I don't know how he held it for so long.

Ghiradelli Square, the cable cars, the Golden Gate bridge, everything was so new and exciting! The favorite place though, was the Exploratorium. I think the kids could have spent a week in there looking and touching and playing...oh yeah, and learning. We loved San Francisco so much we planned a second trip back there the next year. Some of the magic was gone, but it was still a fun trip. And I got more memories and more shampoo bottles...

9 comments:

Dog-Walker said...

Why would I do the potty dance, if I couldn't help myself enjoying the cruise?

Jenna said...

That sounds like such an incredible vacation! I've always wanted to go to San Francisco. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about it! I think people would have to drag me out of Ghiradelli though... :)

Jennifer said...

I lived in San Francisco when I was 18-20. I loooove it there. I too hate bridges! The scare the dickens out of me. I agree that the San Francisco/Oakland bridge is the worst!

Natalie Ockey said...

We love San Francisco. It has a special place in our hearts since it is where Randy and I fell in love! I lived in the bay area until I was 13, so I loved it before that anyway. I always try to talk Randy into taking our family there, but he hates CA. This blog entry brought back many memories . . .

Arkansas Patti said...

I share your loathing of bridges and it is usually a white knuckle event.
Sounds like you had a great time though. That is one city still in my bucket list.

Betsy said...

This sounds like it was an incredible trip for the entire family and I'm sure everyone has their own great memories. So many fun things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area, but the crowds drive me crazy. I usually take BART(rapid transit) when I go to the city. You need to visit again some day:-) Thanks for sharing.

Emmy said...

I have never been to San Francisco, definitely want to go someday.

mommeeof10 said...

I was stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco in the mid 1980's. They had a branch of the Defense Language Institute there. It is a beautiful place, but the foggy summers are a drag. Thankfully, if you go inland 10 miles or so, it was usually sunny.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I love San Francisco. I haven't been there in years but I do remember Ghiradelli square and buying some awesome chocolates! I think the last time I was there we did Alcatraz. Our son went to UC Santa Cruz and his girlfriend at the time went to Berkeley so we visited often. That must be 12 years ago.

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