Thursday, April 24, 2014

Goodbye Ghirardelli

The previous day had been so exhausting that we decided to sleep in our last day.
After checking out of the hotel, and packing up our car,
we decided to take the small walk over to Lombard Street.
This small walk turned into a significant hike.
I felt really bad for the Asian business men making the hike in their 3-piece suits,
because I was sweating bullets in my sleeveless top.
For lunch, we walked back to Fisherman's Wharf and ate at a pizza place.
We had seen that it said "voted best pizza in SF" out front.
That should've been a red flag, but it wasn't.
The pizza was not good. And neither was the service.
Usually the ones that have to say it, actually aren't the best.
We couldn't leave San Francisco without one last stop at Ghirardelli, 
so we back and got our final sundae.
It was Michael's birthday, and he chose a banana split.
^^Michael begged me to take this photo every time we were there
(which was every day, if you haven't noticed)
since it was his birthday, I finally gave in.

Michael and I had a great time in San Francisco.
It was so fun to see so many iconic places that I have wanted to visit for so long.
However, we both voted, and Seattle still wins our favorite West Coast city.
Hope you enjoyed the recap of our trip! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nature Day

Sunday came bright and early on account of poor planning.
We got back to our hotel pretty late from the wedding, 
and had pre-ordered tickets for an Alcatraz tour starting at 9:30am.
Bad plan.
It was not easy to wake up, especially when we are so used to Central Standard Time.
We made it to the ferry on time though, and we were on the way to Alcatraz Island.
Don't let this picture deceive you, this was the coldest boat right I have ever experienced.
We did have a cool view of the island covered in fog on the ride.
Once we arrived on the island, we were welcomed by a park ranger,
and then followed the crowd to the actual penitentiary where they distributed the audio tours.
This was an incredible tour!
It was nice to have my own headset, and to be able to walk through at my own pace.
Of course, there were about 500 other people walking at their own pace beside me, or in front of me, whatever the case may be.
Even so, it was very informational, and entertaining.
^^Alcatraz Island
^^One of two windows in the prison.
And such a pretty view.
There were also great views of the city from the outside courtyard.
^^the foggy Golden Gate Bridge
^^In front of the old guards quarters.
^^Loving our audio tours
After our tour we had time for a quick lunch on the pier,
so we went back to the Boudin Bakery for round two of the sourdough bread bowls.
Still completely delicious!
After getting our fill of soup and bread, we got in the car to head to Muir Woods.
The drive was interesting because our GPS told us it was a mere 15 miles, but that it would take us about an hour to get there.
The hour was generous.
Another part of the day that we had not considered was that we were driving to a national monument, on a Sunday, in perfect weather.
It took us forever to get there, and when we finally did, we had to park at least a mile away.
Just like when we drove to Multnomah, Michael was not a fan of the roads.
They were small, curvy, and had a drop-off on one side.
The trees in the part made it completely worth the long, scary drive.
We had such a great time walking along the main trail.
It was actually not even a trail, it was a boardwalk.
Michael and I were having fun, and taking pictures of trees, and then I thought
"Why not do a little hike while we're here."
Mistake #1.
I heard a family with young kids talking about the trails, and they made them all sound easy, so I just picked one.
Mistake #2.
At first it was all fun and trees.
Until it wasn't.
There were still trees, but there were also stairs, and steep hills.
And we were not dressed appropriately for such a rigorous hike.
Mistake #3.
I chose the yellow one.
It was a little deceiving because there was no view of the ocean.
^^This picture adequately describes our feelings.
Michael said I am never allowed to choose a hiking trail again.
We were completely exhausted, but happy that we got this picture.
We ended the day with takeout in our hotel room.
It was a long and exhausting day, but we had a great time being tourists in and around San Francisco.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oates Wedding

Saturday in California was all about the reason we came:
I want to make a little plug for the Bay Bridge.
I feel like it gets stuck in the Golden Gate's shadow all the time.
No, its not the pretty red-orange color.
And yes, it does lead to Oakland (yikes) instead of a beautiful boat town.
But it is still a good looking bridge!
Anyways, enough about that.
We left San Francisco and took the short 1.5 hour drive to Sacramento and got there just in time for a late lunch. 
We ate yummy pizza, browsed some antique stores, and walked around the beautiful downtown area.
The weather and the scenery were completely perfect.
Then, it was on to the wedding.
It has been such a long time since we have seen all of Michael's friends.
The last time we saw Nate, Michael and I were newlyweds living in Oklahoma!
Needless to say, we had such a great time catching up with everyone!
^^Michael and some of his best college friends
^^Words With Friends-ers for life!
We were most happy to see Nate!
He is such a great guy, and was a wonderful friend and roommate to Michael.
We have missed him, and were so excited to meet his bride.
Their wedding was absolutely beautiful.
And so much fun!
From the jokes told by Nate's dad during the ceremony,
to the cute bundt cupcakes (I might have eaten 4)
to dancing and laughing with friends - it was the perfect night!
Of course, it helps when you have the perfect date.
^^Money dancing with the groom
^^More money dancing with the groom
^^The whole OC group at the wedding!
One thing that Nate's Dad kept going on about was how great it is that we are all still friends, 
and that we would travel so far for a wedding.
Its just another reason that I am so thankful for my time at OC!
It blessed me with so many things, but most of all, friendships that last a lifetime.

Monday, April 21, 2014


Michael was most excited about Day 2 in San Francisco.
This was the day we checked stadium #2 off of our NFL tour list.
*You can read about our first NFL tour here.
This time it was Candlestick Park.
We were lucky to be able to tour this stadium before it closes this August.
^^Can you feel the excitement??
This tour was completely different than the tour in Seattle.
For one, this stadium has been around since the 60s, while Seattle's is much newer.
That means that it holds a whole lot of history.
It was an incredible tour, and if you are in San Francisco before August, you should go.
^^View from one of the suites.
Unfortunately the field was not painted, we were pretty bummed.
Why are there dugouts on a football field you ask?
Because long ago it was actually a baseball park.
See! Interesting tour!
^^This is our tour guide. 
He was great, but I forgot his name.
And those are the doors. The doors to the home locker room.
After the Seahawks tour when we got to go into the locker room last minute, this was old news.
The locker room was pretty great though.
Especially the part when the tour guide told Michael who's locker he was sitting inside.
Again, he was so excited.
Out of all the 49ers, Kaepernick is the one he talked about the most.
It was pretty great.
^^I'm doing that weird leg thing again.
I can't explain it.
After the locker room, we got to see the media area (which was tiny!)
and then go out and walk on the field.
Part of the history with the 49ers are all their Superbowl championships.
Of course, they don't keep the trophies in the stadium except on gameday,
so the closest we got were these high definition pictures.
Like I said, it was an excellent tour.
Kind of a bummer that we just checked one off and it will be closing.
I guess that means we will have to go back to San Francisco and tour the new one in the future.

After the tour, we made a quick stop at Fisherman's Wharf for lunch at In-N-Out.
Again, Michael was super excited.
As soon as we finished the burgers, we were off to the Golden Gate Bridge.
This is the part of our trip that I was most excited about!
This bridge is one of the most iconic places in America, and I've always wanted to see it.
^^Driving over the bridge.
We were not prepared for how difficult it would be to find the perfect picture spot.
First we stopped at a terrible lookout spot that was packed with tourists.
The pictures aren't even worth posting.
1) You can't even really get the bridge in the picture.
2) Random people were in every one of our pictures.
and 3) It was crazy windy so I looked like a mess.
I did manage to get this great picture of some more boats though:
After getting lost in the tiny town across the the bridge, we finally made it to the perfect picture spot.
Luckily for us, someone was pulling out of a parking spot right when we pulled up.
Parking is literally an issue every where in this city.
^^Definitely worth the wait.
Almost every city I have been to has a structure that I become obsessed with.
In Paris it was the Eiffel Tower.
In Seattle it was the Space Needle.
And apparently in San Francisco it is the Golden Gate Bridge.
^^It took quite a few tries to get this photo.
As I said, it was super windy.
Especially way up on this hill.
We found some nice guys who wanted a million photos of them, on several different cameras too,
which made it a win-win for all of us.
As we were driving back to our hotel, we stumbled upon Lombard Street and decided to drive down it.
But first, you have to drive up it.
^^This picture doesn't do the hill justice.
It was so steep.
The worst part was the stop sign halfway up.
Michael might have panicked a little bit.

Later that evening we went to a little Italian place that I had found on Yelp.
^^This place to be exact.
It was close to our hotel, so we decided to walk.
As we were walking, we passed the cable car station, and there was one just sitting there.

^^The driver was so sweet and offered to take our picture.
So yeah, we didn't actually ride a cable car.
The line was way to long, but this picture means I can check it off the list.
By the time we made it to the restaurant, I was wishing we had taken a cable car.
This is the hill we climbed to get there.
^^We came from down there by the water.
It was a long hike.
I was pretty sure I was going to pass out.
We made it though and the food was excellent!
I got the ravioli with tomato cream sauce, and it was to die for.
I will probably dream about that sauce for the rest of my life.
It was so good!
Of course, we couldn't end the day without a Ghirardelli sundae, this time it was salted caramel!
So delicious!
It was another perfect day in sunny San Francisco!
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