Ok, so there was a brief hiatus from our San Francisco posts, but I’ll wrap it up right here, right now. Simon and I rented a car on Saturday while everyone else went to Muir Woods. We cruised around town and enjoyed the marvelous weather, and followed part of the 49-mile Scenic Drive (check out the awesome signage above – I really want a print of that). The 49-mile drive is meaningful on many levels; the city is 49 miles square, and it’s also symbolic of the 1849 Gold Rush. There’s a great Wikipedia on it if you want to know more.
We rented a convertible, which was particularly fun as we cruised on over the Golden Gate Bridge. It was also the end of Fleet Week in SF, and the boats were all out in the Bay to watch the airshow. It was pretty spectacular, and extremely loud. Jude would’ve been really freaked out.
We made our way through Marin up to Napa Valley. It was spectacularly beautiful, and there was a crispness in the air. It just smelled like grapes and the vineyards were beautiful. We cruised through the various little towns, like St Helena and Calistoga. Did you know there’s another Old Faithful geyser in Calistoga? Apparently it is one of three Old Faithfuls. That’s about as disappointing to me as discovering when I was a kid that there was more than one Shamu.
After dinner near Berkeley and a pitstop at Trader Joe’s (we had to load up on supplies!), we hopped back on the 49-Mile drive and snaked through the Presidio. By this time, it was totally dark, and the view of the Golden Gate was spectacular. There was not a cloud in the sky; it was totally clear with a great big moon and tons of stars. We pulled over and shot a few photos. Someday I want to go back and check out the Cliff House on the Pacific. At sunset, it must be absolutely dazzling.
Our last full day in San Francisco, Simon and Eric biked for 17 miles in the morning. Of course, this was after Eric had already been running that morning, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. While the guys did that, I met everyone else for breakfast near Union Square, and then I took off shopping by myself for awhile. It was more browsing than shopping, really. But it was nice to just hang out. When the guys got back, all of us but my parents set off for Chinatown. The boys really enjoyed checking out all the little tourist traps. Upon the recommendation of a friend of ours who lived in SF for awhile, we were sure to stop at the Golden Gate Bakery for some special treats. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised that the Chinese baked goods were pretty yummy. I don’t know what I expected, but it was good!
Before we knew it, we had made it through Chinatown and were headed to North Beach. The boys were such troopers, and nary a complaint for all the walking we did. Of course, there were copious stops for snacks and sweets. 🙂 So they were happy campers. We ended up all the way back to Fishermans’ Wharf, and ate dinner at Pier 39 after watching the stinky, barking sea lions for awhile. They really are entertaining.
Cafe Chairs in North Beach (Little Italy)
It was a final goodbye to SF on a last cable car ride that night. Monday was just travel, travel, travel. ::sigh:: Almost takes the fun out of going somewhere, just having to get there!