So last weekend, my family made a family vacation up to NorCal – family together time! It was a lot of fun, and I had a great time! On the way up, we stopped at Winchester House in San Jose - where there are stairs to nowhere, doors that open to 8 foot drops, in a house that was constantly being built and rebuilt. Quite an interesting tour. We drove up Thursday afternoon and got to our hotel room. We walked around the area a little bit, and decided to eat dinner at Squat and Gobble – a little café and crepe place (though we didn’t eat any crepes – but tried their dinner special menu) – and it was quite good food!
Friday was fun – spent most of it with Katie on a whirlwind tour of San Francisco. (Which means doing all the tourist things that locals never do!) Started off at Market and Powell, and took a cable car to Lombard Street. Instead of waiting by the turntable, we walked up the hill to the next stop, to catch it there, getting standing positions, hanging off the side of the cable car! Which was fun (not to mention the arm exercise) – though I’m not sure how safe that is! A bit exhilarating ride!
We got to Lombard Street, and after some pictures, walked down the hill to the water over to Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39. We got to see the sea lions, walked through some of the shops (including the Lefty’s shop – for left handed people! Special pens, notebooks, cups, scissors, can openers, and more!), and grabbed crepes. We then completed the long (and somewhat arduous) walk up to Coit Tower, and waited in line for the long elevator ride up – in an old fashioned elevator! Beautiful views of San Francisco (though next time, I’m not sure I’d do it again – one of those onetime things that are great to do the first time perhaps). From there, we walked down to the Embarcadero and took the F tram (like real street cars – old trams!) back to Market to meet up with Benson for lunch – at Taco’s Sandwiches. For sandwiches, not tacos. Good pork sandwiches though! From there, we spent some time around Market Street, in and out of the Westfield mall before calling it a day. Afterwards, did a walkthrough of Chinatown with my parents before a looong walk back to the hotel.
The next day I was with my family again – we made a stop by the Levi’s Plaza, before going down to the Farmers’ Market, which was quite busy, and in a nice location next to the waterfront. We made a quick stop in the San Francisco Railway Museum too, which had some nice exhibits about the history of street cars in San Francisco. From there, we went over to the Golden Gate Bridge (where I left my National Parks passport in the car and forgot to get it stamped!) and walked around underneath the bridge for a while. After that, we drove across the bridge and stopped in Muir Woods National Monument (I did bring my passport for the National Parks this time!). We went on the main trail in a little circle to look at the redwood trees! Wow, they were huge! It was really a breathtaking trip, looking at trees hundreds of years old. Though some of the tourists didn’t exactly contribute to the natural ambience at some parts in the trail (I suppose that’s why real nature seekers take the real trails out into the woods), I had a great time there! (We were pretty lucky to find a parking space too!)
After that, we headed across the water (after going the long way back to the freeway), over to Berkeley, and stopped there for a while – took a little bit to look around the Berkeley campus, realizing I had no idea what I was looking at! And stopped to get some sandwiches for lunch.
After that we were on our way southbound – I drove for a couple hours down, and we stopped in Fresno for a few hours to see some family friends, and then back down to SoCal through the rest of the night!