May 8, 2012

San Francisco

As the name of my blog suggest, we Smiths are not home much.  We like to get out and do.  And when we can we like to travel.  Back in February we got the opportunity to take a trip to San Francisco a week before my birthday (week before since one of my besties babies was born the day before my b-day).

It was a dual purpose trip.  Not only were we there for a mini vacay, we were also there to give our friends and my boss a chance to scout out the area some more and get a feel for where they want to live when they move out there this summer.  It is crazy to see the cost of living out there as compared to what we pay here on the Gulf.  The option is still open for my family to move out there also for my job, but with the exception of the days that I just feel the need to leave it all behind, I am happy with where i am at the moment.

For the trip we rented an amazing house in Walnut Creek that we found on HomeAway.  Sorry I didn't get any pictures, but we were too busy enjoying the spa on the 40 degree evenings.

I am surprised just how much we fit into 4 days (including travel days).  We ate at amazing places like Johnny Garlics in Dublin, Sushi Ran in Sausalito and Sailor Jack's in Benecia.

The first day we spent the morning in Muir Woods hiking through the Red Woods.  I could spend days at a time hiking, running and exploring in this place.  It was still pretty cool out during the day and the tree canopy kept it even cooler.  We even saw a woodpecker in action, but he wouldn't be still for the photo.  Someone please remind me in the future not to put all my stuff in a kangaroo pouch on my sweatshirt when I am trying to loose weight.

After our hike and lunch, we headed in to San Fran since we had no plans for the afternoon.  We walked around Pier 39, saw the Sea Lions, checked out the Rodney Lough, Jr Gallery where we fell in love with several of his photographs.  Went to eat dinner at an upscale restraunt, but after crappy appetizers and even crappier service decided a meal there wasn't worth it.  We headed back to the gallery and after a few hours of haggling and choosing framing options, purchased 2 prints:  Three Graces and Wilderness H2O.

The second morning started early, especially considering CA is 2 hours behind our normal time zone and I have an internal alarm for 6 am Texas time, and we stayed up till 2:30 CA time.  We took the long way around into San Francisco since the bridge that was close to us was closed going into the city and got there right on time for our Alcatraz tour.  I was really surprised by the gardens there and the fact that the dirt was brought in specifically for that purpose since the prison was built on a rock.  The tour was really informative and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would wearing the little speaker set.  The only problem we had was the 4 of us never seemed to by synced up on the recordings.

The guys wanted to soap up and belly slide across the showers, something about reliving high school football memories.  The view of the San Francisco bridge was amazing.  What was really amazing to see was how strong the current was.  You could actually see the pull of the water fighting directions.  It gave real credence to the thought that though a few may have escaped, it was very unlikely they survived.

Back on the mainland we at crab and clam chowder from street vendors and took a twisted walk through the city in search of cool places to hang out and drink.  We had one rule to determine our direction.  We would continue our path until the crosswalk signs changed, and then we would change direction.  If we saw an interesting place, we would go in and have a glass of wine.  Our first stop was to a combo Indian restaurant/Irish Pub.  We sat in the pub and watched part of Kill Bill until our drinks were gone and it was time to move on.  We stopped in an old American decor wine bar, then walked through China town.  When we hit an unsavory area where a guy in the door way of a strip club asked my husband "Can I smoke your beard?", we turned around and made our way through the Italian part of town and stopped again to have some Italian wine.  We were almost back at the bay when we encountered a group of guys playing street hockey and rollerblading uphill.  We were in awe and agreed that would be impossible for any one of us to attempt.  We ended our days expedition and headed back to the house for yet more wine and more spa time.

Our final day we went to eat and drove by the office in Benecia before heading back to the airport and home to our kiddos.  I had an amazing trip and would love to visit again.  Still not certain I could live there though.


Stephanie said...

Oh San Fran is on my list of must see places! It's just so far away:) Thanks for sharing your trip with us...those trees are amazing!

Stephanie said...

Just checking in!! Hope you are well :)

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