Mijts Blog Maria and Nicks Blog

April 2, 2011

San Francisco trip

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:48 pm

Recently we visited San Francisco for 3 weeks – our fourth trip to this city. This time we stayed at a Marriott Residence Inn at San Mateo – just a 10 minute drive to Ben and Sarah’s place at San Carlos and a 5 minute drive to the Bart (train) station to go to the city. Because we have been to San Francisco four times now, we didn’t take too many photos – but we did re-visit several of our favourite spots!

We got to spend plenty of time with Ben and Sarah (and their dog, Koji – very cute!) and Sarah’s parents, Donna and Garry also visited from Washington for a few days and it was great to see them again too.

Apart from many restaurant visits – breakfast, lunches and dinners – we also got to do a couple of things we hadn’t done on previous trips. The weather was pleasantly cool – not too cold and fine most days. Whilst Sarah’s parents were there, we went on a hike in the nearby Santa Cruz mountains (where Ben does a lot of his cycling) – I think Koji enjoyed this outing the most!

In this photo – Donna, Sarah and Maria at the end of the hike – no doubt Koji and ‘the boys’ are ahead of us!

Sarah also organised for all of us to go on a Whale Watching Cruise. After an interesting talk by a naturalist – explaining the amazing migration habits of the whales – we set off from Half Moon Bay – with much anticipation and excitement. We went out to sea for about an hour and a half to where the whales had been regularly spotted for the past few weeks! Alas! none were spotted on this trip – apparently only the second time this had happened in the 20 trips taken this season.

However, as well as hundreds of crab-pot markers, some seals and plenty of birds, we did see these cute sea-lions.

On our return to Half Moon Bay, Sarah and Garry shopped for some Dungeness Crabs (straight from the fisherman) and that night Garry (a chef) cooked us an amazing meal featuring the crabs.

We re-visited Sausalito, a beautiful little tourist spot just across the Golden Gate Bridge. We went across on the ferry – with Donna, Garry and Sarah (Ben was working!) and browsed the many galleries, tourist shops and even the Saltwater Taffy (a candy store). This was a great day out in a little ‘town’ with a unique charm and character and included yet another amazing lunch – looking out over the Bay – at the restaurant on the left in the bottom photo.

On previous trips, we have visited the Haight/Ashbury District twice, walked Lombard St a couple of times, been up Coit Tower etc. No matter how many times we have done some things before – we always seem to want to visit again those favourite spots! Of course we hit the shops many times – Maceys had a fantastic sale with up to 70% off some things. I particularly love the couple of handbags I bought!

We love Monterey – so spent a day there – just the two of us. We spotted this sea-lion at Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf – basking in the sun on someone’s boat!

We had lunch at our favourite Monterey restaurant – Fish Hoppers – amazing food and perfect views! And yet another ‘silly’ photo taken by holding the camera out in front (our height difference is a challenge!)

It is never a trip to San Francisco unless we go into the city, ride a trolley car down to Fisherman’s Wharf and wander around for a while – enjoying the boats, the view of Alcatraz etc – and this time the tulips were in bloom!

Nick enjoyed chatting to a Gull!

and, of course, there were sea-lions at Pier 39 – followed by lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Something else we ALWAYS do is visit the Golden Gate Park area.

Last time we were in San Francisco, we walked a little way onto the Bridge but it was very windy and I had quite a sore knee. This time we managed to walk right across the bridge and back again!

On our last day we had a few hours to fill in (our plane didn’t leave until nearly midnight and we were all packed and ready) so we returned to Coyote Recreation Area in San Mateo – just a short distance from where we were staying. We had been there previously with Ben and Sarah. This time we visited the Museum for Environmental education which included a one acre Wildlife Habitat, walk-through aviaries and Environments and Gardens. Many of the animals such as the Bobcat, Coyote etc were indoors (as winter was just ending). However, we did see lots of bird-life, some turtles (in an interesting line-up – see photo!)

and the river otters were very entertaining!

We had a wonderful holiday, ate far too much, of course, but we DID do lots of walking!

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