We have officially made it to day 11 of the 107 day road trip. It feels like it has flown by and yet we have so many more adventures ahead of us.
Our latest stop was to San Francisco, California.
Both Ryan and I have visited San Francisco a few times, but this was a first for all four kids. With just under two days to spend exploring, we filled our itinerary with some of the most touristy things to do. At times, we felt a little silly for being so touristy; and then we got over ourselves and just played the part (minus the black socks and sandals).
We left the trailer behind in Petaluma at a campsite and drove in to San Francisco to stay overnight in a hotel. We’ll be staying in hotels every once in a while to give us a chance to spread out a bit, shower in a big shower (although, the airstream shower is pretty great!) and to be close to whatever city/town we’re in.
While in San Francisco, we stayed at The Argonaut Hotel down near Fisherman’s Wharf.
It’s an old 1907 warehouse-turned boutique hotel. With a big family, it’s hard to find a hotel room that will fit us all, but the suite we found here was perfect. Plenty of room to spread out and it was such a well-decorated space.
The day of our arrival, the weather was rather Seattle-like with drizzly rain and chilly temperatures. We didn’t let it stop us and stuck with our plan to see as much of the city as we could.
Our first stop: Lombard Street, also known as the crookedest street in the world (here’s a bit of history and a few photos of the street). Next up: a walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf for a must-have lunch of clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.
At the end of Pier 39, there is the most gorgeous view of the bay, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge beyond.
Pier 39 is also the home of the noisiest/most entertaining creatures of all: sea lions. We watched the massive animals bark and wrestle and dive in and out of the water for quite a while. They are just so entertaining.
Because we were playing the tourist game, we hopped on a cable car and rode through town. Later that night we found our way to Northbeach and Little Italy where we ate at a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant much later than our normal dinner time.
Across from the restaurant was this pretty city park and big catholic church. We were told that Runaway Bride was filmed here (remember that movie?! I loved that one!) along with a handful of other films. I always like learning those random facts about places.
On Sunday (Mother’s Day), we grabbed a quick bite to eat at a darling french bakery around the corner from our hotel.
Then off we went to hop on a boat over to Alcatraz. Confession: before this tour, I knew very little about Alcatraz. I knew it was a prison for notorious criminals (like mobster Al Capone). I didn’t know it was originally a Civil War fort which later turned into a prison until it was closed in the 60’s. Later, a group of Native American protestors took over the deserted island as a political statement which proved to be successful in helping them get back land. So much history for one little island!The tour, while super touristy, was actually very entertaining for all of us. You walk through the cellhouse and listen to an audio tour about what life was like as an inmate, details about a few of the escape attempts and lots of little facts about the people who worked and families who lived on Alcatraz.
The gardens are quite beautiful, as is the view of the city.
After a long day of walking, we hopped back in the car and drove through wine country (Sonoma – so pretty!) for dinner. We’re adding Sonoma/Petaluma to our ‘must return’ list, which will surely become very long after we are done with this trip.
We arrived in Yosemite last night for a few days of hiking, picture taking and enjoying breath-taking views.
As always, you can follow along on our journey over on instagram @jonesdesigncompany
Coming up this week (if all goes as planned):
- Roadtrip Realities: thoughts on laundry, cooking on the road and other ponderings
- An audio Coffee Chat with Ryan. We’ll answer a few questions about the trip, blogging and marriage.
- Don’t forget that registration closes for Simplified Penmanship on Monday May 16th! SIGN UP NOW