Sunday, February 9, 2014

See you soon.

Julie, Abby, Scout, & Ben on the Muni.
We're getting to be seasoned at traveling about the cities we travel to. Becca is a good teacher when it comes to riding on mass transits. From the tube in London, Tokyo, Sweden, Berlin, and now San Francisco, getting around in these great cities seem easy upon reflection. On this trip, 7 day passes get us rides on the  Muni, Buses, & Cable Cars. The muni literally runs right behind our apartment, we could jump onto it off our deck, the stop is less than a 1/16th of mile. In San Francisco the lingo is In bound & Out bound. We ride to Powell station in bound to walk, maybe 100 yards to the cable cars, or to end of line and then maybe a 500 yards to Pier 1 and the waterfront street car. These streets cars are painted & labeled in the colors of varies cities in the US & Central America.

Julie & Ben in the cell block.
 Today we get off at Pier 1, stop for a coffee at Starbucks, hop onto the streetcar to Pier 33, onto the ferry to the "Rock", Alcatraz to look around. Ben grew up watching the movie, "The Rock", and was very excited about touring here, as was Julie, Abby, Scout, and I. We did have a little problem, as the walk up to the top is equal to walking up 13 stories. This was a bit to much for Abby & Scout and they waited for us to do the tour. The National Parks handed out audio tours for all visitors to listen about the history of the "The Rock". Again this made a very interesting time inside. Like Ben said at the end, just imagine, standing in a space that some of this countries biggest criminals stood!
Scout & Ben

 On our way back, Ben puts on the sling to relieve Abby, and to get some more bonding time with Scout. Friday night we take a four block walk down hill to a Irish pub. The food was great, a nice little neighborhood bar & grille.

San Francisco is a testing city to get around in. Lots of hills, both ways are hard on the old bodies.

See you later is what we say in this family, never using the "g" word! Even this is hard to say, but we look forward to our next excursion, probably next August to Dublin, that will be soon, until then "face time" will have to do....
See ya soon!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ben & Julie Arrival in San Francisco.

Julie, Ben, & Becca back together again.
Adventure is what we do. Abby, Scout, & I venture out to San Francisco Airport to pick up Ben & Julie. We jump on the J muni and ride to end of line, switch over to the BART line, and one transfer later arrive at SFO. We connect with the kids pretty easy, reverse our route back to our Air BnB rental and after almost 2 years the kids reconnect with Becca. She has pizza waiting for our supper.
Muir Woods

Julie & Scout
Scout is fast to sleep upon their arrival, Abby carries her in the sling. Scout awakes and finally meets her aunt and uncle, warming up to them very fast.

Ben & Scout

Thursday we take a tour to Muir Woods, ageless Redwoods just North of San Francisco, we load unto the tour bus, only our family and 2 others, it's like a private tour, over the Golden Gate we ride. It's a little misty out, but the 1 hour 15 walk about in the woods is majestic. The smells of wet forest is awesome, the hugh burls on some of the trees are spectacular. I would love getting one of them to turn on the lathe.
Becca, Scout, Steven, & Jayme

We arrive back into San Francisco in time for supper with our old friend's Ron & Blanche Deren's son Steven and his fiance Jayme. Wow, such an handsome couple they are, and great conversation we had. 

Steven & Jayme has set their date for October 11th, 2014 for a wedding on Maui. I hope for the best for them, I did offer some advice to Steven, I told him to remember, "a happy wife, makes a happy life."

Our vacation days are winding down, today we're heading out to the "The Rock", hopefully missing the forecasted rain, but it doesn't look good at 100% chances.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

San Francisco Tuesday

Traveling is hard when you change time zones. Baby Scout wakes up the first night at 330am, that's 11am internal clock time for her. Last night she goes to sleep at 5pm, but sleeps in until 530am today. It's also hard on Grandpa, it only being 2 hours difference, my internal clock is all messed up too.

Tuesday we go with Becca to Air BnB's home office and we take a tour of it with Becca. Our girl knows a lot of people in her company, and they're from all corners of the world. They also have a food service in their headquarters, if you have seen the movie "Interns" with Owen Wilson you'll understand what they have. So we had a good breakfast there.

End of line on the Mason-Powell trolley.
Elmo on the street.
Afterwards, Becca has meetings to get to, so we headed to Fisherman's Wharf with Scout. These trips for us always gets us more walking and exercise. Today is a gorgeous day, sunshine, not a lot of tourist, but enough of them. All ages and nationality's.

We've got our routes down, on the muni's J-Church and Trolley. They're very user friendly, and we've met some very nice people on them  A older lady sat next to Abby and Scout yesterday, she's been in San Fran since 1959, coming west from Chicago.

We get back to our apartment around 130pm, rest up for a 1/2 hour and off to Deloris Park, about 2 blocks N of the apartment. This is not a normal 2 blocks, it's up a hill, about 37 degree grade and then down a 37 degree grade hill. I think the travel guides say there are 43 hills consisting of 49 square miles that make up San Francisco. The parking on the streets are to say the least very interesting at times.

In the park we find lots of kids and moms mostly playing in a newly built play area. Sand boxes, rubber surfaced area's to protect the falls, all very modern.

Read time with Grabby.

After supper, it's read time and then shortly thereafter our tired lil flicka Scout falls to sleep on Grabby's lap. Wednesday Ben & Julie arrive, we're looking forward to that as I know they are too.

Tired lil flicka, fast to sleep.

Monday, February 3, 2014

San Francisco 2014.

February 1, 2014 our trip to San Francisco starts with a two hour flight delay in Sioux Falls, SD. We finally board around 7PM for the first leg to Denver, CO. Needless to say we missed our connection to San Francisco, so United put us up at a Double Tree, we get about 5 hours of sleep, and back to the airport we go for the 6 AM flight.

Upon arriving in San Francisco we're greeted with rain. However we're told they've been experiencing a drought, so we happily go along with this greeting.  We get checked in to our motel and we search for a city tour and we select Tower Tours for a 3 1/2 hour tour. We have found through our travels that this is good to do on the first days, helps familiarize us with our new surroundings.

John & Abby in front of City Hall.
The driver gave us a few ons and offs for photo taking, but mostly this was a riding tour of the city. Fisherman's wharf will be a area that we'll return to. I know, I know, lots of touristy "traps" in the area, but I'm going back for the food! They have to have some Oysters available!

One of our photo stops of course had to be the golden gate. Truly a magnificent sight. I would love to ride my motorcycle over this bridge, Highway 1 here I come!

The Golden Gate

Of course our main reason for being here arrives around 4PM today, hugs are locked and loaded..more to follow.