During July, my family drove to San Francisco,California, USA and I'm going to recount the adventures of that great trip...
Driving, Driving, Driving, that's pretty much it. We hit the road early in the morning and five excited people were on their way to San Francisco. Soon enough, we were out of Washington and were greeted by a " Welcome to Oregon" sign. We passed many fields and pastures and occasionally had to roll up the windows when the strong smell of cow manure( I know- ew!) drifted in. We stopped for lunch and returned to the road where more fields of crops and pastures awaited us. It was a relaxing drive and we entertained ourselves by playing card games and singing ( okay, maybe I was the only one singing :-)) as well as reading. Soon, once the sun started setting, we looked for a place to spend the night and found a place to stay. When we reached the hotel we put our bags in our room and immediately went for a swim in the pool which I must say was very fun. Then, we went for dinner and went back to our rooms and slept. We woke up early in the morning for breakfast and started driving again.
Okay, we begin driving and driving and soon began to pass olive trees and hills and well and a vinery or two and we knew that we were reaching California soon. Our "suspicions" were confirmed when we saw a sign saying " Welcome to California". Yay! We drove some more and began to see signs for shopping malls, gas stations and restaurants so we decided to stop for lunch at a shopping complex. There was only one teeny problem- it was 108 degrees outside...The truth was the we were next to a valley and therefore, there were always extreme weather conditions here( meaning: very,very hot or very, very cold). So, we ate indoors in the cool air conditioning of the restaurant and then took off and kept on driving again. It began to get cooler as we neared San Francisco and soon, we reached signs of city life and saw the Golden Gate Bridge. Everywhere, advertisements and billboards of Itouches, Transformers2, Wii Sports, and restaurants were there and we drove passed until we reached the inn which we were staying at. Oh yeah, the funny thing is that while we were trying to find our way to the inn, we went on the Golden Gate Bridge by accident..., it was fun but we didn't really get to enjoy the view because we were all wondering how to get back to San Franciso instead of going away from the city. Then, by the time we stopped at a view point and got directions and checked into the inn, it was dinner time. So, we walked along the street where our inn was located and found a Chinese restaurant where we ate. Then, we found a gelato\ice cream place where we had desert. Yum! (Note: they had really interesting flavors- who's ever heard of black ice cream?) Finally, we made our way back to our room at the inn anticipating the next day...
We woke up, early in the morning( okay, maybe not early but it adds a dramatic effect...) and ready to do some sightseeing around San Francisco.
Homes in San Francisco: These are really different than what I would have expected but they look really cozy and fun to live in. They also look like "dollhouses". :-)Here is a picture:
Do you see how they all are joined together and have small windows? We even saw a pink house- how nice!
Palace of Fine Arts: That was a beautiful structure , although my mother who actually gone to Italy says that the architecture in Italy is much better....Anyways, there's not much to say because we just walked along and enjoyed the view as well as saw the animals, but here is a picture:
Crookedest Street in the World: Well, I must say that it was a very crooked street and we actually drove on it, it had a bunch of turns and curves.
Coit Tower: We rode to the top in the elevator and saw the gift shops, there also were some cool view points around. ( Fun Fact: There are these cool machines were you put in a penny and a quarter and it comes out as a souvenir coin with a picture of the Coit Tower on it). When we went to the top, it honestly felt like you were on top of the world and although is wasn't that high up, you could look all around the area. It also was of some historical importance so that was cool ... Here is a picture:
Fisherman's Wharf: If there's one thing you should know about San Francisco and Fisherman's Wharf, there are a lot of souvenir shops selling sweatshirts, magnets, keychains, sweaters, t-shirts, pajamas, you name it...Anyways, we went to Fisherman's Wharf which lived up to it's name and had a lot of seafood- yum! There were all kinds of seafood- lobster, crab, shrimp, clam chowder, etc. and we ate our lunch there.
China Town for Dinner: Finally, after looking around the town a bit, we went to China Town for dinner and we found a restaurant where we ate. The thing is, many times I wish I knew Chinese, because some of the shop names were in Chinese so we couldn't read them and instead just had to go by the pictures and shop windows. Oh yeah, and the menus usually always had a "Chinese menu" which we couldn't read either, but most of them had words in English too which was good. There were bakeries, markets, dentist shops, and even China town souvenir shops.
The Golden Gate Bridge: Yes, we went on the Golden Gate Bridge and we actually walked on it. We could see the Alcatraz Prison which was supposed to be one of the worst prisons a long time ago ( now it's just for sight-seeing). Did you know that although the prison was only one mile away from the shore, the water was so cold that they couldn't even swim! They also were given very hot showers to insure that they wouldn't swim away because the temperature change would be a big difference. So, the walk on the bridge was very fun. Here is a picture( you can't exactly see the top of the bridge but still- it's very cool):
So, after an eventful sightseeing day, we went back to the Inn and went to sleep...
Today we went to see a lot of wineries and olive oil places. The first winery had tasting for different types of olive oil- some were bitter, some were very sweet. There were also were rows and rows of grape trees. Anyways, so we went to about six or seven wineries and the nature was very beautiful. Here are some pictures: As you can see, there are rows and rows of grapes and olives which then will be made into wine. There even was wine tasting in some places for the adults. A lot of places also had facts and history about wine making and olive growing and it was a real "educational" experience. :)
Ghirardelli Square: This was by far, the tastiest place that we went on the trip because it was home of the Ghirardelli chocolate factory a long time ago. There were about five stores and ice cream shops which sold World Famous Ghirardelli ice creams and sundaes. In the main store, there were machines which showed how the chocolate was made, and the store smelled wonderful! We looked around the store and sat down for sundaes and mint chocolate chip ice cream- yum! It was the best ice cream that I've ever tasted and that's saying something...There was toffee, almond chocolate, peanut butter chocolate and so many other brightly wrapped chocolates and candies in baskets and places. For a person addicted to chocolate- it was amazing! Double yum!
So, another long day of our vacation came to an end...we went back to our room at the inn awaiting another fun-filled day in San Francisco.
Exploratorium: This was really cool, especially since I am interested in science and chemistry and things like that. It is essentially like a science center and it had things about magnetism and electricity, light, engineering, computer programming, the human body, how the human eye sight works, optical illusions, a whole room full of mirrors, a dark room where a light could take a picture of your motions, the five senses, bubbles, reflection, variables, motion and balance, and so many other interesting things and hands-on activities. It was also a "educational" experience, but it was very fun too.
Then, we went back to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch. Yum! After that went back to the local bookstore and picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which I was reading at the time. We hung around there for a while and when dinner time came, we went to a restaurant called Pluto's which had salads and soups.
Finally, we retreated back to the hotel and had a good sleep.
The next day we just drove back home, and in my mind I was just thinking and going over what a fun, relaxing, wonderful vacation we had. Goodbye San Francisco, Hello Home!