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Old 28 Feb 20, 06:55 PM  
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juliab
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The 260 Mile West Coast Wander - August 2019 - Day 12 - Anniversary tour of San Francisco

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Thursday 15th August


It was our 5th Wedding anniversary today and what a wonderful place to be waking up and celebrating it in.

I’d slept surprisingly well with my earplugs in and it was 7am when I woke up. The traffic had been quite loud but the noise level died down a lot after midnight. Scott wasn’t long after and whilst it was quiet we exchanged our cards and small gifts and wished each other a happy anniversary. I was so excited for today.



Scott went to Starbucks for a coffee for us both whilst the kids were still sleeping. I got myself ready for the day it was such a lovely morning and whilst a little noisy out on the balcony it was a wonderful way to feel the energetic vibe of San Francisco.





It was around 8.30 when the kids got up, once everyone was ready we headed over the road to Pat’s café for some breakfast. Scott had read good reviews about this place on Tripadvisor so we were hoping for good things.

Our luck was in as we managed to get a table more or less straight away even though it was packed inside. What a cute little place this café was.





We soon ordered our food and drinks and it didn’t take long for it all to come out. The food was really good and the portion sizes were quite generous too. We were all quite peckish so we soon devoured our breakfast which we all enjoyed so much.






Pat the owner came over and spoke to us along with the family on the next table. They mentioned it was their wedding anniversary and I couldn’t help but telling them that it was ours too! They were a British family with 3 children, slightly older than ours and they were celebrating by going to Alcatraz that morning. We wished each other a happy anniversary, what a coincidence!



All set up for the day ahead we left the café and walked down to the Powell/Mason cable car turnaround which was just a few couple of minutes away. We were going to ride the cable cars this morning but from a different stop we just came to this cable car turnaround for a few photo’s as it was so quiet.





Once we’d finished we started our walk up to the Powell St turnaround. I know it might have seemed a little strange walking all the way up there but I wanted us to have our full money’s worth on our ride – we are Yorkshire folk remember!

The walk up was really lovely as it was such a gorgeous day and we saw quite a few of those iconic cable cars along the way.






We arrived at the cable car turnaround Powell and Market 20 minutes later and whilst we expected it to be busy here we didn’t realise the queue would be so long! We heard someone saying that the wait time was well over an hour but we decided to wait a little to see how quickly or slowly the line moved.




Scott and Jamie went to the booth to get some tickets whilst the rest of waited in line. I noticed that when the cable car stopped at the first stop, which we had walked past on our way down, they seemed to let passengers on. I kept watching and after we’d be waiting 20 minutes and had only moved about 3 metres I thought we’d give it a go by walking to that stop.


Other Cable Car Stop



There was only a few people waiting there, we didn’t get on the first Powell/Hyde cable car as they let around 5 or 6 people on at that point, but we managed to board the second one that came. We couldn’t believe that we’d only waited 10 minutes at the most but best of all was the driver told us that we needed to stand on the outside! We couldn’t believe our luck! There wasn’t quite enough room for Poppy so she sat down at the side of us then we were on our way.






The conductor and driver were very colourful characters but they did give us instructions to hold on tight and to lean right in when another tram was approaching. Oh my word it was such an invigorating ride! It was like riding on a rollercoaster at times, not quite as fast lol but with the hills we did seem to pick up a bit of speed.


Poppy's turn to hold on tight!



We were on the wrong side of the car to see Lombard Street as we passed but that didn’t matter as we’d be seeing it in a little while anyway.

The view as we went down Russian Hill we had spectacular views of the Bay and Alcatraz. It was a real thrill for us all with Hayden especially absolutely loving this experience.

When we arrived near Fisherman’s Wharf we didn’t have time to look around we had to head backup to our hotel. It was only a 10 minute walk and as approached the Columbus we could see that our little E Tuk-Tuk from Dylan’s Tours had arrived. We’d originally booked for midday but they’d asked if we could change it to 1pm and we said that was fine. We all had a quick restroom break before we set off on our little tour around San Francisco.

Michael was our guide and he was very knowledgeable and friendly. He asked what we were excited about seeing and we said everything but we were super keen to see the Golden Gate Bridge. We headed over there first and all along the way Michael pointed out places of interest and told us lots of little facts and stories about the buildings, such as the millionaire’s that live in the houses near the Marina, and the districts that we passed.


We stopped at the Palace of Fine Arts first which looked absolutely glorious in that sunshine. It looked like a great place to have a picnic and to chill out in too.



After we rode along the road in the Crissy Fields area and we could see the Walt Disney Museum in the distance. Michael told us some of the history of Crissy Fields and how it was a former U.S. army airfield. It was now a place where lots of people visited for recreational purposes and it was easy to see why as the views of the bay where stunning from there. It looked like the perfect place for a stroll or a ride on a bike and if we’d have had more days here we would have definitely come down here.

Of course our destination was Fort Point for that amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge.


We had lucked out with the weather so we had beautiful blue skies with fabulous clear views. Michael told us how San Francisco had been experiencing a heat wave the past few days. The usual temperature was around 16 degrees whereas it had been more like 24 degrees. I was slightly disappointed not to see any of that famous fog swirling over the bridge but you can’t have it all can you.




After a short stay here we carried on the road round past the pet cemetery. We saw lots of people on their bikes getting ready to cycle over the bridge what a great experience that must be.


Michael continued with his commentary about the different districts and also with some history about San Francisco such as the Gold Rush and the great Earthquake which was all very interesting.

We stopped at Billionaires row where Michael told us who some of the mega expensive house were owned by and how joggers liked to run up and down these steps!





We passed by Mrs Doubtfire's house then through little Italy and Chinatown.






Then we drove down Lombard Street which was so fun!






Our tour ended at the top of a car park which gave us fabulous views of the city.




Michael dropped us back at the Columbus just after 3pm, he had been such a good guide and we’d so enjoyed our little tour. We thought it was the right length of time for us at 2 hours which meant we still had plenty of time to explore this city.


It was well passed lunch and we had a reservation booked for dinner later so we didn’t want to be eating anything too filling. I was still feeling pretty full from our breakfast but we decided to walk down to Ghirardelli Square for an ice cream.

The walk didn’t take long and whilst it was really busy in the ice cream shop we ordered our sundaes and a server pointed out that there was a spare table in the back room. We sat down and not long after our delicious sundae’s arrived. Oh my word they were so good and we felt stuffed!





Chocolate Factory




Poppy had made a comment about wanting to visit the little fortune cookie factory. Not wanting to disappoint we decided to head back over to Chinatown for a better look around and to get some fortune cookies for Poppy. You know how we like a walk so it was no problem for us at all and using Google maps we soon arrived there.


We had a quick look inside as it was really small and we bought a little bag of fortune cookies which Poppy was really delighted with.




As we walked back we did some window shopping and we saw some pretty strange and wonderful things. It did make me wonderful who on earth would buy some of those giant animal ornaments and statue’s but there must be a market for it.








The smells as we walked through little Italy of garlic and herbs were so good that if we’d not already got a reservation for Boudin’s we’d have been tempted to pop into somewhere for our dinner.



Once back at the Colunmbus we refreshed ourselves, changed then set back off walking down to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Bistro Boudin was located on the upper floor of the Boudin building. We had a lovely table in the middle of the restaurant. Some of the tables located near the window had fantastic views of the bay. We were soon ordering our drinks and looking over the menu and even though I’m not a big fan of fish dishes there was still a lot of delicious choices here.


Some of the delicious bread was brought to our table and oh my word we just loved it. Something so simple but it tasted so good!


Our food came soon after Scott ordered to the clam chowder which he thoroughly enjoyed. There was a burger on the menu along with pizza which I just knew the kids would order. Poppy and I went for pasta dishes which were really good too.






After our meal we had a very quick walk through the museum and the bakery where you can see the bread being made. We said we’d come back for a better look another time though.




Back outside it was now turning dark and the temperature had cooled off a little too unlike last night where it still felt reasonably warm. We strolled down to Pier 39 to look for the Sea Lions which we could hear well before we saw them!




By now it was fairly dark so we could only really see the outline of them and there didn’t appear to be many there. There was a bit of a breeze so we said we’d come back here in the day time to hopefully get a better look at them.




Beautiful sky



We walked back up to Pier 45 to Musee Mecanique which got us out of that breeze but we so wanted to have a look around this old fashioned arcade.

It was like stepping back in time looking at some of the vintage machines that were on display there. Some of them were really creepy but in a fun old fashioned kind of way. We tried lots of different games as they took quarters so it was inexpensive too. We really enjoyed it in here and I managed to find one of my favourite games from when I was a teenager, Star Wars! The only reason why we left was because the museum was closing otherwise we’d have been in there longer.






We were soon in our room at 9.30pm after what had been a really fantastic anniversary.



It was such a perfect day what with the cable car ride, the private little tour which was just the right length of time for us, then finishing off with a wonderful meal and walks along the Piers. In bed at 11pm and we were soon all asleep.
San Francisco is proving to be a big hit with us all!

Steps – 25,693
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Old 29 Feb 20, 01:56 PM  
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KayLouise
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Wow what a fantastic day, you did so much! Brilliant photos and those ice creams 😍
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Old 29 Feb 20, 08:17 PM  
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Tinkermom
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Happy anniversary 🥳 what a perfect day ❤️
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Old 29 Feb 20, 08:48 PM  
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What a perfect day, I am just beginning to plan a west coast trip and I love the idea of the tuk-tuk tour, I’ll have to remember that one
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Old 29 Feb 20, 09:07 PM  
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What a fabulous day! It’s our five year anniversary next month & somehow I don’t think it’ll live up to your day

Would seriously love to hang off one of those cable cars x
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Old 1 Mar 20, 10:16 AM  
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Another fantastic day and very helpful for planning, thank you for sharing.
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Old 2 Mar 20, 03:58 PM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by KayLouise View Post
Wow what a fantastic day, you did so much! Brilliant photos and those ice creams 😍
We really did enjoy today it was so much fun and those ice creams were the best!

Thanks for reading
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Old 2 Mar 20, 04:05 PM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by Tinkermom View Post
Happy anniversary 🥳 what a perfect day ❤️
Ahh thank you we had a lovely day
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Old 2 Mar 20, 04:07 PM  
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Originally Posted by Bazinga 39 View Post
What a perfect day, I am just beginning to plan a west coast trip and I love the idea of the tuk-tuk tour, I’ll have to remember that one
It really was a brilliant day and the E-tuk was a really fun way to see some parts of San Francisco.

Happy planning
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Old 2 Mar 20, 04:10 PM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by sheluk View Post
What a fabulous day! It’s our five year anniversary next month & somehow I don’t think it’ll live up to your day

Would seriously love to hang off one of those cable cars x
Thank you Michelle we were so fortunate to be able to celebrate in there.

The cable cars were so good we loved going down that big hill!

Thanks for reading x
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