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Unread 12 Aug 19, 02:39 PM  
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#49
Wappum
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Originally Posted by speedmum View Post
When we first arrived at Disney on the Sunday afternoon we managed to wander around Batu with no queuing and it certainly didnt feel any busier than the rest of the park... I think the queue time for Millennium Falcon was about 45mins at that time so definitely nothing like Pandora length queues. So maybe dont join the early morning rush? Suggest you book ahead for Ogas Cantina or the lightsaber making thing if you want to do them though... must admit even the girls commented how expensive everything in the GE shops were!
Hope that helps?
That's really helpful - I'll pass it onto him. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip
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Unread 13 Aug 19, 02:24 AM  
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#50
speedmum
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Sun 11 Aug - Day 15: San Francisco

So today we were off to watch our first ever baseball game! When we initially booked the tickets the game was scheduled to start at 1 so we didnt organise anything specific for the morning. However during the holiday we were notified that the start had been delayed until 4.07pm due to it now being televised by ESPN!

This meant we had plenty of time to go wandering... once everyone was up and dressed we headed out. The girls had definitely adjusted to US time & were sleeping in later now (they also complained at being woken at 2am by 2 girls who thought it was there room! )

We wandered down to the Port of San Francisco Ferry building where there are lots of little stalls. As it was Sunday morning not everywhere was open but we got coffees and bakery bits and ate breakfast outside in the sunshine watching the water.

We then wandered along to Pier 39 and looked in all the touristy shops. Youngest remarked how each place wed visited sells the same stuff but with a different place name on it. (Doesnt stop them wanting to go into them all! &#128580
We then spent ages watching the Sealions and their shenanigans (they are rather smelly! )

We then continued along the waterfront to Fishermans Wharf and Boudin. Stopped here for lunch - a bowl of chowder in sourdough bowl plus another 2 chowders & a grilled cheese sandwich from the cafe downstairs. Picked up a couple of cans of lemonade only to open them and discover it was lemon & coconut.. 🤢 who drinks that? It was revolting!

Suitably fed we continued walking along in the sunshine until we got to the cable car turning point. Hubbie bought 1 day tickets for us all using the app for the cable car and muni transport and we joined the queue which was almost all the way round the barrier and waited. I think we watched 3 trams leave before we got on one. We were lucky to get outside. I got a seat & hubbie & girls hung on! We rode almost the whole length of the route, jumping off at Union Square to head back to our hotel and prepare for the game!

We decided we ought to do a bit of research before we got to the baseball which came in handy later!

We caught the muni from Montgomery station near our hotel and it stopped directly outside the ball park. We knew we were going the right way as it was full of Giants fans in black and orange! Getting in the stadium was easy - there was security but it was just like Disney & very quick.

The girls wanted Giants merchandise so one got a hat & the other a t-shirt so they could look the part! Before taking our seats we joined everyone else in eating hotdogs & fries! We then took our beers & sodas in and found our seats. The stadium was full of people of all ages and had a great atmosphere. Wed missed the national anthem and First innings but it didnt seem to matter as people came & went all the time. I didnt really know the rules but it was a bit like rounders and fairly easy to follow! There seemed to be lots of breaks and not as much running as I expected but it did get exciting towards the end! There are 9 innings in total and midway through the 7th innings we all had to stand and sing Take Me to the Ballpark together - helpfully they put the words on the screen! This was followed by the 7th innings stretch where everyone moved around to stop them seizing up. It was at this point we were pleased we had done our research!
We snuck out just before the end when it was clear the Giants had won & got the waiting muni back to our hotel. We agreed it had been a fun afternoon/evening that we would definitely repeat and that the 4 hours had gone by very quickly!

Hubbie & I popped to 7Eleven for some milk and made mugs of tea to drink in bed. Sad that tomorrow will be our last full day before heading home.
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Unread 13 Aug 19, 08:21 AM  
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#51
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Great report. It's so useful to read others experiences when planning a road trip, to help decide what would suit your own family. Thanks for taking the time.
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Unread 13 Aug 19, 03:38 PM  
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#52
speedmum
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Mon 12 Aug - Day 16: San Francisco

Sadly today was our last full day of holidays which made us all rather depressed... ;(

We had Alcatraz booked for 9.10 which meant being at Pier 33 by 8.40! This meant an earlier start and by 8am we were heading back to the stalls in the Ferry Building for breakfast! We wandered along the waterfront drinking our coffee and commented on how much busier it was today...

We arrived at the Pier at about 8.40 and joined the 9.10 queue. I was surprised there was no security to go through, just another photo opportunity!

We got on the boat just before 9 and managed to fight our way upstairs and onto an outside bench. At this point youngest is looking a bit grey & we havent even left the harbour... (am silently thankful that we hadnt tried to do a sightseeing boat in Monterey!) fortunately she was ok and much happier once we were on dry land at the other end.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather and didnt need the hoodies wed all brought as it was so warm & sunny!

The Alcatraz audio tour was fab - it really brought the place to life and kept everyone interested. The only downside were the numbers of people so sometimes it got rather congested.. after almost 3 hours we headed back to the boat and back to the city.

We continued walking along the seafront to Ghirardelli Square. This wasnt what I expected as I thought thered be some information about the background to the Ghirardelli chocolate and how it was made etc. Instead there were about 3 Ghirardelli shops mixed with other shops & restaurants... each chocolate shop we went in to gave us a chocolate each to sample! 😋by now we were flagging a bit from the heat so decided to eat lunch at Picos - a Latin Street Food restaurant with amazing views of the bay. We had 3 sandwiches and one chicken nachos and they were all tasty.

After finishing these we were all quite tired and decided to get an Uber back to the hotel for a rest and to drop off the extra jumpers etc that we were carrying!

After a quick rest we headed back out as the girls wanted to go to Bath & Body Works and wed decided not to buy lots of heavy smellies early on snd carry them throughout the trip! 😁

We wandered back to the hotel via Macys, Union Square & Walgreens for some drinks. Once back we started the depressing job of packing and got changed for our final dinner out.

Wed decided to go to Mortons steak restaurant as a final blowout meal! Wed been to the one in New York previously and all enjoyed it and hubbie had been to this one. It lived up to expectations - the food tasted great, the restaurant was busy but not too crowded and the staff were friendly and helpful. We shared lobster bisque and prosciutto wrapped mozzarella starters then had steak with sides of mash & onion rings. The girls then shared a huge chocolate souffl for pudding!

We reminisced about our trip and discussed our favourite & least favourite parts, places wed return to & those we wouldnt! None of us were keen to return to the reality of work and exam results! 😢

We slowly walked back to our hotel physically and slightly emotionally tired and made a cup of tea before bed...
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Unread 14 Aug 19, 03:31 AM  
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#53
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Tues 13 Aug - Day 17: Travel Day

So today it was time for our adventures to come to an end and for us to head home.

Although Id done most of our packing last night, I hadnt actually tried to shut the cases and woke early panicking that they wouldnt close!

We were flying home in the evening from San Jose airport rather than San Francisco. The plan was for hubbie to pick up a hire car at midday when we had to check out and then spend the afternoon heading to the airport...

We were all up and dressed by 8am and headed out to find some breakfast. Eldest wanted a final strawberry acai from Starbucks as you cant get them at home. So we hunted around until we found one with seats and without a massive queue!

We then wandered round Union Square and took in the final sights before heading back to the Loews. We agreed it had been a good hotel in a good location and had suited us well.

Hubbie went to collect the hire car while I checked out. This car was a towncar so much smaller than the SUV but we managed to squeeze all 4 cases in the boot. It was fine for today but would have been a bit cosy for the whole trip.

San Jose airport was only an hour away (although it wouldnt be a Californian drive without some stationary traffic) so we decided to call into the Apple Visitor Centre on the way there. There was a really cool virtual reality room where you could see how the whole of the Apple site is laid out and then a glorified apple store with some extra items like T-shirts for sale... by the time wed finished looking round here it was 2.30 and we were getting hangry! With hindsight we should have eaten before going to Apple (this is something we never seem to learn!&#128580 After driving around Silicon Valley we eventually found a Safeway supermarket and popped in to buy some sandwiches...

We then found a reservoir to sit beside in the sun and also drove through Saratoga Springs (the real town not the Disney resort&#129315 which was really pretty.

Finally we sat in more traffic, filled up the car with petrol and dropped it off at hertz. San Jose airport is very small and laidback compared to San Francisco so I would definitely use it again...

Now waiting to board my flight home...😢
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Unread 14 Aug 19, 07:32 AM  
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#54
4fromsuffolk
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Hope you had a good flight home. Loved reading about your adventures. Thank you.
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Unread 14 Aug 19, 08:35 AM  
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#55
samhartwell
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Join Date: Mar 09
Aw loved your reports - safe trip back
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Mar 2009 & May 2010 - Port Orleans Riverside
Aug 2013 - West Coast Grand Californian
Aug 2015 - West Coast road trip number 2
July 2017 - East & West Coast trip No 3
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Unread 14 Aug 19, 01:44 PM  
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#56
liz-paul
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Sounds like a great trip 😁
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Still quietly saving so we can return to see Star Wars land...
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