PSALM 104:34

May my meditation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fourth of July SF Style

We were so excited the night of the 3rd that we didn't really sleep soundly.  That combined with the time change equalled about 4 hours of sleep and waking up at 5:00 AM.  We left the hotel at 6:30 and decided to hit up Walgreens to buy snacks and water which we packed into our trusty backpack and headed out in search of adventure.  We wandered up and down the amazingly steep San Francisco hills for about an hour and a half before finding ourselves at the bottom of the steps leading to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.  When I was planning our trip I had read many recommendations to walk down the steps and enjoy the gardens surrounding them.  But now, we found ourselves at the bottom instead of the top, so what else could we do but climb up?  Climbing the steps was beautiful, but steep.  The picture shows just a small part of the stairs.  We climbed for about 20 minutes.  The flowers were the most gorgeous we saw in San Francisco.

We hoped to be able to catch our first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge from Coit tower, but after climbing up, we found it was closed to visitors until 10AM, at this point it was only about 9.  So, we walked down the other side of Telegraph hill toward Pier 39 and the ferry to Sausalito.  We had decided to ferry across the bay and then walk back across the bridge.  Once at the pier we bought our tickets, marveled at how few people were out on the morning of the 4th.  We explored Fisherman's Warf and Boudin Bakery was my favorite stop in the touristy area.  They are famous for sourdough and we bought a sourdough asiago loaf that became our snack the rest of the day.  They shape their loaves into all kinds of animals and you can even pay to go on a tour and shape your own loaf.  We didn't, but it did look fun.

We were admiring this loaf with all the sea creatures through the window and the baker picked it up to show us, saying she had created it herself!

We also enjoyed Musee Mecanique which contains antique arcade games that you can still play.  We checked our grip with one and Allen got "Out of this World" while I got "Puny."  Haha, he has a strong grip.  
This is a shooting game Allen loved.  It shot metal marbles and you were supposed to knock down little tabs with painted animals.  He's a pretty good shot.

Finally, four and a half hours after we had started wandering the city, our ferry took off.  We shivered while loving the views of the city, the bridge, and Sausalito.  It was cold!  In fact, this has been by far, the coldest week in July that I have ever experienced.  We haven't gone one day without wearing our jackets, and in San Francisco, we didn't dare wear shorts.  The fog is just icy, it rolls over the bridge and the hills surrounding it and chills the bay.  But, we still loved it.  We were on a ferry in San Francisco Bay!

This was our view of the Golden Gate.  Pretty much all you could see was fog!  Haha.  

Beautiful Sausalito.  As soon as we ferried past the bridge, the fog cleared and the sky was blue.  You can imagine how it rolls in over the hills from this picture.

In Sausalito Allen bought me earrings.  <3  He is a sweetheart.  Then we roamed some more, looking for lunch.  We really wanted Sushi Ran, a place I had scoped out in preparation for the trip, but it was closed for the 4th. :(  Sad because it looked amazingly clean and modern.  We would definitely recommend people try it just from looking in the window.  After being indecisive and wandering by foot for about and hour, we gave up on eating in Sausalito.  Actually, what happened was, we decided on a restaurant we found online, started walking toward it, not realizing just how far it was...walked about 45 minutes...then found it and we were not happy.  So...we called a cab to take us to Vista Point, the area right at the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate.  This was part of the original plan because we knew we wanted to walk the bridge and we had been told the walk from Sausalito to the bridge was rough.  On the cab ride we munched on our sourdough and a snickers we got at Walgreens earlier.  Preparation in action! 

You can see a little more of the bridge and less of the fog from Sausalito.

Allen likes the rivets.

When we arrived back in San Francisco, we got on a bus that we thought would take us back to the Fisherman's Warf area...wrong!  Whoops!  The number of the bus was correct, but it was going the opposite way.  The plus side of getting on the wrong bus, though, is that you figure out public transportation...this was the same way we learned in Rome, which is the subject of another, older blog post (Lost in Rome) we rode the bus around...made a couple connections...rode through the Golden Gate Park...and finally made it back to Fisherman's Warf about 4:30.

We were just glad to be off our feet a while. We had been walking from 6:30 to about 3:30.  That's 9 hours!  And I'm NOT kidding.  We had sat down a little at Fisherman's Warf while waiting for the Ferry, on the 15 minute Ferry ride and on the 10 minute cab ride.  Both of our feet were killing us, we hadn't eaten a real lunch, and were exhausted.  This is not to say we weren't happy.  It was amazing!  But, we were hungry and tired...

and we made a horrible culinary decision because we were about to collapse...

We ate at Applebees...I know! We ate a Applebees in San Francisco!

It's a sad truth, it was mediocre, and we felt better after we did it...basically, it was accesible and we had a gift card.  They gave us giant glasses of water and we both had hamburgers.

When we left Applebees it was getting really crazy at the warf.

We decided to tour the USS Pampanito because we had seen it earlier in the day and it was a little out of the way and further from the crowd.

Listening to the audio tour in the submarine
Back out on the street, the crowd was thick. Earlier in the day, there was barely a sole, but now thousands of people had gathered for the fireworks show later that evening.  We decided that despite the distance, it would be better if we went back to the hotel, at least for a nap before coming back to watch the show.  As we pushed our way through the throngs and back up the hill, we enjoyed some of the street performers including these acrobats.

It took us another hour, partially walking, partially using busses, to make it up the hill and to our hotel.  We were beyond tired and told ourselves we would take a couple hour's nap and then go back to watch the fireworks...

We didn't.

We slept through the night.  We were in San Francisco for the Fourth of July and we didn't see the fireworks.  I know, we're old, we're lame.  Haha.

We had an awesome day anyway.

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