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Published: February 17th 2011
#26 The Golden Gate Bridge
26. Golden Gate Bridge, the world’s most beautiful suspension bridge, links The City with Marin County and the area to the north. Auto toll collected southbound; pedestrians free.
The only way to actually see anything when you're on vacation is to set the alarm clock and get up when it goes off, that is really the key there. Hitting the snooze button defeats the purpose and doesn't get you moving in the right direction very quickly. I made us a quick breakfast of banana pancakes, packed up some drinks and snacks for the day and we were headed out the door by 9:30am, it was a miracle!
While researching different things that we could do to explore San Francisco, we came across the 49 Mile Scenic Drive
. The 49 mile scenic drive was created in 1938 by the Downtown Association to highlight the city’s beauty and to promote it as a tourist destination. The route was also created as a way for visitors to see The City while they were here for the Golden Gate International Exposition from 1939-1940.
Over the years, the route has changed many times. Today, the route starts at City Hall and takes you along many of San Francisco’s historic and iconic landmarks. The blue line highlights the route on the map. We’ve called out some of the highlights: start at #1: The Civic Center.The website included
#27 China Beach
27. China Beach at 28th and Sea Cliff Avenue has 600 feet (183 m) of sandy beach frontage for swimming, sunbathing and picnicking.
a print out list of 49 different points of interest along the way as well as a map that I printed out and brought along. We had no intentions of doing the whole thing in one day but we did want to work our way through the easier half today.We were driving south in across the Golden Gate bridge which was Point #26 and then we worked out way south from there.
#27 was China Beach and I loved it. You had to drive up some hills and the houses up there were very nice, I'm sure we're talking in the million dollar plus range. There was a parking lot at the top and a marker dedicating the beach to the many Chinese that originally camped out there during the Gold Rush. It reads "During Gold Rush times, this cove was used as a campsite by many of the Chinese fisherman who worked in and around San Francisco bay. Their efforts to supply the needs of a young city helped establish one of the area's most important industries and traditions." There were 105 steps down to the building at the bottom and then another 15 steps down to the
Our Scenic Drive Markers
They seem to be everywhere you look until you need one and then you can't find it!
beach itself. There was a great view of the Golden Gate bridge from the beach. The girls would walk down to the surf and then run screaming back to higher ground when the waves came crashing in.
#28 was the Legion of Honor
. I had never been here before much less even heard of it. We were driving up into the hills again with this huge lush green golf course on the right hand side when we reached the top to find cars parked on both sides of the road. I was thinking it was going to be some great viewpoint and then I saw the huge Roman building at the top. It was $10 per adult for the general exhibits and children under 12 were free. There were numerous exhibits and you wandered from one door into the next and there was something unique and different in each one. Let's just say that I was the only one having fun here. José felt that it wasn't appropriate to bring the girls here because they wouldn't enjoy it. How does a child learn to love the arts if they are never exposed to them? Erika started getting very whiny and crying
#28 Legion of Honor (Holocaust Memorial)
28. Legion of Honor, a replica of its Paris namesake, has masterpieces of European art from Medieval times into the 20th century, many Rodin bronzes, period rooms, prints and drawings.
that her legs were tired and she couldn't walk anymore. Being the perfect parent that I am, I told her to stop acting like that because we hadn't done anything yet. We only did a quick walk through and then went outside. I walked over to the Holocaust Memorial and it was beautiful. It makes your heart hurt just to look at the bodies and imagine the pain and suffering of our ancestors.
#29 was Ocean Beach
and it was windy! Erika sat in the car because she was tired so we took Mia out to try and fly her kite. It was easy to get the kite up into the air with all the wind but then it would spin around violently in circles and then plunge straight into the sand. I was running around screaming and trying to avoid the plummet. We gave up quite quickly and jumped back into the car. We did see two people riding their horses along the beach.
#30 San Francisco Zoo-Due to the chilly weather and strong winds and late afternoon, we didn't stop to take in the Zoo so we'll save that for something to do in the future.
#29 Ocean Beach
29. Ocean Beach has plenty of sand and surf—and a view of the small, stony islands called Seal Rocks. Swimming and wading at this beach are strongly discouraged; immediately offshore are unpredictable currents which can take even the strongest swimmer by surprise.
#31 We missed the right road and ended up driving around the Lake Merced in the wrong order but we saw the lake in the center of the loop and parks around it.
#32 was the Sigmund Stern Grove but I didn't notice it while we were driving and it might have been off the beaten path.
#33 is the Golden Gate Park
and this place is just gorgeous. It is a man-made park that originally covered 4 square kilometers. The road crosses back and forth throughout the park. We passed little lakes, blooming trees with pink blossoms, a bison enclosure, the AIDS memorial grove, and so much more. I could easily return here and spend a day or two. They have a disc golf course as well but the girls are a little young for that still and I've never played myself.
#34 Japanese Tea Garden/#35 de Young Museum/#36 California Academy of Sciences were not visited as José informed me that he was bored and not interested in this type of sightseeing.
It was getting rather late and we had not eaten anything but the pancakes this morning. Mia said that we had to find pizza to
#33 Golden Gate Park
33. Golden Gate Park, originally 1,017 acres (4 sq. km) of sand dunes, has National AIDS Memorial Grove, miles of drives, green lawns, playfields, bridle paths, lakes and flowers.
eat so we were searching for some pizza joint as we drove through all the streets the last hour or two. Finally one jumped out at me and it even had a parking space right in front! It was called Cybelle's
and it was a tiny little pizza joint with barely enough room for the oven and the pizza master. We ordered a large Hawaiian pizza and sat in the car while it was being cooked. Then we proceeded to devour the entire thing while sitting there on the side of the busy San Francisco streets, quite delicious considering the circumstances.
#35 Twin Peaks
was definitely my favorite part of this trip. The view up there was absolutely breathtaking and I could see for miles around. The wind was blowing but the skies were clean and I could see everywhere. They even have the funny little pay-per-use enclosed toilets that I first encountered in Ireland in 2006.
was our last stop on the sightseeing circuit tonight. We found parking in the Portsmouth Square parking garage which was very convenient for our travels. When you go up in the elevator, you find yourself in a park that is
#37 Twin Peaks
37. Twin Peaks has a scenic drive to its 910-foot (227 m) summit, and offers a 360 degree panoramic view of the city.
like a community center. There are many groups of people sitting around playing a game that looked similar to checkers but not as many tokens and chinese symbols/designs on each token. There were also people playing cards and it's amazing that they didn't blow away in the wind. They had two playgrounds for the children so we let Mia out of her stroller to play for a little bit and Erika sat down in her stroller. When we got up to walk again, Erika was really crying about being tired and not having the strength to walk at all and we had only gone two blocks. We walked around for a few blocks and found some very cheesy souvenirs for the girls and a pack of chopsticks for the family. I didn't find the arches that cross the street and mark the entrance to Chinatown.
At this point, I was frustrated with Erika and all of her whining so we decided to head home and let the girls get some rest. We were leaving San Francisco at 5pm so we could caught up in the rush hour. It was sweet to be able to cruise along in the carpool
6. Chinatown evokes all the exotic sights and sounds of Hong Kong beginning at the Chinatown Gate, Grant Avenue at Bush Street.
lane but that only helps so much. The rain was coming down as well so it took almost two hours to make it back to Windsor. We stopped at the Safeway in Windsor to get some steaks for dinner and other foods to hold us over. By this time, the rain was pouring down and jumping out of the car signified jumping into a lake and having soaking wet shoes and socks.
José cooked up the pork chops on the grill outside while trying to avoid the rain that was blowing in sideways. Erika was still fussing so she laid down on the couch to see if she felt any better. We played another round of Spanish Bingo and everyone had lots of fun. The girls were watching movies on the TV and relaxing on the couch. When I went to get everyone ready for bed around 11pm, I realized that Erika was running a fever. Once again, I was far from home with neither a thermometer or children's medicine. I am never leaving home again without having those three important items. This makes three trips in a row that one of my daughters has had a fever and I've had nothing. I called the front desk and they had nothing. So just after midnight, I trekked back out in the pouring rain and drove back to the Safeway. I found children's Motrin and children's Tylenol tabs and a digital thermometer as well as a box of all fruit popsicles. Erika had a fever of 104.2F which is pretty high. I stayed up with her until 3am waiting for her fever to break or at least fall below 100F which didn't happen until 3am. It looks like our adventures are going to be put on hold while we stay home and take care of my baby tomorrow. When am I going to learn the difference between whining and truly being sick? So much for being a great mother, I'm still learning I guess.
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