More Points Along the 49 Mile Drive

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February 17th 2011
Published: February 20th 2011
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#18 Ghiradelli Square#18 Ghiradelli Square#18 Ghiradelli Square

A collection of red brick buildings that served as a chocolate factory, now is a charming restaurant and shopping center with open-air plazas and waterfront views. Across the street is the landscaped Victorian Park.
Another morning spent battling the fever and boredom. I took the girls swimming in the outside pool figuring that the cool waters would help lower Erika's body temperature. The wading pool was downright chilly so we jumped into the main pool. I was very happy to see José join us after a few minutes. He took Mia with him into the hot tub while I splashed around with Erika in the large pool. We played more games of Spanish Bingo and Yahtzee but the girls were starting to get a little cabin fever.

Erika was feeling fine for about three hours and was playing around the room with Mia so I started to get my hopes up. She ate a little bit of food and said that she felt fine. Her temperature was reading normal too so I took a chance and decided that we needed to get out of the room. I got everyone up and showered and dressed and we decided to head into San Francisco to see if we could do a little more sightseeing and just take it easy and go at a slow pace for Erika. Thankfully we brought along a stroller for Mia and
#39 Pier 39#39 Pier 39#39 Pier 39

We stopped at the tourist mecca Pier 39 and took the girls to the Aquarium of the Bay. We got to pet some baby sharks while we were there.
Erika is small enough that she can sit in it and I can push her around. I'm sure we got a million different stares from people when they saw my older child in the stroller and my 3 year old walking along with us.

#18 Ghirardelli Square was the first stop on this evening's adventures since it was enroute to the Fisherman's Wharf. I went there with the expectation that we were going to see the workings of a chocolate factory and see how everything was made, etc. We were lucky enough to find lots of parking in the street. Erika's fever appeared to be returning (great timing of course) so I put her in the stroller and we walked down to the square. We wandered around in circles for a little while until I realized that there was no factory to be found. It had been converted into a restaurant and stores. There was a pretty fountain in front with a mermaid breastfeeding a baby, just like the print I bought in Miami on a trip. We used the restrooms, walked through one of the stores and received a free chocolate square as a sample and that was
Nighttime BanditNighttime BanditNighttime Bandit

This fellow was going through the garbage when we pulled up to the viewpoint. I know that they can be very aggressive if they are used to the public so José kept an eye on him while I took pictures. I'll admit that I was a little afraid he was going to run up and attack me though.
good for us so we were off.

#13 Pier 39 was next and final stop for us. It wasn't raining so we let the girls lead the way. The first thing we came across was the Aquarium of the Bay. I was a complete moron and totally forgot that we had a coupon for $2 off adult tickets and $1 off child tickets that came with our parking stub so I missed the chance to save us $6!! I always do that too, put the coupons in my pocket and go to the grocery store and forget to give them to the cashier. So $40 bucks later, we were on our way into the aquarium. It was pretty cool, covered three different levels, had lots of things for the kids to do like a tidepool they could touch things in, a shallow pool with sharks and rays, hands-on exhibits, etc. There was a walk through glass tunnel so you could see all the fish, sharks, and starfish moving around you. On the way out, we got our token smashed penny and the girls purchased mood rings and were extremely excited about them.

After the sight-"sea"ing, we walked around
SF Skyline at Night SF Skyline at Night SF Skyline at Night

Looking south towards San Francisco at night. The camera was able to pick up all the ambient light so the sky looks a lot lighter than it actually was.
the pier and bought a few goodies. One store was called Chocolate Heaven and it was full of everything chocolate. I bought a game called Truth, Dare, or Chocolate. I'm looking forward to playing it when we can find some childless time. Erika picked out a box of chocolate crayons and Mia got a metal cable car with chocolate candies in it. Another store was full of crazy hats but I wasn't willing to plunk down $20+ for a hat that I didn't want showing up in hundreds of family photos. When the girls started to get tired, we walked back and decided to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. When we had walked over from the parking garage earlier, an advertisement in the elevator said to text UROCK to 99000 for a special offer. I got a text back saying we would get 20%!o(MISSING)ff food and gifts so that sealed the deal for us.

As we were headed north again, I saw a sign for a view point on the far side of the Golden Gate bridge so I had to whip over and check it out of course. It had a beautiful view of the
#39 Bay Bridge by Night#39 Bay Bridge by Night#39 Bay Bridge by Night

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge is one of the world's longest (8 /14 miles/13.3 km) steel bridges. Toll collected westbound.
San Francisco skyline and all the lights. As I pulled up and parked, I realized that I had a little visitor with me. S/he was up on the top of a concrete bench going through the garage can for dinner or a midnight treat. I'm not afraid of animals and raccoons are normally afraid of people but one that has been living in the city this long, it probably a little more aggressive than most. I waited for him to walk away before I got out of the car. And then he started walking over towards me so I ran shrieking back to the car and jumped in. Jose was just shaking his head at me because I should have known better than to get out with that animal around! When the raccoon got farther away, I told Jose to be my lookout while I ran around and took some great pictures!

The drive back to Windsor wasn't so bad at 8pm, traffic was light with a slight drizzle. Erika was feeling a little better when we got back to the room so we decided to have a little family time down in the game room. While Jose and
A Crazy, Happy FamilyA Crazy, Happy FamilyA Crazy, Happy Family

We sat down in front of the fireplace in the community center to get our family photo of the day, we took 3 pictures but the silly ones are my favorites.
I played a game of pool, the girls took some quarters into the video game room and used them up quickly. Then we all played ping pong or at least attempted to. It started out with Jose and Mia on one side against Erika and I. The rules were that the first person to drop the ball 10 times lost. Then Mia switched sides and I still kept losing. Everyone was laughing pretty hard so it was all worth it in the end. I sat everyone around the fireplace so I could get a couple family photos of the day. All in all, it wasn't completely lost, we just had to take things a little slower with the family today.


21st February 2011

I want you to know I love reading about your adventures. Thank you.

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