Thursday, March 6, 2014

Top 10 of {San Fran}

1.  Don’t lose your bus pass like I did at the end of our first full day.  You can buy a 3-day pass for $23 (cash). We bought one at Walgreens near Chinatown.  Sometimes they don’t check, like if you’re going for a quick ride, but most of the time they do. 

2.  Shopping bags will cost you 10₵, so you might as well just get a big bag to carry.  A bookbag will do, but I felt more comfortable with a large bag that went across my body.

3.  “Biking the bridge” is a must!  You can see great views all the way there and the bridge is beautiful itself.  And just wait until you cross it.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Beautiful countryside just across the hustle and bustle of San Francisico.  But you should know that Sausalito is dead after dark.  And it’s very windy on the bridge.  And the hills are challenging .

4.  My hubby says I should add "The trolley is slow."  (Such a man statement, isn't it?)  It will sit at the end of the line (along with 4 behind it, and there’s not much schedule to it).  But it’s so fun and the best way to get to the touristy places.  Of course unless you want to walk...  Which is fine... downhill… ;)  Oh… and be sure to “hang” off the side.  It’s the best.  Just don’t hang when you see another trolley coming or when there are parallel parked cars…

5.  Chinatown will overwhelm you with the great priced scarves.  Don’t buy from the first place you come to (like I did).  They get cheaper as you go. 

6.  In Chinatown (kind of off the beaten path), eat at R&G on Kearney.  It is a place that was recommended by a Chinese friend and was yummy and authentic.  There's also Belden Alley, which is nearby, but has Italian and other ethnic foods.  We ate at Tiramisu, a restaurant our seat-mate in the plane suggested.  Yum!

7.  Don’t buy camera accessories from the roadside stores.  Their mark-up is high and its cheaper online, though they’ll show you an ebay site (which probably is their own) that shows a higher price and makes you feel that you’re getting a good deal.  He’ll show you how everything works and let you try it out and get you all excited.  When really you only went in there for a lens hood, but almost got talked into a $400 package.  And when you go to walk out, they’ll beg you saying it’s their off-season and they need a sale.  And you walk out the door, he’ll bump it down another $100.  You'll feel like you just left a great deal...   (Thanks hubs for keeping me walking!)
8.  Book Alcatraz early (like a month out).  (Thanks to Melissa for sharing this bit of information.)  With the night tour, you get to go onto the island, walk the audio tour (narrated by actual prisoners and officers with cool stories), see other presentations, and (my favorite) see the sunset behind the Golden Gate.

9.  For breakfast, you can always find a Starbucks (they’re on every corner & by the way, it causes cancer in California- and so does everything), or you can go to a place we tried:  Honey, Honey.  Their juice is fresh-squeezed in front of your eyes (yum!).  And they have omlettes & crepes (as well as other yummy things).

10.  Take the BART if you’re coming in from Oakland Airport.  A cab will take FOREVER and cost you a lot of $ too. 

11.   I lied...  Here's a bonus. ;)  Don’t over-schedule.  There’s plenty to do, but if you get caught up in the touristy stuff, you may not be able to take it all in.  Look at the architecture.  It’s beautiful.  My favorite thing overall (though it took some effort and for my husband who’s a self-proclaimed “map guy”, it was truly a leap of faith as the map given was pretty ambiguous) was biking the bridge.  It was really fun for us as a couple.  And so was the whole trip.  
"Painted Ladies" from Full House

It took me getting a substitute teacher, and we ended up writing up a will because we'd be 6 hours by plane away from our baby (Did I mention it's not easy to prepare to be dead when leaving for a trip?), and I was worried that I'd be missing my baby the whole time... And, and, and... I was so wrong.  Our bubba britches had a wonderful time at Papa & Gigi's and we grew together as a married couple.  The best describer I can think of is rejuvenating.  If you're on the fence, DO IT!  Go somewhere, just y'all.  It's important - for you as a person. -For you as a couple.  -For you as parents.  And now that I've done it once, we'll be doing it again... hopefully really soon!  This is the upside to a husband who travels.  Oh the perks of #conferencecrashing

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