Wednesday, November 21, 2012

holiday with the harrisons: day 4-5

day four - welcome to san francisco

as close as we got to the golden gate bridge

after a terrible, no good night we were a little anxious for what the day would bring. after a very lack luster continental breakfast [read: 5 stale pastries and coffee] we got some breakfast across the street [where'd that resturant come from? i swear it wasn't there last night!] then hailed a taxi to pier 33 for our alcatraz tour. did you ever wonder what you do with kids in taxis? apparently in san francisco there's a law that lets you wear the kid on your lap with the seatbelt on. i've riden in a few taxis before but this was the worst. prob because you stop and go soooo much and they gun every single block. landon loved it though. once at the pier we walked around til it was time to board [sooo cold. i know it's november and san francisco but still, soo cold. luckily this time we were prepared]. we waited forever in line and eventually headed out to sea. the boat ride was lots of fun- i wish we could have gone up a deck [couldn't with the stroller] or stayed outside longer but it was so much landon. landon really couldn't care less about the water or boat but really just wanted the dang fire exstinguisher. i chased him all over that lower deck! once on alcatraz island we got our safety meeting then went to watch the movie. at this point landon was cranky and was going to nap. i figured he'd do it in the stroller quite nicely but going down, he was a pain. we got in the room and he SCREAMED! and didn't stop the entire time. so i missed the movie. eventually i got him asleep [sorry fellow alcatraz patrons] right as the movie finished [anyone want to tell me what i missed?]. we hiked up the huge hills then took our audio tour. i wish i had learned more about the place ahead of time but the tour was amazing. timed so well. and the best part was landon was asleep the whole time. it literally takes you down cooridors, to cells, into rooms and gives you stories from the place from people who were there. so amazing. not scary at all but kinda weird. people were once housed here as criminals. and now tourists go there for fun. kinda weird. maybe we'll do that at ryker's one day? some interesting things: how small the cells were, 3 people ever escaped and made this amazing dummy head as a decoy [out of concrete, soap and something else....-- then spooned/chisseled their way out their cells up the pipes, out on the roof then never to be heard from again]. such an interesting experience. and great views of the golden gate bridge and the hills of san francisco, esp since we weren't going to the bridge. we were there til noon then headed back for lunch.

we walked to pier 39 and had boudin's for lunch [famous sourdough bread bowls and clam chowder. but their cookies were nothing to tout about] then walked around the pier, even saw some sea lions [horrible smelly creatures!]. walked down to fisherman's wharf for a gander [lots of shops- and with landon we couldn't stop]. from there we walked to ghiradelli square and let landon chased pidgeons and play on the grass which was lots of fun. of course we had to have some chocolate- and by chocolate i mean a ghiradlli cookies and cream ice cream cone [good. but not for the money]. at this point we had done everything i'd planed to for our first day so we kind of wandered. and by wandered, i mean we WANDERED. we hike the road of mordor [no joke, the WORST hill in the world. my calves still burn] to get to the top of lombard street. really melissa, the TOP? why not the bottom? i have no idea, we didn't plan well. so once we hiked to the top of this massivly steep hill [pushing a stroller no less with a 25lbs toddler] we had to go do. on the STEPS! meaning we carried the stroller DOWN the steepest hill on san francisco. it was horrible. just just horrible. then we took and pic and were off [really, such a let down. we should have driven it]. from here we hiked [because you don't walk in sf, you hike] to washington square and saw this awesome old catholic church, then down through chinatown [so overrated- crowded beyond belief and nothing fun]. we got lost [again] trying to find the dragon gate- eventually found that but were so tired we just took a pic and left. at this point we were exhausted, grumpy and landon was tired of sitting. thank heaven for 7-11- literally. we found one and our whole attitudes changed with the help of a slurpee. from here we wandered to union square [a huge shopping place- overratted as well] then tried to find a taxi. a nice ginger cop helped us realize we were super close to our hotel so we walked the last bit there- again, through the scary bum streets. i was so afraid we were gonna get jumped. at this point, we swore off san francisco and all their scary bums and steep hills and expensive everything. so we ordered in chinese [because landon can't do resturants and not many places deliver within an hour timeframe] and let landon loose. granted, i think we would have enjoyed it more if we stayed in a better placed hotel, didn't have landon and were richer. but that wasn't the case. i don't think we'll be coming back anytime soon...

day five: left our hearts money in san francisco

our last morning in san francisco landon woke up even earlier [6am] and proceeded to kick me in the face as i let him in bed with me. we got to a late start though so skipped breakfast and rushed to the golden gate park's japanese tea gardens. if you get there before 10am you don't have to pay the $6 fee- so of course we got there at 9:45. so beautiful but not worth the money. and surprisingly small. and i decided at this time to let my butterfinger's loose and i accidently dropped our camera there and broke it [explaining why pictures are sparse here after]. after the gardens we wandered out. all we had to guide us was the map app on our phone and a small and not to scale map from the hotel. we wandered again and got lost trying to find stow lake so landon could feed the birds. he coulnd't wait and fell asleep by the time we got to the boat house, so we enjoyed the birds as he slept. we walked along the lake back to the pavillion when he woke up so we went back to the lake [after finding a short cut that would literally have saved us 30 min....oops] and let him oggle the birds. at alcatraz there was some famous criminal called the bird man- i think that should be landon's name. he LOVES animals but specifically, dirty pigeons. and ducks. he kept trying to reach out and touch them, then got frusterated when he couldn't. hilarious. we fed them his puffs [sorry kid, it's all we had] but that wasn't enough. they soon abandoned us for better feeders. after that we were exhausted and didn't want to hike another mile to go see anything else [sorry windmill, carosel and hippie hill, you were just too far for these lazy americans] so we went in search of substience. now while in sacramento, our friends suggested the yelp app. which has been great but also terrible. we picked this hotdog place called underdogs for lunch- it was literally smaller then my closet. oh, and a vegan organic hot dog joint. it was so so terrible and so so overpriced.  EVERYTHING was vegan and organic. and everything was terrible- even the ketchup and ginger ale. by this point, we were so tired and broke we decided to just leave. once out in san jose we stopped for second lunch at a delicious [and cheaper] deli lunch where landon proceeded to juice me for the 2nd time that day [previously he had threw up curdled milk on me that morning]. but this time, i got poo juiced. didn't figure that out til i put my whole face up in his wet pants [that got my pants all wet too]. so we changed him on the hood of our car like the champ parents we are then headed to monterey. our hotel was in marina and while checking in, i realized i got juiced for the 3rd time that day- more poo juice [what am i feeding that kid?!]. after a quick power nap we wandered down to the beach [literally less then a quarter of a mile away from our hotel- so beautiful] and enjoyed the sunset. even let landon feel the ocean and sand for the first time- he loved it. then we hit the town for delicious dinner and i'm sad to say, we ended up at dennys [just hang your head in shame for us- i know. but we wanted some breakfast and options were few]. we had fun back at the hotel that night and i got juiced on no more. if you don't count bath water.

tune in for the last installment of our fancy vacation! and you can read about what landon thought about san fran here.
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