Monday, May 24, 2010

San Francisco Day 7

On Saturday morning we headed to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building for breakfast. They had so many fresh fruits/vegetables and cheeses. There were also several artists selling things like candles, and jewelry.

We got these amazing strawberries from one of the local farms. The strawberries, along with fresh squeezed orange juice and bagels made quite the delicious breakfast. Just seeing the strawberry makes my mouth water!

This is one of the ferries at the ferry building. It was hard to say goodbye to the bay and the beautiful water.

We had a crazy time trying to get to the airport. It took longer to return the car, and drive to the airport than we had anticipated and we were nervous that we wouldn't make our flight, but thankfully we made it. However, we forgot to fill the rental car up before we returned it, and they charged us $7.99 a gallon! How ridiculous is that? This picture is a view of Salt Lake from the airplane. We flew right over our house. It was fun to see the temple and the lake. We tried to get our camera out in time to capture the temple, but we were a few seconds too late.

San Francisco was amazing! We ate at so many delicious restaurants from French, to seafood, to Italian. It's always hard to come back from vacation, since there is always cleaning, laundry and groceries to be done. (I went to the grocery store at 10:30 that night. What a way to spend Saturday night!) We did miss our little doggy though! This is our family picture after arriving home.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

San Francisco Day 6

On Friday we decided to head down the coast on Highway 1. It was a beautiful day! After a scenic drive down the coast, complete with fresh fruit stands and places where you could pick your own strawberries, we arrived in Santa Cruz.

I loved Santa Cruz! It was a darling little town with such a fun, amusement park type of boardwalk, complete with arcades, and rides. Notice that the rollercoaster is on its way to the top in the picture. It was very warm in Santa Cruz. People were walking around in shorts and sandals. Needless to say, I felt a little silly and hot with my turtleneck. However, it cooled down as we headed down to Monterey, and I was grateful to have it then.

Next we stopped at Carmel. One of my students had recommended the drive to Monterey/Carmel, and it ended up being one of the highlights of our trip. Now that we look back on the trip, we wish that we would have stayed the last few nights, down in Monterey or Carmel. It was beautiful! This is a view of the water at Carmel. Isn't it gorgeous? In the background you can see the elite Pebble Beach Golf Course.

Carmel was a quaint upscale Mediterranean town. The architecture was so beautiful! I love the little archway that leads to this little coffee shop. We went window shopping, and got some delicious pastries from a local bakery.

I love this picture of Preston, especially his cute dimples! Carmel was one of Preston's favorite places on the trip.

Of course we had to dip our feet in the water, and walk in the sand. I love walking along the ocean!

After Carmel, we headed to Monterey to the Fisherman's warf. Preston and I both agree that we liked the Fisherman's Warf in Monterey, more than we liked the one in San Francisco. There were more shops, and the clam chowder that we got for dinner was amazing! There were several places selling clam chowder, and many of them had samples so it was fun to taste all the different varieties and choose our favorite. We also bought a roasted garlic to spread on our bread bowl once the chowder was gone. It was delicious! (sorry Preston looks like he is in pain in the picture, it was just really bright :-)

This is a look from the end of the pier in Monterey. It was such a beautiful day!

One of the restaurants located on the pier in Monterey. I loved seeing all of the boats docked at the pier in the marina.

After an amazing day, we headed back along highway one, and were able to stop and capture this beautiful picture of the sunset.

After taking a picture of the sunset, I turned to the other side of Highway one, and captured this picture! What a gorgeous place. Preston and I were actually sad to head back to the city. I wish that we could have spent more time driving down the coast. P.S. If you drive in San Francisco make sure to take a gps, because if you don't have one driving is a nightmare with all of the one way streets, and streets where you can't turn left. It took us thirty minutes upon entering the city, to navigate our way back to the hotel. I would much rather walk in the city!

Friday, May 21, 2010

San Francisco Day 5

On Thursday we rented our car. It was a much needed break from our walking adventures. We were initially going to rent the car a few days earlier, but it cost $35 to park our car at our hotel. How ridiculous is that? It was fun renting the car though, because the rental place dropped it off with the concierge. It was also Preston's last day in his conference, which ended around noon, so we had almost the whole day together! I was excited to finally get to see Golden Gate Park and the Pacific Ocean.

This is a picture from one of the many little lakes in Golden Gate Park. At first I thought the turtles were statues, until I saw them swimming in the water. The park is enormous! There are several museums, as well as the Academy of Science located in the park.

This isn't a very good picture, but this was a windmill in the park that was by the tulip gardens. Unfortunately, the tulips had already bloomed for the season, and so it was mostly just poppies. We also went to some of the botanical gardens.

The border of Golden Gate Park is on the Pacific Ocean. It was beautiful, but SO windy. This picture makes me smile every time, especially as my hair curls up to give Preston a mustache.

Next we crossed the Golden Gate over to Sausalito and Tiburon. Sausalito had some darling shops, and some great restaurants on the pier.

We also drove all around Tiburon, which is shaped like a peninsula. They have some beautiful homes! I would kill for a view of the city like this! It was fun to explore outside of our walking radius. I just can't believe how large the bay is!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

San Francisco Day 4

Because we could not go to Golden Gate Park the day before, I was really hoping to go. However it decided to rain, which also made returning the rental bikes quite the nightmare. The place we originally rented the bikes from was closed, so we ended up spending all of Preston's lunch break riding around San Francisco in the rain trying to find the other location. After another afternoon of shopping, we walked over to the crookedest street. It just makes me smile. (sorry we are squinting in the picture, it was really bright)

This is a view from the bottom of Lombard "the crookedest street." I think it would be fun to have a house on Lombard, although it would be annoying to have people driving up and down all day.

Of course when we rented a car the next day, we had to drive down it as well :-) You can also see coit tower on the skyline.

This is a view of the cable car that runs from the crookedest street down to Ghiradelli Square. (and yes Preston took a picture of me taking a picture, but he claimed it was the view of the cable car that he was trying to capture.)
After taking pictures, we walked down to Ghiradelli square and got some more delicious chocolate samples, and then headed over to dinner at the most amazing Italian pizzaria called Tony's Napoletana.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

San Francisco Day 3

On Monday Preston's work conference began, so I had some time on my own to go exploring and shopping. Shopping was a high priority on my list, since the day before had been a record high for San Francisco, and I had only packed long sleeve shirts. The weather cooled down for the rest of the trip, but I did buy some cute clothes at H&M (it's like Forever 21) and Nordstrom (my favorite store). The Nordstrom there is absolutely incredible. It's four stories tall. I was in heaven! The cute girl that helped me even sent me a thank you note when I got home, and said that she hoped that I had had a great vacation! They also had some great boutiques and jewelry stands by our hotel. I walked for hours while Preston was in his workshop. I could probably navigate my way around the heart of San Francisco better than I could Salt Lake.
This is Chinatown. It was a half-mile or so walk from our hotel. It was exactly like the name sounds. A mini China. It was unusual to feel like the only caucasian. It wasn't as nice as I had always imagined in my mind, but they still had lots of great shopping, and fresh produce markets.

After Chinatown, I walked to Northbeach, which is the mini-Italy of San Francisco. They have one of the top ten pizza restaurants in the country there. After having a slice of pizza for lunch, I hiked up to Coit tower. It was quite the hike, but was well worth it. I didn't want to pay to take the elevator to the top, so this is a view from the base of the tower. I wish I had actually taken a picture of the tower. It was very pretty, you could see the whole bay.

After the tower, I ended up stopping for a delicious pastry at an Italian bakery in North Beach, and then hiked down to the ferry building. Here you can see the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge. All of the piers are odd numbers on one side, and on the other side are even numbered piers. I must have had a sweet tooth, because I also decided to stop for Italian gelato at one of the cute shops in the ferry building.

After Preston got done with his conference, we decided to do another highlight of the trip, biking across the Golden Gate! This picture shows just how enormous the Golden Gate is. I can't believe that a cruise ship fit under the bridge!

It was about a seven mile ride to the bridge. They claimed that it was all flat, but there were a few hills around Fort Mason that we had to ride across. This is a picture as we got close to the bridge.

Riding across the bridge was such a thrill! I loved every second of it. Preston says that he can cross it off his bucket list. It is such a different experience then driving across it. The part that made me laugh though is since they were doing renovation on parts of the bridge we passed several outhouses as we rode by. I asked Preston when we got across how many he counted, and he seemed perplexed. They had painted them the same color as the bridge, so they blended right in. They looked like all the other utility sheds and so Preston hadn't even noticed them. They also have several phones for emergencies on the bridge, so in case there is someone looking to commit suicide, they can talk to someone who will try and talk them out of jumping. I must say it would be quite the jump.

After we biked across, we decided to bike to Golden Gate Park, which is supposed to be a lot bigger than Central Park, and borders the ocean. However, our map was not drawn to scale, and so when we stopped to ask a local resident walking his dog, we were still four miles away. Four miles uphill that is. Since it was getting dark, we decided to just explore and then head back to the hotel. We happened to ride right by the Palace of Fine Arts. Since the bike shop was closed we stored our bikes with the concierge, and then headed to a delicious Italian restaurant for dinner.

Monday, May 17, 2010

San Francisco Day 2

On Sunday, we were lucky enough to get tickets to go to Alcatraz, since they tend to sell out quickly. I wasn't too excited, but Preston really wanted to go and I figured it would be interesting to learn some history. However, Alcatraz was one of the highlights of the trip. I loved it. It was fascinating. We went on an audio tour that reinacts actual events and history through stories from the prisoners as well as the guards. I could not believe how small the cells were. 7 feet high, 5 feet wide, by 9 feet long. I would be so claustrophobic!

This picture shows how three men successfully escaped Alcatraz by widening the air vents in their room. (sorry about the poor quality of the picture, it was taken through glass.) However, the three were never found and more than likely drowned.

This is the view of the island as we were on the ferry back to San Francisco. The island was beautiful! They had very pretty gardens that the guards would let the prisoners tend if they were on good behavior.

After we got back, we decided to explore Pier 39. I loved the Sea Lions. They were so fun to watch. There was one sea lion that kept trying to get up on the pier, but the other sea lions would get mad because he kept climbing over them. I think he tried almost every one of the floating piers that you can see behind us. It was pretty funny!

On Pier 39, we found the most amazing crab restaurant. Although Preston and I disagree on many foods, we both LOVE crab. For dinner we ordered three pounds of crab. Unlike most restaurants, you don't dip it in butter, it comes pre-seasoned. It was delicious! An hour later, all that was left was a pile of shells.

After dinner, I saw it. A purse shop. I am not a clothes or shoes girl, I am a purse girl. Jokingly I went into the store to browse, but of course came out with the cutest new purse for summer. It has brown and white stripes! We also got funnel cake on the pier for dessert (funnel cake is a tradition that started when we were dating on our trip to Disneyland)

We stayed at the downtown Hyatt. Our room was gorgeous and looked out over Union Square. This is a view from our room. We stayed on the 27th floor. It was crazy being up so high.

I love Palm Trees. I didn't think they grew as far north as San Francisco, but I was wrong. This Palm Tree is in Union Square.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

San Francisco Day 1

I have been dying to go to San Francisco since Preston and I got married. I haven't been there since I was little. I didn't think that we would be going on vacation for awhile since we barely got back from our cruise in February. However we found out that Preston needed to renew his certification through his work, and we found out that the conference that he needed to attend was held in San Francisco. Needless to say I was so excited. Looking forward to another vacation was the only thing that got me through my recital and practicing thirty hours a week. Not only did we have an excuse for another vacation, but Preston's work covered his airfare and part of the cost of the hotel. Thankfully for us his conference was only three and a half days, so we had plenty of time for sightseeing, and I had fun exploring the days that he was in the conference. It was nice to spend time by the ocean and in the bay. There is something about water that I just love!

We left Saturday afternoon. It is always a tradition to get a picture at the airport. We decided that we were never going to let a vacation be like our honeymoon, where we have two pictures (of a bird, and an amusement park ride) from the entire vacation. The only thing that Preston and I hated, was not having his sister and her husband with us. Nate is a videographer, and I wish that we could have a video of the trip. Also April takes amazing photos. Preston and I hated asking people to take our picture. Maybe one day when we are rich, we can pay for them to come along to document our vacations.

We spent the first evening exploring and enjoying the sights. This is the delicious clam chowder that we got on Fisherman's Warf for dinner.

The famous fisherman's warf sign.

This was the first view of the water off the pier. It was a gorgeous evening.

There are lots of actors on the street that perform impressions, and act like statues and robots. This guy was my favorite. You can see him behind the bush. He would scare people as they walked by. He scared a german shepherd that walked by, and the dog freaked out. It was pretty funny.

The famous Ghiradelli square. It was pretty, but I think that I had always imagined it being on a boardwalk with sand. We wanted to go there for ice cream, but it was always before dinner when we went. I am convinced that we should have had ice cream for dinner. The chocolate shop gave out delicious chocolate samples. They had chocolate with carmel inside that melted in your mouth, and this is coming from someone who does not like hard chocolate.