Visiting San Francisco

Current Location: Alameda County Fairgrounds RV Park, Pleasanton, CA

This morning we got up pretty early and headed out the door just before 7:00 AM. We drove the truck a couple miles up the road and parked at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, bought tickets and rode the BART train all the way in to San Francisco. That definitely was the way to go. It took about as long as driving would have and we didn’t have to hassle the busy downtown streets in the dually, let alone find an appropriate (and expensive) place to park. All told, we paid about $33 for the three of us to ride out and back.

We took all the warnings about the weather there seriously and were dressed in walking shoes, long pants, long sleeve shirts and jackets. We wore our jackets most all day (Malcolm shed his a couple of times, but ended up putting it back on). The first order of business was hopping on the California line cable car and riding from Drumm Street all the way to the other end of the line, then back to where the tracks crossed Powell Street. We hopped off there and waited for the Hyde/Bay car to pick us up and take us to Fisherman’s Wharf. We bought all day passes for the cable cars at $42 for the three of us, which saved paying $6 every time we got on (we would have paid $30 apiece since we rode five different segments).

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf

Once at Fisherman’s Wharf, we walked down to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, but it wasn’t quite open yet. We wandered through a gift shop and browsed for a bit, then returned once it was open. We didn’t carry our National Park Passport Book with us, but we got some stamps on slips of paper to stick in it later. We wandered down the pier and looked at the boats from the pier, but didn’t pay to go inside them. Very interesting history. There were good views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island from the pier.

Golden Gate bridge from afar.

Golden Gate bridge from afar.

Alcatraz from afar.

Alcatraz from afar.

We wandered around some more shops and ran across a cool old penny arcade collection at the Musee Mechanique (there should be some accents on those letters, but oh well). We got a handful of quarters and Malcolm and David ran around playing games and enjoying the old devices. We then wandered down the pier with a submarine and battleship. We didn’t tour either one, but they looked interesting.

After wandering up the street some more, we decided to eat lunch at The Franciscan Crab Restaurant, downstairs, where Malcolm had an excellent Fishwich and Val and David enjoyed baked mac and cheese dishes.

After lunch, we bought tickets to ride the Bridge 2 Bridge tour on the Red and White Fleet boat. While we waited for our boat to leave, we wandered around Pier 39 and visited a few of the shops there. We also wandered across the street to Boudin Bakery to sample some of their famous sourdough bread. We didn’t buy any, however (we still have some Amish bread in the freezer from Indiana).

Malcolm and David enjoying the Piano Stairs at Pier 39

Malcolm and David enjoying the Piano Stairs at Pier 39

The Piano Stairs from a distance

The Piano Stairs from a distance

The boat trip was fascinating. They gave you headsets and a receiver that you carried with you and listened to a narrated tour. A lot of neat history in San Francisco and the area. The boat traveled out to the Golden Gate bridge, went under it and turned around, then passed by the far side of Alcatraz Island, then circled under the Oakland Bay Bridge before heading back to dock.

Passing by Alcatraz

Passing by Alcatraz

San Francisco skyline

San Francisco skyline

Oakland Bay Bridge

Oakland Bay Bridge

After our boat ride, we went back over to Pier 39 and had some crepes at the Crepe Cafe upon the recommendation of our daughter, who had been there before. They were delicious.

Crepes

Crepes

After the crepes, we decided to walk back up the wharf to where we got off the cable cars so we could ride back to our BART station. When we got there, we found a huge line waiting to ride the cable cars. We waited with everyone else. It took over an hour and a half before we got on a cable car and started back from where we came.

Roundtable at the cable car station

Roundtable at the cable car station

View out the front window

View out the front window

We rode back to Drumm Street (end of the line) and found a place to eat dinner at Ziggy’s Burgers. We wanted something fairly quick, but not fast food, and Ziggy’s delivered. Plus, it gave us time to rest our feet.

Once dinner was done, we got back on the BART train to Pleasanton, hopped in the truck and headed back to the campground, filling the truck with fuel on the way ($4.39 a gallon). Tomorrow, we head on to the San Diego area.

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One thought on “Visiting San Francisco

  1. Sounds like a fun day in San Francisco! It’s a great city, lots of history, diversity and cool things to do. Glad you got a chance to experience it.

    Have a good trip down to San Diego. Don’t know if you are going to have time, but if you have an extra day or two before you need to be in S. D., be sure to see either Yosemite Nat. Park or Sequoia/Kings Canyon. If you can only do one…make it Yosemite! Crowded at this time of year, but worth it for the views!!!

    While you are in San Diego, if you get a chance, go out to the Hotel Del Coronado to wander around….beautiful OLD hotel with lots of history. Several movies have been filmed there. Also, check out Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. The park is quite lovely. La Jolla is a pretty town (lots of cafes and restaurants) and a beautiful bit of coastline. Lots of nice beaches in the San Diego area.

    California is where Doug and I grew up….moved to WA 10 years ago on a job transfer. We love WA, but definitely miss CA! Too many people, too much traffic, but you can’t beat the weather and the scenery! Hope you will enjoy our home state.

    Safe travels,
    Doris Anderson

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