Sept 28, 2013
26.09.2013 - 13.10.2013
So today we had a really busy day planned. We had to try and cram in all the little things we wanted to see as the next day we were heading for Yosemite. Another gorgeous day dawned, perfect blue skies, just right temperature. First stop, the 'painted ladies'...no, not what you think.
We got off the Muni stop right near a dog park - that was our highlight every time we had to go by - watching all these dogs, big and small, chasing balls and each other, so we lingered for a few minutes. Then a bit of an uphill hike to see the ladies. It was already getting pretty warm out, and not even 10am yet. And all of a sudden, there they were! Alamo Square and the painted ladies. The architecture around was quite interesting, and trying to find the best angle for taking pictures was a bit hard. You always want the iconic shot, but parked cars and lots of other tourists doesn't make that easy. We walked right up and looked t them to see the interesting details - a lot of the homes in SF have gates that go across the porch/door...this was no exception - one had a butterfly shaped gate which was pretty awesome. Then it was time to head for the waterfront...we were going to walk back t a Muni stop, but were just feet away from a bus stop when a bus pulled up that said 'Ferry Bldg'...so we kinda give the driver a quizzical look and he waves us back...our citypass also covered the bus ride. We were very lucky as we would have probably had a 15 min walk back to the Muni. (We are much more subway people then bus people...buses don't always stop at every stop, so we get confused easily...lol)
So we get off a few blocks before the ferry building and hit Starbucks for breakfast, and have another stroll thru the local artisans selling their wares. I found a great necklace from a fellow 'etsy' seller, and saw lots of amazing thing for sale. If only we had bigger (and emptier) luggage.
Off to the Exploratorium at Pier 15. After the crazy sardine experience the day before on the f train, we decided to walk, taking in some lovely views of the waterfront and the bay bridge (which we would be crossing the next day). So, let's just say the Exploratorium is like crack for kids. We were there on a Sat, so of course it was overrun. There were some very interesting things to see and do, and honestly if you wanted to experience it all, you could spend probably 3-4 hours there and pace yourself. I was getting a little worn out after our two hours or so there, but very interesting and cool displays.
Off we went to Pier 39 (with another stop at Johnny Rockets for lunch!). We wandered down to watch the sea lions basking in the sun and play fighting (at least, I think they were!). But we had a Yellow and Blue Cruise to do, as part of our CityPass booklet, so we thought we'd better load up and watch the sea lions later. The cruise was about 1 hr and went out under the bridge and back then around Alcatraz. We debated going to Alcatraz, but time constraints prevented that. The wind on the bay was blowing really hard and was very cool. Make sure to take a sweater or jacket. I stayed out on the deck the whole time to get some good shots. Lots of sailboats and other vessels in the harbor, and my eyes watered so much from the wind! But amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Fran skyline.
Then back in to watch the sea lions some more and explore Pier 39. It was quite interesting - again, lots of shops and restaurants...a good place to waste a few hours.
We managed to find an 'F' train that wasn't packed and went back to the ferry terminal building after having pizza for supper. Walked along the waterfront and admired the light show on the Bay Bridge, which was pretty cool. Then back to our accom to get ready for Sunday and the car rental! We did, beforehand, find out where the rental pickup was at so we could determine where to get off the Muni and how hard it would be to get our bags there - fortunately, it was only a few short blocks away and mostly level.