Saturday, June 24

June 17, 2017 - Day 6

Whhhyyyyy do they wake up so early?? Kids up by 6ish today. I was soooo not ready to be awake. The hotel is unusual. No air-conditioning, but the window actually opens and there's a ceiling fan. Perhaps this is not so unusual for San Francisco? It's fairly warm in the room, and lots of city noise kept me awake for awhile last night. Took another shower this morning so I could use my good shampoo. I swear my hair still smelled like campfire as I washed it.

We ate the hotel's continental breakfast. It was just pastries. Fine and tasty, but Milo and Olive definitely need protein with their breakfasts. They act like maniacs if they don't eat protein at breakfast. Seriously. Fighting, hitting, whining. Basically little assholes. Tomorrow we'll have to splurge on a real breakfast, but for today we're hoping snacks and an early lunch will suffice.

We tried to grab a cable car to head up to crooked Lombard Street, but the first two that came by were full. We gave up and walked a block over to catch a bus. We got off the bus about 3 blocks from Lombard. Maybe poor planning on our part? We weren't sure if the bus was going to get closer or turn away from it, so we chanced it. As we walked toward Lombard, we saw another awesome playground. San Francisco Parks and Rec does it right. Kids would have stayed hours, probably, but I wanted to keep going. We had a lot planned and stopping at every playground we saw was not on my SF bucket list.

The next couple blocks we trekked were solidly uphill. Steep. Going up is much easier on my knees than going down, though, so I didn't mind. Except that I was sweating like crazy and it was only 9:00 in the morning. (Everyone EVERYONE told us it would be chilly in SF and THEY WERE WRONG. We only had pants for this leg (ha) of the trip, and it was about 80 degrees and NOT CHILLY AT ALL.)

Stopped to take some pics at the bottom of Lombard. I counted the steps as we climbed up. I think it was between 240 - 250, but of course I no longer remember for sure. From there, we got on a cable car for the last couple blocks down to the Wharf area.

First stop: Ghirardelli Square. We got some chocolate samples and saw some chocolate being made. Pro tip: if you wander through both Ghirardelli cafes, you get a sample at both places! We went in a few little shops. It was such a beautiful day. Andrew and I wished we could just sit and enjoy coffee there in the square. And then some wine later in the day.

But instead, we wandered back toward the water and sat on the concrete steps by the beach area. Got all sunscreened up and watched the swimmers. Olive desperately wanted to play in the sand and go in the water. We wisely told her she had to wait until the end of the day because we didn't want to be in wet sandy clothes all day. She insisted she'd stay dry but we're no amateurs.

We checked out Hyde Street Pier, but it wasn't too exciting. It was fun to see the boat wood being steamed, and we pulled on some ropes to demonstrate pulleys. But we were too cheap to pay to tour the boats (and not sure we'd really enjoy it that much anyway) so we didn't spend too much time here.

Continued on to Fisherman's Wharf. We wandered through the shops, which the kids actually really enjoyed. Of course, they, mostly Olive, wanted to buy everything (and we kept saying no. We're no amateurs). We saw this really cool 3D printed family portrait thing, where they take over 100 pictures simultaneously from all different angles, then make these super-realistic models of you. I was really considering doing this with the four of us, but it would have cost over $300. And we would have been wearing our dumpy vacation clothes. Not ideal. But I do wish we had this kind of thing nearby so we could get all dressed up and have a very cool memento. We also wandered through the lobby of Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

We ate lunch at a crepe place. Very yummy. (I know, I know, you're wondering why we didn't eat seafood. Well. Andrew had to go to the ER last time we ate seafood at Fisherman's Wharf, so we avoided it.) More wandering, then we got some ice cream at Ben & Jerry's. It was really hot out, so everything was kind of a drippy mess by the time we were done. #WorthIt

Went down Pier 39, which was starting to very crowded. Spent some time letting the kids play in the bubbles outside the toy store. The kids spent the last of their fun money on seashell boxes and tiny painted sea stars. We saw the sea lions. Adorable.

We had a catamaran boat tour today. It was a 90-minute ride around Alcatraz, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and back around. Just a ride, really, no guided tour. The boat had these nets up front that looked directly down into the water. The kids loved sitting up there. I took my Dramamine (the ginger-only natural kind, unfortunately) but the choppy water still got me by the end. It was incredibly windy out on the water, and actually cold (the only time we felt cold in SF). We were finally glad we'd been carrying around those jackets all day. We saw some whales out there, which was a highlight. And it was cool to see the bridge up close like that. It was a fun ride in spite of feeling yucky.

After the boat, I chilled out in the shade while Andrew took the kids on the Pier 39 carousel. Then we headed back toward the beach. We had promised Olive, after all, that we'd play in the sand later. It was a looooong walk back. So so crowded, the sun was in our eyes, and we were all exhausted. And our water bottles were empty and we couldn't find anywhere to fill them up. But we made it, and the kids loved it. They were so happy, playing in the sand and getting wet. First we took off their shoes and socks and rolled up their pants. But it was clear that wasn't going to cut it, so we had them take off their pants and just play in undies. Milo wasn't too sure about this, so he stayed in pants awhile longer than Olive. We figured we could then take off wet underwear and just have them wear pants back to the hotel. Well. Milo's pants got totally soaked before he took them off. So it was a wet bus ride back, but they survived.

It was after 6:30 by this point, so we were on the hunt for dinner. I ordered carryout pizza from the place across the street from the hotel while Andrew got the kids cleaned up. We ate pizza on the floor of our hotel room with foil plates and paper towel napkins (thank you, extra camping supplies). Despite my expression in this photo, it was lovely.

We pushed the kids hard today with activities. My watch tells me I walked close to 15,000 steps, and no doubt the kids went further. Milo and Olive are definitely troopers.

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