You probably figured we’d be halfway across the country by now, huh? Surprise! We are still in the same state we started, only eight hours North. We wanted to visit Bex’s side of the family for a few days. It’s been a lot of fun. Of course I love spending time with family but I always look forward to a day in San Francisco. It’s on my list of Top 10 Favorite Cities in the world. Here’s why:
The Golden Gate Bridge
Couldn’t tell you why but the sight of it always gives me goosebumps. Some people feel this way when the see the Statue Of Liberty, Notre Dame Cathedral, or Cinderella’s Castle but this one takes my breathe away. It’s not often that I am left speechless. If I could put the feeling into words then I guess I wouldn’t have to write about it.
It’s something that should be on everyone’s bucket list to see once. The photo above was taken across the bay from San Francisco in the parking lot of our next stop.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Why call a place like this a museum? Why not call it what it really is; the most elaborate playground you’ll ever take your kid to.This place was perfect for Boy Wonder to stretch his legs, his mind and explore.
There was a stream filled with “dead” fish so all the kids could finally experience hunting like a bear.
There was a room themed to aquatic life that came complete with the coolest waterbed ever seen. Boy Wonder and I will be surprising IncrediMom with one of these very soon.
There was a soft play jungle gym.
And a patio with STEM toys!
We even worked in a construction zone. No hard hats, really?! Safety first people. At least he was issued that snazzy vest.
Boy Wonder’s favorite spot in the entire place will come as no surprise to his adoring fans.
It was a room full of toy trains. We spent an hour of serious playtime in here. The only thing that could have pulled him away was lunch. Thankfully they had an organic restaurant right there! I need the recipe for those Veggie Tots. If anyone has suggestions, please toss them in the comments below.
Finally, Boy Wonder really enjoyed the musical instruments that we found all over the museum property. Xylophones are featured below but he also had fun with the croaking frogs, drums, and more.
After the museum, we took a short ride over my favorite bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf. Our next stop was a ride on a cable car.
Powell-Hyde Cable Car
When it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s definitely worth going out of your way to visit. But I kept asking, why? I’ve been on a trolly before. I knew what to expect. Even the Disneyland version of a trolly is cramped, crowded, and in all likelihood slower than walking. It turns out this isn’t much different. It’s still crowded and uncomfortable but it is certainly an experience you’ll never forget.
The San Francisco cable car system is the world’s last manually operated cable car system. When they say manual, they mean it. I saw two brake levers and no steering wheel on this bad boy.
My son saw “Choo Choo! Dadda Choo Choo!”
“Trolley buddy. It’s a trolley.”
“Mmm. . .Choo Choo!”
And he looked at me as if I had just told him Santa and the Easter Bunny were poker buddies.
“Sorry, my mistake. It’s a Choo Choo train.
What can I say? The kid is an expert on anything with wheels.
The cable car follows a route from Fisherman’s Wharf to Union Square. Most of the 7 million annual passengers are tourists but we rode alongside a good amount of commuters, who instead of handing over $7.00 a ticket, simply pulled out their muni pass ($29.00 for 3-days) for the conductor.
I hate driving on the streets of San Francisco but they’re fun when I’m the passenger. We had even more fun because Boy Wonder would exclaim “Wee!” And “Yay!” As we zoomed down the steep hills and “Uh oh” whenever we rolled to a stop. Besides his commentary, it was an entirely new way to see the architecture, the restaurants, and the people. I even saw a woman giving us the ‘Hello Trolley People” royal wave from the movie Princess Diaries.
Boy Wonder turned his charm on a few of the passengers. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why this brunette Martha Stewart look-a-like kept smiling and waving at me from across the aisle. Didn’t she see my wife right there? I shyly waved back because it was the polite thing thing to but then, when the cable car arrived at her stop, she stood up and declared, “He is so beautiful.” Again, I wondered if she just didn’t see my wife sitting there or if she didn’t care. But then Bex smiled back and thanked her. That’s when I realized those faces hadn’t been for me. They were for my son.
There is so much more to do in San Francisco and not enough hours in a day. But that just gives me more reason to come back and visit again. But it may be a while. On Wednesday we will give our last hugs to family and hit the road for the second leg our Incredible Road Trip Across The Country.