Friday, January 4, 2008

The Great, the Good and the Really, Really Ugly: Part 2

December 27th:

The alarm went off way too early at 7 a.m. The goal was to get to Union Square in downtown San Francisco by 11:30 to see the team rally. We had discovered that the frying pans had been left at home so while I got things situated in the camper, washing dishes from the previous night and such, Matt went over to Wal-Mart and got a new set. After breakfast of bacon or sausage and eggs, David and I ventured over to Wal-Mart to procure a few other needed items such as a warm jacket for him, which would become handy to have later in the day, and a few other essentials. After stowing the purchased items we returned to the road to find a Bart station. We headed first to Concord but did not see a station close to the freeway so we continued to Pleasant Hill where we parked the truck for the day. As I said, we were hoping to make into San Francisco in time to watch the OSU rally at Union Square but we did not make it. We rode Bart from Pleasant Hill to the Powell Street stop near the cable car terminus. David had the best time. David is fascinated with trains of any shape or description so the Bart ride was a particular hit.

Waiting for the Bart train.

David had the time of his little life! "It goes fast!"

After procuring a city map we headed out to start our day of sight seeing and transit riding. Since we arrived in the city at around lunch time we wandered around looking for a place to eat. We found this little bitty Chinese restaurant. Oh was the food good!! I forgot to get a picture of the front but it was a popular place with the local lunch crowd. After lunch we went to ride the cable cars.

We purchased all day passes and proceeded to stand in line for an hour to get a ride.

The kids had a great time.

Just one of many, many OSU fans we saw around the city that day.

We went as far as the cable car museum on this first trip of the day. The cable car museum was cool and would have been more interesting for me if I had actually be able to read any of the plaquards. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time following David from place to place.

After a thorough inspection of the train museum, we returned to the cable car stop where we intended to ride to Fisherman's Wharf. Unfortunately, on this busy and bustling holiday weekday for many, the traffic was really bad and few cable cars were able to get through their routes and we were stuck waiting a VERY long time. Eventually we did manage to squeeze on one and rode down the Hyde street line to the Wharf. The day was nice with just high clouds for the most part. We had a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge at the end of the Hyde Street Cable Line.

We had hoped to be able to visit the maritime museum but we arrived after the last tour had started. To bad too cause the tours were free today. Since that possible venue for entertainment was out we wandered off down the street checking out restaurant menus as we went. We soon happened upon Joe's Crab Shack. It looked lively and smelled good so we entered and waited to be seated. The food was good, the adult beverage I indulged in quite tasty as well and we all stuffed ourselves full enough to continue on with our adventures. We proceeded over to ride the Mason line back up to the California line where we caught that cable car as well so that we managed to ride all the lines today.

View of the Christmas lights from the California line.

While on the California line we enjoyed a bit of banter with some University of Maryland fans who had traveled clear from near Baltimore to attend the game. That is true dedication to the sport.Emily requested a ride on the electric bus so that was our next destination. Thank goodness for those all day MUNI tickets, they got us on all kinds of transportation. I know the picture is not great but it is the only one we have. While riding the bus we encountered a couple of Oregon State fans whom we chatted with a bit. He is a professor of International Business at OSU and traveled down with the team. It was interesting to chat with them for a bit while we rode the electric bus with no real destination in mind.

After leaving the bus, we caught the electric trolley to head back the way we had come. We were intending to stop at the Ghiradellia store on Powel near our Bart station but met up with a nice gentleman who directed us back to Fisherman's Wharf and Ghiradellia Square. The poor kids were pretty tuckered out by this time.

However, they perked right up at the prospect of a chocolate sundae. After sundaes were consumed and the chocolate making process observed, we proceeded back to the cable car line for a ride back to our Bart Station. This was a bonus ride that we had not anticipated. It was really cool to ride from one end of the line to the other. Poor David did not make it though. He fell asleep part way up the line sitting tucked into his seat beside Daddy. He was such a trooper. He had a great riding day.

After a quick potty break at the end of the cable line, we hopped back on Bart to return to the truck. The trip was uneventful and all 3 kids fell asleep. It was certainly quite different on the trip back than on the trip in. The excitement was over and exhaustion had won.

Somewhere around dark the rain had started to fall so part of the trip had gotten drippy and chilly but it could not put a damper on our day. When we arrived back at the truck, Emily and David climbed up into mommy and daddy's big bed and Jessie, Matt and I climbed into to the truck to head for our camping spot at the Alameda County fairgrounds. We arrived here at around 11:45. After a bit of work getting situated in our spot, everyone is tucked into bed to rest up for whatever adventures tomorrow morning will bring prior to meeting up with Uncle Jim and Aunt Traci so David can go with them for a visit. The game starts at 5:30 at Giants stadium so it will be back downtown we go for more fun. It was great to share this day with the kids. Other than the waiting in line for the cable cars, the kids really seemed to enjoy all that we did. I love having days where no-one is fighting, nagging or harping. There were no responsibilities beyond keeping each other safe. What a great day.

Here a few more random pictures from the day:

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