Friday, November 1, 2013

San Francisco–Day 2


Friday was the busiest, most jam-packed day of our trip.  We wanted to take the BART into San Francisco, just so we could all have the experience of riding the subway.  Unfortunately, the employees were on strike so we had to skip that adventure.  They were on strike before we went to SF, ended the strike about the time we embarked on our vacation, and then went on strike again.  What?!?!?  Who does that?!!

We got into the city and found a place to park for the day.  Then we started walking.  We walked up a giant hill and then down a giant hill.


I’m sure our little parade of people turned more than a few heads!!  Especially at the end of the day when everyone was tired and there was plenty of moaning and groaning…and then Rachel tripped on a curb and had quite the crash.

Our first stop was the Exploratorium, which is in a much bigger location than when Jared was a missionary.  We could have spent days here.  There were hundreds and hundreds of little stations that explored one specific thing.  There were areas for learning about sound, mechanics, physics…all sorts of fun learning spots.

Fun with mirrors…

10-2013-SF-24 10-2013-SF-25




Mega Magnet



Hydraulic stuff



Test how quickly you react



Sit in the chair and have someone spin the wheel really fast, and you can use the gyroscopic force of the spinning wheel to move the chair around.



Prisms and optical illusions



We wish we would have had more time to spend here.  I don’t think we even got through half of it!  We had a couple of other things we wanted to get done, so we grabbed a quick and ridiculously over-priced lunch at the restaurant and took a few minutes to eat.  Then we ran a few blocks down the wharf to catch our Bay Cruise.  As it turns out, it was leaving 30 minutes later than we thought, so we rushed for nothing!  We did get to be first in line for the boat though.



Good thing we brought our jackets, because it was COLD!!  Actually, Rachel forgot her jacket, so Jared sacrificed his for her, and used Daniel to keep him warm.



We cruised out into the bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge.  What an amazing structure!!




We learned that there is enough wire in the suspension cables to go around the Earth more than 3 times!!  Those main support cables are massive, and you can only really appreciate how big they are while on the bridge.


We also cruised around Alcatraz.  I didn’t get a picture of the whole island, but this is a shot of the side that faces away from San Francisco.  I can’t imagine how cold the water must have been when those prisoners attempted their escape!!



A view of the Bay bridge from our cruise.  It’s a neat bridge, but not nearly as impressive as the Golden Gate Bridge.



The famous sea lions that reside at Pier 39.  Apparently they showed up after one of the earthquakes and have called the pier home ever since.



Most of them were just laying around, but these two were having a little fun.



After our cruise, we had hot dogs and soup from a food cart on the wharf.  The sourdough bread bowl that held Emily’s soup was soooo yummy!!  When we finished, we strolled next door to the Aquarium at the Bay.  This underwater tunnel was the coolest part.






Everyone loved the touch tanks too.



Jared and I were secretly enjoying seeing the employee squirm as he nervously watched Caleb teeter on the edge of this tank!



Rachel was lucky enough to get to touch a ray.





Daniel was just dying to read a book.



And happy after his nap on the cruise and a full belly from dinner.



There was a sea otter exhibit that was supposed to be really great.  But the otters were asleep.  So we moved on.  Overall, the aquarium was less than spectacular, but still fun.

We had an awesome, very full day!  We started our long walk back to the car as the sun started setting.  Emily got this great shot of the TransAmerica building for us.  It’s the tallest building in the city (for now) and is the most prominent feature in the skyline. 



We wanted to make one more stop – the Lego store, which happened to be at a mall near our hotel.  We only had an address (you’d think we would have learned by now), and it was dark…and you can see where this is going.  We had to stop for directions for the third time!  We made it about 30 minutes before they closed and had fun looking around for a few minutes.

We ended the evening with some yummy frozen yogurt at a local place.  There was a couple who approached us (they saw our license plate in the parking lot) and struck up a fun conversation.  As it turns out, the woman’s father served in the mission presidency with Jared’s mission president, and also served in the stake presidency with a stake president that Jared knew.  Small world, eh?!?!

Stay tuned for the final episode of our San Francisco trip!

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