We managed to organize our plans so that we had a fairly short drive on the morning of Sunday, the 10th. (Short, but with much, much more traffic than Wyoming, Utah, or Nevada!) We made it to Uncle Dave and Aunt Nissa's house just before lunch time. We were all happy and excited to be there! We had decided several months ago that we'd be visiting California this summer and the kids had been talking about it a lot. We didn't have our final plans in place until later, but I was fielding a lot of questions this spring about where Dave and Nissa live and what we'd see there.
After a yummy lunch of Mexican food we set off for the Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco. Uncle Dave and Aunt Nissa had given the kids a View-master with pictures of giant trees, so M2 knew they'd be neat. They had also learned quite a bit about redwoods on Dinosaur Train, oddly enough.
Giant redwoods are the tallest trees on the planet, some growing over 350 feet tall. Their bases can be 22 feet in diameter. They can live for 2000 years and can grow by seed or sprout. (http://www.visitsequoia.com/redwoods-and-sequoias.aspx)
|This tree was thousands of years old and had markers at significant points in history. They were looking at when Columbus landed in the Western hemisphere.|
After our hike we drove north along the coast to Stinson beach. We had visited this beach with M.G. when she was 18 months and were excited for M2 and M3 to put their toes in the Pacific for the first time. A silly fact, we were in Rhode Island, playing on the East Coast of the U.S. on June 10th, 2011!
The water was cold, but you wouldn't know from the way M.G. and M2 splashed and ran in the water! After falling a few times, M2 was covered from head to toe in sand.
Day 4On Monday we spent some time exploring San Francisco while Dave and Nissa were at work. We had brought along our copy of Goodnight San Francisco, which gave the kids an idea of several of the things we'd be looking for.
This was our third time in the city and we had plans to see a few new things and a few favorites. After all the driving we had been doing, I thought the kids would be very excited to explore, but it took a while for them to warm up to the idea of walking around for much of the day.
We started off with a visit to the Sea Lions on Pier 39. They were a big hit!
It didn't take us long to realize that our walking speed was much slower than on our previous trips (No one using the stroller at this point!) so we cut back on several of the things we had in mind to try to check out.
We walked over to the San Francisco Maritime National Historic park. We decided not to purchase tickets to tour the historic boats and instead read the signs along the dock about each. M2 had a lot of great questions!
After lunch we drove down Lombard street, "the crookedest street in the world." It was exciting, but not as exciting as trying to get up the steep block before the actual hairpin portion. A car stopped at the stop sign ahead of us and our trusty Neon killed 2 or 3 times before Papa managed to inch our way up to the top. The straight block after the iconic block was M2's favorite - it was pretty step and had tourists jumping out from either side to take photos!
We checked out the view from the base of Coit tower, took one more cruise down Lombard, and spent some time running around Washington Square park in the North Beach neighborhood. (I also grabbed one of my favorite coffees!)