Monday, July 16, 2012

Lucky last

On our last day in San Francisco we decided to take a tour of this magnificent city,
so we hopped on one of the red double decker buses & off we went.

Come with us now as we wind our way through the streets of San Francisco, I hope you are wearing something warm as it's pretty windy up on top of the bus!

We passed many amazing buildings, like the San Francisco City Hall.

 There were a lot of large murals everywhere,  often with thought provoking messages. 

I loved this incredible mosaic.

The houses are so gorgeous aren't they? 

We passed a few famous houses but unfortunately I didn't manage to get any shots of them. The house from the movie Mrs Doubtfire was one of them. I love that movie!

We cruised through Haight Ashbury which was a blast. I had an unfortunate/hilarious public toilet incident there but I'm not sure I want to share it with the world. Close friends..maybe.. :)

Soon it was time to cross over the Golden Gate Bridge!! Ahhh!!

This beautiful and elegant bridge is celebrating her 75th birthday this year. Wow! Did you know that..

                      ... about forty one million vehicles travel over the Golden Gate bridge every year,

                                  that the bridge is painted a colour called International Orange,

and it's the Pacific Ocean that lies underneath?  Check out the landscape on the ocean side. Pretty awe-inspiring. Can you feel the wind? Woooshh!

We headed back into the city..

where we heard some interesting facts about the 1906 earthquake. The earthquake only lasted a few seconds but the repercussions were immense. The huge fires that followed the earthquake destroyed over 25,000 buildings across 490 city blocks.

                                                             This little church survived.

Hustle and bustle! I loved these vintage street cars. All so beautifully made and maintained. There is a large collection of them from other cities in the US and they run daily up and down Market St. Pretty cool!

For those of you who have been following our travels in America, thank you for coming along for the ride. I've really enjoyed sharing some of our experience with you.

For me the highlight of our trip was seeing family. It was such a thrill to be with Mark's sister and her husband and kids, and to finally meet Mark's brother. I hope we get to have lots more time with them. The hardest part was saying goodbye.

I still have a kazillion photo's but all good things must come to an end so I shall finish up today.
Back at home we are settling in after a shaky start..more on that later.

Are you planning any travels of your own? We are already planning our next trip..hopefully for six months or so in the US, in 2014.  I can't wait to get back, I had the BEST time, I'm so glad we went. 
Travel is so addictive isn't it? Half the fun is in the planning and wishing and the dreaming.
 Happy dreaming lovely ones xo

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The fourth of July

When we were deciding on dates for our flight home from America we decided to stay for the Fourth of July festivities. The younger girls hadn't seen fireworks before and we had heard how amazing they were in San Francisco.

I'm so glad we made that decision! During the day we had been in Sausalito so we had a rest back at the hotel and tried to work out a plan. Everybody had told us how crowded it was at the wharf area, so many thousands of people would be flocking down there to get a good spot to watch the fireworks.

Everyone was telling us how hard it would be to see, how we would never get a cab back,

so we began to think twice about going. But how could we not? We were in San Francisco on July 4th!
Of course we had to go!

So Rosie put on her America Dress and we rugged up as best we could and headed out to Garibaldi Square, winding up and down those famous hills in a taxi.

When we got there we found a great spot and waited for the fun to begin. Far off on the horizon we could see some small, but pretty, fireworks. Feeling a bit flat I tried to enjoy them but hmm...not that exciting.

Then suddenly the real ones began!!!  Woo hoo!

And they were AMAZING! The sky was lit up by huge dandelion shapes of colour, great balls of exploding light. It was truly incredible, the best fireworks I've ever, ever seen.

It was magical and special,

and although I kept thinking it was New Years Eve,

that didn't really matter. All around us people exclaimed & shouted, and we did too!
Wow, wow, wow!!

It seemed to go on forever. 

But all good things come to an end don't they? Finally the last firework fizzled downwards and it was time to work out how to get home.  We tried to get on buses that were squashed full of people, we tried to hail taxi's but in the end there was only one way to get back, on foot! So instead of stressing about the long walk back, we made it into an adventure. 

We became spies in the city, undercover and charged with some kind of post firework energy we headed up and down hills. Through Little Italy and then into China Town we walked. The little ones were so tired but I kept reminding them how brave and strong they were, how they could do ANYTHING if they put their minds to it.

Illegal fireworks went off all around us, adding some drama and excitement to the journey.  It was kind of exhilarating really, and the girls did so well - walking over two miles to get back in the middle of the night. I'm sure they will remember this night forever. 
The fourth of July, in San Francisco x

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Looking forward, looking back

On Wednesday the girls and I decided to take the ferry to Sausalito. I had heard about this little town across the bay and I was keen to visit. 

We waited for the ferry and chatted to some lovely people whose daughter had recently been studying in Sydney. We also met another couple from Geelong who were travelling all around America. One of the highlight of our own trip was meeting so many great people.  (I ran into another woman from Bendigo who was buying a kettle so she could have a decent cup of tea! Seriously, American's  don't get tea.)

There was  a big crowd heading to Angel Island. Wonder what that's like? Maybe we'll go there next time.

We started off outside but half way across the bay it was way too windy and we had to head inside. Not before demolishing some pretty amazing donuts. Americans might not get tea but BOY do they get donuts!

I kind of regretted wearing a dress in the end. There was an awkward moment when I stood up to take some photo's and discovered my dress flying up around my shoulders. Oops.


 Bye bye city.

Hello Sausalito!

We were welcomed by this guy. He didn't say much. 

Here's an interesting fact, Otis Redding wrote his famous song, "Dock of the Bay' while staying on a houseboat at Sausalito in 1967. Wow!

Check this pair out. I've never seen a more laid back dachshund. Love her sunnies.

 Her name was Diamond. We saw so many adorable dogs in San Francisco. Some in prams (?), and many in outfits. Too cute!

We had fun running around this gorgeous, windy little town. Pizza at Giovanni's, some shopping and sightseeing. As we lined up for the ferry home so did about a hundred bike riders! Apparently bike tours take people across the Golden Gate Bridge and then they return on the ferry. Maybe one day...

It was a beautiful day. A day to remember.

See you soon lovely ones xo