Thursday, July 30, 2015

Maybe I Cried Just a Little

After a near perfect trip, getting out of San Francisco proved to be a challenge.  We rode to and from the airport on the BART rail system.  The ride to the hotel from the airport went off without a hitch.  We did not have the same luck on the way back to the airport.  First, we got on the train to the airport, and no one bothered to tell us that we had to get off at San Bruno, rather than the airport.  After getting off and changing trains two more times, and shedding only a few tears, we finally made it!!  Little did I know that my trouble was just beginning.  Reed breezed through security with no problems what so ever.  However, this blonde, middle aged white woman sent security into a full fledged panic!  I have flown from major cities with the same id and never had a problem.  However, San Francisco doesn't play.  The problem was my driver's license has my full name, including my first name and my maiden name.  My boarding pass did not have my maiden name on it.  I had to show my debit card, Sam's card, insurance card, and everything else  I had.  NOTHING had my maiden name that I haven't used in the last 33 years.  The very mean head of security assured me that my last name was not Marine!  At this point, I was convinced I was going to have to move to San Francisco.  Finally, he yelled, "Do a modified."  What you ask is a modified??  Evidently it's a full search of all your bags, and a COMPLETE body search!!  I also had a top security man stay with me the entire time!  He led me to a lady who kindly said, "Look straight ahead at the man in front of you the entire time.  When I reach your buttock, thigh, and chest areas I will use the back of my gloved hand."  Sweet Jesus, say it's not so!!  I am happy to say that after quite a long procedure, I was allowed to proceed.  I looked over my shoulder the remainder of our journey.  I just knew they were coming for me!!  Reed, I think jokingly, said that he was trying to decide if he was going to have to leave me or stay with me.

These pictures were taken from our flight home.  I was so very happy to board our plane and head south!!  I promise the next time I fly, my boarding pass will be exactly the same as my driver's license.  
Lesson learned!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

What a Trip!

Although I was officially attending a conference, unofficially I was having the time of my life!  I feel that I must clarify that the conference was extremely enjoyable and helpful, but as soon as my sessions were over I hit the ground running!  Reed was able to do some exploring on his own while I was working!  This post has lots and lots of pictures, because we made lots and lots of memories.  We purchased the Hop-On, Hop-Off passes and the Visitor's Passport that allowed us to use all public transportation.  Both proved to be invaluable.  San Francisco is a truly beautiful city!  (Every photo is from our phones.)

Hills and Houses-This city is filled with both!  These hills aren't for sissies!  We walked at least 5 miles a day! You see views of the bay from every angle! The Painted Lady houses were gorgeous!!  Very unique!

This was our first time to see the Pacific!  It was beautiful, but I think I prefer our warm Gulf of Mexico.  At San Francisco, the ocean stays in the 50's all year long! If the pictures seem blurry, it's just the constant fog!

I had said that I should do a post on just the Golden Gate Bridge, because we saw it about 1000 times in a 1000 different ways!!  It's beautiful!  In addition to sailing under it, riding by it, and crossing it 4 times, we walked out on it, but didn't go across it!  It was absolutely freezing that day with 25 mile per hour winds.  Throw that in with my fear of heights, and Reed decided it was too big of risk to take.  Let me translate that-He was afraid I'd get out there and refuse to move, and that was a very real possibility!

Alcatraz was quite interesting.  I am so thankful that Suellen told me to buy our tickets way in advance.  Island tours are sold out for the next 6 weeks. If you know you're visiting, try and book this tour.  It's well worth it. I must add that the day we visited, San Francisco actually had a heat wave.  It was 89 degrees and very humid.  It only lasted a day though.

Pier 39-Very touristry and crowded, but I enjoyed it very much.  Beautiful views of the bay and the sea lions!  This is also where we departed from for the Bay Cruise that took us under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz.

Fisherman's Wharf-Even more touristry!!  Beautiful ships, good food, great street performers and extremely crowded!

Muir Woods-This was Reed's favorite place to visit!  The pictures do not do the actual size justice.  It's something you just have to see to believe.  We accidentally took the "high" path on the way back, and I was pretty sure I was going to die!!!  Reed keep saying, "Look at that!", and I just kept looking at his shoes until we got back down lower! After the tour of the redwoods, we had lunch in Sausalito.  It was such a beautiful coastal town.



This and That-Ghiradelli Square has the best salted caramel hot chocolate and a great restaurant with incredible views.  We got to watch crazy swimmers as we ate.  Our waitress said they swim 365 days a year in that frigid water.

Beautiful City!

Bay Bridge

Wind mill in Golden Gate Park, City Hall, antique ship, Sausalito, Coit Tower, and the Palace of Fine Arts ( I think)

Reed also visited the aquarium and quite a few other places that I didn't get to see.  I was really proud of him exploring on his own!

The Ferry Building, Bay Bridge, Persidio, and Union Square were other things we enjoyed.

Traveling in the city was quite easy.  I have to say that the only thing I didn't enjoy were the famed cable cars.  I guess I'm glad we rode them, but I wouldn't want to do it again.

We loved the street cars!

We took the Downtown Tour, the Golden Gate Bridge and Park Tour, the Beach Tour, and the Night Tour.  In addition, we took tours to Muir Woods, a Bay Cruise, and an Alcatraz Tour.  Loved them all!!

Double Decke Bus Tour in San Francisco

Did I mention that I had the best traveling partner ever!
I left my jacket in the car in Birmingham, and it was freezing on some of our tours!

We made lots and lots of memories, but there is no place like home.  The wonderful San Francisco Airport deserves a post of its own!  I can't wait to share my experience there next!  They almost kept me!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Very Own Mario

We are making lots of memories on our trip to San Francisco. I can't wait to share more later, but for now I wanted to share one of my favorite experiences EVER. Sara Craker recommended the Go-Car tour. As luck would have it, the rental place was directly across from our hotel.  I took that as a sign that it was meant to be. This was right up Reed's alley!! Lots and lots of  fun, and the perfect way to see the city!  Best and quickest 2 hours ever!

Reed said he'd love to have one of these to drive around Aliceville!!

The views are amazing!

We have seen this beautiful bridge from many different angles.  We sailed under it on a bay cruise.  We sailed near it on the Alcatraz Cruise, and we zipped by it on the Go-Car.  We will be riding over it in a couple of days, and Reed is trying to convince me to walk it.  Have I mentioned that I am deathly afraid of heights???? And speaking of walking, we've done quite a bit of that.

We got lots and lots of honks and waves as we drove around the city.  (It's GPS operated-well it was until we realized we were going to be late getting back, and we took a few short cuts!)

I am actually attending a conference, and Reed is doing some touring on his own.  We were able to get quite a few things in before the conference started though.

Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, the Ferry Building, Sausilito, Muir Woods  and so much more to come!!! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Quack! Quack!

Stopping to feed the ducks at Uncle C and Aunt Taylor's has become a frequent stop on our trips home.  The only problem we have is that the girls like to eat the bread before we get there!!

All you've got to do is stop and show the bag of bread, and the ducks come running!

 Maddie tried and tried to feed this momma and her babies.  However, momma was very, very protective, and we couldn't get close!

 Feeding ducks is serious business!

And lots and lots of fun!

Simple, fun times!!  The girls have been back home for a few days now, and it will be a few more days before we see them and their sweet brother!  Is their such a thing as "Nana Withdrawals?"