We explored San Francisco a bit more today, but the crowds were out so we ended up avoiding most of the places we planned to stop at, but did get to walk around Chinatown a bit.
It’s been 90 days!!! Holly cow… 3 months on this amazing trip. Amazing experience we are so thankful to have the opportunity to do. Today (11/28) is also my mom’s birthday, Happy Birthday Mom! We love you!
We had another morning of relaxed time, I always wake up before everyone, and they usually wake up around 9 if nothing else is going on, so today was the same. I did some posts work, and wanted to go for a run, so I was ready and just waiting for Carol to wake up so I could go.
The girls were up and on their electronics before Carol was up, but once Carol was up, I left for my run. She was talking to her mom as I left.
I had a nice run. I ran towards Pacifica, and wanted to run though the entire boardwalk, see the beach, where the beach access is, the pier etc.
The weather was great, shorts and T-shirt, with light Sweatshirt, and it was getting warmer as they day went. I took off my sweatshirt within the first 10 minutes. The boardwalk is about a mile from the campground, so running until there was pretty clear of people. Once I got to the boardwalk, I was running into more and more people. I had a mask on, and was sliding it on and off as I approached people. Not too easy to run with it on all the time. I was surprised to see so many people out. The pier was pretty full, mostly people fishing.
After the pier, there’s a trail that keeps going towards the mountain, and since I still had some running to do, I kept going. That’s when things got really pretty.
A golf course to the left, the beach to the right, and mountains ahead. Also, more people… I’d say 95% of them had masks on, and most people were doing a good job avoiding each other. That trail was wide, and was packed dirt, so easy to run on.
When I got to the end of the trail, I was just shy of 2 miles, so I decided to take the trail up the mountain and explore, so I could also round up the miles.
And that was the best thing I did…. It was a pretty steep climb, but once I got to the top of the first one, the views were amazing… and I saw the next one was a bit higher, so I went there too…
Just awesome views of the beaches, the little towns, beautiful views from up there.
Definitely in the list to go back with Carol and the girls for some day during the week.
When I got back, Carol was talking to her parents and the girls were playing on their electronics. I got them to change and we called my mom to wish her a happy birthday. We talked to them all for a bit, then all started getting ready to have lunch and leave. Carol made lunch, rice and turkey hahahahah… we’ll have turkey for a few days yet. And we left to town after lunch.
Our plan was to go to Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park, the house that is the Full House show outside, then Chinatown, in that order. The drive to twin peaks was not bad, not a ton of traffic, but still enough flow.
Twin peaks is basically the peaks of some mountains that are right next to each other, and offer amazing views of the city. Better said on google here: “Twin Peaks, named for a pair of 922-foot-high summits, is a remote residential neighborhood with modern homes densely packed on steep lots along winding streets”… We could see some of the views as we drove up, and the streets were steep, the most we’ve seen. As we got closer to where the GPS was sending us, we saw a police car with two officers outside just watching traffic, and some people talking to them. Carol noticed another sign of “frequent break ins” and noticed a few areas with glass shattered on the floor. And for the next 3 blocks or so, it got worse as we got higher. The last piece was by a gate that is closed, where many cars were parked. I turned there as I saw someone was leaving, but then we noticed a few of the cars there had their windows smashed, one of them had ALL windows smashed, like as if someone drove by and just threw a bunch of rocks at the cars windows. So, yeah, no way we’d be stopping there. I turned around, we stopped at a spot for some views, while there the police car was driving up. Scary and sucky. Hard to tell if it was thieves or vandals, or both. So, that was our visit to Twin Peaks… beautiful views, but don’t go by car.
Our next stop was Golden Gate Park. This park is NOT near the Golden Gate Bridge, and is supposedly the “Central Park” of San Francisco… and supposedly bigger. We drove there and as got closer, it was packed… the area surrounding it was packed, and as we drove in, it was packed inside, everywhere. Not a single parking spot, full of people everywhere. We knew right away we were not getting out of the car, so we just drove around the park. It is a beautiful park, and I do believe it may be bigger than Central Park. It also has more different things, like a Japanese Tea Garden. That place was insanely packed, we could see a line of people trying to get in as we drove by. Just as San Francisco is going into an almost full lock down, here are all these places, completely packed with people. Crazy. That was another bust in our plan for the day.
We then kept going to Broderick Street, which is where the house that was the inspiration for Full House, and now Fuller House, is located. The girls love watching Fuller House, so it was a treat for them to go there, they were excited. I was able to find a parking spot the block before the house, so we got out and I asked them if they could spot the right house. They said they thought so… we walked through and passed 1709, which is the address, and they didn’t recognize. I told them 1709 was the house, but they were not buying it. Well, the current owner remodeled the front a bit, so it does not look like the show, so they said they were disappointed. Hahahaha…. We took some pictures anyway, and then in the car I had to explain how this all works, with inspiration houses, and studio houses, etc. I think they got it, but not entirely sure. They were disappointed to not see the exact house. Hahahahah.
From there, Carol added a stop that was not in the original plan, but was close, the “Painted Sisters”. This is a series of houses that look the same, but are painted very colorful and differently, and in front of Alamo Park. We stopped there. That was a good stop.
Girls enjoyed the park, and the playground. Carol enjoyed the houses, though the houses from the ad she saw were not the same and she felt “baited”. The 6 or so houses that are next to each other do look very cool, very Victorian style and well maintained, and sure add a touristic value. The views of the city from there were nice too. There were quite a few people at the park, as apparently as the sun sets it hits the top of one of the buildings downtown, and a beacon of light shines up. We didn’t stay for that, but the park was filling up rather quickly.
Then we headed to our final stop, Chinatown. We drove around the area a bit to find parking, but again got lucky and found a spot within a minute or two, right on the street. The parking meter again took cards, and we paid a little under $8 for 2 hours. It was almost 4pm, and you don’t need to pay for parking after 6, so that worked well.
We started walking around, and for the most part, I’d say that area was less busy, still people out, but not packed as the other places. We walked around and looked for little streets that were decorated and the girls got a few for what Chinatown is.
Carol looked for the “gate” that welcomes you to Chinatown, so we went there for pictures. On the way, there was a street having some Chinese performance with the people wearing dragon costumes. We stopped there for a bit and the girls loved it. Bella thought the performance was super cool.
Then, Carol remembered there is a very traditional fortune cookie factory in the area, so she found it online and we went there. Again, easy walking there, no crowds, some people out, but no big crowds.
The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is in a little alley, and I don’t think people go there unless they know what they are looking for hahahaha…. Well, Carol knew what she was looking for, so down the alley we went. The factory is pretty small, kind of half factory and half store. They were making cookies right there, and it was cool to see it. Crazy that the cookie there is manually “stuffed” with the message, and folder from a disk format into the fortune cookie format at the same time, and quickly, right as it comes out of baking.
We tried a few free samples, and Carol bought a few bags to take home. Yum! We all love fortune cookies.
From there, we were going to look for a place to eat, and within two blocks some Chinese lady approached carol with a pamphlet for a Chinese restaurant called Beijing 49er, and saying they had seating upstairs on the balcony, it had pictures of the food and Carol decided to try it, so we followed the lady. hahahaha… weird experience, but normal.
We sat up by the balcony, which was small, so we had two tables for two next to each other. Carol ordered everything and we just waited for stuff to arrive. Food was good. We had fun there.
Bella was in a good mood, energetic, cracking jokes, etc. hahahah maybe sugar rush from the fortune cookies hahahah.
As we were finishing dinner all the outside lights came on, and that looked pretty cool. Kids enjoyed seeing all the lights on. After we finished eating, we walked back to the truck and drove back.
As we were walking back, I got another news on my watch that San Francisco is going to a full lock down starting late Sunday into Monday, and will be on lockdown until 12/21. We will see what really happens, but I think it’s what we already had early on in the pandemic with limits on how many people get into stores, what is open or not, etc. We are around a few smaller towns, so hopefully for the day to day stuff we won’t feel much impact.
We drove back and just watched a few movies the rest of the night. I picked a movie about magic first, and the girls loved it and were all excited. They both want to do magic now. Hahahaha.
We had another good day here, even though it started with a few busts, it was a nice day.