24.01.2015 - 04.01.2015
Not entirely sure if "wowing" is actually a word but it just suits our time in San Francisco to a tee! What an amazing city that has given us family, friends, amazing views, delicious wine and the list just keeps on going!
We took it super easy today. Supermarket, washing, out for lunch and then had an afternoon nap (haven't done that in ages)!
Phone calls home for Christmas which was hard as it makes us miss home that little bit more being away at this time of the year. Nevertheless, it's always awesome to speak to our loved ones!
Wishing all of our family and friends a wonderful, wonderful Christmas!
What a glorious, sunny day in San Francisco! We spent the morning at Golden Gate park which is simply stunning!
Back home for lunch and to crack open the champagne!
Breaking Bad marathon after that - pretty awesome Christmas just the two of us!
Bus into town to meet up with Tia Annie. We had a farewell lunch at The Cheesecake Factory at the top of the Macy's building at Union Square. Great views, food and company! We had such a good laugh. Tia Annie is leaving for El Salvador on Sunday so this is the last time we'll see her....
Mario and Felisha were so awesome to drive over 2hrs from Sacramento into the city to catch up with us (thanks guys)! We went for dinner and drinks at the coolest little place called Tonight Soju Bar. Wasn't so sure about Asian tapas but is was soooo good! Cocktails that came in watermelon and pineapple casing over dry ice? Even cooler! It was so awesome to catch up and we had a good laugh!
After that they drove us up to Twin Peaks to see the amazing views - San Francisco is truly beautiful. Then we drove to Treasure Island to get some equally beautiful views from a different angle.
Last stop was for Ice Cream at Mitchell's - yum!
Great, great day!
Full on but awesome day!
We took a tour to Muir Woods and Sausalito which was awesome!
We met the tour group at the Ferry building and took a ferry over to Sausalito and then jumped on a shuttle bus there which drove us to Muir Woods. The drive was breathtaking!
Muir Woods is a National Monument rather than a national park. Why, I hear you ask?
"Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres (8,000 km2) of old growth forest containing redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast.
By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down. Just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut, mainly due to its relative inaccessibility.
This was noticed by U.S. Congressman William Kent. He and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, purchased 611 acres (247 ha) of land from the Tamalpais Land and Water Company for $45,000 with the goal of protecting the redwoods and the mountain above them.
In 1907, a water company in nearby Sausalito planned to dam Redwood Creek, thereby flooding the valley. When Kent objected to the plan, the water company threatened to use eminent domain and took him to court to attempt to force the project to move ahead. Kent sidestepped the water company's plot by donating 295 acres (119 ha) of the redwood forest to the federal government, thus bypassing the local courts.
On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the land a National Monument, the first to be created from land donated by a private individual. The original suggested name of the monument was the Kent Monument but Kent insisted the monument be named after naturalist John Muir, whose environmental campaigns helped to establish the National Park system. President Roosevelt agreed, writing back:
MY DEAR MR. KENT: By George! you are right."
I find this so interesting so I thought I would include it here....
Here are some pics of the ferry ride over to Sausalito and Muir Woods
After our time at Muir Woods we drove to the cute town of Sausalito to finish up the day.
Fairly easy day spent in the Mission district taking photos of all the cool murals in the area and then an early dinner with Izaguirre and Veronica at Santaneca - the food was amazing as was the company! Such great people!
The Mission district murals - amazing!
Dinner with awesome people!
First time at the ballet for both of us.
On Christmas Eve 1944, Willam Christensen launched a national holiday tradition with the premiere of Nutcracker, the first complete version of the ballet ever staged in the United States. The ballet is now performed over the Christmas period every year in San Francisco.
It was just delightful! The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the story "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice" written by E.T.A. Hoffman. Although what is seen on the stage today is different in detail from the original story, the basic plot remains the same; The story of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a Mouse King with seven heads.
Napa Valley :-)
Wonderful, wonderful day exploring the Napa Valley! We visited 4 wineries (The Franciscan, V. Sattui, Whitehall Lane and the Andretti winery). Our first wine tasting was at 10 am and we didn't get back to San Francisco till about 6 pm so a lot of wine was consumed! Such an awesome day. Oh, and my name was pulled out of the raffle at the last winery so I scored a free bottle of wine - hooray!
We caught a ferry back to San Fran and spotted San Quentin State Prison on our way.
Who is the most famous inmate at San Quentin State Prison? Manson family leader Charles Manson tops the list. Manson has been transferred to many different prison facilities throughout his sentence. He famously filmed a 1987 interview with the “Today Show” during his time at San Quentin. The full interview footage wasn't seen by audiences until MSNBC aired “The Mind of Manson” in 2007.
Serial killer William Bonin also spent time at San Quentin State Prison. Bonin, known as the Freeway Killer, committed the rape, torture and murder of at least 21 boys and young men. He was executed at San Quentin by lethal injection in 1996. He was the first person to be executed in this manner in the history of California.
We headed out to the Castro district which was lots of fun and then headed down to the Mission District to take some more photos of the fabulous murals they have over there. Lunch was at Santaneca which we went to a couple of nights ago with Izaguire and Veronica. The food is phenomenal!
We then headed back into town to say goodbye to Izaguirre and Veronica. We've had such fun with them!
Farewell to Izaguirre and Veronica :o(
After that we headed home to have our own little party. We have such fun just the two of us.
Napa wine, phone calls home and music was the perfect way to ring in the New Year! We headed up to our rooftop just before midnight to watch the fireworks. Perfect ending to a perfect day and night!
1st January 2015!!!
Woke up feeling so excited - home in 17 days!
We headed to Alamo Square to take photos of the Painted Ladies - anyone remember Full House???
We then had a very relaxed night in watching Breaking Bad! We're up to the last season...
2nd Jan 2015
Couldn't think of a more perfect way to end our time in San Fran than biking through Golden Gate Park. We biked all the way through the park to Ocean Beach and back. The hills were tough but we did it!
Thank you San Fran and thank you so much to Tia Annie, Izaguirre, Veronica, Mario and Felisha for showing us such a great time!
San Francisco is AWESOME! Put it on your list if you ever visit the USA!
3rd Jan 2015
We're back in LA!
So good to see Lidia and Raul again!
We bummed around for most of the day, went out for dinner and then stayed up chatting for a bit.
Our niece Sandra is engaged! We found out this morning and called her tonight to give our congratulations! Congratulations Sandra and Rob! We ca't wait to get home and celebrate with you both!
Watched 2 movies before hitting the sack - The Imitation Game & Gone Girl - both fantastic although Yuri fell asleep half way through the first movie...
Woke up at lunch time today so I think it's going to be a very lazy day!
Once we got our act together and finally left the house, we hit the shops. Feels SO good to shop!