(or: Typical Tourist Traps)
Staying in Union Square at the heart of San Fran's downtown gave us easy access you everything you'd want to see and do. One of the simple pleasures was dining outside at quaint cafes tucked down little alleyways (though we just might have found a California Pizza Kitchen right around the corner once).
Chinatown wasn't so much a draw for some people - this was the extent of Joseph's interest in Chinese food.
We took a little break from the conference to meet up with our friends who thought the Castro would be a great place to have lunch......except they didn't realize it was the Castro Street Fair, and it was a mob scene! Tons of people and blaring music, yet friendly police officers who let the boys sit and play in their patrol car and gave them SFPD stickers and tattoos.
I think it's a law that every tourist has to ride the cable cars at least once, and this was #1 on Joseph's wish list. So after lectures one afternoon we all set out to take our turn. The hills are insanely steep and the views insanely gorgeous!
The cable cars take you down to the bay and Fisherman's Wharf, one of the city's best known attractions.
From there you can see Alcatraz, also known as "the Rock." We've been before, and knew it wouldn't be much fun for a toddler outside of the ferry ride, so we passed this time around.
We walked along the water's edge to the Hyde Street Pier, getting great views of the skyline stretching from Ghirardelli Square to Coit Tower as well as lots of different boats on the bay.
We got to the end of the pier just in time to watch a spectacular sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Ahhh, this is what vacation is all about.
We finally had to grab some dinner, so we trekked (literally) uphill to Ghirardelli Square and ate at a restaurant overlooking the water. We skipped dessert knowing that the ice cream at the Ghirardelli shop was to die for.
It did not disappoint.
The conference ran from Friday through Tuesday, so Tuesday night we rented a car and headed out to stay closer to where our friends live. Conveniently we had to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, #2 on Joseph's wish list. Gotta say, it was a very exciting 2 mile drive across that beauty!
Would you believe that after all that, this is when our vacation actually began. No work, just fun from here on!