San Francisco

Sunday was our last full day with the girls so we decided to take them back into San Francisco to see some things they missed when they all came together on a field trip a couple of weeks ago.

We left the house at 7:30am in order to get to the Presidio by 10:00am with a stop on Treasure Island along the way. When we crossed over the hill from the Valley we noticed the temperature dropped about 15 degrees and we were in a pretty good layer of fog. By the time we reached the Bay Bridge the fog had lifted a little bit. We had planned to stop at Treasure Island so we could show the girls the view of San Francisco from across the water, but we weren’t sure if they’d get to see anything with the fog. Fortunately, the fog was pretty much above the city with only the top of the Transamerica Pyramid building still out of view. They could even see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

After a few minutes of picture taking we hopped back onto the Bay Bridge so we could get to the Presidio. Back in October the Walt Disney Family Museum opened up on the former military base and we had tickets to enter the museum at 10:00am. If you’re a Disney fan it’s a must see. What I liked most about the museum is that it tells the story of Walt Disney. It’s not about Disneyland, although it is included in the story. The museum starts out detailing Walt’s family history and what he did as a child. It then goes on to explain how he and Roy worked together to start an animation company after serving as ambulance drivers in Europe during World War I. From there it provides a detailed history of how Walt’s business ran, who he partnered with and the ups and downs he went through. The story continues up through the animated film history such as Snow White, Peter Pan, Pinnochio, etc., all the way up to his idea of a theme park, which we all know now as Disneyland. The exhibits are extensive and very well laid out. We spent about 2 hours looking at everything, but we could have spent even more time.

When we finished up at the museum we drove down to Union Square to park the car and take a cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf. The sun was starting to pop out and the streets were becoming more and more crowded. We waited in line to hop on the cable car for about 1 1/2 hours, but the time went by fairly quickly. The girls enjoyed the cable car ride, but Fumika preferred the comfort of being on the inside of the car. Haruka and I braved the hills and oncoming cars by standing on the side of the cable car hanging on to the pole.

Once we were down by the wharf we decided to take the girls to lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. The food is a bit overpriced, but it’s decent and offers a good variety of items. The main attraction is that the entire restaurant looks like it’s inside a jungle in the dining area. Trees cover all the walls and gorillas, elephants and other wildlife come to life every now and then to help make you feel like you’re in the Congo. There’s even thunder and lightning storms with rain. The girls seemed to like it.

After lunch we rode the cable car back to Union Square to retrieve the car so we could drive across to the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge. We hadn’t planned on it prior to coming because it’d been foggy every day and we weren’t sure if we’d be able to see anything. Since the sun did come out we decided to give it a shot. We were greeted with the typical gorgeous panoramic views of the bridge and the city once we made it to the other side.

By the time we crossed back over the bridge it was starting to get late and the girls did have school the next day. I dropped my wife and the girls off down on Market Street so they could take BART part of the way home. I drove ahead and waited for them at the station at the end of the line. After meeting up again it wasn’t long before they fell asleep for the remaining drive home.

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August 2010
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