Friday, August 5, 2016

Trip Dynasty: San Francisco

We left our cozy apartment and took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) into the city. Colby was really excited about the train and wanted to stand the entire time. I, on the other hand, only stood when Claire needed to be bounced to sleep. As soon as I walked onto the bus or train, the sweet people of San Francisco insisted on giving up their seats (they were also really nice about giving directions).
Our first stop of the day was at the Japanese Tea Gardens. The highlight for the kids was the giant fish swimming around the ornamental ponds and the large stepping stones you had to cross to get over the waterways. 
Then we walked through a rose garden (which smelled amazing) to catch a bus to Lou's. You can always tell a restaurant is good if there's a long line. Lou's was worth the wait. Aaron and I tried their roast beef and mushroom sandwich with their famous house sauce and jalapeno spread, Robb went with pastrami, and Ashley chose clam chowder. We all left full and happy (except for Alice. She recently decided to boycott all things with melted cheese...which meant her ham and cheese sandwich was unacceptable).
Another bus ride took us to the Golden Gate Bridge. We made it twenty or so feet before turning around; Colby didn't have a lot of faith in the bridge's structural integrity and there were a couple of bikers with road rage.
Playing at an exhibit on the principles behind suspension bridges 
Colby: "I am sad on the bridge. This is not a good place for me."
We got lost on the way back. Google maps promised us a bus stop at a nearby corner, but it wasn't there. We wandered to several other stops, boarded the wrong bus, and finally were saved by a nice Englishman who shared his map and pointed us in the right direction. Reading train maps is not a skill most Americans acquire naturally. All four kids were asleep by the time we reached BART. 
We found our campsite through AirBNB. It was clean, quiet, but lacked some things you would expect with a $100 price tag, like a table and bathrooms (there weren't a lot of options in the area, so he gets away with it).  
However the site did have a compost toilet and a solar-heated shower. The toilet or "lou with a view" as Ashley dubbed it lacked walls, so she was the only one brave enough to try it. She made it sound like an almost transcendent experience, but we prefer privacy.  
The solar heated shower was a bit of a let down. Ashley and Aaron were all ready to use it, but someone beat them to it and all the warm water was gone.

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