More SF Exploration

Alright, now where did I leave you… Right! In San Francisco! After our relaxing time spent at the beach the day before, we were well rested for some San Francisco exploration. We started the day with the continental breakfast included at our hotel. We got a kick out of the fact that our apples were from Washington:)

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We drove to the water’s edge in San Francisco and found a place to park. I believe we paid for all day parking because most of the things we were doing that day were all in the same area. Now you might think that we had a peaceful, easy morning — but you would be wrong. That best friend of mine…

So. We’re in the car driving through traffic to get downtown San Francisco. Remember how I said our hotel was by the airport? Yeah, so it was a little bit of a drive to get to and from downtown SF. We were almost there when Merry looks at me and says in an unsure voice, “Did I turn off my hair straightener?” My heart sinks and I groan, because I didn’t know if she’d turned it off or not. I tell her, “We can’t go back now, we’re almost there!” Long story short, she ends up having to call the hotel and have someone go up to our room to make sure the straightener was off and the room hadn’t gone up in flames. Sigh. 

AND THEN… we get all parked and ready to get the fun started when Merry starts rifling through her purse. She couldn’t find her Go Card! Which, of course, we would be using that day. Turns out she had left it at the hotel, and rather than making us drive all the way back to get it- she decided to just pay for the admission at the places we were going that day. Poor girl:(

Alright, so all the mishaps done and over with- we let the fun begin! After parking, our first destination was the Aquarium by the Bay. Although I got in with my Go Card, Merry had to pay for admission. Thankfully it wasn’t expensive. We saw lots of cool fish, sharks, jelly fish and more.

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There was a tunnel aquarium too.

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We got to pet little bat rays, and there was a huge aquarium where you could feel everything like starfish. This was probably our favorite part! The bat rays would kind of jump at you, like they wanted the attention.

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Next we explored Pier 39 since we were already right there. Pier 39 is awesome- there’s tons of shops, restaurants, and cool things to see. We got to see the sea lions too! We looked around in some of the shops and got donuts from Trish’s Mini Donuts. These things are the BOMB. So freakin’ good!

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It was time for our bay cruise next! This was included with our Go Card, and since Merry didn’t have hers- we told the young guy who was working the ticket booth our sob story. (It wasn’t as cheap as the aquarium, so we had to at least try!) After hearing us out, he totally let her on the cruise without her Go Card and without having to pay again! Wahoo!

It was already a chilly, windy and overcast day in San Francisco, so the cruise was even colder and windier! When you get on the cruise boat they give you headphones that have a recording that tells you interesting facts as you cruise, but we didn’t listen to ours. We were too busy snapping a billion pictures in hopes to get at least one that didn’t have our hair freaking out. We definitely got some funny ones!

The funniest story of the trip actually happened on our bay cruise. So, Merry and I wanted a cute picture of us with the Golden Gate bridge in the background, so we ask this lady who’s with her two young sons to take one for us. She happily obliges and Merry and I begin to pose. Right as she was getting ready to snap the picture, Merry’s long skirt gets blown completely up- flashing her undies to everyone in sight!! I’m serious- her skirt was long and it got blown up to the height of her head! We were cracking up so hard, as we both tried our best to tame the skirt that was blowing wildly in the wind, and the lady managed to snap our picture amidst the mayhem.

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We still tell this story and probably always will. Merry is such a good sport when it comes to this kind of thing. I’d probably be scarred for life had I flashed an entire cruise my knickers- but not this girl! One of the reasons I love her so- she keeps life interesting:)

Alright, so our ship neared the Golden Gate bridge and we actually ended up cruising underneath of it. It was pretty cool!

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On the way back toward land we had a great view of San Francisco.

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Our ship took us around Alcatraz which was pretty awesome. You could see it really well and it looked quite creepy. I’ve never been to the island, but my brother and sister in law just went and said it was really cool!

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After we departed the ship, we headed straight for our next stop: Musee Mecanique. This place was a BLAST! It’s basically a vintage arcade shop where you can play really old arcade games for cheap. It doesn’t cost to go inside or anything, and the machines take coins which we had a ton of.

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You may remember it from Princess Diaries. In fact, there’s a scene from the movie with this arm wrestling game.

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I had it on the lowest strength and he totally took me out no contest.

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But Merry showed him who’s boss!

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This game was our favorite. So fun!

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When we left the arcade, we were ready for lunch and wanted to see Chinatown. We walked in the direction we thought was Chinatown, but it turns out that San Francisco is a pretty big city and we got lost. We asked a passerby if they knew which way we needed to go and he pointed us in the right direction. Thankfully we were pretty close. When we finally made it, it was really like stepping into a different world. It was my first (and only, at this point) Chinatown experience- and let me tell you- it was overwhelming. It just seemed busier, hillier, and 100 times more cluttered then the streets we had just left behind. We ended up stumbling into an absolute hole-in-the-wall restaurant to order takeout to eat back at our hotel.

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After eating at our hotel we loaded back into the car and started the drive to Discovery Kingdom- an amusement park we could get into with our Go Cards. (Merry remembered hers this time.) Our cards had some time restrictions though, something about not being able to use them past 5 in the evening- I can’t remember exactly. Anyway, we left our hotel in plenty of time. Or so we though. You see, there’s this little thing in San Francisco that we weren’t quite used to called traffic. Bumper to bumper, rush hour traffic. What should have been a 38 minute drive turned into an almost 2 hour drive. And yes, you guessed it. We totally pulled into the park after 5. We were not deterred though! We drove all that way, darn it. We were at least going to try!

So we pull into the parking lot, and right away we are stopped by someone wanting us to pay like $10 to park. We roll down the window and tell the girl that we weren’t from around there, we got stuck in traffic that we didn’t expect, we were there using Go Cards and we didn’t even know if they were going to let us in because we were late and the cards are only valid until 5, and it was later than 5, and we were going to try and get in anyway but we didn’t want to pay $10 to park if we couldn’t get in. Whew. After looking at us like a couple of loonies, she let us park for free. And then, we headed up to the front gates to tell the same story again in hopes that we would be let in.

And, we were. To be honest, the girl at the front didn’t really even seem to care about the Go Cards and it’s rules. She hardly needed any convincing and we were let right in. Hoorah!

The first thing we did after all that we had just been through was find the nearest ice cream stand, naturally. It happened to be a Ben & Jerry’s stand. YUM!

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I had been to Discovery Kingdom before and they have some awesome shows with whales and dolphins, but we had unfortunately missed the last showings of them due to our traffic nightmare. So, instead we just walked around and rode some rides.

And then we rode one of those super fun raft rides, not realizing that it would SOAK us to our very cores!! And we were in JEANS! By that time, we were both ready to call it good. There was no way I wanted to continue our time at the park in wet jeans. So, we walked back to the car and got about a million points and laughs at our soaked-ness. Good times.

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When we got back to our hotel, we weren’t ready to call it a night yet. We purposely picked out hotels that had swimming pools, but we had yet to swim in our SF hotel’s pool because it had been pretty chilly. We decided to bite the bullet and just do it anyway, so we got into our suits and headed down to the outdoor pool. It was dark out, so we did a little night swimming. Thankfully the pool was heated because it was not warm out! And, of course, we had the pool to ourselves. (No one else was crazy enough!) We had the bell boy, Andrew, that Merry had met take our pictures. (The same bell boy who carried us up a microwave for our room!) We ended up chatting with him a little bit, and amongst all our witty friend banter, he said to us, “You guys are the best best friends, ever.” It was pretty much our favorite best friend compliment to date.

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After we were cold enough we went back up to the room for the night. We had crammed so many awesome things into this day- it was a great way to say goodbye to San Francisco. In the morning- we would be on our way to LA! Be sure to come back and read all about it!

xoxo,
Kayla

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