Wednesday, July 8, 2009

To The Bay Area =)

6am : RING!!!

The alarm went off and we jumped out of bed immediately.
It's going to be a tiring day for everyone .... 

Taking a cab to the airport.
Flight from Madison to Denver.
Flight from Denver to San Francisco.
Bus shuttle to downtown San Francisco. 

San Francisco is two hours behind Madison time.
Bedtime for the kids in Madison, is actually dinnertime in San Francisco! Praying that the kids take it well for the first day, with no tantrums .... 

The kids were actually very excited about the trip. 
They knew they would be taking planes, buses and trains to around in Southern California. They got out of bed happily, and were quick in getting ready. We were glad the kids took a nap on the plane.

Hotel Stratford : Conveniently located in downtown San Francisco, near Union Square, MUNI/BART, AMTRAK bus stop, laundromat. Near everything! Breakfast provided too. We were able to fill our thermos with hot water, and our water bottles with juices and cold water. Excellent choice by hubby dear. We stayed there for four nights, and a fifth after our trip back from Yosemite National Park.

We went to the Visitor Centre located at Union Square after a short rest at the hotel. Our 7-day passports, which allowed us to take unlimited rides on buses, cable cars, street cars, was a really useful purchase. We went hopping from one bus to another to get to our destination. 

It took us a while to find the bus stop to get to Coit Tower. 
Can you see the words "Bus Stop" on the black and yellow lamp-post? 
Oh, and we were surprised to see a toilet across the street from where we were waiting for the bus. 

Coit Tower at Telegraph Hill : It offers a panoramic view of downtown San Francisco. We could even see the Golden Gate Bridge as it was a very sunny day. Alcatraz Island too. There was a queue to take the lift up. It was an old fashion lift, those with gates. It was manned by an old chinese man, whose brief introduction to the history of the place ended just as the lift pulled up to the top floor. 

The adults were rewarded with the great views. The kids were too short to see properly and had to be carried ... so they went on their own treasure hunt. They found a pressed penny machine! Slot in two quarters and a penny, select the design, turn the wheel, and tada! You get your pressed penny! The pressed penny you see is the first of the many more to come ....

An interesting advertisement we saw on the bus, as we made our way to Chinatown for dinner.We were glad that we opt not to drive.

To see the city, you need to travel like the locals =)

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