Enjoying a break from walking on the cable cars again!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Lombard Street was lined with beautiful houses--all different from one another, and many covered in this gorgeous flowering vine....anyone know what that plant is?
The colors were so vibrand. This house was light and dark blue with these fuschia flowers.
We stopped about half-way up Lombard Street to see an estate sale that was happening inside one of the homes. Mostly, we just wanted to see what the inside of the home looked like. It was run-down, but with some renovation, it would be fabulous! The views from that house were amazing!
We hopped off the cable car in Little Italy, because we wanted to walk UP Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the WORLD!!! The cable car driver said to us on the way out, "You know you are at the BOTTOM of Lombard Street right now, right?" We said, "Yep!" and got out and then looked up the hill. Can you see the really crooked part WAY up there? Here goes nothing...
The next day, we woke up EARLY and walked down to get our MUNI day passes. This would allow us to ride any Cable Car, trolley, train or bus in the city all day long, and we planned to get our $11 worth!!!!
We weren't the only ones with this idea, and there was a line about an hour long at the Cable Car terminal. I noticed, as we were getting in line, that they were sending the cable cars up the line only about 3/4 full (in order to have room to pick people up further up the street). I told James we should just walk up one block and get on there instead of waiting an hour. We did, and hopped right on--no waiting!
Those cable cars were a life-saver on the impossibly steep hills of San Francisco!
We had dinner in Little Italy and then walked back to our hotel. When we got there, this was the view from our window! The fog rolled in while we were out and about. It was COLD now, so we grabbed our jackets for more walking and exploring the city.
When we got to the top of Telegraph Hill, we found we were right next to Coit Tower. So, we explored the tower and looked at the views. Coit Tower is an art-deco tower that was built in the 1930's. It is really beautiful. We then walked from Coit tower down the other side of the hill toward Little Italy for dinner. Here is James in the neighborhood by Coit Tower.
For our first afternoon, James and I left our hotel room, and took a long walk around the city. We went down to Union Square, then to the Financial District, then over to Pier to see the shops and restaurants, and then up the wharf toward the bridge and back toward home. We cut into the city a little bit and found this staircase that went straight up a the end of a little side street. We took the stairs up (there were TONS) and walked by people's houses and gardens nestled in on this hill. We realized about half-way up that this must be Telegraph Hill, which is famous for a group of parrots that used to live in the plants there. We kept going up, up, and up, until we reached the top. Here I am at the top. At least it's a photo and you can't tell how much I am panting (out of shape!!!). What a beautiful view, though, from the top of the hill.
Norah did manage to get them both blown out, but have you ever seen how a toddler blows candles/bubbles/kisses? They basically make the blowing sound, but leave their lips too close together, so they get spit droplets everywhere. I didn't partake of her dessert after she was done blowing these out. But maybe that was her plan all along....
Jacob was turning 1 very shortly after our visit, and Norah had just turned 2 in May, so it was a perfect opportunity for Grandma to plan a little party for the two of them. She thought of everything, from the princess crown and "Little Einsteins" plates for Norah, to the cool hat and toys for Jacob. It was a small but fun little gathering.
I wonder if Norah will think she gets to have 3 birthday parties next year!!!!
We drove one day to Nevada City, a little silver-mining town that is now a touristy town in California. There we went to this state park (which I don't remember the name of), but only had 20 minutes to look around. It was on the site of an old silver mine, and you can tour the mine and also walk around the owner's mansion and gardens. Here we are in the gardens. James and Norah are next to a Gentle Geoffrey tree, I think...Gentle Geoffries smell like vanilla beans when you get really close to them, and have really nice needles. They are truly gentle (for pine-trees!)
Norah just HAD to see Lake Tahoe for herself, so we went up there one morning early. She really wanted to go swimming in the lake, so we let her toddle around between the rocks. The water in L. Tahoe is crystal clear, and very cold (since it is glacial run off). Here we are at Sand Harbor State Park, where they had some really nice little beaches nestled among these giant boulders. Really fun and unique landscape.
We went to a water park with Peter, Liz, and Jacob. It was lots of fun for Jacob--he went anywhere and everywhere with his parents. Norah was much more nervous. It took us forever to get her to go down this mini-slide in the kiddie area. Here she is with Daddy getting ready to go down!
One day, during Norah's nap, we went up to L. Tahoe to see the view. Here it is from the Northern end (behind our heads!). It was gorgeous up there. We then went back toward Reno and went for a walk in an alpine meadow. There we met some people from the Iowa town I did some of my research in. Small world, isn't it??
We all went to a Triple-A baseball game while we were there. Norah had a blast. She especially liked the gigantic baseball that came up from behind a wall during the 7th inning stretch. She wouldn't stop asking about the baseball, so we told her it went to sleep. Then, for the rest of the week, she would say "Baseball sleeping" to remind us that it was still sleeping. I think that she was simultaneously terrified and intrigued by the huge baseball with a face and arms, so she was checking with us to MAKE SURE it was still sleeping!
They also had fireworks after the game (which the Aces narrowly won!) and she loved those.
Norah was so excited to go on the airplane and have her own seat, that it was the only thing she would talk about for a week before we left for Reno in early July (sorry I haven't updated in a LONG time!).
Here she is in her own seat, and she was a pretty good girl on the way there. She just started kicking the person directly in front of us' chair out of boredom for the descent--so I had to keep her somewhat restrained for that time.