The Bay Area

For the second half of our trip we stayed north of San Francisco, but still in the Bay Area. We could get into the city pretty easily by car or ferry.

Our first morning in SF, we visited Alcatraz. It was very interesting and the audio tour a good hour spent. We're not sure we'd tell someone "you can't miss this!" but we did enjoy it.

Alcatraz has incredible views of the city, bridge, etc. 

Alcatraz is a bit eerie, when you read about all the prisoners there, but I do think the whole thing gets romanticized. I think they try to make it seem more mysterious and eerie than it really was (tourism). At the end of the day it is just a prison, even if it is on a beautiful rock (island).

It was also very windy and chilly out on the island...

After Alcatraz we drove back out of the city to hit up Lagunitas, which started as some guy doing home brews in his garage and has turned into a huge operation. We got a fun tasting and tour. Good afternoon. They are growing so rapidly they are opening a Chicago operation, which makes me think Lagunitas will be familiar to midwesterners soon.

We again stayed at a place through airBnb and once again it worked out perfectly. (To be fair, we did choose perfectly reviewed places.) This one was called The Bay Cottage. It was even more adorable in person and had great views of San Quentin Bay.

Our sweet hostess, Ann, even picked fresh flowers and had them by our bed. Ann and her husband were super friendly. They weren't in your space but were available if you wanted to be social.

The cottage had an outdoor shower. At first it felt a bit weird, but it was totally private and I loved every second of showering in the sunshine. Really cool idea if you live somewhere like this...

We loved having our morning coffee out here!

The next day we took the ferry into SF to meet up with one of Devin's cohort members and friends from DBC, Tony. He and his girlfriend live in SF and showed us around at the Embarcadero Farmer's Market, which was amazing.

Views from the ferry into SF.

They offered to take some fun pictures for us in front of the Bay Bridge. And then I had the best breakfast sandwich of my entire life. It was from a specialty meat company, so the sausage was out of this world. And then a runny egg, micro greens, and really good bun. Seriously, no words. (Sigh, I love good food.)

After the farmer's market we rented some bikes and galavanted up to the Golden Gate Bridge, but didn't cross because it was crazy windy and I was in oxfords. Enough said.

We did come across a rather delightful candy store. I felt like a little kid with my bag as I helped myself to various containers of sweets and didn't have my mom limiting the amounts. :)

Devin eats a large gummy bear. 

So, on to the last couple days...

Mother's Day we went hiking. It was so, so gorgeous and memorable. At this point I was missing Henrik SO badly, but kept telling myself that some Mother's Day in the future I'd be drowning in childcare and look back longingly on that one Mother's Day when I was hiking in the Bay Area.

Dev was quite the guide with his book. At least we knew which flowers to be looking for. ;)

After our hike we had a disappointing brunch and went back to the cottage to relax for the afternoon.

And our last day. We met up with Tony again, and another DBC mate, Dan. Tony took us into some lesser-traveled parts of SF. He knew all the good food joints, parks, etc. He took us to the literal hole in the wall Burmese place. Think 7 stools at a bar, hot and sweaty and the best beef noodle bowl of your life:

We lounged at Delores Park in the Mission. I was amazed at how many people were just hanging out on a Monday afternoon. Hippies. :)

Fun cafe...

Gotta see the Full House house, right?

We did more things that day but I don't have photos. I was sick of taking them at this point in the trip. We stayed at an airport hotel that night for our extremely early flight. Which ended up being grounded in Kansas City for 3 hours because of a weird smoke thing in a control tower in Chicago. It was a huge disaster because O'hare shut down for those three hours which if you know anything about that airport, well, not good. Our flight home from Chicago was moved to the following day. All rental cars were gone. No hotel rooms. And we were SO ready to get home.

So, we took the blue line into the city and caught an Amtrak (which was of course running behind) and made it to Devin's parent's house (where Henrik was) by 3 AM, which meant our total trip home was 20 hours long and included four different types of public transportation. There were some tears by me, some frustration and disbelief by both us, and we had never been happier to see our little hometown and, of course, Henny. 

We're so glad we took this trip. It really was so much and created so many great memories that we'll have together. We did both agree it was a couple days too long. 5 days would have been perfect, especially the missing Henrik factor. It's funny how kids change things. :)

The end.


T and M said...

what a fun trip! we love airbnb but we're also pretty selective about which places we stay ( :

Linda said...

These 2 posts are great recaps of your trip! Glad all went so well...until the trip home, that is. :)

L, Ann and boys said...

It's funny I just heard about airbnb for the first time last week. Sometimes I really do think I live under a rock...and then realize it's a pile of laundry -ha
We just booked a house here in indy for a cousin couples get I'm wading in slowly. That SF is pretty much an advertisement for it though...looks so amazing and quaint. :) Glad it was fun and glad you go home safe and sound to your baby boy. :)

L, Ann and boys said...

got home*

leah said...

Oh my, I love this second half! That Bay Area and your cottage just seems picture perfect! Oh my, and that breakfast sandwich?! Nomnomnom...

Christen Leigh said...

I've loved reading these posts! It looks like such a great trip!! :)

Sarah said...

Enjoyed this!

Betsy said...

I loved these posts, Em. There are no words for that magical tree you're standing on (pocahontas-esque), Full House, that beef bowl, or the bay cottage. Looks like a fantastic trip...but I can see what you are saying that it might have been a tad long. So fun, though, that you met up with local people to get a real feel for SF.

Sara Huber said...

Funny, I don't think we have ever been on a trip more than 5 days post-kids...and it's always seemed like a great amount of time to be away.
Enjoyed seeing all your visited some beautiful places!