During Spring Break, we took the Kids to visit San Francisco. It was their very first visit to S.F., my Hubby and I wanted to take them to places that they’ll love and have fun. It was a 5 days 4 nights trip. But boy oh boy, we wished that we could have stayed a bit longer. There were still a few places that we wanted to go but didn't make it this time around. I guess that gives us a good reason to visit this awesome city again soon! And yes, the Kids already asked to go back again on their next vacation! On this post, I have quite many pictures to share with you. So, I’ll try to keep the wording nice and short.
Originally, we booked a hotel for our stay in San Francisco. Luckily, my Hubby’s cousin offered a guest room for us to stay in. I’m just glad that we took the offer as we had so much fun staying at her place. It was my second time meeting her and it was great to get to know her better. We truly appreciated her husband’s and her hospitality and generosity.
The first day of our trip was pretty much “travelling day” because we took off late. So, we started the next day early; our plans were to waste the least time possilbe. As you can see from the two pictures above, we visited the Stanford University. It was a short visit as our main focus was on our next stop nearby, more to that in just a minute. But I have to say, it was a nice campus and the Kids enjoyed studying the university map/directory. We took a few fun pictures and hanged out for a while. Some families were having a picnic on campus as well. I guess it’d be a nice thing to do if you have more time to hang out.
Ready to see where we visited next? The Google office! Thanks again to Hubby’s Cousin for taking us around for an awesome tour. It was a memorable experience and all of us enjoyed it so much, especially the Kids.
How can Kids, or grown ups, not love this place? It’s more like a giant playground than office to me. Where can you find a humongous gum ball machine inside an office building? The Google office, of course! I hope you didn't have to Google that to find out.
And yes, Google employees, family and friends who are accompanied into the office eat free there. There are various snacks bars around the campus and a total of 22 different restaurants serving a wide varieties of international cuisines as well. That’s only one of the perks for being a Google employee. I truly enjoyed how casual and fun the office buildings are. If you don’t personally know someone who works there, you can still go around the campus and take a few pictures outside the office buildings. There are many Google signs that you can take as many pictures as you want. We spent a great few hours at the Google campus and sampled quite a few different restaurants.
Up next, we visited the the Union Square and took the kids for a little Cable Car ride.
We started off at the terminal so the kids can sit down during the ride. There was a line and we waited for about 30 minutes before we were on board.
We took the full ride to the other terminal and got off 10 minutes away (walking distance) from Fisherman’s Wharf. We were looking at different shops along the coast as we walked around. It must be all those walking that got us so hungry when it was only late afternoon. So we decided to have an early dinner, because we already knew where we wanted to go for dessert afterwards.
We tried Scoma’s along the pier and loved the food there. The restaurant is located 5 minutes away from the tourist joints and it is a little bit hidden from the side walk of the street. The oysters were fresh and sweet.
I ordered the Pasta Diplomatica. It’s very rich and filling as it is a cream sauce base.
Hubby ordered a Mixed Seafood Grill and it was flavorful and each ingredient was cooked perfectly. They also have a kid’s menu. And yes, it’s a kids friendly restaurant. That’s one of the important factor that we look into when we decided on which restaurant to dine in when we travel with the kids. We love this place as the food is fresh and price is reasonable, especially with that generous portion.
After that big dinner, we attempted to walk off the calories and visited Pier 39. As you can see from the picture below, the Sea Lions were back! We were told by some locals that the sea lions were once all gone. Mysteriously, they just show up again one day. I’m just glad that the kids get to see them up close. Although San Francisco was quite warm on the days that we visited, it gets pretty chilly at the pier around sunset. So, I hope you’ll be more prepared if you decided to visit.
After saying goodbye to the Sea Lions, we walked all the way to Ghirardelli Square! It was a good 30 minutes or 40 minutes walk, I think. I guess I've lost track already after the first 5 minutes. And remember, there’s always a line at Ghirardelli! So, be prepared to wait if you plan to visit.
Since we were still quite full from the big dinner, we only order one sundae to share. This scrumptious sundae concluded the day and we took the cable car ride back to Union Square where we parked our car.
The next day, we visited the California Academy of Science. It was another fun filled day and educational at the same time. I encourage you to go for a visit if you have kids. The picture below is an exhibit outside of the earthquake simulator. The exhibit shows fun facts as well as safely tips. The earthquake simulator was quite fun. The kids requested to go for it again so we did it twice.
The science center also has an amazing aquarium. It was huge and beautiful there.
We also visited the penguins’ habitat and it happened to be their feeding time. It was quite a chaos when they started feeding! Imagine meal time with 20 hungry kids with just one bucket of food! I'm sure you got the picture!
There’s also a swamp in there with Mr. Albino Alligator! It looks unreal when it stays still and not moving.
The tropical forest inside the California Academy of Science was my Baby Girl’s favorite. You’re going to find out why from the video below. Yes, she adores butterflies! We explored and hung out until closing time, which was 5 pm. Then, we headed to a family dinner with our relatives and that concluded our third day in S.F.
Did you enjoy the video? Yes, I think it takes courage, determination, and patient to do that. I'm very proud of my little girl!
It happened to be the Easter Sunday when we visit San Francisco. Hubby’s Cousin planned a little Easter Egg Hunt at her yard for the kids. They had so much fun as they've always love Easter Egg Hunts.
After we had a wonderful waffle brunch. We visited the Golden Gate Bridge. I love how they put different illustrations and demonstrations around the area about the bridge.
It was a clear and gorgeous day to visit the bridge.
I love this picture a lot (see below). You can see the gorgeous bay as well as the city in the background.
After hanging out at the bridge, we crossed the bridge to Sausalito. It’s a lovely town and there're many restaurants and small shops in this town that you can hang out and shop around. We decided to have lunch at Napa Valley Burger Company.
Of course, we've got to try a glass of red there along with our burgers!
I've ordered a Sausalito Burger. It was so good and the portion was huge. I love that they came with a side salad as well.
We also shared a Waffle Fries.
Hubby tried their Vintage Burger (picture below). And kids ordered the sliders from kid’s menu (sorry, forgot to take a picture of that). Food was excellent and service was great. We were there for a very late lunch and this place was still packed.
After lunch, we headed back to Union Square for a little shopping. We ended the day at a friend’s place for a homemade pizza night. Kids made their own pizzas while the grown ups had a glass of red and catch up with each other. It was a fun night to see our good old friends from high school!
On the fifth day, when we made our journey back to Los Angeles, we stopped at the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz.
We were greeted by this scenery (see picture below) on our way there. It's gorgeous and there was a hiking trail near by as well.
We arrived and line up for the next tour, there's a 45 minutes wait so we hung out around the area to take pictures. If you plan to go on a weekend, it's better to book your tour online to avoid long wait time. We were told by the tour guide that some folks waiting for 5 to 6 hours over the weekend when they didn't have a reservation.
The tour is only $6 per person, plus $5 parking. The tour was around 45 minutes including hiking up a short distance to the "cabin", as shown in the picture below. See how I stood at an angle like that without falling? Plus that girl behind me can just walked up the "ladder" on the wall? If you want to take "creepy" or I should say, mysterious picture like this, this is the place to visit. But I have to warn you, I get nauseous after 2 minutes into the cabin. What cause the nauseous feeling, you might ask? I'm guessing it's all the illusions of how the cabin was built that cause my eyes to send weird signals to my brain! Go figure!
This mysterious place and experience concluded our trip to San Francisco. I can't wait to take my kids there again. As we missed the chance to visit the Red Wood Forest and China Town this time! I hope you enjoy reading today's post. If you're planning a trip to San Francisco with your kids this summer, definitely check these places out.