First day in San Francisco

After driving for about four hours from the Redwood tree’s, we came to the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Now, surprisingly, the Golden Gate Bridge is not golden. It’s Orange! Why and why is it called the Golden gate?

Well, the strait it goes over is the golden gate strait. It connects the San Francisco  bay to the Pacific Ocean. It was named after large amounts of gold were found in California.

Then, when they were building the bridge, it was decided to paint it orange so it would be well seen. The strait is often covered in fog and they wanted the ships coming in to be able to see the bridge.

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The Golden Gate bridge is one of the most photographed icons in the world. And not surprising! Even people who aren’t from the United States can usually recognize this beautiful bridge.

Now, this technically was not my first time in San Francisco. My great-grandparents on my mother’s side lived in Petaluma, which is about an hour north of San Fran. When I was a toddler, my family flew into California to see them and we went down to visit the city. Although sadly, I was too young to remember it.

Anyway, one thing to know, is almost all ways in and out of the city, they charge you. At the end of the bridge is toll gates. There’s also a toll if you go over the Oakland bridge.gates.jpg

Funny story, now they have cameras which take a picture of your car’s license plate and send you a bill for five dollars, it used to be you’d pull up and pay.

And when we came to visit when I was very little, my poor parents didn’t know about the toll. And they didn’t have any cash on them! They were digging around, trying to find coins when the guy behind them yelled he’d pay it, cuz we were holding up the line.

So if you go into the city, just be careful about how many times you go over. It can add up quickly.

After you go through, you are officially in San Francisco. Welcome!

It’s extremely crowded here and a very expensive city. The Gold rush of 1849 brought people to the west coast by the thousands. And boy, does it show. California has the largest population with 38 million people and still growing.

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All the houses are packed right up against each other and have no yards,. Here’s a picture from the top of the hill, looking down into San Fran. There’s so much!

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After we got in, we checked into our little hotel and immediately left to explore and go find dinner. There’s just so much to do, it’s hard to decide on one thing.

After so much sitting in the car, we decided to walk. After a bit, it became clear we were heading down toward Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 59, by the bay.

One thing San Francisco is famous for, it’s the up and down streets, plus the cable cars. We went down the hills to get to the Wharf, but knew it would be a pain to get back up them

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One the way down, we passed two very famous places, both started in San Francisco. First, Ghirardelli square, world famous for their chocolate. I stopped to get some and boy,it’s incredible. I’ve had it before and I just adore it. My personal favorite their seasonal peppermint bark.

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The second is Boudin, world famous for their sourdough.

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There’s rumors that sourdough originated in San Fran, however, I could not find out if it’s true or not. I will say, it’s true that the climate is really good for making sourdough. If you get a chance to eat at Boudin, do it! Their food is amazing.

After we had dinner, we walked around around the pier. From here, we had a really good view of the famous Alcatraz Island.The island in the San Francisco Bay, 1.25 miles (2.01 km) offshore.  There are tours daily out to the island, but we didn’t have time to go on one.

It is home to the abandoned prison, the site of the oldest operating light house on the west coast, early military installations, and natural features of  rock pools and a seabird colony.

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I’m really proud of this picture. At the exact moment I took it, a fish jumped out of the water.

By now, the sun was setting. The city was starting to light up  and the moon was rising over the San Fran-Oakland bridge.the pier.jpg

By this time, we were starting to get really tired. It had been a extremely long day, and full of adventures. So we started to head back to our hotel to crash for the night.

On the way back, I got a stunning picture of the Golden gate bridge lit up against the night.bridgeatnight.jpg

Once we reached the hotel, we went right to bed and slept well in the wonderful city by the bay.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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