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California – Day 4

Day 4 started with a gorgeous sunrise.

Because it was Sunday, I had a reprieve from my 80 Day Obsession workout regimen.

Y’all, as much as I loved the treadmill thing and being able to put in miles away from the hot/cold weather, it was incredibly boring.

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Don’t tell me that you don’t do this too, because you know that you do.

I listened to one of my favorite podcasts to help me pass the time.

Because I’d gotten up so early, I had time to put in some decent miles . . .

Go me!  Whoop whoop!

We had big plans for the day, so I got ready as quickly back at the apartment, and we headed out.

First on the agenda was a fairly short drive to Vallejo, which is a little north of San Francisco.

The kids told me that this is where parts of the series, 13 Reasons Why, was filmed.  Isn’t that cool?!

As we pulled into the parking lot, we saw an interesting sight . . .

One of those people is not like the other.  Here’s another clue . . .

Apparently, pirates have to pay to park in Vallejo, just like landlubbers.

What can I say, California’s got it all, people.

We crossed the street to buy tickets for this . . .

Yep.  We were getting ready to take the ferry!

That might not seem like a big deal to some of you, but for this southern gal who lives in Podunk, Florida, it was.

The Mr. bought all four of our tickets (return passage too).  We saw the ferry pulling up as we got in line.

I don’t know why, but I’d imagined something completely different.  I certainly didn’t picture a ferry with closed in seating, but that’s what we got, which was actually good since it was a little chilly.

We really wanted window seats, but they were already taken up by people who obviously had more knowledge than we did about such things.

Check out this group of ladies.  They were prepared for the hour we were about to spend crossing over to San Francisco.

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Let’s talk about the ferry for a minute.  The seats reminded me of what you’d find on an airplane.  They had pull-down tables, and there was a snack bar in the back.  There was even a bathroom with HOT water available.

You could get up and down, walk around, etc., at your leisure.  There were television screens that projected safety tips.  It was very spacious and actually very comfortable.

I could get used to traveling like this!

I had taken my fancy camera with zoom lens with me and stood up to grab some photos as we neared our destination.

There’s a reflection because I didn’t realize that I could have gone to the top of the ferry and stepped outside.  I learned that lesson later in the day when we were on our way back.

Even though the morning was overcast (boy how it changed from Vallejo), the Golden Gate Bridge was more visible than when we’d visited it two days prior.

I snapped some other photos of the city as we approached . . .

I thought I’d spied a lighthouse when I took the next picture.  We later learned that it was some other building (I’ve forgotten the name of it now).

This was the port as we pulled in . . .

The hour on the ferry flew by – there was so much to look at.  Here’s what we saw when we stepped off . . .

Isn’t that pretty?

There was a ferry building with lots of shops – kind of like an indoor market.  I should have taken a few pictures of the inside.  Here’s one I grabbed . . .

The stores were unique.  Some, like the one above, sold fresh produce.  Others sold ice cream or local honey (the Mr. bought a jar later that afternoon).

We walked around a bit before heading out.  Before we left, though, I spied this . . .

Oh hello there, my little friends.

I decided to buy one – duh – and I guess I must have sounded either adorable (ha!) or pathetic (most likely) because the sweet girl helping me put an extra (i.e., free) doughnut in my bag!  Yum!  They (salted caramel and matcha) were delicious, let me tell you (I didn’t eat them in one day either!)!

The piers were all numbered; we were looking for Pier 39, which is a tourist attraction.

We walked at least a mile and a half, but it wasn’t bad.  The sidewalks were very wide, and I saw a LOT of joggers.  I was a little jealous.

The temperature was perfect, though, and we enjoyed seeing this part of San Francisco.

Pier 39 was easy to find and well-marked with flags.

Check out this mural . . .

As we entered the Pier, here’s what we saw . . .

It reminded me of what you see when you arrive at Universal Studios in Orlando.  There were restaurants and shops on both sides.  The further back you went, the closer to the water you got.

We were all hungry, so we stopped for lunch first.

The restaurant had large windows with a view of the marina.

There were a couple of vegan options on the menu.

I went with the Summer of Love Burger, minus the aioli, which was a little different but tasty.  I did not eat the bun – no need for those extra calories given the doughnut I’d eaten already!

We ate until we were full and headed out to shop.

N wanted to look in this store since she’s left-handed.

The Mr. and I picked up a couple of souvenirs at one of the shops, but honestly, we really didn’t buy much.

Then, we made our way to the water.  That’s where the fun was really happening.

First of all, the weather had cleared up; the sun came out, and it was absolutely glorious.  It was windy too, as evidenced by my hair.

We took some photos with Alcatraz in the background.

I’d really, really wanted to see Alcatraz, but by the time we looked into getting tickets, they were sold out!  We found out that you have to purchase these 90 days in advance.  Lesson learned.

I took quite a few pictures of it though – the zoom lens was so handy!

The Golden Gate Bridge was easy to spot.

It was the perfect day for sailing.

There were lots of boat tours going on . . .

I’m not sure what the ship in the next photo was being used for – probably transport.  The Mr. liked that I captured the bird in the picture.

The real attraction, though was the sea lions.

You should have seen the crowds of people lined up to watch them.

They were, quite honestly, some of the most adorable animals I’ve ever seen.

There was definitely a pecking order too.  This guy was holding court.

He had a LOT to say.

This one must have been the Grand Poomba.

He gave everyone the What for . . .

. . . before he knocked them all into the water . . .

Here’s a video I recorded . . .

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After we got our fill of sea lions, we headed out.  Our legs were tired, so the Mr. found a taxi.  The driver was super sweet and agreed to drive us to Lombard Street, which is probably the most famous road in San Francisco.

To get there was a challenge.  Boy was I grateful for our driver’s knowledge.  Some of the roads were one-way.  ALL of them were hilly . . . as in you’ve-gotta-get-new-brakes-at-least-once-a-year kind of hilly.

He was able to navigate to the top of Lombard, which is one way (down).

Here was the view from the top – absolutely stunning.

Here’s a video as our driver made his way S-L-O-W-L-Y down the road.

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Do you remember seeing this street in movies?

There are actually residential buildings on both sides, and security is provided each day because there are so many tourists who go down this road.

What surprised me was how short it was.

I also didn’t expect it to be so pretty.  The landscaping was top notch.

Here’s the view from the bottom . . .

Of course the Mr. and I took a selfie (isn’t he a trooper?).

I don’t know how people drive in San Francisco.  I’d be so stressed out every time!  You should have seen the parking too – weird angles and itsy bitsy spots.

No thank you!

Our driver took us back to our ferry pier where we hung out until our ferry came back for us.

We did a little more shopping, and I bought one more doughnut for the road.

Ahem.

The Mr. and I took a selfie with the Bay Bridge in the background.

Do you remember the earthquake that hit the Bay area in 1989?  The Bay Bridge had a section that got messed up.  I googled it because I thought I remembered it being damaged.

After we boarded the ferry, I made myself comfortable.  We got window seats this time.  Yay!

We made one stop to another pier, where I spotted these gentlemen entertaining the crowd . . .

I snapped a photo of that pier as well.  I think it might have been Pier 39.  I’m not sure.

Then the ferry was headed back to Vallejo,  I visited the top deck, stepping outside for better pictures.

This is a close up of Alcatraz . . .

I took a few pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge – so pretty against the fading sun.

I took a final picture of the San Francisco skyline . . .

That evening, we ate at Rock & Brews for dinner.  It was a really neat place, and the food was delicious!

After watching some TV and playing with Gus, we headed to bed.  We had one more day of adventuring ahead of us, and we wanted to be rested.

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