09.19.15 San Francisco – Part 3 – Golden Gate Park and Golden Gate Bridge

ggbvp5 (Medium)Saturday, September 19, 2015 – On Thursday we also drove to Golden Gate Park which is a beautiful big park with palms, flowers, walking paths, bicycle paths and more. We picked out a nice spot and ate our picnic lunch.

This is a map of the park.

ggp1aOne of the many entrances to the park.

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ggp1 ggp4 ggp5ggpa4 (Medium) ggpa2 (Medium) ggpa1 (Medium)ggpa8 (Medium)Across the street was the Conservatory of Flowers.

ggpa7 (Medium) ggpa9 (Medium) ggpa10 (Medium) ggpa6 (Medium) ggpa5 (Medium) ggpa3 (Medium)Other groups of flowers and plants.

ggpb5 (Medium) ggpb4 (Medium) ggpb3 (Medium) ggpb2 (Medium) ggpb1 (Medium)After enjoying more of the Park we headed for the Golden Gate Bridge. We got to see more of San Francisco on the way to the Bridge. I thought the bridge would be gold but it is actually rusty red colored.

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A video we took during the drive over the bridge.

Even though it is not gold it is a beautiful sight.

There is a Vista Point on the other side where we stopped to take more pictures of the bridge and the bay.

ggbvp11 (Medium) ggbvp10 (Medium) ggbvp9 (Medium) ggbvp8 (Medium) ggbvp7 (Medium) ggbvp6 (Medium) ggbvp5 (Medium) ggbvp4 (Medium) ggbvp2 (Medium) ggbvp3 (Medium)A video of the bay and the bridge from Visa Point

I couldn’t imagine living there or anywhere in San Francisco for that matter. Trying to walk across a street that is a steep hill is crazy difficult. Drunk people couldn’t survive walking around there!

We took a different route home allowing us to see more of the area. This is our last outing into San Francisco. It’s a unique amazing city. We have seen a lot and enjoyed all of it!

We will go to Oakland next week to meet and visit with my RVILLAGE boss Hillary!!! We have talked and Skype dozens of times but never met face to face. Yay, finally!!

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09.18.15 Napa Valley wine country

Friday, September 18, 2015 – On Tuesday we followed up our Jelly Belly Jelly wpid-20150915_134158.jpgBean and In-N-Out Burger adventure with a trip to the Napa Valley.

After doing a lot of research and getting input from friends about wineries in this area we chose to go to Mumm Napa winery for a tour and tastings.  Most if not all of the wineries use to offer free tours and tastings.  Now, few have tours and all charge for tastings.   That’s why we reduced the number of wineries to visit from three to one!

Mumm Napa is located on the Silverado Trail which is one of two highways running through the Napa Valley.  We saw many wineries and vineyards as we drove up the Trail to the vineyard.  Beautiful fields of grape vines lined the highway both coming to Mumm Valley on the Silverado Trail and going home down Highway 29.

wpid-20150915_134457.jpgI am very thankful we got to go see this beautiful area which exists because of the perfect climate there to grow grapes. Defined by mountain ranges and influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the Napa Valley enjoys a dry Mediterranean climate perfectly suited to the growing of fine wine grapes. Only 2% of the earth’s surface is covered by a Mediterranean climate.  The long growing season is marked by sunny, warm and dry days followed by cool evenings, an ideal combination for allowing grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.  Configuration of hills, exposure and elevation all work to create distinct growing conditions within the Napa Valley.

Mumm Napa is a beautiful facility with indoor and outdoor wine tasting areas.  It also has an art exhibit area which we enjoyed while waiting for the tour to start.  Our tour guide was quite knowledgeable and share a lot with us about the history of Mumm Napa and the process they go through to create their sparkling wines.

We tasted four of their sparkling wines throughout the tour and were given a wine flute to enjoy it in and to take home.  It was a good thing we filled up at In-N-Out Burger since four flutes of wine in an hour was way more than we’re use to having!  I won’t begin to try to explain the process as we learned it but will share with you these pictures taken throughout the day.

 wpid-20150915_135255.jpg wpid-20150915_135415.jpg wpid-20150915_135536.jpg wpid-20150915_140215.jpg wpid-20150915_151207.jpg wpid-20150915_151310.jpg wpid-20150915_152337.jpg wpid-20150915_152519.jpg wpid-20150915_153129.jpg wpid-20150915_153132.jpg wpid-20150915_153152.jpg wpid-20150915_153313.jpg wpid-20150915_153512.jpg wpid-20150915_153722.jpg wpid-20150915_153926.jpg wpid-20150915_155838.jpg wpid-20150915_160130.jpg wpid-20150915_160339.jpg wpid-20150915_160920.jpg wpid-20150915_161234.jpg wpid-20150915_162141.jpg wpid-20150915_162207.jpg wpid-20150915_162337.jpg wpid-20150915_162342.jpg wpid-20150915_162349.jpg

The resort we are staying at is on a peninsula between two bays which makes for a beautiful ride going and coming from here.  We’ve seen what looks to be blackberry bushes all along the side of the roads.  Today we went out and stopped at those bushes and they are blackberries.  I’ll be bringing my buckets and bags all along those bushes to get more blackberries while the getting is good.

We are going into San Francisco tomorrow to see more of the city.  Hopefully this trip to San Francisco won’t be filled with all the timing problems we experienced the first time.  We are driving in our truck so hopefully all will go well!

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09.16.15 Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Factory Tour

wpid-20150915_101505.jpgWednesday, September 16, 2015 –  We drove to Fairfield, California on Tuesday to tour the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean factory which is located at 1Jelly Belly Lane!!!!   I love those tiny confections and really enjoyed everything about this experience today.  The lobby and all hallways are amazingly cool!!  Pictures made of Jelly beans everywhere!  I took pictures of just a very few of them to share here.

 

wpid-20150915_101257.jpgwpid-20150915_101904.jpge8dd52a843d94535934ee76256bbc576wpid-20150915_103445.jpgwpid-20150915_103323.jpgwpid-20150915_105031.jpgDSC_0037_012ejellybeans

SOME REALLY STRANGE FLAVORS DSC_9700

SOME OF THE JELLY BEAN ARTwpid-20150915_113406.jpg wpid-20150915_104856.jpg wpid-20150915_104914.jpg wpid-20150915_104819.jpg wpid-20150915_104842.jpgwpid-20150915_101747.jpg Here’s some pictures from the actual tour of the factory.  It is an amazing place and seeing all those different colors of jelly beans was super cool!  They did 1not allow photography in the factory but I found these on the internet.  I reallllllly wanted you to see the containers filled with each of the colors.  More than way cool45292 991092035_7cecf4c74f_b 150428100409-american-factory-tours--jelly-belly-super-169 Jelly_Belly_Factory_floor Jelly_Belly_Factory-Fairfield-CA-7fce8a7551224800b1ec6fbc3c5c7ba0_c jelly-belly-2 la-trw-factory-tours-6-jelly-bellyAfter we finished the tour we did some shopping in the awesome store!!!  We had Madisyn and Chips requests and we filled those plus some.  Even found a pair of socks in pink for Madisyn that say “Whatcha mean Jelly Bean!”, a box of buttered popcorn flavored jelly beans, chocolate ones for Roy and some candy corn for me.  They sell something they call Belly Flops which are non perfect jelly beans so you can get them for much cheaper so we bought a big bag of Belly Flops for us!!

I put some of those Belly Flops in a candy jar at home and I’ve been popping them in my mouth all evening.  I’ll undo all the weight loss I’ve been working on with these things.

We went from there to a stop at our very first In-N-Out Burger in Napa. Several friends have highly recommended them and we were not disappointed.  Other than delicious food we loved the fact that they have scriptures on the bottom of the cups, and food bags!

wpid-20150915_122825.jpg wpid-20150915_122841.jpg wpid-20150915_125427.jpg From In-N-Out burgers we went on to the Napa Valley to explore and even tour Mum Napa winery!  I’ll write about that for tomorrow since this is getting long.  We did lots of walking on these tours and will be spending Wednesday resting before we head back into San Francisco tomorrow!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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9.13.15 San Francisco Part 1 – Fisherman’s Wharf

sfwharfsigh (Medium)Sunday, September 13, 2015 – Yesterday we explored San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf.  What an amazing place but the day did not go as planned.  I’ll share the day as it unfolded but please know this was a wonderful experience being in San Francisco.  It was very clean, colorful and welcoming.  I have to pinch myself remembering that we are in California FINALLY!!

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sf1 (Medium)Our morning at home had some delays, so we didn’t leave as early as we wanted to.  It was an hour drive from our RV resort to the Ferry.  On the drive we saw an amazing 9/11 display of American flags on an overpass on the highway.

We planned to take the San Francisco Bay Ferry from the Port of Oakland to Pier 41 in San Francisco.  I researched it (but not enough) and saw that about every 30 minutes a ferry leaves Oakland for Pier 41.  However there is no ferry (I didn’t realize that) between 12:01 and 1:35.  We arrived at 12:04 so we started the day off waiting an hour and a half for the ferry.  I enjoyed walking around the docks area in Oakland waiting for the ferry. These pictures are from that area.  sf14 (Medium) sf13 (Medium)A bowling alley right by the Bay! Next two pictures.sf12 (Medium)sf8 (Medium)Since there is a drought here all the water sculptures had no water!sf11 (Medium) sf10 (Medium) sf6 (Medium) One of my favorite pictures, right by the Bay.  The day was beautiful and clear skies! sf9 (Medium) sf17 sf18 (Medium)sf4 (Medium) I’ve never seen a black flower like the one in the second picture below!  How I wish I could have popped a leaf off to grow but, I couldn’t.sf2a (Medium)sf2 (Medium)And Roy patiently waiting for me while I explored.

sf3 (Medium)The ride across San Francisco Bay was really nice in the huge ferry we rode in.

sf19 (Medium)sf35ferry (Medium)We rode right next to Alcatraz which was really cool looking!  sf24alcatraz (Medium)sf36alcatraz (Medium)We pulled into a spot between Pier 39 and Pier 41 right at Fisherman’s Wharf.

sf20 (Medium) sf21 (Medium) sf22 (Medium) sf25 (Medium) Right next to the bay on the wharf singers, musicians, bongo players, painters, and others provided entertainment every step along the wharf. We really all that!  Very cool, happy atmosphere.

sf26 (Medium)  sf31 (Medium)sf32 (Medium) sf30 (Medium) sf33 (Medium)20150911_143207 20150911_14381220150911_143113 sf38 (Medium) sf39 (Medium) sf40 (Medium)One man sat by himself with the sign below!  I asked if I could photograph him and he said yes, so I did.  Then he asked for money for his weed and I told him no if that’s what he’d do with the money.  He just shrugged and kept smiling!  We smiled and walked on!.

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sf43nicks (Medium)There were several large restaurants and several roadside vendors.  We were fairly determined to try  dungeness crabs as we’ve heard so much about them.  We decided to eat at Nick’s Lighthouse where they cook the food on the sidewalk and serve it to you inside in a restaurant. I described it on Facebook as we totally lost our minds when we ordered our food.  One crab was $42.95.  We couldn’t afford two so we decided to share one.  It really wasn’t much bigger than what we consider a #1 crab in Louisiana.  They served it with butter, ketchup, claw crackers and a tiny fork.  Typical utensils for eating crabs.  It was very delicious and tasted somewhat different than our sf44nicks (Medium)Louisiana blue crabs. Since we are use to sitting down and splitting a dozen crabs that one crab felt like just a snack!  The waitress told us this was the off season for dungeness crabs as the regular season is November through June and this is September.  They have to get them from Washington state or Alaska causing the price to be very high. We are very glad we tried them so we know what it’s like but unless we come back when the price is 1/4th that we won’t have any more.

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After we ate the crab we walked around and came across a chocolate shop where I got a chocolate and nut dipped banana and Roy had a chocolate and nut dipped ice cream bar!   That helped fill us up!

We walked and walked and walked around the area looking in shops and seeing the sights!  We found the end of the route for one of the cable car routes.  We were shocked sf41 (Medium)to see about 200 people in line waiting to get on one of the many cars.  I had $18 in cash and had been able to pay for everything with my bank card.  Again, we arrived a few minutes after the bank card window closed for the day so it was cash only.  Since the fee was $7.50 per person each way we needed more money than we had.  We didn’t get to ride the cable cars but we watched them manually turn around at the end and head back up the hill.

sf45 (Medium) sf46 (Medium)On the map Coit Towers did not look too far from the Wharf.  In reality it is very far and you have to climb a big hill.  As much as we wanted to see the views from up there we were so tired by that time so we chose to skip it.

Since we were getting pretty tired we headed back towards the ferry.  We THOUGHT the next ferry left at 5:50 and we had some extra time so we visited a kite and other flying things shop that we visited right after getting there earlier in the day.  We loved everything there and finally decided on a pink flamingo riding a bicycle with whirling tires!  It sticks in the ground and the wind blows it around and makes the tires spin!  Roy said we could get it for my birthday which is Monday.sf29bday (Medium) sf28 (Medium)

Happy as a little lark over the pink flamingo purchase we headed to the Ferry dock.  When we looked at the posted schedule  at the gate to the ferry ramp, we realized that earlier we looked at the weekEND schedule when the real schedule on weekDAYS had no more ferries leave until 8:05.  Over 2-1/2 hours from then….

A really nice man who was knowledgeable about the schedules and transportation in the area gave us advice.  He said there were two ferries leaving from the Ferry Building about 22 walking minutes from there.  It was 6:00 and the Ferry left at 6:25 from the Ferry Building.  He said that we could go two streets over and catch streetcar that would get us there quickly.

We almost ran there to make sure we got there before the streetcar left.  Us running is not a pretty sf49 (Medium)sight! We waited 10 minutes and it arrived.  It was mostly full already and many many people were trying to get on.  When it left that streetcar stop, the streetcar had at least 3 times the amount of people it should have had on it.  Being smashed in there like sardines we couldn’t look out the windows to see where we were and really didn’t know where we were going except to the Ferry Building which we listened for every stop it made. The driver called out the Pier number we were approaching but we had no idea what pier number the Ferry Building was on!  FINALLY at 6:23 we arrived at the Ferry Building and most everyone on the train got off there.  We ran with the crowd to the Ferry Building (again running not a pretty sight) where we were all able to get on that boat.  Our legs hurt and it took the entire boat ride back to the Oakland dock to get our breath back!

Yes there were beautiful sights along the way and yes we really enjoyed our time there but the final leg of our journey today was the clincher.  It’s been getting dark between 9-10 every night for the last several months. I didn’t realize it would get dark as early as it does here. BUT IT DID.  At 7:45 darkness set in fast.  We haven’t driven in the dark in months.  Driving on dark unfamiliar roads when you have old eyes is not a good nor safe thing to do.  We didn’t plan to do it but that’s how it went!  Roy HATED IT.  Most of the time there was no one ahead of us for us to follow their lights so we just went for it and made it the long long hour drive home safely.

This may have been our worst day travel wise, while being one of the coolest days with what we saw and experienced when things went right.  We’ve realized we won’t be able to see everything we want to unless we kill ourselves trying.  We’ve made plans for two days next week to see more things and those things don’t involve too much walking or strenuous activity.

We are going to the worship service here at the resort tomorrow morning (I love it when RV resorts have worship services!!) then shopping at Sam’s Club and picking up some Popeye’s chicken nearby tomorrow!!

We put our pink flamingo on wheels together today and he’s living with our other outdoor decorations in the yard next to Dora!

sf48 (Medium) The weather here is much cooler than it was when we were on the road the other day.  It was 106 then and in the 70s here.  I like that much better!

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