This year for our vacation we spent a week in San Francisco. Let me answer the most commonly asked questions about our vacation and get that out of the way. Yes, we stayed in the same hotel for the entire week. No, we did not go onto Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, or down Lombard Street. I know this isn’t the usual San Francisco vacation, but we really aren’t the usual family.
You might wonder why our trip left out some of the standard tourist sites. Well, we flew to San Francisco and were going to use public transportation for the trip. We really don’t have public transportation where we live. I had no idea how long it would take us to get from place to place and how taxing it would be on Steve. It wouldn’t be good if I had purchased Alcatraz tickets in advance only to find out we’d have to get up extra early to make our tour time or that Steve was completely exhausted on that day and time and really couldn’t go on that tour. I have found it impossible to explain this trip to people, but it isn’t important.
I went to San Francisco with a list of some things we wanted to do, and with a list of a lot of additional possibilities. My dear brother spent over an hour with me on the phone with both of us in front of our computers, giving me very clear directions prior to the trip. These directions were extremely specific and included how to get to the cable car stop, “Turn right out of your hotel and make a right at the corner” and where not to go, “You have no business going to the Tenderloin district!” A friend who lives in the area would send me links to the transportation website and couldn’t understand my confusion. I’m supposed to know there’s a difference between a cable car and a trolley, and what the heck was the Metro? FYI we did use cable car, trolley, bus, Metro, and BART during our week in the Bay Area. Never once did we need to use a taxi, which both my brother and friend reminded me we could use in case we got lost.
So, what did we do during our week? We went to the Walt Disney Family museum, cable car museum, maritime museum, Wells Fargo museum, Academy of Sciences (they have penguins and baby ostriches!!) everything along the wharfs, Ghirardelli Square, Coit Tower, Chinatown, Treasure Island, and an outdoor art fair. We went to the mall, ate every meal out, and enjoyed watching cable TV since we don’t have it at home.
It was a good trip, but for our son and I, it wasn’t the best vacation ever. It was fine, though. For Steve, though, he thought it might have been the best vacation ever! (Maybe that’s a good thing about memory problems!) He said he thought it was just great and that he loved every place we went. Maybe the trip wasn’t as good for me because I was worried about getting us to each place and getting off at the right place. The trip to the Academy of Sciences in Gold Gate Park was touch and go for a while, but we did get to walk through the Haight-Ashbury area and through a homeless encampment! I definitely felt like at a week the trip was too long and that next year we should go for only five or six days.
After we were home, we started discussing taking a short trip before school starts. Our son and I meant taking an overnight trip, but Steve thought five days would be a good length! Fortunately, one of our friends has taken him to Mammoth for five days so hopefully that will satisfy him.
I’m glad we went to San Francisco and that Steve loved the trip. We showed our son some place new, and he’s discovered another place he doesn’t want to live. No one got sick or lost on the trip, except for our losing Steve for a few seconds in the Ghirardelli store, so I think we can consider this a successful vacation!