Monday, August 03, 2009

San Fran, CA

Matt and I left the girls with my parents and flew off to San Francisco, CA for 5 days. We went because we had signed up for the San Fran Half Marathon that was on that Sunday so we decided to make a vacation of it for just the two of us. It was my first time to leave the girls for that long. It was hard to leave them and I nearly wanted to back out, but I knew my husband would not feel like he's number 1 to me if I sent him to San Francisco by himself. :)

**Day 1**

At the airport waiting for our delayed flight to SF. It's so foggy there!

Matt with "Roxy", our rented VW. He wanted to match our car. :)

The view of the bay outside of our window.
Can't you see it? That little patch of dark blue to the veeeeerrry far right.

Our hotel room at the Westin.
I have to brag. I got our room for $60 a night. It was by the airport but that really did not bother us. We drove Roxy for the first 3 days and after that, we were just a ten minute walk to the BART station in Millbrae, CA, which is where the hotel was.

After a jog along the bay, we headed up to the city to check it out and have dinner.

This is a theater downtown that we almost went to.

Cool building, but I don't know what it is used for.
I like old architecture but nothing is that old in San Fran because in 1906 there was fire that spread throughout almost the entire city. Most everything was built since then.

Pier 39

Matt and I at Pier 39. Unfortunately the sign is behind our heads. :)
It was so stinkin' windy and cold so one of the first things we did after dinner was go buy San Francisco sweatshirts.

Still Pier 39

The view from our restaurant window.

This is the K-dock which is famous for the hords of sea lions that congregate there to sleep and relax.

The view of the city from our restaurant on Pier 39.
Pier 39 Carousel

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39.
I was to afraid to go because Matt was talking about actually touring the prison itself. No way! It would have been nice to tour the bay though on a boat.

Fisherman's Wharf
Us in our new SF sweatshirts.

Another view of the city

**Day 2**

We took a day trip down to Monterey to see the bay and the Aquarium. On our way, we stopped in Santa Cruz for lunch and a stroll. We ate at the BEST pizza place called Kioni's. It was sooooooooo good! The Monterey Bay Aquarium was also wonderful. It was way better than Sea World and well worth the 1 1/2 hour drive to it from SF. The facility is made for children so it made us both miss our girls even more!

A street in Santa Cruz

Another street.
actually, probably the same street, just a different view.

Santa Cruz


Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf

Monterey Bay is behind us. There is also a little sea lion on the rocks behind my head.

The shoreline at the Bay

Another view of us and the Bay

A penguin at the Aquarium.

This Orca jumps out of the water below just for pictures. :)


Beautiful jellyfish

More beautiful jellyfish

Sea horse
Did you know there are many, many different kinds of Seahorses? They had just about all of them at the Aquarium, I think.

Little Seahorses (not babies)
They really are tiny and they mate for life. You can tell which ones have chosen their partners because their tails are intertwined.

Monterey Cannery Row

**Day 3**

This day was our favorite day. After going to the expo to pick up our race day packets and to drive part of the course, we took another day trip while we had Roxy up north across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and to the Muir Woods National Park where the tallest trees in the world are. They are Redwoods and are related to the Giant Sequoias. The Giant Sequoias are larger around but are not quite as tall. We ate lunch (pasta, of course, since it was the day before our race) in Sausalito, then took a shuttle to Muir Woods. It was a very curvy road and we both got a little car sick. But the fresh air in the woods and a little snack helped us recover quickly. We took a 4 or 5 mile hike through the woods and mountains. It was probably in the upper 60's. I think we both finished getting relaxed here, in the peace and quiet of the trees. We both realized how much we have missed the out doors. We wanted to spend another day or two hiking if we could have. Thankfully, the hike didn't ruin our legs for our race!

Golden Gate Bridge

Muir Woods

Yes, we are standing in front of the TRUNKS of those trees behind us.
They are hollow inside.


Me in a trunk of a tree
(Here, Sally, you can save this pic. We didn't get one of us putting our arms around one, but maybe this will do to show the enormity of it!)

**Day 4**

Race Day!! I woke up at 3a.m. and couldn't fall back asleep for the 3:30 a.m. alarm. We needed to leave by 4 or 4:30 to drive downtown and park in time for us to get to our corrals so that we could start at the correct time.
Below is the only picture we got of the two of us before the race which was taken by a girl who was standing near us who happened to be from Austin. Matt finished in 2:02:18 and I finished in 2:12:55. I just couldn't believe I went 1 1/2 minutes faster per mile than my long runs at home. It really makes a difference running in 50 degree weather versus 80 and 90 degree weather! The hills were not a problem for either of us since we'd been running them at home which was good because the last 4 miles was one hill right after the other.
This day was my second favorite day. After the race, we drove back to our hotel room, grabbed lunch on the way, took hot showers, I took a nap while Matt returned the rental car, and we lounged in our hotel for the rest of the day. We took a dip in the hot tub that afternoon which felt awesome to our weary legs. We ordered pizza in for dinner and rented Angels and Demons. It was great to be able to lay around and not be expected to do anything.


**Day 5**

We headed back to the city to do more sightseeing since we'd only seen the piers so far. Matt wanted to take me to the Wells Fargo Museum. As some of you know, Wells has been around for a looooooong time as they ran the first stage coach system in the West. The Bank has been around since 1852 and was one of the first banks during the Gold Rush Era.
After the bank and some lunch, we rode the old cable car toward the west of town but it ended a lot farther away from where we thought it would so we decided to walk the rest of the way to Golden Gate Park. On our way we took a few detours so we could see other sites in the city. We walked through The Fillmore district which became famous during the Jazz era. We walked to Alamo Park to see the Painted Ladies (think Full House). And then we walked some more. We probably walked 5 or 6 miles just trying to get to the Golden Gate park and my feet hurt sooooooo badly by the time we got there. Most of the attractions were closing soon by the time we got there, so it wasn't worth it to pay to see them. We did go to the Japanese Tea Garden and it was very pretty. If only people would respect areas that are meant for quietness and calmness, it would have been a lot more peaceful. We stopped and had Jasmine Green tea and a snack in the garden and that was a nice experience.
The day and the trip ended with a taxi ride to Union Square where we ate Cheesecake Factory and took desert back to the hotel.

The bank where the museum is in San Fran. There is also one in L.A.

One of the old stage coaches

Blackberry, old school.
(Thankfully, Matt DID leave his at my parents house.)

Grace Cathedral
We thought the gargoyle type things were pretty interesting on a church.

A cable car and the street that I am thankful we did not have to walk up. :)

Matt on the cable car waiting for the ride to begin.

The view back down the street from the top of the hill.
That's Bay Bridge in the back ground which goes to Oakland.

In front of the Painted Ladies in Alamo Park

At the Japanese Tea Garden

Beautiful landscape and architecture


**Day 6**

We traveled back to my parents' house and to the heat with great anticipation to see our girls. They did very well away from us for that length of time. When Chloe saw us she ran from way far away to give us hugs. She wouldn't let go of my neck for a while. We were so happy to be together again! After dinner with Mom and Dad and Amy, we drove the 3 1/2 hours home to a hot house and no A/C!! If only we'd known! But thank the Lord, it was repaired the next day.

Back in Texas

Thanks to my parents for watching the girls for us and providing a safe, comfortable place for them to stay. Thank you to everyone who supported us and prayed for us during our trip and our race!

3 comments:

Jules & Vern said...

It looks like you had a wonderful trip!! Thanks for sharing your pictures and narration with us. Yes, your girls were wonderful!! But we didn't know you were without AC when you got home. Poor things!!

Jaclyn said...

how fun! I am so impressed with your running skills, Mary! I am glad you had such a great time just you and your hubbie, and all your pics are awesome. You two make such a cute couple :)

Jon & Sally said...

Is it just me or does Mary look particularly BEAUTIFUL in this pics??
And no, I'm not just flattering you! I'm being honest!
I'm SO glad you enjoyed your time and that you and Matt enjoyed each other. :0)
I just have to admit that I'm a little JEALOUS!
I love you Mary, & I'm so proud of you guys! Way to go on your time!!!
Sally