Bay Area Recap!

Last week, Daniel and I headed up to the Bay Area to see the Giants game at AT&T Park. It is the second year I have treated myself to a game in SF (and Daniel was really along for the ride since he is an Angels fan).

We started out on Wednesday April 9 and decided to leisurely head up the coast. Along the way we stopped at the Camarillo Outlets to use the restroom and stretch our legs. We stopped for a late lunch/dinner in Paso Robles and by then we started to think about where we wanted to spend the night. One option was to head up to the Bay to get a hotel, but I thought it would be nicer to stay near Santa Cruz. We lucked out since it was spring break and managed to get the last room at the Holiday Inn Express in Watsonville. The room was nice – the last room turned out to be a suite (at regular room rate!) but the walls were paper thin and I could here one of our neighbors practicing his guitar chords.

The next day we set off for San Francisco. The only pre-booked hotel we had was a Hotwire deal near Fisherman’s Wharf which turned out to be the Sheraton. Before leaving the area, I did do a quick drive by of Forest of Nisene Marks State Park – home to the 1989 Loma Prieta Epicenter just to see if it looked like an easy hike to the epicenter. I can’t wait to get back to the area to actually hike to the epicenter sign. Simple pleasures I guess..

When we finally reached San Francisco, it was time for lunch so we met up with my friend Mark who works in SF. We had a great lunch at the brewpub near his office and it was real nice to catch up. I do wish I had longer – perhaps an A-V style party is in order!! Daniel and I had some time to kill so we decided to head up to the Marin Headlands to get some photos of the Golden Gate Bridge and then walked around the Presidio to see if the Walt Disney Family Museum had anything new in the store and to look at some of the free exhibits. I was disappointed with the magnet collection at the Visitors Center, but I did manage to get an E-Ticket magazine for the Submarine Voyage at Disneyland.

From there, we headed to our hotel to check in and rest a bit before grabbing some dinner and heading off to the game. We left just a bit later than I wanted and it cost us as we missed out on the free scarf they were giving out at the game. Thankfully, I had pre-registered for “Farewell to the ‘Stick” night and received a replica of Candlestick Park. The game was good for the most part until we lost it on an error in the later innings. We did get some free baseball as the game went into extra innings, but sadly the Giants eventually lost to the Diamondbacks. After the game, we crashed back at the hotel.

On Friday, we slept in and then headed to meet up with my Aunt. My other relatives had given me stuff to take to her so we did the usual box exchange at her house. From there, we had lunch in Novato before heading around the North Bay back to the East Bay where we decided to hike on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It was a 7 mile round trip hike from the trailhead in Oakland, but it was well worth it as I got to get up close with the old bridge and really take in the scenery. I was heasitant, but I am glad that we did it! We then headed to our favorite store, Flight 001. We have been to the Berkeley store before and it was nice to pop in again. After a fancy dinner at the Outback we found a relatively inexpensive Residence Inn for our final two nights.

Saturday was spent with some friends all day. We walked around the neighborhood and just had fun playing games and hanging out. After Outback on Friday and all the good food on Saturday, I was stuffed by the time we got back to the Hotel!!

On Sunday, it was time to head home, but first I decided to go visit my grandparents grave all the way up in Paradise. It was a long 3 hour drive up there from where we were staying, but in the end, I was glad I did it. It’s nice and peaceful up in that part of the state and I do miss it. On the way back home we stopped to visit with Matt and Steve in Sacramento. It was too short of a visit and I wish we had more time to eat and socialize but we had to get back on the road. The rest of the ride home was pretty uneventful and just before midnight we finally made it back home. The final tally was 5 days, 27 California Counties, and 1400 miles. A pretty good road trip, but alas never long enough!