Sunday, February 23, 2020

California, Here I Come!

I haven't seen the grandkids in.... forever! (Oh, and heck... I haven't seen my kids in...forever - but they don't really count anymore!)

So I booked a trip to San Fran, and included my B.F.F. in my plans. I decided I would present her with a "Grand Tour" by the Pride Travel Company.  Our motto is "Travel with Pride"!  (In the event you didn't know... my last name is Pride!)

This trip was called the San Francisco Sojourn.

Each evening I presented my B.F.F. with an overview of the coming day, similar to what one receives on her pillow on a cruise, perhaps without the chocolates! I think she loved the surprises that awaited her. We had so much fun, and there were so many things to do. Here are some excerpts from our travels. I am thinking you will wish you were part of this tour as well!

Day 1
February 5, 2020

Wishing you smooth skies on the first day of your San Francisco Sojourn! 

Tomorrow you will make your way to the Manchester Airport for your flight to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. 

My B.F.F. and I connected at the BWI airport. We hugged, and smiled, and boarded the flight to San Fran together. We watched videos on the iPad, and snapped a few photos of my former home in Parker, Co as we flew by. Wow! How amazing that my old home was right down there...under our wings!!! Do you see it?!

On our second day, we took it easy! We had breakfast in Point Richmond, looked at historic buildings, and then enjoyed Mahjong with friends. Oh.... my B.F.F. had the opportunity to experience online grocery shopping and delivery....something she has not experienced in her small town in NH.

Day 3

We went to visit the grandkids. I warned her!

We will escort the clan to a kid-centric venue;
Your choice of the following:
Oakland Zoo
The Lawrence Hall of Science
The Tilden Little Farm
The Chabot Space & Science Center

You’ll enjoy(?) the antics and abounding energy of 
the pre-schooler provocateur and her toddler, and some sort of lunch.

She chose the zoo. Following lunch we explored some fabric and art shops, had a nice, decadent hot chocolate before returning and watching the kids for the evening so their mum and dad could have a date night. 

My DIL texted to ask how the kids were enjoying the dinner we made for them.
My response was this picture:

Our version of Mac and cheese was well received, and they even ate some veggies and sausage.

Following dinner it was bath time. 

We managed to keep most of the water in the tub.

Day 4

Your day will begin with breakfast at 8:30 AM at the Bayside Cafe near Sausalito, CA. 

Following breakfast you will enjoy a drive through Mill Valley to the Muir Woods National Monument. You will have the opportunity to hike among the towering, old-growth redwood trees. 

The woods were lovely, dark and deep...
and we traveled on to Mission San Rafael Arcangel in San Rafael.

Sunday was mostly a day of rest. 

Well... after I ran out to the hardware store to get pvc pipe to make the frame for the quilted tent I had made for the littles. 
Well... after a quick vacuum and clean up.
Well... after a quick trip to IKEA (is that ever "quick"??!!) to get authentic (?) Swedish food for dinner!
Well... after a visit to the Rosie the Riveter National Historic park.
Well... after preparing and enjoying dinner with the kids (who LOVED the tent!)

PS: I found a way to get K to eat Swedish meatballs after showing him the only way to eat them was by dunking them in lingonberry sauce first! I think he ate 8 or more!

Day 6

Today will be another busy day presenting you with a variety of experiences in the hills and valleys to the north of Richmond… and beyond!

Your car will depart at 8:20 AM and take you to Fairfield, CA where you will participate in an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Jelly Belly Factory at 9:30 AM. The guided tour leads visitors through the factory for an up close and personal experience like no other! Participants must wear long pants, socks and shoes.

Following the tour you will be driven past historic vineyards in Napa wine country, Your destination is the V. Sattui winery in St. Helena, CA. Here you will make your selections for a picnic lunch on the winery grounds.  

Following lunch you will head into the hills to the the west for a 1:30 PM tasting tour at Pride Mountain Vineyards.  

Of course, we had to peruse the gift shop and partake in samples so we would know just what to purchase! 

We Dreamers stumbled upon V Sattui some years ago
The deli has the most amazing food.
The day was perfect for a picnic in the lovely setting around the winery.

Of course, we enjoyed our tour of Pride Mountain Vineyard, and had to partake in tastes from their barrels. We enjoyed a few extra tastes as the assistant to the wine maker wanted our feedback on two wines that were to be bottled the next day.

Day 7

You have been looking across the bay at the city of San Francisco for almost a week. Today you will venture into the city to see many of the sites close up. 

You will take the 8:40 AM Richmond Ferry to the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

From nearby, you will catch a “Hop-on Hop-off” bus tour that will take you to many of the notable San Francisco locations. 

And of course, we had to take the Powell/Hyde cable car to the top of Lombard street so that we could walk down the steepest street in San Fran. The views were magnificent!

We ventured into the bowels of the earth to catch Bart over to Oakland. After a stop for tea along College Avenue we ventured over to the kids' house for hugs and good-byes.

We enjoyed a fantastic dinner with my younger son and the other grandmother, and then returned to the sojourn home to pack and prepare for our early (3:45 AM) departure.

It was a most memorable week. We had fantastic weather... every day! We saw a lot, we ate a lot and had a ton of fun!

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