Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Day 19: San Francisco

Our first morning in San Francisco started off with a noteworthy continental breakfast with warm cinnamon buns, muffins, sausage and eggs. The crew was relieved to have a slow and relaxing morning, not having to meet until 9:45am. The past few mornings have been very early, so a little extra sleep was much appreciated! 

We boarded the bus with a local tour guide, Linda, who escorted the group through "The City by the Bay". She educated the group on the diverse neighborhoods, the history of the city including past earthquakes and fires, and the different cultures that are prominent throughout. The landmass of the San Francisco is a mere 46.9 square miles and is the smallest county in California. Though the landmass is small, it is the second most densely populated city in the U.S. behind New York City. 

(Holy Virgin Cathedral)

(Burger Urge, Haight Street)

About halfway through the tour we reached the top of Twin Peaks, the highest point overlooking the city. I'm sure the view would be incredible on a clear day, but we were welcomed by thick fog and chilly air. We were at the Twin Peaks just long enough to take a few misty pictures. 

(View from Twin Peaks)

Typical San Francisco weather :)

Later on in the tour, we made a stop at the Lands End Lookout visitor center with views of the Pacific, wild flowers, hills and ruins of Sutro Baths. 

(Sutro Bath ruins)

Our guided tour continued from the furthest point west in San Francisco toward Golden Gate Park. At the end of the tour, we were dropped off on the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The group embarked on a windblown hike to the north side of the bridge toward Saulsalito. The windchill made the walk a cold one but that didn't stop the group from enjoying it. 

The most amazing part of the walk was spotting at least 4 or 5 whales swimming near the Golden Gate Bridge. This was such a rare and unusual sight! I heard a student say "it was on my bucket list to see a whale in the wild." It was definitely an unforgettable and special experience. 

(Whale tail)

Once we arrived at the north side of the bridge, the bus met and drove us into the heart of Saulsalito. This cute town overlooks the bay with restaurants, shops and a small marina. The weather was much warmer with clear blue skies on the mainland. The crew spread out for lunch before loading the bus back to Fisherman's Wharf.

(Pizza parlor for lunch)

After a little afternoon free time, we loaded the bus for AT&T Park to watch a Major League Baseball game, the San Francisco Giants versus the Colorado Rockies. The stadium was packed and the crowd was rowdy! The crew seemed to feed off the ballpark atmosphere and even sang along to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." A baseball game is never complete without a hot dog or snacks and our crew certainly had their fair share. AT&T Park is known for its delicious food, especially the garlic fries, and man did they smell good! The game ended with a home team victory, 5-1. Go Giants!

(3 strikes you're out!)

Stayed tuned for another adventurous day in San Francisco tomorrow!

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