Summer 2009 Trip

San Francisco Travel Blog

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On June 25th 2009 my husband & I left the comfort of our home in Kona to fly to California for our nephews wedding. Our trip was only 5 days, but that's okay. We landed in San Francisco & checked in to the Red Roof Inn in Burlingame, which is about 3 miles south of the airport. The hotel was comfortable, clean & quiet. They have a 24 hour restaurant called "Leanne's" and you get generous portions for your money. I'll never forget this first night as we turned on the news and learned that pop star Michael Jackson and actress Farrah Fawcett had both died that same day.

The next morning we found ourselves going over the bridge to Hayward. This part of the trip was a blur as we drove north & passed through many small cities and towns. I believed we drove through San Ramon & stopped for lunch at the local In-and-Out burger joint. It seemed like everyone in town was there that day. But since we don't have In-and-Out here in Hawaii, it was worth it. The drive was a long one for me, roughly 7 hours. We drove on through Walnut Grove and eventually Sacramento to finally get to our destination in Folsom.

The wedding was held in Orangedale which is close to Folsom. Unfortunately we never did see the famous prison that Johnny Cash sung about. There didn't seem to be much in Folsom. Our hotel was the Larkspur Landing and it was gorgeous. It was very hot while we were there...well into the triple digits. I was really bummed that the hotel did not have a swimming pool. They had a workout room and a hot tub instead. A brand name shopping mall was within walking distance, as well as an assortment of fast food restaurants, a movie theater & a gas station.

After the wedding, which was intimate & fun, we visited relatives in Sacramento for the afternoon and headed north towards Napa Valley & San Rafael. We stayed with my sister-in-law in San Rafael which was very nice. Unfortunately we didn't have any time to explore Napa Valley but the weather and temperature was much cooler to my great relief. Even though I live on a tropical island, we never get temperatures going into the 100's, so it's very walking around in a convection oven.

On our last full day we decided to take in the sights of San Francisco. This would be my 4th trip to this city, and I found myself still enjoying it as much as I did during my first visit when I was 10 yrs. old. This visit was also an anniversary present to ourselves. My brother-in-law highly recommended us to see the "Exploratorium" but it's closed on Mondays. So we visited Golden Gate Park and saw the King Tut exhibition at the De Young Museum. We also enjoyed walking around the park and visited the Flower Conservatory even though this too was closed on Mondays. We also walked around the Botanical Gardens. The weather that day was partly overcast and chilly.

After the exhibit we ate lunch at a pizza parlor on Geary street and drove to the "Vista Lookout" for a beautiful & breathtaking view of the city. It was very windy up there and the cold wind seems to blow right through your clothes. We also visited the Palace of Fine Arts, Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge park. The gift shop is one of the best I've visited and it sits right next to the toll booth on the bridge! After a nice home cooked meal back at my sister-in-laws, it was a nice ending to our California summer trip.

As I end my story I must say that Iwas especially impressed with the San Francisco airport. They have a monorail system that takes you from the terminal to the rental car area which was very convenient. When you return your car, you get back on the monorail, which takes you back to the terminal. I also have to admit that the security check point at the San Francisco airport is the best. The lines were long but moving at a very brisk pace. We got to our departure gate almost an hour before our departure time.

If we ever return to San Francisco, I'd really like to visit Alcatraz Island and take the tour. I also wouldn't mind visiting the Exploratorium and even re-visiting China Town for the shopping. But as I sit here enjoying today's beautiful Kona sunset, I am reminded of the age old saying: "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

The End


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