Monday 2 April 2012

San Francisco and Seattle trip 2012

On 17 Feb 2012 we flew to the USA so Timothy could meet his grandparents and for a quick holiday in San Francisco. This post covers both our holiday and the last couple of weeks in March. It has taken a while to post this blog as we were busy almost as soon as we got back and unlike last time there was no free hotel wifi so to blog on the road.

The full photo album is available via the following link: San Francisco and Seattle trip 2012

Timothy's first flight was on the A380 from Sydney to Los Angeles and for the most part both kids behaved well. Unlike the last trip Jeremy did go to sleep without too much trouble, though he really did enjoy watching his "own" tv.

When we arrived at SFO we took the BART (which Jeremy did enjoy) and walked the short distance to our hotel, the Westin Market Street. We did go out for dinner and worked out that while the weather was ok during the day it was quite cold at night. The kids had a bit of trouble getting to sleep (and it took us a couple of days to get them in sync with US west coast time).

On the second day we purchased a MUNI passport from Hallide Plaza visitor centre (on the lower level - top tip as the queue is shorter than for the one near the cable car terminus).  Since we had cranky kids and didn't want to wait so long for the cable cars, we went to Market street to catch the F-line tram to wharf 39. We enjoyed a relaxed stroll through Pier 39 to see the sea lions and had clam chowder in the bread bowl. Then we took bus to Coit Tower and enjoyed beautiful views of the city. We ended the day with cable car ride back to Powell Street.

On the third day we spent most of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Jeremy loved the aquarium and the rainforest (ok mainly the frogs). The food place was expensive and the queue too long so a good tip is to bring your own.

Our last full day was spent at the Palace of Fine Arts (where we got some great photos). We also walked over to Crissy Field to get some great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. As Jeremy loved the cable cars so much we took the cable car again back to our hotel. Jeremy liked it so much he fell asleep halfway through the trip!

We were tired and were looking to checking into our next hotel. As the price doubled on the 4th night we only booked the Westin for 3 nights and booked in at the Hotel Milano (which was closer to our Amtrak pickup) for our last night. Hotel Milano was a mistake! They did not have us booked in for that night and had booked us for a night in January instead. The guy on the front desk was most unhelpful so we headed back to the Westin where our luggage was stored. We explained the situation to them and luckily they had a room spare for the night - at a similar price to our other nights. The new room was on the top floor which was cool. In the end we managed to sort out a full refund with Hotel Milano.

Our final day in San Francisco was spent walking around Chinatown where we had great yumcha at Yous Dim Sum on Broadway. At around 8.30pm we started the next leg of the journey up to Seattle. We were bussed to Emeryville where we caught the Coast Starlight train which would take us to Seattle the following night.

As it was after 10pm we were in bed asleep quite quickly and by the time we woke up we were already in Oregon and breakfast was being served. It was cool to sit down and watch Lake Klamath zip by. We spent most of the day in the family cabin except for lunch and Jeremy wanting to wander from one end of the train to the other.

Most of our 2 weeks in Seattle was quiet and relaxing. Both boys had a great time with their grandparents and the relatives we visited. We visited Pike Place market, though Jeremy was more interested in running around the park, and had a great coffee at Caffe D'arte nearby. Jeremy really enjoyed going to the Museum of Flight (we spent half a day there as he kept wanting to look at everything).

We had a good flight home (Jeremy fell asleep soon after takeoff) and grabbed a taxi very quickly upon arrival. Unfortunately, here were a number of surprises and unfinished jobs awaiting our arrival back home that have kept us quite busy.Those are, however, for another blog post...

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