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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Dad gets his own way in the end!

Dad decide there was no way he was leaving without seeing Lombard street so we all got up early, packed our things and headed out onto the street to hail a cab.

The driver took us to Lombard Street but not only that........He drove us down it!!

And this is it

We got out to take photos and then got another Taxi back to the hotel to collect our bags and car.

One last job for the Sat-Nav as we drove to the airport to return the car and fly home.

After a slight rearrangement of luggage to balance the weight we were away.

What a fantastic adventure we had.  We were treated like royalty, we relaxed with friends, we were kept safe, we saw all that we set out to see.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Thanks for joining us on our travels we can now resume normal blogging service!


We had a great time on pier 29, we ate at the Hard Rock cafe and watch the sealions in the bay.

We decided to take a ride on the trams.  The queue was quite long....well one hour long to be precise. After queuing for one hour Calvin informed us that we only needed to go two stops because he wanted to see Lombard Street.
(I'll show you that later)

There was no way the kids were going to allow this to happen, they were not waiting for one hour to ride 3 minutes down the road.

They won this debate and Dad sacrificed his visit to Lombard Street, we told him it would look exactly like the picture in the guide book and that would have to do.

It was a really fun ride and we got off at Union Square where we ate ice cream and cheesecake before walking back to our hotel.

We really enjoyed our day in an San Francisco and got back to our room before the nightlife hit the streets. 

Junior Ranger

Here is Martha being sworn in as a Junior Ranger after completing her booklet whilst on Alcatraz.

The over excited tour guide who took our photos had tried to insist on the boys participating in this activity with very little success!

Escape From Alcatraz

So here we are walking back down to the ferry.........reading Martha's Junior Ranger Book

Next thing I know...........Faceplant onto the concrete.

Feeling somewhat faint and very bruised and a bit embarrassed I lay still while the Ranger's fearing a law suit radio for the ambulance and first aiders!!!!!

This is well documented as Gareth, who was too embarrassed to associate with me, decided to take as many pictures as possible.

If we were trying to escape with minimum fuss.......we failed!


With some trepidation we hailed a taxi for the wharf area of the San Francisco.  We had a piece of paper and a credit card receipt for the boat ride over to Alcatraz and the tour but it had no time on it and we couldn't contact the tour company.

Once at the desk the man man processed our booking and all was well, the 10 o'clock ferry was about to board and we were booked on it. 

Here is the island of Alcatraz, it was a beautiful sunny morning but very windy!
It was really interesting to realize that whilst there was a prison on the island the warder's families lived on the island too, with the children taking the ferry across to the mainland for school every day.

The tour guide was very excited to welcome us all onto the island and insisted on taking 
several photos of us.  
Martha is holding the prison keys

We took the audio tour which was fascinating. It explained all of the areas and what went on and gave a detailed account of the escape attempts and riots.

  I wasn't sure what to expect or whether Martha would enjoy this but it was very well done and we all went at our own speed and controlled our own tours.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Two different worlds

After leaving the Jernigan's and Yosemite after a bit of shopping, 
we headed off to San Francisco for the final part of our trip.

Before hitting the city we made a stop at the Oakland Temple and had a stroll around the rooftop walkway.  It gives a great view of the city and once again that feeling of peace and calm. 

That feeling would soon leave us as we met with the rush hour traffic.  
Some good friend's back home had lent us the much needed "satnav" and it really came into play here and took us straight to our hotel.

Calvin had researched this place. 
The Whitcomb Hotel
This is the foyer!

It was a homely room and a haven away from the busy city streets.  
This was the first time we had been away from friends on this trip and in such a foreign environment to us we needed that place to come back to.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

We Made It (with a lot of help from our friends)

We went back to town after the train to get dry socks, eat some of last nights left over pizza and buy SNOW CHAINS!

By the time we got back to the park it had stopped snowing and the roads were clear!

Martha and the Gruffalo took the opportunity to make a snowman. 

Can you believe this is us just a couple of hours after the train ride?

The views were every bit as spectacular as we were lead to believe.  
I especially liked the waterfalls.

The break in the weather allowed us to see all of the keys sights that we set out to see.


The roads started to get worse and worse and we pulled over for our Hero, Dave ably supported by Amy, to put the chains on and drive.  

We made it back to the entrance gate and then the roads were much clearer.
But it had taken us over 2 hours to do the normal 40 minute journey back down to the town.

We really did rely on our friends for this whole day, they are much more used to this kind of weather.
I don't think that without them we would have had such a good time in Yosemite.
Thank you so much Dave and Amy.

Christmassy Adventure

It was raining as we left the hotel and we were worried that we wouldn't get the great views that we were hoping for.
Then the Rangers turned us away before we got to the entrance because we had no snow chains!
It was beginning to look like we wouldn't see any of the park at all.

We decided to take a ride on this train so that we had at least done something for the day.

It was so cold but so magical.  It was truly a winter wonderland, it felt like something from a film set.
Thanks to the Dave and Amy who supplied extra coats as we had only packed for the desert heat.

It is hard to believe that this is the same holiday!

Yosemite Here We Come

We left the Jernigan's beautiful cabin home to travel to Yosemite National Park.

We checked in to our hotel and then headed straight out to see the giant Sequoia trees.
They really are something else.

This is the tunnel tree.

We really loved the hotel in Oakhurst (Best Western)  It had a pool which Martha and Ross used that first night.