ANNOUNCEMENT! Active posting at this site has ended (no more picture room). Please continue reading Smith Stories at You'll be automatically redirected to the new site in "
"seconds unless you CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

San Francisco 2010: Travel Day and Day One

I feel like I owe it to the Karma Gods to start off by saying how pleasantly surprised I was with how well the logistics of this trip came together! Josh's travel was taken care of by work since he was going to be spending the majority of his time working... For my flight, however, we definitely went with the cheapest option. This happened to be AirTran. We have never had a really bad experience with them, but we just haven't been overwhelmed. I started to panic after checking in Thursday about my very short layover in Atlanta. The wonderful pilots managed to get us landed early and my arrival and departure gates were next door! Whew! I had plenty of time to grab dinner, change clothes since the first flight was freezing, and get on the plane without feeling super rushed. My long flight from Atlanta to San Francisco went really well. I was surrounded by a very nice block of people. I had a very sweet older couple next to me. There was a couple traveling with their sons (the oldest was only one week younger than Jackson--that was a little hard to start out with him there the whole time reminding me of J-Man!). Then there were a few single travelers mixed in who were just very nice. I thoroughly enjoyed my aisle seat and the fact that I was only in charge of myself :) I did make friends with the little boy in front of me--he and his baby brother were such good travelers on this long flight! I was quite impressed--it erased all my worries about my measly flight to Chicago in a couple of weeks with Jackson!
Josh's and my flights were due to arrive within a couple minutes of each other, and they did! (Just to recap, I departed Reagan National Airport at 4:35pm EST (1:35pm PST) and arrived in San Francisco at 9:30 (ish) PST, which is 12:30 (ish) EST!) Woo hoo! We checked out our rental car without much of a wait and headed off to check into our hotel. I had struggled when picking a hotel because we weren't going to spend tons of time in the room, but I really wanted a decent place to enjoy all of this sleeping in I had ahead of me... :) We chucked the possibilities of staying at some of the super cheap hotels because the reviews complained about things I really couldn't get over (if they were true). We ended up staying at The Knights Inn (the reviews were mixed but the negative reviews were things like people complaining about the type of breakfast pastry). I was so nervous until we unlocked the door, and then I breathed a huge sigh of relief! It was perfect! Far from fancy, but it was definitely enough space for the two of us, cozy and homey feeling (in a good way), and plenty clean. Phew! They were weirdly strict about the free continental breakfast (ONE cup of juice, ONE cup of coffee, and ONE pastry. You could not take the food up to your room, and you were seriously discouraged from wasting. Yeah, there was a woman handing out pastries and watching the juice and coffee!), but that's not a huge blip on my radar. It was free after all. There was also free parking and free Wi-Fi--big bonuses!

We enjoyed sleeping "late" until 9am-ish. Keep in mind this is noon-ish on the East coast! The time difference was pretty wild, but we both did fine with it. We started out the day by walking to Fisherman's Wharf. We were a GOOD couple miles from the Wharf, but after a long day of traveling before-hand, and the beautiful weather, we headed out. We got to the Wharf just in time for lunch and had clam chowder in bread bowls at Boudin Bakery. The food was delicious! After lunch we walked out on to one of the wharfs and enjoyed the views of the fog rolling across the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. It was so neat to see the effect it had! We headed to Ghirardelli Square next and relaxed and people watched a bit. We enjoyed some yummy samples from different shops and scoped out the ice cream parlor at Ghirardelli :) We were thinking of spending the whole day in the Wharf area and then stopping in Chinatown on the way back to the hotel for dinner. But, we were starting to get pretty tired so we decided to head back to the hotel, rest, and then head back out for dinner. We ended up walking all the way back to the hotel, so we definitely earned our rest!

We changed our plan from Chinatown to somewhere in North Beach--Little Italy. I checked a lot of restaurants online while Josh napped, and I finally picked one. We drove into North Beach and found the restaurant pretty easily. We sat down and looked at the menu, and it was not at all what I had expected! So, we left! We hadn't even placed drink orders, so we started wandering down the street and found exactly what I had wanted at Trattoria Volare Caffe. We got a great table by a window (the windows were almost floor-length, and open, so it was like eating half-way outside). We split pesto gnocchi and a fried seafood dish that had a few different things--all really yummy! After driving back to Ghirardelli Square to wander around, we decided to go in search of and In-n-Out for a milkshake. We wanted a drive-through so we drove where the GPS sent us...and, no In-n-Out :( We tried a couple more times and ended up at good old McD's! LOL It was still delicious! We drove back to the hotel and enjoyed our second kid-free evening planning our second full day!

A bit out of order: rewind to the beginning of our travel day (Thursday). My mom and I had a great time getting everything set for her to hang out with Jackson while we were gone :) We all drove to Quantico to drop off Pax--the Buerstattes were kind enough to have Pax over for another puppy sleepover while we were doing our thing. Then we came back to Springfield and met Susie and Rachel for a quick lunch before coming home to lay Jackson down for a nap. I was glad I left during nap time so I didn't have to watch him watch me leave! Apparently he didn't seem to really notice we were gone! I will skip being offended, and be thrilled that he did so well with Mimi :)

No comments: