Friday, May 02, 2008

Part two

Why in the world did we go to San Francisco? That seems to be a popular question. Here is why:

The plane tickets were free.

And, folks, when you get free airline tickets, you choose the most expensive place to fly and that is where you go.

That's not the only reason we chose SF. We also had never been before and wanted to see the sights.

Last summer, JCPenney and Dockers were having a promotional deal. If you spent $125 in men's clothing, you would get a free round-trip air ticket to one of ten destinations. The places were: Dallas, LA, Miami, New York, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Orlando, San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle. I had never been to Vegas or SF, all of the others I have visited. There were several on the list that Matthew had not been too, but he was willing to go wherever. We made our purchases (obviously $250 worth) and sent in our receipts. It actually worked out great, we were able to get Matthew some new school clothes and Father's Day and Christmas presents for all the men in our families.

A few months later, we got something in the mail asking us to list our top three spots. We chose, SF, New York, and D.C. We didn't pick Vegas because we knew we would have to take Elyn with us and thought that would be a better place for adults only.

Finally, after many, many months of waiting, a representative called and told me that she was ready to book our flights to SF! Yea!!!!! Only thing, we had to fly out of Tulsa (1 1/2 hours from our house) and we had THREE connections. Yikes! But, we were fine with that because, hey, it's free.

Fast forward to last Saturday morning. It's 5:30am and we are in line to check our bags. The lady helping us asks us if we are excited about going to San Diego. Ummm, no, we're excited about going to San Francisco. We hand her our itinerary to prove that we are indeed going to northern California. We figured the confusion was because we were supposed to fly from San Diego to San Fran and she just hadn't seen it.

Turns out we had a reservation on the flight from San Diego to San Francisco but no tickets.

That's what happens sometimes when you get free promotional tickets, I guess.

She told us that we needed to go ahead and go to our gate to catch our flight to Denver and once we arrived in Denver we would need to call the company that issued us the tickets and get everything straightened out.

Seriously? It is a SATURDAY, all contact was made through an email address that is a "no reply" address, I have no idea what the name of the company is (other than Dockers), and by the time we arrive in Denver, it will only be 7am-Boston time, where the company is located.

It wasn't looking good for us. On the way to the gate, Matthew said if all else failed, we would just buy tickets to San Francisco once we got to San Diego. So much for free.

We get to our gate and I go up to get tags to put on Elyn's carseat and stroller so we can check them before we get on the plane. The lady asks me how I am doing and I mumble something like, "Okay I guess. We were supposed to go to SF but now we don't have tickets."

Turns out she wasn't a lady at all but an angel in disguise. Because she worked a miracle.

She fixed our tickets AND cut out some of the connections so that once we arrived in Denver we flew directly to San Francisco. Which put us in SF TWO hours ahead of our original plan.

Her name is Melinda and I love her. I also love United Airlines. They are fantastic.

See how concerned Elyn was throughout this entire process.

Once we got to San Fran., we went to our hotel (which was GREAT), dropped off our bags and began our vacation.

Stop number one: China Town!

My cousin, Julie, told me that the best places to eat have ducks hanging in the windows. So, that is where we had our first meal. And it was pretty good...and cheap!

While in China Town, our guidebook mentioned a place that makes Fortune Cookies that is worth seeing. It is a literal hole in the wall and a literal sweatshop. They charged me 50 cents to take this picture. It was worth it though because we got a cookie too.

After our tour of China Town, we walked down to the Bay. The day was BEAUTIFUL!

Actually, it was a little warm. I had to disrobe Elyn for her to stop sweating. It doesn't look like she minded too much.

Here are some jumbled up cables that apparently make sense to the drivers.

All we did Saturday was travel, go to China Town, and walk around by the Bay. We were exhausted after our very long day.
On Sunday, we walked from our hotel (in Union Square...if that means anything to you) to Fisherman's Wharf to catch our ferry to Alcatraz. One the way, we stopped at a little cafe and had some AMAZING french toast. Elyn wasn't too interested in the breakfast.

Elyn is finally awake and so excited to see "The Rock"!

Alcatraz was very, very interesting! We thought it would be a quick 45 minute tour and then we would be on our way back to San Francisco. Three hours later, we finally decided to leave.

Alcatraz is now a National Park and a bird sanctuary. Click on the picture to make it bigger and see how many birds are hanging out there.

Once we left there, we went to Pier 39 for some seafood. Yum!!!!

Look at the seals! There were at least a hundred just hanging out by the pier. Apparently they live there.

We walked over to Hyde street and enjoyed the sunshine and the park for a little while.

Some crazies were enjoying the freezing water.

We also enjoyed some chocolate!

After leaving the park we decided to walk back to our side of town via Lombard street. Oh. my. goodness. I thought I was not going to make up the 90 degree incline they called a street. My legs were shaking by the time we reached Lombard St.

View from the top

View from the bottom.

And that wrapped up Sunday. I know, you're thinking, hey it's still light outside. You are very correct, it was still light outside. But, we had a tired baby with us that needed a bath and a bed. And, actually, her tired parents didn't mind calling it a night either. This ole' gray mare just ain't what she used to be.

Monday we woke up and rented a car. Matthew really wanted to go to the Muir woods (I had never even heard of them!) and see the big trees. The woods are right across from the Golden Gate Bridge. I had wanted to bike across the bridge (another recommendation from my cousin), but we decided to take the lazy man's way and drive. It was just as pretty and a lot less windy.

The Muir Woods. Yes, they are so big trees. And we went on quite a hike to see them. Matthew kept wanting to turn back because the trail we were on wasn't even on the map. Being determined (or stubborn...whichever one you want to use) I insisted that we keep going. After about 40 minutes of hiking, I said, okay, let's turn back. Good thing we did. We were on a trail that was over 4 miles long.

And that's our trip. To get caught up on the rest of it, look at the post below this one.

It was a wonderful time!

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Danna Ramsey said...

I've been living vicariously through Chandra, now it's your turn! Your trip looks "awesome"! ha ha
It sounds like Elyn did so much better than any of mine would have! :-)

Nicola said...

I just love reading your posts, Dallas! Sounds like you had a great time. I can't believe you did so much in so little time... and with Elyn to boot!

Julie said...

cute pictures. i appreciate the "shout out" glad you guys had fun & you are looking super skinny in those pictures!

Chandra said...

What a fun trip! And beautiful weather to boot! It looks like so much fun--we went to SF years ago and didn't see half of what you guys saw. I'm glad your free tickets worked out, too! (Side note, how do you get your pictures to blow up when you click on them?)

Hello blog buddies! It's me, Crouse! said...

how fun! you look so great, dallas, and elyn is soooooooooo cute! i love the red hat. glad you guys had so much fun...

thanks also for explaining the randomness of the trip to the rice-a-roni trip (do you get it? the san francisco treat. BTW, did you eat any while you were there???)

Amy S. said...

You guys packed so much into three days! Sounds like it was a lot of fun. Makes me want to go there!!

Supabloggasuprememama said...

thid was a great post! I loved seeing what all you did! wonderful!!

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