Despite gloomy predictions the fog lifted on day two in San Francisco. We were finally rewarded with the eagerly awaited views of the Golden Gate Bridge. For some reason the boys had been talking about seeing the bridge for weeks, Luke and Joseph regularly asking on our long road trip "is that the Golden Gate Bridge". We took a drive over the bridge and enjoyed an amazing drive into the hills just over on the other side, it is amazing how quickly you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere once you exit the highway on the far side.
We have been staying very central and close to the harbour in San Francisco. Pier 39 is nearby and is filled with shops and restaurants and home to the famous pier 39 Sea Lions. As soon as you get anywhere near the pier you can hear the barking of the Sea Lions as the jostle for position on the old wooden jetties which are reserved for them to sunbathe on. The food here has been some of the most enjoyable, much less fast food chains. The local specialty is Clam Bake served in a bread bowl which was delicious.
We have also taken a walk up the very steep Telegraph Hill to see the Coit Tower which stands at the top, taken a drive down the "most crooked street in the world" and ridden San Francisco's other icon, the cable car.
This city has been a real highlight of this part of the trip. In general we have not found the cities on our trip to be great places (Ottawa, a small city, excepted) but San Francisco has been really enjoyable. Even the busier parts (downtown, Chinatown and the business district) are very pleasant places to take a walk.
On our last day on mainland USA we visited one of the prime views of the city from Alamo square and had a good long play at the children's playground in the Golden Gate Park (the first public playpark in the USA). Our last night is in a hotel close to the airport where we will once again try to shoehorn our vast pile of booty into the available luggage.
On the drive out to the airport I noticed that there were a lot of road signs directing San Jose. This wasn't the first time I'd noticed it, it was very clearly signed on the way into the city on Monday too. It makes me wonder what the whole problem with finding San Jose was.
Full San-Fran photos here.