The kids and I left Minnesota to head to San Francisco today. We had to connect in Denver and actually had to run to catch our connecting flight. We were the second to last people on the flight. Initially we were not sitting together but a flight attendant was able to have someone move seats so Rachel could sit with me.
We arrived at SFO on time. Unfortunately we had to wait a while for our bags. While we were waiting I realized that the information desk could load Clipper cards. So while we waiting for our bags I loaded our Clipper cards with some money. This turned out to be a smart move as by the time we got to the BART station there was a huge line of people waiting to buy transit tickets. My kids LOVE riding public transit. My husband currently has a list of all the public transit systems the kids have ridden across the world, so we will have to add the BART to this list.
We took the BART to the Montgomery Street station which was right outside of our hotel, the Palace Hotel. My husband and I got married outside of San Francisco and this was the hotel we stayed at. Unfortunately when we got married there was a city wide hotel workers strike and there were picketers outside the hotel. Our stay this time seems as it will be much nicer – no picketers, eighth floor, and view over New Montgomery street.
After we checked in we dropped off our bags and then took the F line streetcar to the Bay Street station. There we caught a 5:55pm night tour to Alcatraz. It was very cold on the island. We enjoyed the tour and then took the ferry back to San Francisco at 8:40. When we got back to the city we were very lucky as our F line street car had just arrived at the station.
We then headed back towards the hotel….but since none of us had really had a proper meal since this morning we took the street car one stop farther so we could eat at California Pizza Kitchen. By this time we were starving!
After dinner we headed back to the hotel and waited for my husband. Fortunately his flight landed 40 minutes early. We had not seen him since Saturday night so we were all anxious to be reunited.
Tomorrow morning we are all sleeping in and will then site see around San Francisco.
100 days to go, 100 days to dream. Time is seeming to fly super fast now. I have dreams regularly about our trip. I have a few smaller trips between now and then which will really make the time go by fast.
What is left to do? Well, most everything is paid for already in regards to lodging. The only places that are not fully paid for yet are our place in Nelson and our place in Auckland. I plan to pay for Nelson on May 1 and Auckland on June 1. We also have one hotel room that we have not paid for yet. Other than that, all hotels/apartments have been paid for so we won’t have that expense when we return. That is usually the biggest travel expense and it has been nice to spread it out over the last few months.
Airfare – fully paid for. We bought our tickets over to Australia/New Zealand using frequent flyer miles so those were relatively cheap. But I had to buy flights within Australia and New Zealand. I bought those in the fall once I knew our itinerary.
In regards to car rentals – one has been prepaid and two I was not able to prepay. And honestly I can’t find a better rate than what I booked so those probably won’t be prepaid before we go. I can deal with that though.
Activities are mostly all booked and paid for. This month I can book our Alcatraz tickets (yes we are spending a day in San Fran before we go) and our Sydney Observatory tickets. Our lodging in Sydney is right next to the Observatory so we will do that one night. I have two excursions booked but I cannot pay for them yet as they could be cancelled if the weather does not cooperate. I call those excursions the Pandy Excursions. Pandy was my great aunt that passed away in November but she taught me that you only live once and sometimes in life you need to splurge. So those two excursions, if they happen, I will dedicate to her since they will be our splurges. In fact, my motto on our trip will be “What would Pandy do?”.
I still can’t believe we have reached the 100 day milestone. It seemed so far away when I booked our first plane ticket at 330 days away. My brother gets married in 33 days and then the kids get out for the summer in 71 days. Those two countdowns will make the countdown to our trip fly.