A San Francisco Treat (ding, ding!)

Our next stop was a visit with Staffan’s cousin, Olof, his wife Brandy, and their sons Henrik and Lukas, who live outside of San Fransisco. As we drove south from the Albion River, following the directions on the GPS toward their address, we suddenly found ourselves approaching the Golden Gate Bridge! Except just before we got on it, really thick clouds rolled in and we couldn’t actually see very much of the bridge. It was sunny on both sides of the bridge, but on the bridge itself it was very cloudy and sprinkled a bit of rain. Everyone we shared that with smiled knowingly. Apparently in San Francisco, strange weather is the norm. But on top of that, it cost $18 in tolls to cross the bridge when towing a trailer. All in all, maybe not the experience of the Golden Gate that we had been expecting. But cross it we did.

Could be almost any bridge really…

Now there’s rainish-hail hitting our windshield. Where did that come from?

We spent several days in the Bay area, though it still seemed that there wasn’t enough time to do all the things we had talked about doing. Between the 4 kids and their different eating and sleeping schedules, and all the traffic and the time it took to get from one place to another, it seemed like we were always running out of time. But we did get to see some of the things we wanted to, and most important of all was to spend time with family that we rarely get to see. From that perspective it was a great visit!

Good thing this was a big chair! Everybody wanted to sit on my lap while we watched a little TV before bedtime.

Bath time!

We went to see Alcatraz Island and toured the old prison. It was an interesting tour, but not one I think I’d recommend to other families with small kids. It may be just fine for some kids, and Emelie was just a bit out of sorts in general on that day, but it was hard to keep her entertained even when she had her own audio tour headset to play with. They wouldn’t let her ride on Staffan’s shoulders because of low ceilings in some places, and the whole thing was just a breeding grounds for tantrums. If I had to do it over, I also would have brought a carrier for Peter and not tried to take the stroller on the tour of the building. It was just a hassle with finding elevators and not following the regular tour path. But again, it worked and I’m glad we didn’t miss it.

img_2111.jpgAlcatraz cell. Even the camper is more spacious than this!

Henrik and Emelie listening to the audio tour

Emelie acting up in the solitary confinement area… don’t tempt me!

Waiting in line for the boat back is much more fun with jumping contests. Almost too fun to stop and get on the boat!

Those famous San Francisco streets… big hills and cable cars

There was ample time for the kids to play, and to just take it a little easy. We drove on those famous hilly streets. Olof took us on a tour of where he works (more on that in another post). Emelie and Henrik (age 4) played at a playground together, and even at a grocery store that had a supervised play area for kids while the parents shop. Incidentally, Emelie got kicked out of the play area, mostly for bickering with Henrik, and really because the person working there did not seem to know anything about kids. Obviously, she should have been listening better, but in retrospect the whole thing seems funny because of how poorly the store employee handled it.

img_2187.jpgimg_2192.jpgAirplane races! 

Gotta get Lukas in there somewhere! Hi Lukas!

Proof of cousins spending time together! 

Who says playgrounds are just for kids?

Nice view of the bay and the city from their porch!

We had a great visit to San Francisco! Being there was a bigger treat than Rice-a-roni (ding ding!)

Speaking of treats! Yum!

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