Disembarking from our Alaska Cruise in San Francisco we walked (imagine 2 sweaty parents with 2 large backpacks pushing 2 kids in strollers while pulling 3 trolley suitcases) 6 blocks to Enterprise Rental (Beach St & Mason) as it seemed a better idea than waiting in line for a taxi cab with 200 follow cruise ship passengers. Enterprise picks you up if prearranged (24 hrs earlier, I guess) but we had no clue how long disembarkment will take and didn't call ahead.
The walk wasn't that bad and after some confusion (we should have called being 2 hours late, our full-size car was gone), we got a really, really big-ass 8-seater Chrysler something SUV as replacement. Fortunately our expansive luggage fit in well. ;-)
We immediately went to Golden Gate Bridge, passed it, parked on the North Viewpoint and walked the bridge. Then we shopped some food in Sausalito and drove to Golden Gate Park for a Picknick. Golden Gate Bridge Toll (North to South) was 6 $ - but we had to do it anyway.
We parked in the Golden Gate Park Museum Garage. It was an easy task (parking this big, big SUV isn't so much fun) and after a yummy picknick on a bench next to the fountains we headed to the playground. Tim had a great time. Sarah crawled on the lawn and we enjoyed the end of a sunny day.
Around 5 pm we headed to our Hotel, the Coventry Motor Inn at 1901 Lombard St. Hotel Check In was fast after parking in the Motor Inn Garage next to the elevator that brought as to our spacious and kid-friendly room. Our crib was already set up. Bathroom was big including bathtub. Everything was very clean. For dinner we choose Vietnamese takeout food over some great recommendations from the Hotel Frontdesk for kid-friendly restaurants all around the hotel. Food was great but too much. After a long day and bathing the whole family in the tub we went in bed early.
The next morning we had some cookies for breakfast and walked up the steep, steep San Francisco hills up to the German Consulat to apply for German passports for the kids. Everything went smoothly (all gazillion of documents where correct and there) and out we went up and down the hill to take the worldfamous cablecar ($ 5/person). It was a little challenge to get the double stroller, Sarah in her Graco carseat and Tim in, but we were lucky and the cablecar was not full at our stop and so we found a good spot inside. The driver commented that we picked a lucky day for trying to ride with 2 little kids. Tim made a new friend - Angelika from Dusseldorf (one of many, many German tourists we saw in SFO - yes, it's cheap with a strong Euro), telling her she had a long neck (hihi "Du, Frau - Du hast aber einen langen Hals"). We planned on a roundtrip ride but had to get out in Downtown. A long line of tourists already waited for a ride and we decided on a short lunch and a ride with Line 7 to Fishermen's Wharf.
We strolled around, saw sealions, Tim and I took a ride in the carousel, Tim got a milkshake. Our planned stop at Boudin Bakery for a Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Breadbowl got cancelled due to fullness from some great sandwiches earlier. We strolled the waterfront, passed 2 small parks and ended in our hotel room. For Dinner we went to Mel's Diner 2 blocks West on Lombard and had a good time. Tim loved the little paper cadillac he got with his meal. To take some use out of our rental car we drove down the Great Highway, made a stop on the beach next to the lighthouse for sunset and drove past some SFO neighborhoods on our way back to the hotel.
On our last day we went to iHop (3 blocks West on Lombard) for some great pancakes. Hotel Check Out was 12 pm so we used our last hours with a walk down Chestnut, had a stop at the Library there for a Toddler Storytime, the great, great Toddler playground next door (Chestnut & Buchanan) and packing our expansive luggage again. On the way back to our rental station we drove down the Crookedest Street (more a block than a street but...) on Lombard, just 9 blocks east of the Coventry Motor Inn. Enterprise called a Airport Shuttle for us ($ 15/person - kids free) and everything went great. We used the Alaska Quick CheckIn right in front of the Terminal (for $2/bag) as it seemed worth the extra money not to drag our kids + 7 pieces to the Check In Counter. Our flight home was a treat. Tim was so overly excited about flying that he slept through most of our flight and Sarah was happy climbing our laps (what is a 2 hour flight compared to 14 hours back to Germany). Back in Seattle we found our bags and got a taxi van that brought us home safe and sound.
Proud to mention that our SFO trip went without any complications - we had perfect weather (warm and sunny, but not too hot) - really a real treat - and Tim had no diapers and no accidents. Yeah!
Optimistic, curious, human bee.