Travel – SF and the NAPA Valley: Bay Area Adventure

The Golden Gate bridge; perhaps the most identifiable structure associated with San Francisco. Photo taken during our last full day in the Bay Area. There is so much more to the Bay Area to see and do. This was probably 15 to 30 minutes of our trip.

R Dub recently tagged along with Beth on a continuing education trip to the Bay Area of California. Pre-COVID19 travel restrictions we frequently took advantage of these continuing ed opportunities. Austin TX in February 2018, San Diego CA in June 2018, and Orlando FL in February 2019 was the last education trip prior to this one.

Continuing education credits in 2020 and into 2021 were all on-line. Beth and I studied together in our home participating in Zoom type courses during that time frame. This course also had an online option, we’re glad we pulled the trigger on this trip. We vacillated right up until the day before our flight out.

This trip was especially rewarding because we each have daughters who live in the Bay Area. Madison lives in San Francisco proper and Riane in American Canyon. Neither of them get back to Wisconsin very often due to work schedules and the uncertain nature of post COVID air travel.

This was a wonderful opportunity to see them both while fulfilling a business need. Thankfully both girls were able to accommodate our visit. Madison attended classes with Beth during the day, while Riane took time off to be with us most of the days we were there.

Here’s a pictorial of our most recent way out of town adventure.

The Giants hosted a playoff game the day that we arrived. Downtown parking was more limited and more expensive than normal. I had to take an unattractive photo of this Public Parking sign with a temporary cost adjustment of $110 for event parking!

$110 to park for the Giants playoff game versus the LA Dodgers. That’s a little more the Beth and I payed for each of our tickets to see the Brewers versus the Braves just a few days earlier!
The Bay Bridge during rush hour…who are we kidding it’s always rush hour in SF. This bridge is just as impressive and beautiful as the Golden Gate, but the planners chose to cover the orange primer with finishing paint.
The global shortage of ‘stuff’. We drove near this shipyard where massive amounts of overseas containers waited to be unloaded, while massive amounts of ships carrying more overseas containers wait off shore to come in…
R Dub sitting poolside at the VRBO doing some work on his laptop while Beth is taking some medical continuing education classes on day one.
Beth and Maddie clowning around by the pool after classes were over. Charley Berens would be proud of Beth’s attire that day.
Sunset over the Bay as we head toward NAPA Valley for our first evening out with Maddie and Riane.
Riane and R Dub at the Sky and Vine Rooftop Bistro. We had adult beverages and casual dining. Aircraft from the local air force base flew over us on night maneuvers, that was pretty cool.
Day 2, Ri took us to her work at Guide Dogs for the Blind. Due to COVID19 protocols we were not allowed too close to the dogs, but we did get a nice tour of the many buildings on campus.
Ri works in the nursery. Must be rough, playing with (um I mean socializing) puppies all day. Well…that’s a small portion of her work. Caring for the breeding dogs and their pups is paramount.
As depicted on the mural above the puppy center. Labradors and other retrieving breeds make up the bulk of the dogs bred and trained to assist sight challenged clients.
We were surprised to see a giant sequoia tree on campus.
Sonoma county California is known for its wineries, but it is also home to Lagunita’s Brewery. We stopped for samplers before heading up to NAPA valley to wine and dine.
The smiles say it all. A great trip for learning and seeing the girls.
Next stop, Alcatraz Island.
A great view of SF from Alcatraz Island.
Downtown SF from Alcatraz Island.
Masks were required inside of all SF buildings, but the cold wind made them functional to Ri for more than just the virus.
Ri reading a newspaper while posing on the ‘facilities’ in one of the prison cells.
A view of the outdoor commons area where inmates played baseball and other physical activities when allowed out of their cells.
Maddie and Geoff leading the way during the walking tour. We all had communication devices that narrated the history and infamous inmates during the years this prison was in service.
Alcatraz Island in the rear-view mirror of the ferry that took us to and from the island.
After some long walks around Alcatraz we all headed to Emmy’s Pasta Shack on Mission Street in SF. We enjoyed specialty mixed drinks and pasta at one of their outdoor tables.
The Intercontinental Hotel, SF. Our final evening stay.
Psychic Readings by Bartender…you know, for those times when you can’t wait until after your psychic reading to go to the bar…
Got this nice photo of the Trans America building, perhaps the second most recognizable structure in SF on our final full day there. We walked around the neighborhood near our hotel while waiting for our personal tour guide to pick us up in front of the Intercontinental Hotel.
One can’t say that SF sprawls. Perhaps so, but it is a quite compacted sprawl.
The best way to see an adventure locale? With a private tour guide, of course! This Jeep seats 6.
The Painted Ladies, most of us recognize them from the opening credits of Full House. n American architecture, painted ladies are Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings repainted, starting in the 1960s, in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. The term was first used for San Francisco Victorian houses by writers Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their 1978 book Painted Ladies: San Francisco’s Resplendent Victorians.[1]
A great view of the bay from a neighborhood known as billionaire row. Most homes are owned by Silicon Valley moguls, some are owned by ‘old money’ and according to our tour guide, the home seen just off Maddie’s right shoulder belongs to Diane Feinstein.
Of course no trip to SF would be complete without crossing the Golden Gate bridge. It’s like going to the Black Hills of SD and not seeing Mt. Rushmore.
…and a quick loop through The Presidio.
While waiting for our reservation in China Town, we stopped at the Vesuvio Cafe for a cocktail. This bar was once a hangout for the Beatnik scene. So who is who in this picture? The bar was founded in 1948 by Henri Lenoir,[2] and was frequented by a number of Beat Generation celebrities including Jack Kerouac,[3] Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Neal Cassady.

Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

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