Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bay Area Travels

As my daughter was approaching her first day of Kindergarten, the family decided to take a trip to California.  We spent a long weekend in San Jose and San Francisco and had a really nice time.

San Jose was home base for a trip to the Monterrey Peninsula.  This is a gorgeous area where we could have easily spent a few days.  Over the course of an afternoon we enjoyed the beach and dinner at Carmel by the Sea.  One highlight was the bhel puri our cousins packed.  This traveled really well and consisted of packaged bhel, onions, boiled potatoes, coriander chutney and tamarind chutney.  We considered visiting the aquarium, but will save that adventure for another trip.

San Francisco was a lot of fun.  Our home base was in the Fisherman’s Wharf area which is very pedestrian and family friendly.  The Maritime National Park and Golden Gates National Recreation area were pretty nice to see.  The girls certainly had fun and we had some good photo opportunities.  With Alcatraz in the background, I couldn’t help but swim a bit in Aquatic Park and run along the bay.  The water was pretty cold, but I would probably acclimate with time.  About half of the swimmers doing laps were swimming without a wetsuit.

Central California is a really pretty area.  I think it can be a fun adult or family vacation.  There were several attractions that we would have liked to see including the Monterrey Aquarium, Academy of Sciences, Alcatraz tour, and Napa Valley.  It would have also been nice to get a view of the Golden Gate Bridge without fog.  When the kids are older, I think bike rentals would be a lot of fun as well. 

This trip also served to test out a travel lunch cooler and travel alarm clock.  Both items were OK, but certainly not must have travel accessories.

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