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San Francisco 19th April 2012

A pleasant day.

Driving across the Oakland Bay Bridge to Fisherman's Wharf. Checked out Pier 39 and then drove to Union Square in downtown Frisco. Checked out the square, Macys and then lunch at Loris's Diner, nice 50's place.

Then it was on to the Golden Gate Bridge, we parked at both ends and had some great views of the bridge, the bay, Alcatraz and San Francisco. Fantastic location.

Back to the hotel at a bit after 4:30pm. Rest and then Michaels for the girls and Best Buy for the boys before an Applebees dinner.

Napa Valley to San Francisco 18th April 2012

140 kilometres today as we drove from the Napa Valley along Highway 101 to Muir Woods.

Muir Woods National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service on the Pacific coast of southwestern Marin County, 19 K's north of San Francisco and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It protects 554 acres, of which 240 acres are old growth Coast Redwood forests. The monument has a number of paved walking trails where visitors can get a close look at the magnificent giants. Fantastic area, very peaceful with a stream following the walking trail.

After our visit it was over the Glden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco.

We drove down Lombard Street and then parked and caught a cable car into downtown San Francisco.

Lombard Street is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns that have earned the street the distinction of being the crookedest street in the world. The crooked section of the street, which is about 400 metres long, is reserved for one-way traffic traveling east (downhill) and is paved with red bricks. The speed limit in this section is 8 kph.

The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last manually operated cable car system. An icon of San Francisco, California, the cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. Only three lines remain: two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, their small service area and premium fares for single rides make them more of a tourist attraction. They are among the most significant tourist sites in the city, along with Alcatraz Island and Fisherman's Wharf. It was $6 each to downtown and $6 each to go back. I was hanging on heading downtown bt we managed to get a seat on the way back. Funny to hear the driver say 'suck it in' as you pass a parked truck with inches to spare.

After getting back to the car we drove through downtown Frisco, right past the high pointy building and then over the Oakland Bay Bridge and to the suburb of Pinole where we have a Days Inn for a couple of days.Sizzlers for dinner and then a K Mart for some retail therapy.

Napa Valley 17th April 2012

Today we drove to the Napa Valley just north of San Francisco, 320 kilometres today.

We started the day by visiting a cousin of Chris who lives in Walnut Creek.

In the afternoon we drove to Napa and checked out the Robert Mondavi Winery. Chris is keen on wines and was thrilled to visit where one of his favourite wines are grown and made. Napa Valley is widely considered one of the top American Viticultural Areas in all of the United States, with a history dating back to the early nineteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century there were more than one hundred and forty wineries in the area. 

We also checked out the Sonoma area - lovely country side.

Dinner at a Black Bear Diner and the night spent at a Best Western.

Cedar City to who knows where 16th April 2012

Today was always going to be a long day driving. We ended up doing 1025 kilometres. Makes tomorrow a much easier day tomorrow,

Sad farewells to Amy and Steve and then pick up Cath and Chris efore hitting I15 towards Vegas, we got an hour back as we crossed into Arizona so a two and a half hour drive to Vegas saw us there just after 9:00am. iHop for brekkie, Lee's for some booze and then back on I15 - Chris did some of the driving to Barstow. Then on towards Bakersfield and I5 before we stopped around 160 K's short of Frisco at a Motel6 on I5. Long day on the road, but lots of good music and general chat. Also some wonderful scenery.