My dad and eleven year old nephew came for a little adventure last week.
We had a whirlwind of a trip! And I am thankful for every single minute I was able to spend with them. Here’s a little recap of our trip in case anyone is planning a bay area staycation or vacation themselves. Every time my dad comes we try to take him on a new adventure, the focus this trip was Yosemite. But it was also my nephew’s first time here so San Francisco was also a highlight. Here are the deets!
In-N-Out. If your guests arrive at lunch or dinner time, then it’s a very easy decision. In-N-Out must be first on the itinerary! It’s conveniently located one exit away from the San Francisco airport which also makes it a no brainer. The palm trees are a nice welcome to California too!
Bay Trail Bike Ride. After getting a good night’s rest, we started the morning strong with a bike ride along the Bay Trail. Bike riding is one of my dad’s favorite past times so I knew it was the perfect way to start the trip. We incorporated a stop at our favorite breakfast joint in San Mateo called The Pantry. This may have been my dad’s favorite part of the trip! The Pantry really is that good.
Taco Bell Beach. My mom spent two years living in the bay area and her favorite little oasis became what she calls “Taco Bell Beach” also known as Pacifica State Beach. She talked about it so much I knew it was a priority for Ashton to make a visit. He even jumped in the water with Vitaliy to experience the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean. And he came home with lots of treasures he found while exploring.
San Francisco. The following day we explored all of my favorite spots in the city. We drove by AT&T Park, stopped at the bay bridge and walked through the Ferry Building, hiked Lombard Street, and enjoyed a lunch at Pacific Catch in the Marina. We ended our adventures at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and even got to explore Fort Point which was new for me.
Yosemite. The SF day definitely wore us all out so we were thankful to spend a couple hours driving to Twain Harte, CA where we spent the night before exploring Yosemite National Park. I have a love-hate relationship with Yosemite. The place is incredibly stunning and I am always blown away by God’s creativity. But with my fear of heights, it can often test my nerves. Ashton had only one request, he wanted to see BIG trees, so we started the day with a hike to the Merced Grove of sequoias. We were all blown away! We then drove through the Yosemite Valley and enjoyed it from every view. By that point, we were all ready for a rest and some food so we took a break and enjoyed our picnic lunch. Money saver! And then we ended the day with a sunset hike of the Sentinel Dome. We reached the top and enjoyed 360 views of Yosemite. It was definitely the grand finale of an incredible day!
Columbia, California. To say we were exhausted from our trip to Yosemite would be an understatement. We all slept in the following day and woke up to a big breakfast made by Vitaliy followed by a lazy morning watching Karate Kid. We then packed up and enjoyed a stroll through Columbia, CA. One of my new favorite spots! It’s an old town in the heart of gold country that has preserved its main street. It’s like taking a walk back in time.
The End. I’m not sure if we were still exhausted from Yosemite or just from playing tour guide in general. But on our last day, Vitaliy and I watched the World Cup while my dad took my nephew on the Rocket Boat. We enjoyed Clam Chowder bread bowls at Boudin before ending the entire trip with a hot fudge sundae at Ghiradelli’s Square. My dad’s favorite treat is a hot fudge sundae so I couldn’t think of a better way to end his trip to California.
I can’t wait for our next visitors! Who’s coming? I love playing tour guide because I get to enjoy things I don’t normally get out and explore. With the start of summer, perhaps one or two of the items from our itinerary will make it on your summer to-do lists. Where should we go next? We’re planning an 8 year anniversary staycation for August. I’d love to hear of any hidden gems you enjoy.