Sunday, September 22, 2013

San Francisco

Two days after we got home from Canada, we were on another flight to San Francisco. We stayed at the Radisson in Fisherman's Warf. It was the BEST location for our touristy plans. We had a great time.  It was freezing most of the time though. I'm glad we were kind of prepared for that. 
As far as sight seeing goes I'm pretty sure that Acatraz Island was both Shane and my favorite.  We were intrigued by everything. The cell tour was so interesting, we learned a lot, and it took us through, telling stories and having us imagine being there. It crazy to think that all those prisoners lived in such tiny and awful circumstances. It's hard to imagine that any of those men that escaped could have actually survived. Crazy to think about though. Anabelle was pretty good, but we tried to keep her occupied with the cell phone because she  only listened to her headphones for about 2 minutes :) The next pic is on the fairy headed to Alcatraz Island early in the morning. Looking back at the beautiful city.

In the Dining Hall (Our kids looked like goofs and had about 5 crazy layers on. haha)

There was lots of tropical vegetation and birds on the island.

 We took the Hop-On-Hop-Off around the city and saw a little of everything. Anabelle loved riding on the bus, and thought it was pretty cool sitting on the top of the bus outside.  
 Lombard Street- Now that was a pretty view! Shane was a trooper an carried the stroller and Parker down all those stairs. Wait, Where is Parker? 
 The foliage was beautiful! I LOVED all of the hydrangea.

 Loving that sucker.

 Ghirardelli Square- We had yummy samples, bought lots of chocolate and had ice cream cones and sundaes for lunch. Poor Parker was so excited he thought he had his own sundae. It was too funny, he was going crazy. Sorry buddy, next time. 

 China Town- Anabelle didn't let us get out of there without a pink umbrella. Definitely worth the $4. She carried that thing everywhere and it made her so happy! We were looking at some things and we turned around and found Anabelle sitting with the monkey on a bench She fit right in. 

 Alamo Square and the Painted Ladies

These boys of mine put on quite a show for everybody there. It was pretty funny, a bunch of tourists were taking pictures of them. 
 We did the Hop-On Hop-Off bus for two days and I have to admit that by the time we made it to the Golden Gate Bridge we were kinda cold and ready to be done, so we didn't even get out to take a photo. Here is our only pic from inside the bus at the bridge parking lot. haha
The Boudin ladies loved these kiddos. They made them special teddy replicas of themselves, then they came out and brought them cooked turtles. They loved it. (Notice both of their tongues sticking out... PArker's was out for about a week straight, and Anabelle thought she would join in on the fun.)
 We ate out on Pier 39, quite a few times because it was right across from out hotel. We had yummy pizza, crepes and doughnuts. The Bucket of hot doughnuts were AMAZING! We watched the sea lyons for quite a while too. that was fun. We tried to keep Parker hidden. It was windy and cold.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh Canada... (Part 2)

Our third day there, we woke up and checked out of The Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise. We were all sad to leave the beautiful view from our window.
We and drove up to the Columbia Icefields. The drive was very gorgeous, kinda long, but worth it. Here are some pics from the drive.

Bow Lake

Peyeto Lake 

Once we made it to the ice field we took a bus up to the glacier and then rode on a Brewster Ice Explorer on top of the glacier. That thing was huge! The tires were about my height. Anabelle loved the ride. When we got out on top of the glacier, it was like stepping into a crazy cold winter wind storm. It was pretty neat though. Parker only liked it for about 2 minutes, so I kept him cacooned most of the time. Shane and Anabelle filled their water bottles with the glacier water. It was freezing and delicious! Thinking of it, makes me wish I had some right now. 

We continued on to Jasper National Park. and went to see Athabaska Falls. It was pretty big, and kinda fun walking over it and looking at it from the various angles.

We drove back to Banff and checked into the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, known as the Castle in the Rockies. When we arrived they gave Anabelle a princess crown and she wore it everywhere. (Oh and she carried around her magic want that she received from the staff at the Chateau at Lake Louise). She was in Heaven. 

The next day we woke up and went and walked around the town. It was a fun little town with cute shops in a beautiful setting. We wore the kiddos out and they both fell asleep in the umbrella stroller (not the most comfy stroller, but the most convenient for traveling). We went back to the hotel and went on a tour of the hotel, and learned about the history of it. It was gorgeous and massive! There were two weddings going on there at that time of our tour. After the tour we got some a quick dinner in the lounge. We ate some amazing onion soup and chicken caesar salad. We ran off to the hotels' bowling alley and had a super fun night of glow-in-the-dark bowling. I was new experience trying to learn the Canadian 5-pin bowling. It was so hard. Anabelle enjoyed the smaller balls, but none of us were very good at it. 

On our fifth day there we took the Banff Gondola up to the top of Sulfur Mountain. It was so pretty. We had an amazing view of the"castle" we were staying at, and Bow River and Falls behind it. At the top we walked out to various view points. What a view that was! That afternoon we went to see Cave and Basin hot springs, and then Lake Minnewanka (the only lake in the national park that allowed motorized boats). 

At the top of Sulfur Mountain

Bow Falls
Cave and Basin

Oh I love these boys!

Lake Minnewanka 

On our final day there we drove back to Calgary to catch our flight. Before we checked in our rental car, we stopped at the newly finished Calgary temple. It was a beauty! The stained glass was gorgeous. We love visiting other temples when we travel, it's always a highlight. 

Until next time Canada! We LOVED spending our time with you.