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Saturday 28 June 2014

More of Mamma and Papa in San Francisco

Day two of playing tourist with my parents saw us back in San Francisco again. 

We started the day with coffee and bagels at the Embarcadero Center while Ava and Lola ran around (and in) the now dry Vaillancourt Fountain. Without water running though it the fountain isn't the prettiest of structures but the girls enjoy playing in it, something they can't do when it's filled. The stunning backdrop of the ferry building and Bay Bridge certainly make up for the concrete mess in the foreground!

After breakfast we made our way through the Embarcadero Center by walking along the terrace that connects the four buildings over four city blocks. The terrace features many lovely garden and seating areas along the way. We've only ever walked through the Embarcadero Center over the weekend when it's quiet. I imagine that during the week it must be quite a popular spot for lunch breaks.

After walking through the four buildings that make up the Embarcadero Center we headed to Sutter Street (via the black heart sculpture at 555 California) and hopped on a bus headed to North Beach. We had planned on catching the bus from Washington Square Park to the top of Telegraph Hill but due to the North Beach Festival the bus route was changed and we couldn't work out exactly where to catch it from. So instead we hiked right up that hill. It sure was steep but the views from the top were worth it. Check out that steep street below!

At the top of Telegraph Hill we visited Coit Tower. This was our second visit to Coit Tower and it's one of my favourite places to take visitors. The views over San Francisco from the top are amazing and I just love the murals inside the building. Plus it's fun to torture visitors with that hike to the top of the hill. Just kidding Mum!

One of the Lola's favourite things from our last visit to Coit Tower was that all of the windows around the top were filled with coins. She was quite upset to discover that there weren't any coins this time, however one of the docents was kind enough to show the girls how to put coins on the window sills behind the glass. Both Ava and Lola were pretty pleased to leave pennies behind on the windows. And that's saying something as Lola never, and I mean never, gives up pennies! 

We then walked all the way down the other side of Telegraph Hill (towards the Embarcadero) following the steep and winding Filbert Street Steps. I didn't think to count the steps as we went but from what I've found online I believe there are about 400 or so steps. Going up would certainly be a challenge! The walk, while very steep, was lovely. Beautiful, lush green gardens line the stairway and the girls were desperate to build little hide outs. Along the stairway there are many homes, some of which are only accessible via the staircase. Imagine the logistical nightmare moving in or out would be! 

We finished our day with a little shopping then hopped on BART to head home. Sitting on the train can be pretty boring, especially when you're going through tunnels and there's nothing to look at. Stealing Papa's hat and pulling funny faces make for a perfect boredom buster!

Coming up next, our day in the Mission District...

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