After our great dinner the night before and some exploring by the wharf — and with everyone having the luxury of their own bed — the kids slept in until 10am! The weather was much better, and with sunny skies and warm temperatures we headed over to Blazing Saddles to rent bikes for the day. Contrary to our bike-riding experience at Curry Village we got bikes with handbrakes and 15 gears. Biking in hills of San Fran definitely takes more than one gear. We started by Fisherman’s Wharf and rode along the shore by the marinas and then to the Presidio. We had a great view across the bay. After 3 miles or so we came to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a long, hard climb to get up to the bridge entrance. The bridge, as always, was shrouded in fog. They only had one side of the bridge open so people were walking and biking in both directions. Avoiding collisions on the bridge was the hardest part of the ride. Roby did have a bit of crash when he was hit by a mountain biker going too fast under the circumstances. He barked at Roby “geez kids, watch out”. All who saw the incident agreed that it was the mountain bikers fault. The good news was that Roby and the other guy were OK. It was exciting to be on the bridge, but stressful at the same time. We were happy to finally make it to the other end.
The next segment of the ride was downhill — very steep downhill — into Sausalito. Once again, exhillating for the kids but stressful for parents who kept imagining some kind of wipe out. We all made it safely to the bustling town of Sausalito. We poked around the shops for a bit and then rode further along the road to see the houseboats. We ended up having a great lunch near the docks.
Instead of riding home, we took the ferry from Sausalito back to Fisherman’s Wharf. We brought the bikes back to the hotel for a pit stop. Cal and Sue rode a few miles more later before turning in the bikes at 7pm.
We took a quick swim and hot tub and then got ready to meet one of Roby’s friends from preschool, Branwen Defren, whose family now lives outside of San Francisco. She, yes, “she” is someone who was good friends with Roby when they were four years old and they still talk about each other. Their whole family made the effort to come into the city. Unfortunately they had a flat tire on the highway along the way and had to wait an hour for AAA to come fix it. So we started dinner a bit late. At first Roby was shy when he saw Branwen, but they started chatting more over dinner. The whole group had a good time. The highlight of the night was dessert at Ghirardelli Square. We had a huge platter called “The Earthquake” with 8 types of ice cream, whip cream, nuts, hot chocolate, and other wonderful things.
After dessert the kids played in the fountain (when they ran out of coins they showed their resourcefulness — or tackiness — by picking other people’s coins out of the fountains to throw at the mermaid statues). To end the evening, we walked to Starbucks for a coffee just as they were closing. We ended up saying good bye to Branwen and her family around 11:30 and finally fell asleep after midnight.