Saturday, May 4, 2013

San Francisco

Our last day parked in Modesto, Garretts took us on a Bay Cruise in their fishing boat. We left after their twins were dropped off at school. Cora was left in the care of Mary Brunk and we took Megan along, all piled together. First stop, Emoryville, to begin our water journey.

transporting our stuff from vehicle to boat

Meg's life jacket was a bit of a nuisance :)
We went directly to Pier 39 and docked to explore that area of San Fran. First we walked to Boudin Bread Bakery and watched the master baker and helper shape a 50 pound alligator. Another baker was cutting and rolling balls for the round sourdough loaves. Yet another man was slashing the proofed rounds for the signature look. Very fascinating to me, of course because I like to create & bake. It was intriguing to all of us to see the factory machines, mass production, and interesting shaped breads, all while inhaling that fresh-baked aroma.

Pier 39 sea lions as we boated right by

part of the massive alligator loaf

Then we went inside, upstairs for a museum and bakery tour. The guide was very enthusiastic about sharing the history of San Francisco and Boudin bread. We watched the big bowl of dough plop down a story to the lower floor's bowl to be shaped by the machine and bakers. We read the illustrated timeline of San Francisco. We read about the science of sourdough and wild yeast. We took the survey to see what kind of bread we are most like. We listened to the energetic tour guide. We observed the process from dough to done. We enjoyed learning! 

the spiral machine on the right shapes balls from the huge dough mass on the left

what bread type are you questionnaire
look at the various breads hanging in the center
see our friendly guide

the bakery restaurant counter

Walking on down the street we stopped to watch tanks full of crabs.

one is trying to escape!

Next we wandered down Hyde Street Pier to the National Maritime Museum. They have an old ferry, tugboat, cargo ship, and 2 schooners that we walked on and imagined living in. We watched The Alma float out in the bay with several men practicing their newly acquired rigging skills. Shannon said this was the most interesting National Park he's been to! I enjoyed the sounds of the bay & wharf and the warm sun. The weather was superb. Annie and Caroline received another Junior Ranger badge.

passenger ferry, Eureka, and the city, behind us

tugboat Hercules (we were standing on in previous pic)

jr ranger comprehension questions from a nice ranger

near the beginning of Hyde St Pier, with steep city street behind

Walking back toward the boat we saw 3 different silver men, each unique in their shows. Our children were entranced.

Shannon & Caroline walked over for a closer look at this fellow's head contraption

Now for a walk down central Pier 39. We only stopped once, at the end of the boardwalk, for saltwater taffy. Each child picked 3. Riley chose all pomegranate!

Back in the boat we cruised out beside Alcatraz, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and around to Angel Island for a late picnic lunch.

you know this must have been a good book

leaving Pier 39 behind

Alcatraz Island

Golden Gate

the girls loved being sprayed by the water

Angel Island State Park

Annie & Megan's private table
they were bombarded by scavenging seagulls

wildflower chain tiara

her personalized passenger tram

We went around under The Bay Bridge toward the ship port and watched two tugs guide a huge transporter alongside the dock. No ships were being unloaded. We cruised back to unload so Gina & I could go to Ikea while the men cleaned the boat. 

A stop at Starbucks on the way home and our big day to San Francisco on land & water was done! A wonderful grand finale to our 2 week stay in Modesto.

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