Posts Tagged With: vacation

The Golden State Warriors

I have been meaning to share some photos and write about my family trip to San Francisco. We have been back for well over a month and it has been that long since I posted anything as well. There was so much to see and do while we were in the Bay area. One of my favorite nights of the trip was the basketball game I went to see with my son James. It was Monday, March 4th 2013 when the Golden State Warriors hosted the Toronto Raptors at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. And the Warriors won (125 – 118).

James and I had a great time at the game. We bought Warriors t-shirts, ball caps and a giant yellow foam hand. We chanted “DEFENSE” along with the crowd whenever the Raptors had the ball and munched on hotdogs, nachos and ice cream throughout the game. Our seats were excellent and well worth the price. From row 15 in section 102 we had a great view of the entire game. I took a lot of pictures with my Apple iPad but they didn’t all come out that well. I believe it is time to invest in a new camera.

The Golden State game was awesome! So now that my son and I have seen the Dodgers play in Los Angeles and the Warriors play in San Francisco (or Oakland actually), I think for the next time we visit California we will go and see a Chargers game in San Diego.

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Thirty Days til San Francisco

I’m planning to take my wife to San Francisco for the first week of November. It is her dream destination. “How sweet, right?” And yes we’re leaving the kids at home. “So mean, right?”  It is still thirty days away but I’ve been going crazy making plans and doing research for an awesome and hopefully romantic 4 day vacation in San Francisco.

It all began with amazingly cheap airfare ($299 each) from HNL to SFO on United Airlines. That got the ball rolling. Next it was finding a “hotrate” employee discount for a Sheraton Hotel in the area. Nothing available in the city (we were hoping for the Palace) but we ended up booking at the Four Points ($49 a night) up in San Rafael, just a forty-five minute drive across the Golden Gate bridge.

Last, I had to find a rental car since we are staying outside of the city. Easier said than done! Rental cars in San Francisco are freakin’ expensive (compared to L.A.) – but I managed to find a Chrysler Town & Country with unlimited miles for $44 a day plus taxes and fees. A lot of people say you don’t need a car in San Francisco but since we are staying in San Rafael and will be commuting to the city I think it is a good idea to have our own wheels. Also this allows us to drive up to Napa Valley on one of our days for some wine tasting.

With airfare, lodging, and rental car taken care of I moved on to the important details of any tourist undertaking. What to see? What to do? Where to Eat? This is where the real planning and research begins. I hit the TripAdvisor forums hard and even dared to peak inside the cultish world of Yelp to see what were the favorites among locals and visitors alike.

I usually don’t like making my travel plans based on the opinions of others. “Opinions are like Assholes – Everybody has one” a wise man once told me. So I search the internet and with a healthy grain of salt consider the experiences of others and decide for myself. Of course there are the basic tourist activities that goes without saying – the cable car ride, pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, a walk through Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf.


There are a few activities that have been carved in stone, so to speak. I made reservations for a tour of the Duckhorn winery in Napa Valley on Wednesay morning. Can’t wait to taste some good wine. And I made reservations for the free tour of the Anchor Brewery near Potrero Hill on Thursday morning. Can’t wait to taste some good beer.

I bought two front row mezzanine tickets to see Olympia Dukakis in Sophocles’ Electra at the A.C.T. on Thursday evening. I also made reservations with Adventure Cat sailing charters to take a catamaran ride on Friday afternoon. I think sailing in the bay with a small group will be more fun than being squeezed onto one one of those big ferries with a group of two hundred.

I wanted to catch a basketball game while we were in town. The Golden State Warriors are playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Oracle in Oakland but my wife ruled against me. I am hoping to get tickets to see a comedy show at Cobb’s but still waiting to see who will be performing on the nights we’re available to do so.

My wife has a childhood friend who lives across the bay in San Leandro so I think a visit over lunch or dinner will be in order. After all this vacation is supposed to be for her (my wife). I thought maybe we can meet her friend in Daly City and they can catch up over a nice spread at on of the many Filipino restaurants in the area.

I have collected a long list of restaurants that I would like to patronize while in San Francisco. Unfortunately we can’t make it to all of them in only 4 days but I’m sure that we will get to experience some amazing meals in some wonderful restaurants. I have a few ideas already but I think that “Where to Eat in San Francisco” is deserving of it’s own blog post. Don’t you?

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Santa Monica Pier

I wasn’t that impressed with the Santa Monica Pier. It seemed so small and outdated. There just wasn’t that much going on. Maybe I missed something but I was really expecting a lot more. We took the kids for a ride on the ferris wheel which had a nice view of the beach and the surrounding area. My son and I rode the roller coaster which was fun but it only went around twice. The rides were overpriced and we didn’t see very many souvenir booths or food vendors. The kids had a great time playing at the arcade but I don’t think we would ever return to Santa Monica in the future.

Have you ever visited someplace that turned out to be less than what you expected?

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