Having not been in CA for awhile we also chose to spend a week in San Francisco in conjunction with our trip to Hawaii. We used our house swapping site (Home Exchange) and stayed in an amazing house in Bernal Heights. The owner is a chef and so the kitchen was just amazing plus it was filled with incredible antiques as well as modern pieces. I was glad not to have small children or dogs with me though!
We used our guest points from having people stay in our home
when we weren’t there so this was not a direct swap. It really is a great
system and we have stayed in some lovely places around the world for free! If
you would like to sign up here is a link that gets both of us some extra guest
points just to get you started:
Charlotte now says SF is her favorite city as we had such a great trip. Some highlights included China Town, Japan Town, Pier 39 (stinky but fun sea lions), Ferry Building Market, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the amazing California Academy of Sciences Museum. We found the best food in the Ferry Building which really is a foodie lovers go-to-spot.
Oh and book stores! Kinokuniya is an old fave from Dubai, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur and then there is City Lights – iconic place in so many ways.
Our days were spent out sightseeing and then we picked up great produce and offerings at the Bernal markets so were able to make yummy meals in that chef’s kitchen which was fun. Great trip and I’m so grateful that we saved all that money on housing!
While we were in California, Ben turned 14. We were in LA at the time so had fun celebrating with other family members. We were at a really neat restaurant that also had wandering entertainers. The belly dancer was very good and Ben handled the embarrassment well of her dancing around him and then with all the staff in the place singing happy birthday to him when they presented him with a cake!
We were totally impressed with the balloon artist. She was so talented — not your average clown who makes a dog or two. She made some incredible balloon sculptures.
We spent a great month in California during early spring. Always fun to hang out with grandma but especially since she and my brother got a new “puppy.” Of course since he weighs 70 pounds at 6 months of age it’s quite a handful of a puppy. Sebastian is a full bloodhound. He’s absolutely adorable but wildly crazy. Loves the children — Charlotte spent most of the evenings lying on top of him as a pillow. The other time was spent chasing him to retrieve the shoes, socks, bags, milk containers, pillows, logs… and any other thing not tied down that he could run off with and play chase.