Monday, August 15, 2011

Staycation 2011

This year, in lieu of a traditional family vacation, we opted for a 'staycation'. We did the math and reasoned that a seven-day-long plan of staying in the area and visiting local places would be about 50% less expensive than just two days at a vacation destination. So we opted to stay home, sleep in our own bed, and not have to pack any luggage.

And so, I bring you, the 2011 Knapp Family Staycation: 

Day One: San Francisco
This was actually our first trip to San Francisco in five years, and the first time with kids. Our previous trip was a really bad experience, so we never wanted to go back. It was only because friends urged us to try it out again that we finally relented and decided to give SF another try. We're glad we did because we all had a lot of fun. 
Taking the early morning Baby Bullet train to San Francisco. The kids were thrilled to be on the top deck. We were thrilled that the trip only took one hour since it only made about five stops along the way.

Watching and waiting for Muni. Riding public transit was half the fun of our trip. During our visit to San Francisco, we rode a high speed train, a light rail train, a bus, a streetcar and a cable car, and the kids were thrilled with each ride.

Exploring a boat on Hyde Street Pier.

Concrete slides of Golden Gate Park. Quite possibly the longest and fastest slide our kids will ever ride.

Day 2: Gilroy Gardens
Mark took the boys to Gilroy Gardens in the afternoon while I stayed home and had some time to myself. I used the time to clean, catch up on laundry, nap, and read. 

Look at how fun things can be when Daddy takes kids to Gilroy Gardens!

Riding a worm orbiting an apple core.

Dinner with Daddy at a local Mexican restaurant. From what I hear, the kids absolutely loved this place.

Day 3: San Francisco again
We enjoyed the first day so much and only got to do a fraction of the things we wanted, so we came back for a second day.
We took a boat tour of the bay and went underneath the Golden Gate bridge. The kids were really excited to see the bridge the first day we came to San Francisco, but it was so foggy that we couldn't see it at all. They were pretty bummed about that. So they were excited to go close to it and underneath it on the boat.

Tommy has been asking to go to the beach for a few months now. We found this little beach area right by Ghirardelli Square and the boys had a lot of fun playing in the water. There was a man nearby making a sand sculpture of a mermaid, so the boys were inspired to make their own sand castle sculptures.  

Playing with sand at the Exploratorium. This was an amazing place for kids to play and learn. It's a little too old for our kids' ages, but I can see ourselves making many visits here in a few years when they can understand the exhibits a little better.

Blowing bubbles at the Exploratorium.

Waiting for a bus.

Taking a late train home from SF. We tried to be on the 6:30pm train home, which would put us at our house by 8:00pm, but we missed it by an hour. So we ended up pulling into to the station at San Jose at 9:00pm. Tired kids and tired parents (and I'm sure tired commuters) were very thankful for the peace afforded by the tiny edition of Cars on my iPhone.

Day 4: Gilroy Gardens again
For our second trip to Gilroy Gardens, we took two of our nieces. The kids had a ton of fun together, and we learned that taking four kids to a park isn't much different than taking two.

Day Five: Monterey
We went down 17-Mile Drive because it has several diverse beaches, all within a few miles of each other. There are sandy quiet beaches, rocky cliffs with loud crashing waves, and everything in between. The boys loved exploring each beach, playing in the sand, climbing over rocks, and exploring tide pools.
The seagulls were fearless and aggressive. They actually stole food right out of Benji's hand while we were sitting at a table eating our lunch. And I'm sure doing things like this (feeding them out of our hands) aren't helping!

Exploring tide pools. Tommy was afraid this crab was going to hurt Mark and wanted him to put it back in the water as soon as possible.

A trip to the beach isn't complete without burying kids in the sand.

1 comment:

  1. What fun! We plan on doing the same thing in Boston soon. It's wonderful to discover so many amazing places right near your home!