Today is Laura Walters' birthday.
Frank and I flew to Denver. Our flight was delayed 6 hours so we actually spent the day in the Pittsburgh Airport.
We were too late arriving in Denver to get our rental car.
First thing in the morning, we called the rental car office. They said they did not have a car available for us. I reminded them I had one reserved and prepaid for it. They said to check back later in the day and maybe they could get us a car. We walked across the street and managed to get a car. I think it was the last one in all of Denver.
We drove over an hour and a half to the Rocky National Park where we spent half a day. The road was way up there. We were over 12,000 feet above sea level (over 2 miles). It was cold and very windy, but the views were absolutely breathtaking. If we do nothing else, this trip would have been well worth it. After seeing a lot of the Rocky Mountains, we drove to the Red Rock Amphitheatre and looked around at the huge red rocks. They were something to see. We left there and went to a ballgame at Coors Field - the Padres vs. the Rockies.
We got up early and got to Union Station and were there in plenty of time to catch our train. We were delayed throughout the day. Apparently there was damage to the tracks due to flooding in a major tunnel so our train was detoured. Instead of going over the Rockies and along the Colorado River on our way to Salt Lake City, we went up to Cheyenne and traveled the southern length of Wyoming before entering Utah and Salt Lake City. We didn't see the scenery we would have. Instead we saw miles and miles of sagebrush. However, we did see lots of antelopes and some buffalo. We were supposed to arrive at SLC at 11 pm but got there over 4 hours late. It was 4:45 am by the time we got checked into our room and got to bed.
We spent the day in Salt Lake City catching our breath from a long day on Saturday. I did some laundry at the hotel then we walked about a mile to the Mormon Temple Square, looked around, took some pictures and then back to the hotel stopping off at a downtown Olive Garden. We slept a couple more hours in the evening before heading back to the train station. Our train left on time around 11:30 pm. I quickly fell asleep as the train traveled through the night out of Utah and into Nevada.
I really enjoyed today. Frank and I sat in the observation car the entire day at a booth looking at some amazing scenery. I was able to take lots of pictures as we crossed our last two states. We traveled across the deserts of Nevada and then into the Sierra Nevada's as we entered into California. The train cut into some real isolated parts of that mountain range and climbed to high elevations. We pulled into Oakland around 5 pm and then a bus took us across the bay to San Francisco. Our hotel is on 7th street so we are in one of the downtown areas of the city. Our hotel is nice but most likely at least a century old.
Today was a great, yet tiring day. We walked over 10 miles We started with a bus ride to the North Vista, a point just on the far side of the Golden Gate Bridge. We walked the two miles across the bridge stopping often for photos of these unbelievable views. This is most likely the most scenic experience I've ever had. During a stop on the bridge, we face-timed Lue so she could see what we were seeing. After we made it up the far side, we trekked the 4.5 mile trail from the Bridge to Fisherman's Wharf with a stop at Ghirardelli Square (yes the chocolate Ghirardelli's). I had wanted to see the sea lions lying on the docks at Pier 39. We did and I really enjoyed seeing them. I facetimed Hannah, Brody, Brianna, Megan, and Danny to let all five of them see the sea lions. I think they could all hear them making a heck of a racket with their barking.
We walked about a half hour to AT&T Park where we watched the Giants play the Rockies. The park is quite spectacular. Later in the day we rode the famous SF streetcars and the walked down the steep, crooked part of Lombard Street. We ended the day at Chinatown where I got the Sesame Chicken that Rick had recommended. It was very, very good!
Frank and I rented a car and drove two hours south to the Monterey peninsula where we took the 17 mile drive along the Pacific Ocean and saw some amazing views. The trip took most of the day.
We spent our last day by rising early and heading to the cruise to Alcatraz. We enjoyed seeing it. We spent a little more time at Fisherman's Wharf when we got back. We at dinner at an Italian dive (Homemade Italian Company) in the Italian section of the city. It was really good.Tuesday September 19, 2017
Frank and I checked out of the Carriage Inn in San Francisco around 6 am and caught an Uber to the airport. Both of our flights were on schedule and we had a good trip home, switching planes in Phoenix with an hour and a half layover. We got back home around 11 pm. It's always good to be back home but I was not anxious to get here. Our ten day, nine night trip was everything I had hoped and more. Simply put, it was quite an adventure and I am very glad I did it. We had no rain, perfect weather for the entire trip and every single day was really something.
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