Once the camp was over, my mother came to meet me with a rental car at Menlo college.  We enjoyed Redwood State Park for the redwood forests and then I showed her around Google.  It is very nice to have her here.  We are staying in a hostel in downtown San Francisco, which ended up to be a perfect location, within walking distance of many places.

July 15

Today started early with a tour of wineries in Sonoma Valley.  We explored two wineries, Cline Winery and Larson Family Winery.  They were both very different, but offered their own flavor.  Cline wineries has property where an outdoor Catholic wedding can be performed outside with a priest.  After the wineries, we went to Alcatraz.  Between tours, we walked about Fishermans Wharf and enjoyed lunch at Boudin where we had their famous sourdough bread bowl with clam chowder.  We also visited Ghiradelli square and enjoyed their world famous sundae with Ghiradelli chocolate.  If you are interested in going to Alcatraz, be sure to get your tickets very early in advance as the tickets sell out quickly.  Alcatraz, was definitely something to see.  We heard stories about attempted breakouts of the prison, which included digging a whole into solid wall with a spoon.  We then got to see jail cells, along with the kitchen and bathroom.  It was quite the tour.  Following Alcatraz, we had dinner and visited the worlds crookedest street.  We were able to walk alongside it, photos do not give it justice to how crooked and steep it is.

July 16

Today we took some time to sleep in, and then we ventured out into the city.  We rode the city famous cable cars, and rode down to the Ferry Building to enjoy the farmers market along the port of San Francisco.  We had amazing food that included a Mexican Breakfast.  This included chips soaked in salsa that were soggy but still crisp, with avocado, sour cream, re fried beans, and eggs.  It was absolutely amazing.  We then enjoyed fresh peaches and walked about the market. After the market, we went to enjoy China town.  This China Town is a very famous China town in all of America.  We enjoyed different shops such as the Kite store, and a tea store.  We even went to a fortune cookie factory where we enjoyed watching them make the cookies, fresh samples, and putting our own message inside of the cookie.  For lunch we went to a Chinese restaurant in China town.  We had pork buns and split orange chicken.  After the Farmers market we went to the Painted ladies at Alamo Square and then ended our night watching a movie in the hostel.

July 17

Today was spent in Golden Gate Park. We checked out the Japanese Tea Garden, which was very well kept with beautiful landscapes.  We split soup wile overlooking the water.  After the Tea Garden, we went to the Botanical Gardens where there are 12 pianos spread out across the gardens.  It was wonderful to hear locals, and professionals playing the different pianos.  I even had the chance to play a couple songs.  We spent most of our day here lounging in the grass, and finding all of the pianos in the garden.  For lunch we enjoyed Mediterranean food, which was unique and included hummus, and other various dips with pita bread.  After the Botanical garden, we walked the whole length of the park to get to North Beach, so that mom could go into the ocean.  It was quite the walk and surprising how large the park was.  We then took public transportation back to Haight and Ashbury area to enjoy the culture there and a classic burger restaurant to end our day.

July 18

Today is our final day in San Francisco.  We hoped on a ferry over to Sausilito to enjoy small town California.  The weather difference was crazy as it was only a 20 minute ferry ride.  We enjoyed the little shops, and took a nap next to a fountain in the grass.  We took the bus back to the Golden Gate bridge to walk across.  It was a beautiful day in San Francisco, and we walked along the water until we reached Fisher mans Wharf.  We stopped by Ghiradelli to enjoy some free chocolate, and then we went to a seafood Italian restaurant where we enjoyed pasta with a variety of fish and greatly enjoyed our last night in the city.  While walking back to the hostel, we enjoyed walking Nob Hill.  We then got packed and ready for the travel day to come back to Iowa.