Pop Pop Epistle # 195 – About San Francisco and Grayson’s Trip

Dear Grandkids,

Thc cat’s officially out of the bag!

Now that the oldest cousin has turned 10 you probably all know what Nona and I give you for your 10th birthday. Here is the back story…

About 15 years ago we were talking with some friends who already had older grandkids and they told us that they took each of them on a trip of their choosing when they were about 12 years old. We loved the idea and adopted it as our own. Their only suggestion was to start a little earlier than 12 because of the creep of busyness as they got older.

So we began putting money away in a “Grandkid Account” and began waiting – first of all to have grandkids and then for you guys to grow up. So last November when Grayson turned 10, we told him that we would take him on a trip anywhere in the continental United States and do whatever he wanted to do.

His choice was to go to an NFL football game to see his favorite team play – the New York Giants. The NFL schedule came out in May and he chose to watch them play the San Francisco Forty-Niners… in San Francisco.

So we just got back from the first of our nine grandkid trips. We flew to SF on Tuesday. Spent three days there and then flew back on Saturday.  We had three very full days and it was awesome. Here are some of the highlights of the trip:

Alcatraz – We left our hotel at 7 AM and walked an hour –  up Lombard Street which is crazy steep, then down the iconic curvy part of the street and then down to Pier 33. Caught the ferry across the bay and spent several hours exploring the island penitentiary, known also as The Rock,  that housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals. It was said that if you “Break the rules you go to prison. Break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz.”

Coit Tower – The tower overlooks SF and allows for a 360 degree panoramic view of the entire city. We climbed up the Filbert steps from the Embarcadero just to get to the tower (about 500 steps) and then up another 250 steps in the tower because the elevator was out of order. Well worth it in hindsight but this Pop Pop was whooped when we finished. And we still had a whole afternoon of walking left to do.

The Cable Car Ride – After walking to Chinatown from Coit Tower, eating at Good Mang Kok Bakery, and getting a pic at The Dragon’s Gate, we grabbed a ride on one of the iconic SF cablecars. it was fun hanging on as we rode down some of the steep hills to the waterfront.

Pier 39 – It is known for it’s shopping and the sea lions. We went for the sea lions. Saw them on Wednesday and then went back Friday. They are really fun to watch as they climb all over each other and seemingly bicker and bump each other off the dock.

Muir Woods – This forest of redwoods is located about 30 minutes north of SF. We walked the 90 minute main loop and stood in awe of the beauty of the majestic hardwoods that the Lord created.

The Golden Gate Bridge – We had to cross the bridge to get to Muir Woods and then stopped at the Bridge Welcome Center as we came back to the city.  We walked out on to the bridge until we were over the bay just to say that we had done it.


The Game – Levi Stadium is actually located an hour south of SF in Santa Clara. It was a Thursday night game. A full house. A loud crowd full of rabid 49er fans. SF has a really good team and they beat the New York Giants pretty handily 30-12.

Golden Gate Park – Bigger than Central park in NYC, the park has lots of stuff to do. We looked at the bison, played a round of disc golf, and rode the Sky Star Ferris Wheel – first ferris wheel ride for G.

The Food – Good Mang Kok bakery, In-N-Out Burger, The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company (2x), Bob’s Donuts, La Taquria, Levi Stadium, Boudin’s Bakery.

We had an awesome time with Grayson and we are already looking forward to our trips with the rest of you. So start thinking about where you want to go.

Never forget that you are very loved,

Pop Pop

One thought on “Pop Pop Epistle # 195 – About San Francisco and Grayson’s Trip

  1. Great trip and great memories. It’ll be interesting to see what the other grands come up with now that Grayson has broken the ice.

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