Friday, June 24, 2011

Road Trip: Portland to San Francisco

I thought about a lot of locations I'd like to be when celebrating my BIG birthday next week, but when the city of San Francisco was mentioned it just clicked. Of course, I adored living there, that is where I want to go!

So we hit the road at the crack of dawn, six o'clock to be exact, and started the drive south.

Ah, thank goodness for electronics!

And thick books.

But then an hour and a half into the drive, way too soon, Max began the classic, "are we there yet?" 
Seriously?! Not even close. 
And continued with:
"This is soooooooo boring. This is terrible. This is going to last forever. 
How many more hours? How many more minutes?" 

Such drama. I just had to laugh {to myself, silently, of course!} It is really not that bad.

The promise of ice cream and time on yet another electronic quieted him a bit, for awhile. 
{This drive saw so much less complaining when Max was a baby and would just sleep!}

But we finally arrived, through the tunnel...

...over the bridge...

...into the city.

After checking into the hotel, we fit in a swim before heading out for a delicious dinner near our old apartment, wandering around the neighborhood. After finding the impossible parking spot, that is!

Then first stop the next day...

...Crissy Field. One of my absolute favorite places on earth! Seriously.

Then we hit another favorite, a great place to grab a bite to eat. 
{hey, Isabella, smile!}

Details on this and all my other favorite San Francisco stops next week!

Enjoy your weekend! You know I will be! 


  1. last winter we were in San Francisco. It was a great trip.
    And it looks like you have a lot of fun, too.

  2. We went to SF just before we got married. It was one of the prettiest places we had been to.
    We had a great time except when someone smashed our rear window to steal our camera.
    I'm a lot like Max. I get very bored on long road trips. So I can sympathize with him.

  3. So much fun! I took my college daughter there for her last spring break before graduation. We had such a wonderful time. Your kids are adorable. Enjoy every minute - before you know it, Isabella will be your "college daughter"!! I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  4. Is this your birthday holiday? Happy happy happy. Love seeing how much fun the children are having. Wish I lived 5-6 driving hours from San Fran...mine is flying time. Sending love...

  5. YAY!!! I'm glad you are having fun!!!

    Speaking of birthday, I really need to find you something:)

  6. PS,
    are you guys going to see Cars 2?!

  7. The kids mentioned Cars 2, but today we are trying to get tickets for Alcatraz, so heading off at the crack of dawn, now, to see if we can score them! Janell

  8. Road Trip isn't the Are we there yet? part was the most annoying and yet fun part. Was suprised Max did'nt say can we just fly next time..joke,joke! :)

    San Francisco is the first place I visited in the U.S, I went there to see my bestfriend in college 10 yrs. ago today to be exact and LOVED it.
    We will go there next week( after 10 yrs. for me) for 4th of July and mini family reunion to see my cousins after 20 years. we all grew up in the Phillipines spending every Christmas and Summer together with endless sleepless nights.And finally have the chance to meet everyone's family.

    Enjoy your vacation and Happy Birthday! wishing you good health and happiness

  9. I LOVE this post!!!!!!!! I am dying to go on a road much fun. I wish I could turn back the hands of time and my kids would be little...yep even miss their complaining nagging, every minute" how much longer's", the whole they sit there like captive prisoners! LOL.......nothing as much fun as a summer road trip and then to boot you went to one of my favorite cities- San Francisco! To me, NOTHING in the world is as great as being together with my family. Love the pictures..they tell such a fun, adventurous and envy provoking story.....happy birthday, hope its a very happy one and enjoy!
    Safe travels......

  10. Oh how I love a good road trip! I found myself laughing out loud to your tales because I could just insert my family into the scene! Thanks goodness for small electronics, but books on tape, car games, (think license plate game!) treats and surprises work well for my crowd too! Enjoy your fabulous family time, what a great way to celebrate and embrace the "big birthday." Welcome to the club, it really is great, but more on that another time!!!


  11. I am from the Bay Area and miss it. We live in Colorado now and I love it, but the Bay Area is home! My dad worked in the city and recently retired...he said that now he can finally enjoy walking around the city! My husband, 2 little ones and I are doing a road trip of our own in a week...Colorado to Iowa to visit family...we are making a side trip to Mount Rushmore, so that should be fun! Glad you are having a great time...I love reading your blog!!!

  12. We are heading down in a month, will be looking forward to your posts for tips!

  13. Sorry I missed you - was reliving old times in England :)
    Your Chrissy Field pics are gorgeous.

  14. Happy Pre Birthday!!! I have only visited SF once but it was a blast. I can't wait to hear of your fav spots!

  15. Omgosh Janell you are in my backyard. You are getting some great weather this week!!! Enjoy your family time!!I was in Carmel yesterday so we were looking at the same ocean!!xo Kathysue

  16. looks like a fun trip even if the kids beg to differ..they will be appreciative in the long run, as you well know...
    enjoy your birthday,

  17. How fun, Janell! I'm so glad to be home in SF now (: Glad you enjoyed yourself! Not sure if you saw it floating around blogland, but there's a SF design blogger meet up on July 21st and of course, we'd love to have you. I think Cristin may have told you about it, but in case she didn't, I thought I'd let ya know!

    Happy Friday (:

  18. Welcome back to California! I'm sure you will have a great time. The weather cooled down a bit thank goodness. I take pictures when we cross the bridge of the first glimpse of the city like I am a tourist every time we go into the city! Even though I was born there I never get tired of it's beauty. My husband travels the bridge every day to work so it's no biggie for him. Happy Happy Birthday! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.

  19. Happy birthday to you! These photos make me miss San Fran - one of my favorite cities, too! Loved my trip out there a few years ago. Can't wait to see more pics!

  20. Welcome back! Since I am in SF/Oakland, as selfish as it sounds, I am sad that we couldn't meet. But alas quality time with the family is more important....hope you enjoyed your time!!!

  21. You're in my area! Isn't the weather stunning! We saved up perfect weather for your birthday celebration, Janell! I remember those days well of family road trips and asking my parents if we were there yet, sometimes every 15 minutes. I always loved a road tip and still do. Enjoy your weekend!

  22. how fun! San Fran has been on my list of places to visit FOREVER! and road trips are my absolute favourite trips. Thanks for taking me along, can't wait to see more xo

  23. Such a fun city. Thank goodness for electronics is right! Know the feeling. Enjoy and have fun.

  24. wooho for road trips - especially ones to San Fransisco! Happy Birthday!!

  25. Oh wow, you live in Portlandia! My new in-laws live there and I've been dying to visit. Looks like a fun trip!

  26. San Fran is 4 hours from our home. I love it! My sister and her husband lived there while going through dental school. We would go up to visit monthly! It never got old! Have fun!!

  27. I want to know what your daughter is reading! We have to do audio books on trips due to car sickness - to be young and equilibrialenced! I know it isn't a word, but it was sooo much fun to make up! xoxomichele

  28. How fun! I also lived in SF and spent many hours at Crissy Field - I am so jealous! Enjoy!!! :)

  29. Janell Happy Birthday girlfriend!! I hope you are having a great time and cannot wait to see more pics!

    Art by Karena

    I have a New very fashionable Giveaway on my site!

  30. Happy Birthday and Safe Travels. We just got back from two weeks of vacation and my 3 year old has already mastered "Are we there yet?" Looks like you all are having a great time despite the requisite complaining! What would we do w/o the electronics?

  31. Happy birthday! Hope you had a lovely visit to SF - it is hands down one of my fave US cities. Can't wait to see your recommendations.

  32. Natalie and I were in San Jose & San Francisco last week. I'll admit I didn't take pictures but my cousin took pictures of us at his house. I wanted to just relax and not worry about pictures (I know bad blogger). It was so hot in San Jose & south of SF, but nice on the Wharf.

    Glad to hear you had a wonderful birthday in one of my favorite cities. Katharine

  33. One of my favorite cities.....and nothing like a vaca with family. These are the memories you will cherish forever....I know I do.

  34. Would love to know where you stayed with a pool in San Fran - planning a trip for this summer!

  35. Would love to know where you stayed with a pool in San Fran - planning a trip for this summer!


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