THE 2019 CALIFORNIA ROAD (PRE) TRIP REPORT THEME NIGHT COUNTDOWN – DAYS 1 AND 2 (SAN FRANCISCO)!!

Get excited everyone! Because it’s time to start counting down to our next big family trip – our California Road Trip! Super-duper excited for this one. Not only are we going to spend a few weeks on our way down from San Francisco to San Diego, but we are going to be doing it with friends – lots of em. I don’t wanna spoil who will be where and when and in what capacity just yet, but it’s gonna be a trip full o’ friends. A friendstravaganza, if you will.

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And we are gonna do It sort of in the same way we counted down to our cross-country trip a couple years ago. When we were leading up to that trip, we did movie theme nights centered around each destination along the way and when I would write about them, the post would detail the theme night as well as work like a pre-trip report talking about what we would be doing at that specific destination on that specific day.

So yeah, like I said – get excited! Because not only do you get to hear about what we might do on our summer vacation. Maybe. But you also get to hear about food we are eating while we are watching (largely) non-Disney movies on this blog you maybe stumbled upon while looking for Disney-related information.

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But that’s not entirely true. There WILL be some Disney sprinkled in here – both in the movies we watch and the destinations we are visiting. So like, don’t freak out man. It’s just a blog. Life’s too short, my friend.

And this one might be a little less like the cross-country series we did in that it’s really hard to find movies for ALL our California destinations so we may just be doing more generic California movie choices at different points if necessary. There are a TON of great California movies but really, how many Santa Barbara movies are there besides Sideways – which may not be all that kid-friendly – and It’s Complicated – which may not be all that anyone-friendly?

Hm I mean I suppose I could treat the kids to the rivalry that was the Capwells vs. the Lockridges…

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We shall see.

Some of these posts will cover one day. Some will cover multiple days. Some might only cover parts of a day. My posts, my rules. Anyways, let’s get on with it.

Our first stop – San Francisco!

The night

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For our San Francisco theme night, we had a couple things in mind to get us ready for what we were going to be eating on the trip as well as just some general San Francisco foodstuffs. While at the grocery store, I picked up some Sausalito cookies and Ghiradelli chocolates.

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And to start the night off, I made some Irish coffees (you’ll learn why a little bit later). Nickie took hers with Bailey’s but I of course took mine with whiskey.

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The main dish was really the highlight of the night though. We bought some sourdough boules and some Captain Parker’s chowder at the store and made our own clam chowder bowls (a la Boudin Bakery).

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And for dessert, we made SUNDAES. Now, there is no way this sundae was as good as a Ghiradelli sundae. But it DID have a Ghiradelli chocolate square in it. So I dunno.

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The movie

While I argued. STRONGLY. For The Rock as it is the foundational piece in the holy Nicolas Cage trilogy, I was outvoted. And we ended up watching So I Married an Axe Murderer.

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I remember when I first saw So I Married an Axe Murderer. The year was 1993 and the world was just getting to know Mike Myers, riding that whole Wayne’s World high. And I remember thinking it was super funny. Especially his whole Scottish accent thing. We had only really heard it on Saturday Night Live before, so it was still like new. This was before he did the same accent in Shrek. Or as Fat Bastard in Austin Powers. And the difference between those movies and this one is that this one really ONLY had that one joke that worked.

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What I am saying here is this one really DID NOT age well. The jokes feel pretty lame and obvious aside from the Scottish father,  it all just feels really thrown together, and I mean you can only hear “There She Goes” by the Boo Radleys so many times.

The good news is that this movie was all kinds of San Francisco – Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Painted Ladies, cable cars, etc. – it’s like ALL here. So at least it had that. But it was disheartening to feel so let down by this one given how much I enjoyed it in the 90’s. But eh, it happens.

#CaliFriendsYeah2019 – Days 1 and 2 – In which we begin and see San Francisco

Yup, right off the bat I am going in for 2 days. But to be honest, it’s more like 1 ½ days. So shut it. Also that hashtag is a working title for right now. We are also considering #IWantToPunch(insert name) as this will try friendships and familial bonds. Should be fun!

Day 1

Day 1 is in reality, the kids’ last day of school for the summer. Which is always exciting. For the kids, at least. For us, it’s more the start of childcare TETRIS – shifting and maneuvering days off, work from home days, help from family, and childcare to match up with the weeks our children have off so they don’t end up alone in some sort of juice-box fueled cage match with one another over who has had more Playstation 4 time.

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But this last day of school? It will be exciting for all. Because once they are out, vacation begins! Nickie and I will most likely work from home that day. And by “work from home,” I probably more mean go out for breakfast and start drinking at noon. Unless anyone I work with is reading this. Then I actually mean work from home.

Once the kids are out of school, we will pretty much immediately head for the airport and board our long flight out to San Francisco. Dinner will most likely be at Logan Airport, which could work out since we have a tradition of eating the night before a trip at the Jetblue terminal Jerry Remy’s.

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Who knows? Maybe we will even run into our favorite waiter, Eduardo.

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Once we get into San Fran, we actually don’t have our car rented for the first day since we are coming in so late. So we will grab a shuttle or Uber to our home for the night. And right now? That home is the Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport. But who honestly knows? This could change. While I do always appreciate the free breakfast at Embassy Suites (their happy hour is also a perk, but we won’t really get to partake here), this one looks to be lacking and I know from experience, “lacking” at the San Francisco Airport is “holy crap get me out of here” anywhere else. But for now, let’s go with this.

Maybe we will hit the pool for a quick swim if everyone isn’t too tired, but there is also a good chance we will just get to bed as we have an early day on Day 2.

Day 2

On Day 2, we will wake up early and our first task for the day is to grab the rental car. We have a pretty interesting rental plan for the trip, actually. As I mentioned, we have a bunch of friends joining us on this trip at different points. But for the majority of the trip, the Nerdys…erm, NERNEYS. The Nerneys (Matt, Laura, Will, and Jack) will be joining us later on Day 2 and pretty much making the entire trip with us. Which is awesome…as they are some of our favorite people. And the boys have all known each other pretty much since birth. And I have known Matt pretty much since birth…of my drinking problem.

Heh, kidding. I had a problem long before Matt. He’s just really nurtured it.

Anyways though. We are each renting a different type of car. They will be picking up a bigger SUV for room (passenger AND luggage) and we will be picking up a Mustang convertible (or similar?) The plan is to switch off throughout the trip to give everyone a chance to experience the Mustang down the coast and a chance to experience….comfort.

Heh, I kid. I am downplaying it of course. The Mustang is gonna be hella-fun.

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But the Nerd…Nerneys….won’t be getting in until later that afternoon so for the morning it’s gonna be the four of us cramming into the Mustang with our luggage. I think we will probably pick it up and quickly get over to drop our stuff off at the next hotel – Hotel Zephyr on Fisherman’s Wharf. Which looks purty funky.

For breakfast, the plan is to hit the Buena Vista, which is a San Francisco staple. The breakfast looks fine (I may get the BV Breakfast combo with the eggs and the French Toast) but the main reason people go here is for the Irish Coffee. They’re famous for making it. And I am famous for drinking it. Well, not famous. But I like it. And I guess it’s just as fun to watch them make it as it is to drink it. Eh, I doubt that. But still.

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And then it’s off to the Walt Disney Family Museum. I mean, of course.

Actually, we also have a couple stops planned on the way to the museum. We definitely want to check out the Painted Ladies, which will have us all wondering whatever happened to predictability. On account of Full House.

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And we will try and see the Yoda statue at Lucasfilm Headquarters as well. But that might have to wait until tomorrow. Impatient we are though, hmmmm?

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BUT THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM THOUGH. We’ve heard this place is a MUST for any Disney fan as every room tells the story of Walt’s life and legacy. And it looks like there’s a new Mickey Mouse exhibition going on when we visit. In case you didn’t know, I like Mickey Mouse. Also if you didn’t know that, you haven’t been paying attention.

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Lunch will be most likely at the museum café. Looks like some standard sandwiches and what not, but I hear they serve Walt’s favorite chili AND Mickey macarons. So I mean. Durr.

And after lunch it will finally FINALLY be time to meet up with the Nerneys. We will head back to the hotel Zephyr, meet up with the Nerneys, and maybe get a little hotel time in before exploring San Francisco.

We have a couple of hours to just explore the city – maybe Lombard St? Hope a cable car? Eat some Rice-a-Roni? Who knows?

For dinner, I think the plan is to have dinner at the flagship Boudin Bakery location on Fisherman’s Wharf. I am not sure what my entire dinner will consist of, but I am SURE it was at least include a sourdough bread bowl of clam chowder. Because that shizz looks amazeface.

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After dinner, we are booking a night tour of Alcatraz. Yeah, a NIGHT tour. Like prison ghosts be all, “hey.” None of us have done Alcatraz before so this is pretty exciting stuff. I fully plan on freaking Owen out by pretending to be the ghost of Al Capone.

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It looks like we will be touring Alcatraz for at least 3 hours or so, including the ferry ride over so I have a strong feeling the group will be relatively tired by then. The Nerneys will have spent a good chunk of the day travelling and we obviously will have had a full day as well. But if we have any energy left, the plan is to get over to Ghiradelli Square for some ice cream. Fingers crossed. Big fat fingers crossed.

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