Homer's Travels: Vacation: San Francisco - Day 3

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Vacation: San Francisco - Day 3

Day three of our San Francisco vacation was dedicated to more Missions. We decide to stick as close to our original schedule as possible.

We got in our car and headed north. The first stop was going to be Mission San Rafael. To get there we would cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Now, for those who don't know, The Wife has a near phobic fear of bridges over water. The Golden Gate is a bridge ... over water. As we approach I could see the apprehension in the Wife's face. This was emphasized by her getting ready for the crossing by reaching for a plastic bag to hurl in. Yep, it's a chunk-blowing-inducing type of fear. I steered the car into the center-most lane figuring that the closer to the center of the bridge the better. That turned out to be the right decision. As we started crossing the bridge you couldn't see much over the side of the bridge and the Wife said "this isn't so bad" and commented about how pretty the bridge was. It is an attractive bridge. Before you know it we were off the bridge and I pulled into a viewing area so we could get pictures of the bridge. I am proud of the Wife. The bag went unused.

We arrived in San Rafael about an hour before Mass. We walked down to the nearby main street and looked for a place to get some breakfast. After entering and making a hasty retreat from a Starbucks (We both HATE Starbucks for some reason - neither of us drink coffee) we located an open cafe/deli. It was an interesting place. It looked like it was owned by a middle eastern gentleman and there was a large map of the middle east painted on one wall. I'm not exactly sure what it represented. It did not have any national borders marked and it didn't seem to correspond to modern day middle east. Several holy sites were marked - Mosques I assume. I thought it might be a map of the Ottoman Empire or the territories controlled by the Caliphate but neither of these maps seem to match what was on the wall.

After a pretty good breakfast of eggs, ham, hash browns, and toast, we returned to the church and attended Mass. After Mass we looked around a little bit but the store was closed and the actual Mission was occupied with Vietnamese and Brazilian Masses. The list of ethnic Masses is testament to the diversity of San Rafael's populace. We decided to move on to the next mission. A couple pictures of San Rafael can be found here.

Mission San Francisco Solano is in Sonoma. The directions I had were dead on. Unfortunately we did not follow them. We made four or five wrong turns before we decided to actually follow the directions. We toured the state run mission. The store was open here - government offices do not recognize Easter holiday - and I found a really cool old style California map t-shirt. I would have bought one if they had my size. *sigh* This mission was the end of the line. The end of the mission trail was marked with a plaque. It felt weird reaching he end. It was not the end for us as we had two more missions to visit after Solano. A couple pictures are here.

We thought about walking around the square near the mission. It was an attractive downtown and the Ben & Jerry's beckoned but we fought the urge and decided to try for Mission San Jose instead.

Returning to the car we pulled out a map and figured out our route to San Jose ("Do you know the way to San Jose" rang in our heads). The drive down was uneventful - i.e. only one wrong turn that was easily corrected. We arrived to find Mission San Jose closed ... of course. We were so fed up with closed missions that we decided that touching the outside of the Mission constituted officially visiting it. A couple pictures of the Mission are here.

We returned via the longer and less attractive Bay Bridge. The Wife didn't like it but managed it with little difficulty. I'm proud of her. We arrived at the Royal Pacific and the Wife suggested a small restaurant across the street - I think it was called Joe's. She walked down the street and confirmed it was open. We went up to our room, freshened up, and went back out and ... it was closed. *sigh* We decided to go back to the San Francisco Brewing company where we ate the day before and we had another good meal. Of course Joe's, or whatever it was called, was open when we returned to the Inn.

That's the end of day 3, our last full day in San Francisco. A lot of driving but not bad as everything was so green.


  1. Wow, that is a lot of driving for a single day. Good think you had such good company in the car, and that she went over the bridges so successfully! Had I known your itinerary, I would have recommended the 280 for some spectacular springtime green.

    Aw, darn it, now you've gone and made me miss the Bay Area...

  2. GH: It was a lot of driving but there wasn't too much traffic and I like to drive.

    Our itinerary changed from day to day.

    Weren't you just there? It is nice up there.