Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mr. Toad's Tours (Day 4 - San Francisco)

For our first full day in San Francisco, we took the advice of TripAdvisor and took Mr.Toad's Tour.

This is the car we road around in. It is a real 1912 Rambler.

I'm not sure how it came, but it now has 4 rows of 3 seats each behind the driver's row. So, my mom, Alex & I had a row to ourselves. You can see there are blankets for each passenger tucked on a pole in front of us. While driving around San Francisco, you can get very hot when the sun is beating on you, but you can also get quite chilly when you are in the shade of  a tall building and the wind is hitting you. The blankets were a wonderful touch.
This is one of the very STEEP hills in San Francisco. Our guide told us that it isn't really that hard to park. But, it can be very tricky getting OUT of your car after you do park! And, you either have to fight gravity to open your door or be careful it doesn't bang into the car below you, depending on which side you are getting out on.

It was kind of hard to take photos while going on this 3 hour tour, but I HIGHLY recommend it. Our guide, John, was very friendly and informative. He told us a lot of the history of San Francisco - and it is such a fascinating history! And, he really helped us to get oriented to this new city. I'd highly recommend this tour! It was probably the best thing we did in SF.

If you've seen the movie, "The Pursuit of Happiness", this man was in it playing this instrument. (I forgot what it is called!) Our guide says this man sits out here basically every day in Chinatown. (The sign mentions the movie and how to find him on YouTube.)

I forgot the name of this park, but it was lovely and peaceful. Oh, except for the drummers who were practicing there. Anyway, you can see a beautiful veiw of the city and see some Painted Ladies across the street. Painted Ladies, our guide told us, are actually any of these types of houses that have more than 2 colors. They actually come in a lot of different styles.

Our tour stopped near the bottom of Golden Gate Bridge for awhile so we could look around and take some photos. We also watched the surfers. And, yes, you can see me holding my "big" camera!

This lady lives in a multi-million dollar home... and she always watches for John and his old cars and throws out chocolate! She had little baggies with bite-sized Snickers, Milky Ways, etc. John parked the car, went and stood on her street, and she threw down little baggies of chocolates for him to pass out to us!

I guess these are out of order. Anyway, another view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

This photo was taken at the same spot. It is of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which is usually called the Bay Bridge. The bridge actually has two parts, one from SF and one from Oakland, which both end on an island. The bridges have two layers, each layer going a different direction. During the 1989 earthquake, the top layer of one of the Oakland bridge fell onto the bottom layer. That part of the bridge is currently being rebuilt and you can probably see it in some of my other photos. (Hopefully I've understood this correctly. Please correct me if I'm wrong!)

And, I wish I would have gotten a better photo, but this was one of two wedding photo sessions that we saw while in SF.

We saw a lot more while on our tour of the city, but this will give you a taste of it! We really did think it was an incredible city.


  1. Hi! I'm Donna from Comin' Home and I noticed that you left a comment on my post about board games. Thanks for visiting! I've been to San Francisco and The Redwoods and Monterey. Our family took a 30 day road trip and hit 14 national parks.

    We've been homeschooling over 20 years. I've got two of five kids left to graduate. One of those two starts dual credit next year. It's hard to believe we've come so far on this long journey!

    I love your posts about travel. Wow--you have quite an archive! And I thought I was prolific! Ha! I can't wait to look around. I'm super glad you dropped by.

    Donna @ Comin' HOme

  2. Hi forgot to say that I had no idea Mr. Toad was set in San Francisco. I loved his story and read it to the kids several times when they were young. I always felt like I could 'relate' to him. Many hobbies..

    How sweet that that lady dropped chocolates for you! Amazing!

  3. What a tour! The Golden Gate Bridge is something that I would have loved to have seen. Thank you so much for sharing the photos. That little old lady just touched my heart. How sweet to throw down those goodies like she does. You are so sweet to share all of this with us.

  4. What a sweet little lady! I love that! Toad's Tour was something that I had researched for my daughter when she was going there with friends. She never went, but I was always curious about the tour. It looks like a blast. I'm so glad you got to go.
    Didn't that bridge have another problem just a few years ago? Or am I just thinking about the earthquake? That makes me feel old. ;-)

  5. That looks like an erhu, we went to a concert at a tea house and they were playing that. They even played jazz on it!