It’s a T-Sweets Day in San Carlos, Mexico!

Getting together with family is always a well anticipated and treasured experience. This year my husband and I were in charge of the party and we hosted it in one of our favorite destinations, San Carlos, Mexico.

San Carlos is about 6 hours down from the US border right on the ocean. I love it there because it is like Arizona with a beach.

I spent my time watching my SWEET grand children play in the water.

We enjoyed going out on the boat to see the mountains and the waves. We like to snorkel and scuba dive.

I took a lot of pictures. Here are three of my favorites.

It was a wonderful and much needed vacation. I feel refreshed and ready to start back with life again.

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!!

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Lake Powell Paradise

It’s summer time in Arizona, and around my house, that means cooling off in the beautiful waters of Lake Powell. Yea!

Lake Powell is like floating in the Grand Canyon. The cliffs and large rock formations are beautiful.

We have a houseboat that we jam pack with people, food, water toys, and games. We try to find a private cove with sandy beaches and snuggle in for the week.

We usually drive the boat a few hours into the lake, but this year we stayed fairly close to the marina, so the cliffs were not as high. It didn’t matter though. The smaller rocks around us were perfect for exploring and jumping in the water to cool off:)

The kids would wake board and tube behind the ski boat all day and in the evening we would drive around and just enjoy the red rocks and blue water.

Every turn would have a new rock or cliff to admire.

And what would a vacation be without some handwork to relax with? I brought my Persian Tiles along and crocheted while I enjoyed the view.

It was a great week. I can’t believe it is already a memory. But what SWEET memories they are!

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a virtual Lake Powell trip with us. I hope you have sunny days and smooth water wherever you may be:)

Care to Cruise, Anyone?

Have you ever been on a cruise? Cruising is the best way to travel and see new places. Your room travels with you, and someone cleans and makes your bed morning and night! The food is delicious and abundant. There are activities planned, and evening entertainment all along the way.

Since I didn’t see any of you on our cruise, why don’t you sit back for a few moments and join us? I would love to take you on our Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas cruise from New Jersey to the Bahamas and back.

If you ever plan a Spring Break cruise, you may want to think twice about one that departs from New Jersey. We were “lucky” enough to choose a week in March when a snow storm moved through that delayed our flight from the early morning hours to the late afternoon. I am from Arizona so snow and I are casual acquaintances at best. But… I put on my coat and got ready to go anyway!

I highly recommend arriving a day or two early so you can visit New York City like we did. New York is a WONDERFUL city with so much to see and do that one short day is not nearly enough. BUT that is all we had, so here is what we fit in. I’m sure you can too!

You Can See The Statue of Liberty

If you can only see or do one thing in New York City, this was our favorite. You need to call way in advance to get tickets to climb the steps all the way to her crown, but we were able to get tickets to the pedestal without too much waiting.

There is a museum in the pedestal with stories about the Statue and to scale replicas.

Oh, she is beautiful!! Pictures can never do her justice. There is nothing as heart touching as seeing her standing in front of New York holding her lamp for the world to see. It was an emotional experience.

Good bye Lady Liberty! I hope to see you again someday!❤️❤️

***

You Can Walk to Stone Street and Get Some Lunch–

We walked from the ferry to the financial district and the oldest paved street in New York City called Stone Street!. Isn’t it quaint? The Dutch cobblestones have been there since 1658!

There is an absolutely WONDERFUL, family owned pizza restaurant here called Adrienne’s. Oh..My… Goodness! The food is good here!

We had a pizza that came out in a square pan and an order of eggplant parmesan. Really, they were to die for!!

If you go to New York, don’t miss Stone Street and Adrienne’s Pizza!

***

You Can Break Your Wrist

Well, I don’t really recommend this activity, although we did get to see a part of New York that we never would have seen otherwise. An Urgent Care Center is within walking distance from Stone Street.

I had to walk by the NY Stock Exchange and Federal Hall without stopping. (That really hurt!). But you don’t have to. They are right next to each other.

I would definitely stop there if I were you.:)

***

You Can See the 9-11 Memorial

Because of my broken wrist, we were only able to see this amazing memorial at night. Wow! They did a great job here❤️

  • The fountain is in the foundation of one tower.
  • World Trade One Building, the tallest building in New York, is built where the other tower was.
  • Names are engraved on the fountain wall.
  • The Oculus subway station and mall are right next to the memorial

Even at night, this is another “Don’t Miss” experience.

***

You Can See a Play On Broadway

The subway took us right to Broadway where we saw Wicked in the Gershwin Theater.

I have seen this fun play multiple times in Arizona and California, but there was something magical about watching it on Broadway. Maybe it was the tears in my daughter-in-law’s eyes as she watched it for the first time. That Elphaba, WOW! Can she sing!

If you are looking for a fun souvenir, we dressed up and got our picture taken.

What a fun day! I’m glad we started our cruise early and were able to enjoy a bit of New York City❤️. Aren’t you? When going in a cruise, I always recommend arriving a day early to visit the embarking city.

***

Anthem of the Seas

The time has come! We are here and ready to embark on our cruise!

There are so many things you can do on this wonderful ship! BUT let me put this in bold writing -Schedule your activities on your computer at home!!!! We did not. Even though we went immediately to get our reservations, we were lucky to get in later in the week and at night. I’m sure there were some cruisers who found that all of the slots were full. Sooo… once again, Schedule at home before the cruise!

Here are a few things you can do on the ship at NO EXTRA cost!

You Can Fly on a Trapeze!

Really?! I did not get into the “swing” of this because of my broken arm. I am sure that had I been my two handed self, I would have been flying through the air with the greatest of ease and there would have been clapping and cheers along with a signing bonus, but, alas, the world will have to wait. Lol!

Even my beautiful young children had a bit of a challenge getting the “hang” of it. Kudos to them for trying though;)

You Can Experience an I Fly Sky Diving Simulator–

How cool is that?! My family LOVED this one. Once again, with a broken arm, I wasn’t allowed to try my hand at it, but it was good that I was available to take pictures.

I don’t recommend breaking your arm, but I definitely recommend splitting your group up so you can get those photos to share with your family at home.

You Can Watch a Movie Under the Stars–

This was a fun experience all except for the freezing weather. If you decide to enjoy the Stars and the movie like we did, I recommend taking your extra blanket from your room to have something to snuggle under.

You Can Roller-skate and Ride Bumper Cars

The sports deck converts into a roller rink or bumper car rink periodically throughout the cruise. They only let a few skaters or drivers on the rink at a time so be sure to sign up early.

You Can Learn to Surf or Rock Climb

Do you remember when I told you that a cruise from New Jersey in March may not have been the best idea? It was so cold and windy that we didn’t want to spend much time out on the deck of the ship. But you certainly can! I have done the Flow rider and rock climbing on other ships. They are really fun!

You Can take a Ride in the North Star

The Anthem of the Seas has a large viewing bubble that lifts you over 300 feet above the ship for some very beautiful views.

We were only able to get a reservation on a Sea day at dusk. I hear that the best times for viewing are when the boat is in port so you get views of the city. We still loved it. I felt safe and secure even though a strong wind was blowing.

Of course there are a multitude of other activities available as well. These were just a few of the highlights and they are all FREE!

You Can Relax and Read or Sew-

If you want a chair by the pool in the Solarium , you need to get out early because it didn’t seem like there were enough chairs for the amount of people on the ship.

We opted for the huge inside viewing room at the back of the ship called Two70. It was AMAZING! I didn’t get much sewing done, but I tried.

There really is so much more to do that I could write about, but I don’t want this post to be so long that it takes all morning to read it!

The ship itself was BEAUTIFUL! The rooms were fairly spacious as far as cruise staterooms go.

I always enjoy coming back from dinner to my bed turned down with a cute towel animal on my bed. It is so cute!

The theme seemed to be cherry blossoms. The elevator shaft was decorated with a larger than I could imagine cherry blossom art piece.

While the evening food is delicious, the buffet and lunch menu was much to be desired. Royal Caribbean could take a lesson from Carnival here. Those Guy Fiero burgers and fries, the BBQ, and taco bars, along with never ending ice cream on the Carnival lines just can’t be beat!

But the evening dining is amazing on the Anthem of the Seas. There are four dining rooms that all serve the same menu. We paid a little bit extra and were able to eat at the four specialty restaurants as well. I highly recommend this. They offer a special if you book them on the first day. Do it! You won’t be sorry:)

We really enjoyed the Sushi, but Chops Steak House was equally delicious! My daughter in law even paid for a sushi making class. Fun, fun!

One of the best things about a cruise is the evening entertainment.

You Can See a Musical and Comedians

Each night the entertainment was amazing. We enjoyed the musical “We Will Rock You” which reminded of me of “Mama Mia” but instead of using ABBA songs they used QUEEN songs to tell a story. It was cute.

The comedians are always funny. This cruise was no exception. It is like a dose of good medicine to laugh along with people you love.

And what would a cruise be if the shop didn’t stop at new and exciting places? Our first stop was at Port Canaveral, Florida.

You Can Go to Disney World

Well, you can, but I don’t recommend it. Now that’s saying a lot, because my family LOVES Disneyland. But the same magic didn’t seem to be in Disney World.

We arrived at 10:00 am, stayed until 4:00 and were only able to ride 2 rides! The fast passes were gone early and the lines were long. We spent two hours waiting for one ride!

The gardens were very pretty though.

It is amazing to see what they can to with plants. Things don’t grow like this in Arizona!

So… my advice for Florida, Port Canaveral would be to skip Disney World and do something like enjoy the Port itself or go to the Missile Museum instead.

***

You Can’t Go to Royal Caribbean’s Private Island, CocoCay

Ok, you can, but we could not. We pulled in, right next to the island, but the weather was too windy, so we were not able to get off the ship safely. Good bye, CocoCay!! I’m glad there was so much to do and eat on the ship!

***

You Can Swim with Dolphins

We LOVED Nassau! While the boys went scuba diving down into sunken ships, my beautiful daughter-in-law, Sarah, and I went to the Blue Lagoon to swim with Dolphins.

Well, I didn’t swim with them , of course, but once again I was glad I was there to take pictures! I mean look at the love this dolphin is giving Sarah❤️. How SWEET!:)

If you decide to go here, be sure to sign up for the Dolphin Swim NOT the Dolphin Encounter. The Swim is where you are actually in the water and the dolphins give you a ride.

We had a relaxing morning into the afternoon here.

We met up with the guys later in the afternoon and did our final adventure

***

You Can Climb the Queens Staircase and See Fort Fincastle-

This little adventure seems to catch the essence of this island. It is free and is my “Don’t Miss” thing to do in Nassau.

This picture is from the Nassau Website.

We took a short mile or so walk from the ship through town to the Queen’s Staircase. It was built in the 1790s. When Queen Victoria died, they renamed it the Queen’s Staircase. There is one step for each year of her reign.

Just around the corner from the top of the staircase is Fort Fincastle

This is another very interesting piece of history with wonderful views of the island. The canons and prison cells are still here. Pretty cool!

A short walk down the hill and we are back at the ship. Wasn’t that so much fun?!

I’m so glad you joined us on our virtual cruise;). I promise there is so, so much more to do than what I posted here. If you get a chance to cruise down to the Bahamas and go to any of these places, I would love to hear about it❤️❤️

I will be back soon with more of my quilty self. Until then I hope you have Smooth Sailing where ever you go!

Drawing Lady Liberty

I had to have surgery on my wrist this past Monday. I can’t believe how it has knocked me out of sync! I have spent the last few days in bed just trying to find enough energy to get up every few hours or so. Ugh! Who would have thought this would have happened? The surgery is much worse than the actual break! Oh well, I should finally be on the up swing. Just 6-8 weeks until I have two hands again. I can do this!

Since I have been down, I have found that drawing is about the only thing I can do. I’m sure that in a week or so I will have my energy back and can try my hand at other endeavors like cleaning my house. There is a lot to put away after a trip! But for now, I am enjoying the still moments to draw a bit.

I was so inspired by The Statue of Liberty, that I just had to draw a few pictures of her.

This first drawing was inspired by a picture I took while on the ferry. I will share the original with you in a few days. I can also write blog posts, so I will be able to share a few photos from our trip. It was so fun-all except the broken wrist adventure!

My next drawing is a more vivid drawing of Lady Liberty. I’m not sure which I like better.

I don’t think I like either one better. I like them both and they both make me happy🙂. But I do think the bottom one is more a reflection of how I feel being stuck in bed with the hope of light at the end of the tunnel.

Until next time,

Vacationing Like a Quilter

My son is graduating from ASU this semester. Really?! No way can he be that old!! Wasn’t it yesterday I was making Halloween costumes and going to school parades? Oh well, that’s how it goes. I’m so glad that I have taken the time to enjoy every moment. Life is too SWEET to focus on things that don’t really matter in the long run.

Well, anyway, for his graduation my cute hubby and I are taking him and his adorable wife on a cruise to the Bahamas. So fun!! I’m excited to share this part of the world with them.

Now, as any quilter-crocheter knows, the hours traveling on a plane or in a car are prime handiwork time. I have spent the last few days getting my project ready. I really want to finish my Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt, but oh my, there was a lot of prep work to do.

I had to prep the pattern, cut it out and cut all of those teeny little pieces and then make more bias tape and cut 80 or so leaves. Then I had to glue baste them all down! It really wasn’t that bad, just time consuming. It’s all good.

I am pleased with how it all looks though.

My plane flight is literally going to just fly by as I stitch these pretty flowers down.

I just need to make sure my DH is on my right, so I don’t bother anyone by maneuvering the thread! I have gathered all my supplies together.

Here are the things I am taking–

  • I have my sewing panels,
  • glasses,
  • thread,
  • needles,
  • thimble,
  • needle threader,
  • A small clip light or head lamp
  • fingernail clippers to act as scissors,
  • and a cute little box to put them all in.

All of my notions fit perfectly here and it is small enough to just throw in my back pack! How SWEET is that?!

I am now ready to go. If I can get my WiFi to work on the ship, I will try to post my progress this week for the HQAL. I will definitely post about the fun things to do on a Bahama cruise when I get back.

Until then, Bon Voyage!

Road Trip Eye Candy

It’s road trippin’ time!  I just love a good road trip❤️❤️.  My DH and I are going up to help my #1 son move to school.  It’s what parents do, right?  

I love driving through Arizona and Utah in August.  The weather is a little cooler and the rains have come.  It is picturesque at every turn.


My favorite part is the view of the Grand Canyon from the Highway 89.  The land is cracked for miles and miles.   

It is GRAND indeed!   I like to stop for a minute and drink in the beauty and majesty.  

And as if that isn’t enough, the other side of the highway is nestled into these tall, smooth, red rocks.  If only I were a rock climber like my son! 

I know, I know,  we are all gaining spiritual weight with so much beauty, but wait, the dessert is still to come!


Lake Powell is just a little bit further down the road!  Can you believe it?!  I am truly happy today.  

Of course a happy road trip would not be complete unless I had some fun hand work to keep my hands busy.

I am on the last few blocks of my Stardust Melodies Afghan.  I will definitely have them all done by the end of the trip.  Oh yea!!



Driving in the car also teaches new techniques because necessity is the mother of invention.


I forgot my stitch markers at home, so I have learned that a hair clip  works GREAT!  In fact it is easier to use because as the name implies, it just clips on.  How cool is that?  Its TOTALLY TIPSTER:)!


Road trips really help me get caught up on projects. But best of all, I get to sit by my cute husband and enjoy his company.  SWEET!!❤️


I hope all of your life roads are leading to happy places filled with people you love:).  

Thank you joining me on my road trip today!

20 Things to do in San Francisco 

Hello!  I am so excited to share this post with you today!  I just got back from a fantastic vacation to beautiful San Francisco.  We spent 5 days there and never ran out of fun things to do.  In fact, there are so many things to do there that I thought I  would share the things we did and the lessons we learned so you won’t have to research and make the same mistakes we did.  You’re welcome!:)

Here is a list is 20 things to do that are all amazingly fun.  Most of them are free or very inexpensive which is also an A+!  Pick and choose a few, or do them all.  Whatever you choose, you are sure to have a GREAT TIME!!

  1. Amtrak Coast Starlight Train
  2. Muir Woods
  3. Walk across Golden Gate Bridge
  4. Fort Point National Monument
  5. Alcatraz
  6. Walking Tour (includes #7-12),
  7. Ferry Terminal
  8. Cable Car Ride
  9. China Town
  10. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factoey
  11. Coit Tower
  12. Pier 39
  13. Lombard Street
  14. Fisherman’s Wharf
  15. Boudin Sourdough Bread Factory
  16. Ghirardelli’s Square
  17. Giants Baseball Game
  18. Haight and Ashbury Streets
  19. Japanese Tea Gardens
  20. Oakland Latter-day Saint Temple and Bridges

1. Amtrack Coast Starlight-


Instead of flying, if you have time and can take the train up or down the coast,  I highly recommend it.  We boarded at Union Station in Los Angeles.  We relaxed and visited as we went up the coast.  What a way to travel!

We didn’t get a sleeper car.  It was an 11 hour ride and cost $80.00 per person.  The seats were roomy and we could walk and move all over the train.

The push of a button opened the doors between the cars.  The ground is extra shaky here!  Watch that step!:)

There was a water station on the wall of our car. There was also a snack bar available for munchies.  We weren’t completely happy with the food, so we called ahead for a pizza to be delivered to one of our stops along the way.  Woo hoo! Hot gourmet pizza on the train!  We felt so smart:)!


While we could see the pretty view from our seats, there was also a glass observation car that was available to everyone.  Gorgeous!!  I loved traveling on the train❤️

We arrived at Jack London Square in Oakland and hired an Uber to take us to a car rental company.

2. Muir Woods-

Muir Woods is a Redwood Forest National Monument. It is like walking in a Faerie Land. The trees are majestic and the greenery is soft and enchanting.    

You don’t need hiking shoes, but a nice walking shoe is a good idea. The paths are flat and paved.   There are hiking paths, but the walking trails were plenty for us.

The hardest part about Muir Woods is the parking. Unless you get there before 9:00am or earlier, don’t even plan on parking there.  The lots fill up quickly and the parking lines on the side of the road literally can be MILES long!  

This is the Donahue pick up location
Take the public transit shuttle.  It is FREE with your receipt for entering the park:). How slick is that?!   They drive you right to the front entrance and drive you back.  Easy!  Donahue and Pohono are the two pick up points.  Check online for more info of times and directions.

3.  Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge

Walking across the bridge is a “bucket list” must. It is 1.2 miles from edge to edge.  The roaring sound of the traffic, the slight movement of the bridge, and the spectacular views make this a favorite activity.  There is a walking and bike riding path on the edges making it very safe.  This is a FREE adventure!

  • If you are with a group, it is a good idea to have a “designated driver” here.  
  • Park on the North side of the bridge.  (We did this right after Muir Woods and took the exit right before the bridge and parked in the parking area there)
  • Walk across.  Have your designated driver only walk halfway and walk back.  He or she  can drive to the other side and park there to pick you up:)
  • The south side has the visitors center and lots of pretty photo taking places.

4. Fort Point National Monument

Right below the Golden Gate Bridge on the South side is Fort Point National Monument.  It is a good idea to combine this with walking over the Golden Gate Bridge.

This was an interesting Monument.  I liked seeing the old canons and canon balls they used to defend the old city.  We enjoyed exploring the little caverns and staircases. 

5. Alcatraz– 


If you can only do one thing in San Francisco, this is the must see attraction.  It costs about $40.00 and you need to book your reservations in advance.  You may need to book your reservations months and months in advance if you are going over a holiday.  


The ferry ride over takes about 10 minutes.  Once you are there, the National Parks Service gives you a headset with a WONDERFUL audio tour of the old prison.  The voices and sounds of the prison make the place come to life.   You can go at your own pace and linger, take pictures, and visit all you want.  Don’t miss it!!

6.7.8.9.10.11.12.- Walking Tour

I have combined all of these into a San Francisco Walking Tour Post that can be found here.  

If you don’t like to walk, you can just check out the locations on that post and drive to the ones that interest you:).  But, if you like walking and really seeing, and feeling the pulse of the city, definitely give this tour a try.  It is about 5 miles long with A LOT of stairs!



13.  Lombard Street- 
Lombard Street is claimed as “the most crooked street in the world”.   It is located on Presidio Blvd.  and ends on the Embarcadero.  


You can walk down the street, but I recommend driving.  The walkers don’t get to enjoy the fun of the eight hairpin turns, and isn’t that what it’s all about?    But if you are with a group, you may want to send one walker down a bit before you start the drive to get your picture 🙂

14. Fishermans Wharf-


There is a lot of shopping and fun hustle and bustle here.  There are street entertainers and lots of good food.  Yum!  I recommend eating at the Boudin Bakery.   They have the best sourdough bread in the city:)

15.  The Boudin Bakery-


This is the place to get your clam chowder in a bread bowl.  Believe me, we tried other places, and the bread was tough.  The bread here, tastes like it was almost hot out of the oven!   That’s probably because it was.  

The factory is right there with a little museum and views of the actual Bakery below.   The smell is amazing!   

If you like fish tacos, they make their own sourdough tortillas. Amazing!!   The fish and chips were fantastic as well.   Give this place a try, you won’t be sorry:)

16.  Ghirardelli Square- 

If you like chocolate, and really, who doesn’t, this is the place for you!  It is located just west of Fishermans Wharf on Beach Street.   There are lots of shops in the square, but the best is of course Ghirardellis!

They don’t offer tours of the actual factory, but they have a demonstration in the back of the shop.   The sundaes are so delicious and the give free chocolate samples to everyone who enters.

17. Giants Baseball Game


If you are visiting the area during baseball season, be sure to pick up a game at the beautiful AT&T Park.  They have tickets ranging from cheap to expensive. We spent $17.00 and were in the top tier.  We could still see great though.  

The food at the stadium wasn’t that good.  We all wished we would have just tried the classic sausage hot dog offered in the hallway.   Oh well, next time:)

I bought a hat outside of the stadium from a vendor for 10.00 and felt quite smart because my hubby  bought his at Target for 17.00!  

18. Haight and Ashbury Streets

Groovy!   This area is recognized as the place where the hippie movement began.  The shops are all eclectic and bright colored.  Far out, man!

And of course, I would never let my fabric loving friends down by not finding a fabric store on my trips:) I went to Mendels fabric store on Haight Street.   While most of the store was more of a craft store, there was a fabric section in the back.  I think it geared more toward fur and fabric on rolls, but there was some cute cotton by the yard in the back.   

19. Japanese Tea Gardens-


If you have never been to a tea garden before, you are in for a zen like treat. The oldest public Japanese Tea Garden in the United States is inside the Golden Gate Park located between John F. Kennedy Dr. and Martin Luther King Dr.

The quiet serenity is palpable here.  The manicured hedges and soft bubbling fountains really do bring a feeling of peace and well being.  

And, if you get here before 10:00am it is FREE!  Even more serene for your pocketbook:)!

20.  The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints Temple and Bridges – 


Up on the hill on the Oakland side of the Bay,  you will see the Latter-day Saint temple.   It is a beautiful building with spectacular views of the city and Bay Area.  It is especially stunning at night.  There is a free visitors center there as well. 

It is fun to take a drive over the Bay bridge to get to the temple.   Enjoy the temple and views, and then complete the tour around the Bay by driving over the San Rafael Bridge and finishing with the Golden Gate Bridge.

There you have it.  I hope this list is helpful to any of you who are thinking of taking a trip to San Francisco.   Enjoy your trip!



 

Walking Tour of San Francisco

It is easy to find a lot to do in San Francisco, but it is crazy hard finding a free self guided walking tour.  But never fear, I have organized one for you that is totally fun, easy to follow, and is FREE! Yea:)!!

This tour is about 5 miles long with A LOT of steps.   You will want to start in the morning around 10:00 or 11:00am so you can see everything.  The tour includes the following:

  1. The Ferry Building
  2. Ride a Cable Car
  3. See China Town
  4. Eat a fresh fortune cookie
  5. Rest by St. Peter and Paul church
  6. Stairs to Coit Tower
  7. Coit Tower
  8. The Filbert Stairs
  9. Visit Pier 39

Doesn’t that sound fun?  So, if you are ready, put on a nice pair of walking shoes and let’s get started!  

1. The Ferry Building–

Let’s start at the Historic Ferry Building and Market.   The Ferry Building is at Pier 1 on the Embarcadero.   You can park nearby or take the BART and exit at the Embarcadero stop.

If you take the BART, come up to the street and look North.  You will see the Ferry Building.  Walk over to it and go inside.

The building was built in 1898.  It now has a market place inside with lots of vendors and good food. 

I recommend getting an ice cream cone at Humphrey Slocombe. It is ranked one of the top 5 ice creams in America! The “Secret Breakfast” is wonderful❤️. Yum!!

Shop around for a while and then head outside the front exit. Be sure to check out the views of the Bay Bridge while you are here.  If the walking Pier is open, that is right next to the Ferry Building, you might want to walk to the end and take a picture or two.

2.  Ride a Cable Car


Head back up Market Street to the Cable Car station pick up. It is located right next to the Hyatt Hotel.  

Hop on board and enjoy the ride.  The conductor will collect your fare.  It costs about $7.00 a person. You can sit or stand as you move along.

Get off at Grant Ave.   You will be in China Town.

3. China Town


China Town is so pretty with all of its red hanging lanterns. Walk down the street and check out some of the trinket shops.  Everything is so inexpensive here.   It is a good place to buy your souvenirs.

4. Golden Gate Cookie Factory

A trip to China Town would not be complete without a fresh Chinese fortune cookie.


Walk down Grant Ave and turn left on Washington Street.  There will be a small alley way on the right called Ross Alley.  Head down the alley and near the end, on your right, will be the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

Go inside and watch how they make fortune cookies.   You can buy a bag of cookies to share with your friends back home.  They also give free samples:)

When you are finished head out of the alley to Jackson Street and turn left.

5. Washington Square / Saint Peter and Paul Church–  

Walk down Jackson Street and turn right on Stockton Street.  Follow Stockton Street all the way to Washington Square.  You will pass by a lot of good Italian food restaurants.  You may want to grab a bite to eat here. 

Don’t get confused at the three way crossing at Columbus Ave. and Green Street.  Just keep going on Stockton Street.  You will run right into Washington Square.


Take a moment to rest and enjoy the view.  The church is so pretty.

6.  Stairs to Coit Tower-

Take a deep breath and get ready for a real workout.  Walk right, up Filbert Street, to the Stairs to the Tower.  

This is a steep climb with a lot of stairs. So take your time and take breaks when you need them. Enjoy the views of the Transamerica Pyramid as you go.

 

7. Coit Tower


When you finally reach Coit Tower, you will want to stop and take a breath or two.  The views here are spectacular. 

There is a free art gallery inside the tower filled with depression era art that celebrates the worker of American industry. 

You can pay to go to the top of the tower if you would like.  The tower closes at 6:00 p.m. So plan your walk accordingly.

8. The Filbert Stairs

Exit the tower and head back along the road using the walking path that is divided from the road by a rock wall.  Walk to the end of the rock wall toward the steps you came up earlier.  Turn left instead of right.  

You will see a blue fire hydrant next to a staircase walking path.   These are called the Filbert steps.   There are 400 steps here!

The residents have built beautiful homes and planted lovely gardens. It is hard to believe people actually live here and have to walk these stairs everyday!  

Turn around and take a look at what you just walked down!  Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it!  Keep walking for a short bit  then turn left at Sansome Street. 

9. Pier 39 –

Follow Sansome all the way to the Embarcadero.    Cross the street and turn left.  Walk to Pier 39.  


We are at our final stop, but what a place to stop!  There are so many things to see and do here that you can stay for quite a while.  There is a carousel in the back, vast amounts of shopping, and the food options are numerous.  From hot dogs to crab they are all here.  


Be sure to walk around the outside of the pier.  The views are beautiful, but the most unique part of the pier is the sea lions.  There are hundreds of them here that like to rest and bask in the sun!

When you are finished at the Pier,  catch the Embarcadero street car that is in the middle of the street.  It will take you back to your car or to the BART by the Ferry Building .


I hope you have enjoyed your walking tour.  San Francisco is such a fun place to visit.  If  you want more ideas of things to see and do, check out my list of 20 Things to Do in San Francisco.

I hope you have a GREAT trip and would love to hear about your walking tour:)!

Happy 4th of July!


I was looking through my old paintings, and came across this happy flag that I painted a few years back.  It made me smile:). 

For all of my Stateside friends, I wish you all a happy holiday!  Are you planning anything fun?  I am excited to head up to a cabin for a few days of cooler weather.   Temperatures here in Arizona have been hot hot hot with the gage about 105 every day and sometimes more!  I can’t wait for the monsoons:)!

Well, once again, Happy 4th of July!! 

What to do on a Caribbean Cruise

I  had the best week last week:). I was able to spend some time cruising with my son and daughter in law in celebration of their graduations.  Yea!

Our ship left from Galveston, TX.  I like road trips, so we left a couple days early and drove there.  We stopped at the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch along the way.  It was majorly beautiful!

They even have the small jet they call Airforce Half that he used to travel in!  It’s not very big inside.

We wish we had more time to spend there.  If you ever get an opportunity to go here, definitely plan a full morning or afternoon.  

The actual cruise was so fun:). We went to Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel.   Each place was simply beautiful.   We went on the Royal Caribbean Liberty Ship.  

Here is what we did, just in case you ever decide to go and need some ideas of what there is to do:

  • Be sure to go to Diamonds International at all of the ports. There are one or two or three at each of them,   If you go up to any worker and say you would like a charm, they will give you one and a free bracelet!   Each store has a different charm.  It is a fun treasure hunt:)

Roatan, Honduras–   We went to West Bay and hired a boat to take us to see dolphins, starfish, and snorkeling on the coral reef,

  • Dolphins— definitely pass on this unless you pay to get in and actually swim with them.  Our boat just puttered around the outside.  –lame:(
  • Starfish— also a bomb.  Don’t waste your time here.  There is just a bunch of sea grass and sand.  No, no , no!
  • Coral Reef–Snorkeling.  Oh my, oh my, Yes! Yes!   I have been diving in many many places and the clarity of water, the formation of coral, the colors and closeness to the top of the water is spectacular. All you need here is just a snorkel and fins and the beautiful Roatan water.  This is GREAT!!:)

Belize— We prearranged a tour with Major Tom who was the originator of cave tubing and many other tourism sites in Belize. I highly recommend contacting him online and having him organize your shore excursions.   He makes things happen and is so nice!

We went cave tubing  and visited the Mayan ruins.

  • Cave Tubing–  I absolutely love, LOVE this excursion.  We hiked for about 25-30min through the beautiful jungle.  We bought a coconut to drink on the way, but we wish we would not have.  It was awkward to carry the coconut, the tube, and hike.  It was definitely not necessary.  —  The cave was AMAZING with brief moments of illuminating jungle views shining through the darkness. BEAUTIFUL!!  
    Here is a picture from Major Tom’s website
  • Altun-Ha Mayan Ruins—  The ruins are on the opposite side of the city from the caves. It is a long, windy, bumpy ride, but so so worth it.  Major Tom bought us a delicious lunch of chicken and rice to eat in the van along the way.  Yum!  Although, a white tee shirt, greasy chicken, and a bumpy road don’t make the best of combinations, lol:). — The first view of the ruins is somewhat spirtual.  They are large and grand. We had a wonderful time here. We were able to climb to the top of the largest ruin.  It was spectacular!

Cozumel, Mexico—  

  • There is a lot of very good shopping right off of the ship.  The prices were better here than out of the port area. 
  • The main thing to do here is dive and snorkel. I have been here numerous times and have yet to find that great dive spot.   I know they must be there because I have heard others talk about them.  I just haven’t found them.   Next time I go, I am going to rent a 4wheeler and go to the other side of the island and go to the Chakunaab area.  I hear there is great water over there…..if you go there, let me know.  Plus, the drive should be fun:)
  • We walked the Main Street and found a cozy little tide pool area to explore.   It was relaxing, beautiful, and free!  There is something to be said for that right?

Activities on the Ship– The Liberty of the Sea is not Royal Caribbean’s largest boat but it isn’t the smallest either.  It is like a floating city with over 4,000 people aboard!  I like the openness of the ship.   It doesn’t feel tight or claustrophobic.

There are so many things to do on this ship.

  • Rock climbing is always a fun thing to do on the ocean!
  • How about knee boarding on the waves?
  • And I had to use my cake decorating skills at the cupcake decorating class:)!
  • There is also golf, multiple huge slides, kids water park, ice skating, pools, entertainment, and lots and lots of food!  I must say though, I much prefer Carnival cruise line food.  The dinner food was excellent, but the lunch selection here is  all cafeteria style, and very much the same every day.  So if food is your thing, go Carnival.   But the Royal boat itself is much better:)
  • And of course, any road trip or cruise would not be complete without some crochet or hand work:)!   I brought along white yarn to crochet up a baby blessing afghan for my new grandson:)

I’m not using a pattern here. It is just alternating rows of 1 dc in each stitch – row 2 skip two sc, 3dc in next st.    Looking good!

We had a fantastic time.  I just love spending time with my dear, SWEET family.    Now I am home and starting that diet!!!