California trip-Day 7

After our refreshing night sleep for our first nights stay in the Bay area, we had a decent amount planned. First on the chopping block was a short drive to the Muir Woods National Monument. Muir Woods is an area just north of San Francisco that is home to one of the few redwood tree groves in the world. Don’t worry, we were definitely not going to be chopping down any of those trees.

The park was formed in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt and was named after John Muir, a naturalist that you may have heard of. John Muir also brought a great amount of attention to the Yosemite area in California along with many other lands that would become national parks. The redwood trees there are some of the tallest in the world with the largest in this park being 258 feet!

It was quite amazing to see the trees here. Being dwarfed by something so huge and old can really make one ponder on their place in the universe. I would really like to go back one day to be able to explore more of the park and also stand in awe of the greatness of these redwood trees.

Our next destination was about an hour or so drive away, but at least there was a lot to look out along the road. We were going to one of the visitor centers for the Point Reyes National Seashore. Along the way we passed through a few small towns and along some waterways where we saw a few seals or sea lions roaming inland. The visitor center itself did not have much going for it, just some exhibits about the local wildlife.

From here, we had another long drive to our next destination within the park. We passed through a lot of farm land that was mostly used for grazing cattle from what we could tell. The farms had originally been formed in the mid-1800’s, around the time of the gold rush and the forming of San Francisco into the largest American city on the west coast. Oh, and the whole area was a foggy mess as well. The roads were narrow and the fog made it difficult to see if there was any oncoming traffics at times. But, when we did get to see something, it was magical, like the few times we did get to see the shoreline from the road with the waves from the ocean crashing into the beaches.

Near the end of the long ride we came to a fork in the road. To the right was supposed to be a Lighthouse Visitor Center. We took that road first, still rolling through the fog, only to find out that it was closed. I had to hope that our next planned stop was going to have something going on or this was going to be a failed excursion. Well, we were in luck! After finding a parking spot at the end of the fork to the left, we walked down a short trail to find these guys causing a ruckus.

As you can tell, these guys are quite noisy. This little area has been a seasonal breeding ground for elephant seals for a long time. We thought the kids would appreciate seeing some animals in the wild and boy, did they. The adults enjoyed it too.

Now it was time to drive back to San Francisco. We made our way through the fog again and back across the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Presidio area for the second time. Our goal for this part of the day was to tour the Walt Disney Family Museum. Just after we arrived there it started raining. At least the parking was free.

This museum was a tribute to Walt Disney himself. It told the history of the man from his birth, to World War I, to his jobs after that, to working on and founding an animation study, the creation and evolution of Mickey Mouse, the Disney Parks, and many other odds and ends that he was involved in. Walt Disney was an extremely busy man! Here are some of the highlights.

As a sports fan and a lover of the Olympics I had to throw those last few photos in there.

As we had not ate in a long time it was finally time to find some food. We settled on a ramen place called Orenchi Beyond. I may have mentioned before that myself and Andrea both like to find a local ramen place worth trying any time we are in a new city. Orenchi did not dissapoint us either. But, there are so many other ramen choices in San Francisco that we will have to try other restaurants if we ever go back.

After dinner we didn’t really have anything else planned for the night. We just ended up going back to the hotel and relaxing for a bit as it had been a long time since we did any true relaxing.

Come back again later for the last day from our trip!

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