We love San Francisco and we love our friends there, but we don’t
care for the traffic getting there on a Friday afternoon, so we tend
to pay our visits on Saturday and get back out on Sunday before the traffic gets
bad again with people coming in or going out from weekend adventures. So one of the last weekends of the summer we
decided to escape the triple digit heat of the Sacramento-area and partake in one of Mark Twain's wrongly
attributed quotes…"The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San
And when we arrived it was quite breezy, but comfortable enough for us with jackets to make a stop we have long wanted to make...The Wave Organ. The wave organ is a wave-activated
acoustic sculpture made out of 25 PVC pipes that that go out to various
elevations in the bay at the end of a jetty at the Boat Harbor in the Marina
District. An extension of the nearby
Exploratorium it was completed in 1986. Shocking…you
can actually find free parking if you just continue past the intimidating yacht
club only parking signs. It doesn't look
like anything much but put your ears to the pipes and its amazing the sounds
that nature’s waves provide. And while
you are at it you have incredible views of the bay, the Golden Gate, and Alcatraz.
After we spent a good hour there we decided to take a drive
through Presidio. Over the last several
years this old military installation has had an amazing revival now converted
into homes, businesses, and even home to a Walt Disney Family Museum. But after the long drive earlier in the day
we decided the kids still needed to burn off some energy. So we visited the Julius Kahn Playground located
at West Pacific Avenue and Spruce Street.
Parkscan.org has lots of photos. And their description fits it quite
well…"Locally known as "JK," Julius Kahn is adjacent to the
Presidio, the nation's largest urban National Park. The playground is in excellent condition and
provides kids and parents two structures to choose from--one designed for
babies and toddlers, and another for school-aged kids. Both playgrounds are
situated in a sand pit! JK also has basketball
and tennis courts, and soccer and baseball fields that makes this park
appealing to people of all ages. This
park is very green and is surrounded by a grove of beautiful trees that make
this spot a great place to hike and explore.
The clubhouse has water fountains and restrooms available to the public.” But the one thing not included in this description
is the view…The Golden Gate rises beyond a beautiful field and grove of trees. Our kids could have played for hours…and
really they did on the wide range of play structures.
The next day we met friends for breakfast in the Hayes Valley
area. After lots of research for a place
that could accommodate 6 adults and 4 kids we settled on Straw, a carnival themed eatery…including a
Tilt-o-World booth. They do take
reservations for 6 or more and on a Sunday morning in the city this is highly
advised. We by-passed the large crowd of
walk-ins and were seated. From the
theme-inspired décor to the brunch
dishes like “Play with your Food” where you are invited to play Jinga with
cinnamon toast sticks there was no going wrong with the kids and their mimosas
and bloody mary’s met with the adults approval.
After the amazing breakfast, but prior to the drive home we
decided to burn off some calories and energy, so we ventured up the street to
one of many parks that have been revitalized in the city…The Hayes Valley
Playground. Newly reopened in June it
has the soft play surface and really neat abstract play structures as well as a
small community garden. And supporting
that garden is more “green” in a water catchment system and a living roof on
the clubhouse. Nestled right among the
beautiful homes of the area at Buchanan and Linden Street it was a
delightful place to spend the morning before hitting the open road home. Again more info found on Parkscan.org At about 1PM it was time to beat the traffic and hit the road.
But no worries we always GO to the city a couple of times and will return soon for another 24hour adventure.