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sf day 3: japanese gardens and a trip to the beach

Ok, we got a late start today after trying to recover from our adventures yesterday. I did a little work (as I have a pile of it) and Aidan colored pictures, as Chris planned day 3 for us (a lighter schedule this time). Around 1:00 we jumped on the number 5 bus at Market Street and headed over to Golden Gate Park to visit the Japanese Gardens. Unfortunately, our 3-year-old guide book let us down, and we arrived on one of the non-free days, so we paid our $11.50 to enter the garden and enjoy a relaxing respite away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

From here we walked through the park, debating our next move. Aidan wanted to see the buffalo they apparently have in the park, and I wanted us to eat and get home before it got too late. (I’m fearing the net effects sleep deprivation can have on the disposition of a five-year-old.) So, we compromised. We decided to go grab some food first and then, if time permitted, we’d see the buffalo. Chris wanted to go to this restaurant she read about called the Ocean Beach Chalet (?), so we grabbed another bus (#5 again) and headed for the seashore. It was a nice place. Aidan had his first good meal in a couple of days–grilled salmon with asparagus and mashed potatoes. Chris and I had the fish and chips. It was nice. We ate lunch while gazing at beautiful views of the ocean. Despite earlier plans to visit the mysterious buffalo we had heard of, we could not resit the lure of the ocean, so we decided to walk along the beach instead. The sun was setting and we got some beautiful photos as we strolled out toward Seal Rock (no seals though). Aidan collected broken sand dollars and had the time of his life.

Once the sun sank into the ocean, we decided to head back. The bus ride and walk back to the hotel was a little dicey; vagrancy and public drunkenness apparently is not that uncommon in some parts of town, but we made it. For a late start and a “light schedule” the day felt pretty full. Tomorrow, we plan to get an “early start” so we can rent a car and drive to Muir woods to see the redwoods.

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