Monday, July 23, 2012


Bridging to Cadettes is a special thing.  It means the girls are growing up.  They are now old enough to travel further away from home.

The girls have been dreaming about going to San Francisco for two years.  Ever since they became Juniors. 

They worked hard to earn enough money to go.  They spent hours and hours selling cookies and Fall Products.  They went door to door and stood outside for hours at booth sales.  They also got up early so we could hold our garage sale.

With all their hard work, it paid off.  We got to go to San Francisco.  Well, four out of our six older girls got to go.  Sadly, one girl decided to drop out of girl scouts and one had parents that did not want her going.

We all got up super early and made it to Long Beach airport so we could be on the first flight out.  We wanted to get to San Francisco early so we could spend as much time there as possible.

We had a budget of $500 per person and we were able to stay on that budget.  Our flight was booked early.  We got a good deal of only $138 per person flying on Jet Blue.

Even though we were all super excited for our trip, getting up early meant we were all still sleepy while we waited to get on our plane.

The girls were pretty quiet there as they tried to wake up.  Most listened to music, talked quietly or just people watched.

The time waiting passed by quickly.

Soon, it was time to get on our plane.  One of the fun things about going out of Long Beach is, it's a super small airport.  More like they used to be years ago.  No walking forever to find your gate.  No getting lost as you search for where to go. 

Also, we had to walk out to the plane and go up the ramp like everyone did way before these girls were born.
So there weren't any arguments over who got to sit where, I just had the girls sit in their assigned seats.  The ones it said on their tickets.

We were sitting right in front of each other and an adult sat in the same row as two girls.  It worked out great. 

On the way home, they sat with different girls.

Our flight was great.  No problems at all.  Once we landed we took the tram to the rental car location.

We rented through Thrifty Rental Car and we got a large mini van that held all of us and our luggage.  The cost was $200.  Not bad at all.

We made our way to the Golden Gate Bridge.  We got out and took lots of pictures.  Then we got a snack.  After all, walking across the bridge was going to take lots of energy.

It was the Golden Gates 75th Anniversary.  So, it was a very special year to bridge.  Not only was it the Golden Gates special Anniversary but it was Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary.

After we explored and checked out the sights, we got back into our car, drove around the area a little bit. 

Then it was time to go bridge!!!! 

Once you are actually at the Golden Gate Bridge you see how long it actually is.  The girls were tired from not getting much sleep and they wanted to see as much as they could on this trip. 

So, they voted to just drive over the bridge rather then walk it.  We could not have had more fun then we did.  We all cheered, laughed, screamed, whooped and hollered.  We had a blast!

The girls all had put on their bridging t shirts I got them while we were at the airport so they looked really cute too.

Once we reached the other side of the bridge, we got out,  the girls got their new vests and became official Cadettes. 
We took lots more pictures.  The girls were actually excited to be Cadettes now.

Everyone agreed that driving over the bridge was so much fun, they were happy they didn't walk as they felt they would not have enjoyed it 1/2 as much.

We then drove to Muir Woods.  It is a beautiful place that is home to the worlds tallest Redwood Trees.

It is so green and pretty.  However, the photos do not do it justice.  At least none of mine did. 

This is the location where the famous photographer, Ansel Adams, took his black and white photos.  They now sell for thousands and thousands of dollars.

We spent several hours there.  We did pay to get in but, after we did, we noticed that no one would have known if you paid or not and it was clear that most people didn't. 

However, since we are all honest girl scouts, we were happy we paid.

Some of the trees were so big that all four girls were able to stand in a hallowed out trunk.

We came across one tree that had fallen and was hallowed out too.  All four fit in there too! 

These trees are really big.

Every bridge we came across the girls did another bridging ceremony.  I guess this way they felt as if they actually got to walk across a bridge.

We spent several hours walking around and then everyone was hungry again.  So we had lunch at the only place there to eat. 

It was all healthy food.  Everything was organic.  There were no sodas.  No water in bottles as they felt the plastic was bad for the world.  No chips or junk food.

But, we were hungry and so we all found something to eat. 

We all agreed we wouldn't eat there again.  It wasn't very good and it cost way to much for what we got.

I'm not sure if it was excitement for being on vacation, the joy of bridging, the fresh air or what.  But, we were all laughing until we cried.  We had so much fun, making jokes and then we would make faces and laugh some more. 

We loved Muir Woods but it was time to go.  We still had not checked into our hotel yet.

We took the shuttle back to our car.  The parking lot there is very small and so they have you park down the mountain and they drive you up in a bus.  There is a cost for the shuttle but it was worth it because the roads are very narrow with lots of curves.

We then drove back over the bridge.  There is a fee to go one way over the bridge but one way is free.

We found our hotel.  We stayed at the Sheraton near Fisherman's Wharf.  The hotel was the biggest cost of our trip.  Everything was so costly there and we had to have two rooms to fit all of us.  Plus there is a $50 a night parking fee and the taxes are super high. 

Silly me, didn't take any photos of the hotel.  Guess I was to busy trying to get everyone checked in.

Once in our rooms we were not happy with the rooms they gave us.  So, they switched us.   We had connecting rooms and so we had the girls all sleep in one room and the adults were in the other.  Since we left the connecting door open we were able to go back and forth with ease and could hear everything going on in the other room.  This worked out great.  The girls felt like they had their own space yet, we were right there to make sure everything was ok.

After we moved and got unpacked it was after 5:30pm.

The girls had wanted to go on ghost hunt but the tour started at 6:00pm and we had to drive to the place.  We figured out we would not have enough time to make it plus, if we went that meant we wouldn't have dinner until after 9:00pm. 

So, we skipped the ghost tour and went to dinner.

We walked down to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner.  We voted and everyone decided that Italian food was what we would have.

The food was very good.  We had pasta, pizza, chowder and chicken strips.  We were all full and so we paid (the bill was very high and they even had some strange taxes on there to help pay for medical cost for the low income) then we went to explore the shops.

We found a wonderful candy shop.  It had so many fun things in there.  The girls loved these extra large candy bars!  Yes, they were all real.

Each girl went crazy picking out just the right candy. 
A little bit of this and a little bit of that!

They had so much to pick from it was hard to decide.  I think just the smell of all the sugar and the thought of having whatever they wanted was to much for them and they started to get down right crazy! 

Yes, you guessed it.  We had lots and lots of laughs!
After we got all the candy everyone wanted, we walked around some more.  We came across Ripley's Believe It or Not.

We didn't pay to go in but they had some strange things we could look out without paying.  Like this two headed calf.  Strange!

We ended up at an old penny arcade.   They had some wonderful old machines there.  Sadly, we got there just as they were closing so they asked us to leave and come back another day.

We were allowed to put 50 cents into this big old machine and all this clown/lady did was rock back and forth and laugh...and laugh...and laugh. 

You couldn't help but laugh too.

Since everything was closing up we headed back to our hotel room.  Everyone took showers and got ready for bed. 

We watched tv until everyone was to sleepy to stay awake any longer and soon the sounds of heavy breathing and snoring was all we could hear...oh and the air conditioner.

Tomorrow will be all about our 2nd day in San Francisco.  Our first day was so much fun, I wasn't sure if we could top it.  But, we did!


  1. I had such a blast. The pictures brought back all the fun memories. I wish we were going back!

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