Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 23) – Portland, OR – Tacoma, WA

The final day of our road trip was spent in Tacoma, WA. This stop was mainly planned to only have a short drive to SeaTac Airport the next morning, but what we saw of the town was very nice. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 23) – Portland, OR – Tacoma, WA”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 22) – Portland, Oregon

The kids had their way on our last day in Portland, so we had a “Wie is de Mol?” day…

Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 22) – Portland, Oregon”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 21) – Portland, Oregon

Our third day in Portland was mainly spent with a mini road trip along the Columbia River and “around” Mt. Hood, concluded with some good old tax-free outlet shopping…

Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 21) – Portland, Oregon”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 20) – Portland, Oregon

Portland was the last real leg of our road trip, staying there for three whole days. On our second day, we walked quite a lot through town. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 20) – Portland, Oregon”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 19) – Portland, Oregon

Portland was the last real leg of our road trip, staying there for 3 whole days. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 19) – Portland, Oregon”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 18) – Bend to Portland, Oregon

On our way from Bend to Portland, again immersed in the fantastic nature that Oregon has to offer! Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 18) – Bend to Portland, Oregon”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 17) – Painted Hills, Oregon

The 185-mile / 300-kilometer day trip from Bend to see the Painted Hills near Mitchell, Oregon, was so worth it! Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 17) – Painted Hills, Oregon”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 16) – Medford – Bend, Oregon

Our road trip continued inland with a 190-mile /305-kilometer trip to Bend, Oregon. The nature in Oregon is just absolutely breath-taking! Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 16) – Medford – Bend, Oregon”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 15) – Anderson, CA to Medford, OR

Time to say goodbye to California with a 160-mile / 260-kilometer drive along a pretty scenic stretch of the I-5. We spent the next day and a half in Medford, Oregon. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 15) – Anderson, CA to Medford, OR”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 12) – Monterey – Napa Valley, California

We hit the most southern point on day 14 of our road trip as we traveled from Monterey up north to Napa Valley that day: a 205-mile / 330-kilometer trip. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 12) – Monterey – Napa Valley, California”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 11) – San Francisco – Monterey, California

Leaving San Francisco for a 125-mile /200-kilometer drive to Monterey. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 11) – San Francisco – Monterey, California”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 9) – San Francisco, California

Day 2: Quite a walk in San Francisco

route 7 san francisco

After an early rise and delicious breakfast at Le Boulangerie de San Francisco (222 Sutter Street), we walked towards the piers. We encountered the Mechanics Monument on Market Street, which prompted the kids to ask us whether or not metalworking is dangerous while being buck naked… 😀

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After a short stop at The Embarcadero and the San Francisco Ferry Building, we went on to the Exploratorium. The last time we visited in 2001, at its previous location in the Palace of Fine Arts at Piers 15 and 17, it was already great, but its new site at Pier 39 is even bigger and chockfull of great hands-on exhibits that will entertain young and old alike.

You can easily keep yourself occupied for several hours with the abundance of physics, biology, or sensory exhibits and experiments, which we did… Consequently, we had a late lunch at Hillstone. An excellent restaurant just across Pier 33 (1800 Montgomery Street). Definitely one of the pricier ones we have been too, but high quality and tasty food and friendly service!

  • Hillstone Cheeseburger: freshly ground beef, with tomato, onion, lettuce and melted cheddar
  • Texas Burger: freshly ground beef, topped with chili, red onion, and shredded cheddar served with a tangy BBQ sauce and quinoa salad
  • Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna salad with mango, avocado, mixed greens, and a cilantro ginger vinaigrette

What a difference a couple of hours makes!

As we bought City Passes at the Exploratorium, we needed to get bang for our buck (we are Dutch, right… 🤑), so we took the historic tram to Fisherman’s Wharf (touristy to the second degree) and also visited the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39. The animals had plenty of room, but some reason they still stayed really close together…

Much to the dismay of the kids, we afterward set out on foot to Lombard Street, one of the steepest streets open for traffic in San Francisco, which obviously turned to quite a hike. As expected, there were hordes of tourists, selfie-sticks, and cars that just had to go down the street with a genuinely spectacular decline. All I can say: don’t mess with SF traffic wardens if they instruct you to drive on…

We took one of the historic cable cars down Hyde Street to Ghiradelli Square – with a great view over the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz – and then took a historic tramcar to Embarcadero before heading back to the hotel.

After a trial of “the best donuts in town” at Happy Donuts (145 Columbus Avenue) – okay, but otherwise not very special – the kids insisted that we had dinner at Chipotle. We still don’t have a clue how they knew this chain as we don’t have any in The Netherlands, but they found an outlet on the block next to the hotel (211 Sutter Street) where we squeezed in just before their 8pm closing time.

I didn’t think of ever having to quote Ozzy Osborne from the MTV reality soap The Osbornes, but his “Ohhh, this burrito is fucking killing me…” describes pretty accurately how I felt after eating just one third of the delicious calorie-bomb that was a chorizo, pinto beans and cilantro-lime brown rice filled and fresh tomato salsa and guacamole topped burrito. The upside was that I also had a breakfast burrito 😉