It’s amazing to me that my first Blog post would be about a trip to Australia and New Zealand but it is! We got to go on this amazing adventure in December and let me tell you, it was everything I was expecting and more. We went on this trip to see our niece graduate from her Master’s program that she completed at the University of Canterbury. Now you may wonder why we would travel all the way to New Zealand to see a niece graduate but I have to say, why not?! It seemed like the perfect reason to us.
San Francisco, California
We started the trip off with a 36 hour layover in San Francisco as we were meeting up with our traveling companions and taking a red-eye flight to Sydney. So while in San Francisco, we decided to do a little sightseeing.
You can’t go wrong with a hop-on, hop-off bus tour if you only have a little bit of time in a city and you want to see it all.
We also booked a tour of Alcatraz Island. I highly recommend booking this in advance. We were there in December and it was still really busy. I imagine in busier travel times that this tour is very busy. You have to book a specific tour time for the ferry that takes you to the island. You can click here to look at the official Alcatraz Island webpage. Touring Alcatraz is something that we had never done in the several times that we have been to San Fran and decided it was time. The Island itself is actually a National Park and, besides being home to one of the most famous prisons of all time, it was originally built as a fort.
No trip to San Francisco is complete without a stop at Pier 39 to see the lazy sea lions lounging on the docks and barking at one another. For a live look at the sea lions, you can click here and a new window will open the Sea Lion Webcam!
The final stop in our whirlwind tour of San Fran was Ghiardelli Square for some decadent hot chocolate. Since we were traveling in December, it was actually pretty cool temperatures all day and by nightfall we were cold and ready for some chocolaty goodness to warm us up.
After a full day of touring San Fran we headed to the airport to catch a redeye flight to Sydney, Australia!