California, Where We've Been

Earthquake Trail, San Francisco, & The Jelly Belly Tour

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Earthquake Trail, San Francisco, & The Jelly Belly Tour


The San Francisco Bay Area




Earthquake Trail

Earthquake Trail, about an hour north of San Francisco, shows the force of the San Andreas fault. This fence was connected at one point, but during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, it moved nearly 16 feet up the California coast.

Great big, burly trees line the trail. Their trunks part in the middle making for a great imaginative play area resembling My Side of the Mountain, where the main character made the opening in the base of a tree his home.

Earthquake Trail displays the force of the San Andreas fault

San Francisco

It was foggy the day we visited San Francisco. The summers in San Francisco are notoriously cold, wet, and foggy and that’s exactly what we experienced. The mist that rolled over the mountains as we drove down Highway 1 was surreal and beautiful at the same time.

We drove in from the north through downtown Sausilito and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge into the city. 

Our first stop was Lombard Street. I had known that San Francisco streets were steep, but was amazed to see the 30+ degree slope of the streets of the eastern part of the city. We didn’t go down the iconic Lombard Street in our truck as we would probably be doing 5 point turns all the way down, but we saw it from the top and looped around to the bottom to take another look at the iconic street. 

We then headed over to see the Full House house on Broderick Street and then drove by the iconic Painted Ladies on our way to Golden Gate Park.

Golden Gate Park is lush with vegetation. Some people use it as a thoroughfare to bypass the busy streets of San Francisco. Others can be seen enjoying the surroundings, walking their dogs, and enjoying their time out of the busyness of the city. 

Ocean Beach borders the park on the west side. The kids were unstoppable as they ran to meet the waters of the Pacific Ocean. They would have played in the waves for hours if we would have let them! 

Even the pup loved the ocean. He was having fun chasing after the waves washing up on the shore. His paws were soaked and then very sandy walking back to the car, which of course was carried onto and all over the car seats. At least it wasn’t a repeat of our first time out…

Escape from Alcatraz was nearly impossible due to the heightened security, frigid waters and strong currents.

The view of Alcatraz Island was impressive through the fog. It operated as a  federal penitentiary for 29 years, closing its doors in 1963. It was designed to hold prisoners who were causing problems at other prisons. Escape from Alcatraz was nearly impossible due to the heightened security, frigid waters and strong currents. The kids were not familiar with Alcatraz, so when we got back to the campground, we watched Escape From Alcatraz to finish off the night. 

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
North Shore of San Francisco Bay
Golden Gate Bridge from Battery East Parking Lot

The Jelly Belly Tour

Jelly Belly offers tours of their factory and awesome, free smells of jelly beans. The kids were in Jelly Belly paradise! We went through the tour on a weekend, so the machinery was closed down and there weren’t any workers on the floor, but they had videos at each station explaining the process.

The lobby was fully of Jelly Belly jelly beans, merchandise, chocolate shop, jelly bean portraits, and surprisingly, its own restaurant. With the purchase of the tour, they gave out free boxes of mint chocolate that the kids were naturally elated about. 

We saw trays upon trays of jelly beans laid out in the factory ready for the final sugar polishing. The kids chose their favorite Jelly Belly’s and their favorite jelly bean portraits. The tour finished with a ride on the Jelly Belly train to the Jelly Belly museum.


Tradewinds RV Park of Vallejo

We stayed at Tradewinds RV Park of Vallejo for this trip. It’s about a 50 minute drive northeast of San Francisco. Being close to the coast and the San Francisco Bay made the temperature cool and refreshing. The sites were tight and if we would have had neighbors we may have had a problem with the slides or parking the truck, but as it was we were by ourselves in a row of campsites. It was relatively easy to navigate the 40′ RV into the spot.

Starlink worked great. Verizon and AT&T were both at 5 bars with our cellular antenna picking up the signal on top.

The nights were quiet and peaceful. There were a few police sirens in the early morning hours, but otherwise it was a great stay and would happily stay again.