Monday, May 20, 2013

Finish Line in Santa Rosa and The Golden Gate

Sunday morning after a quick breakfast at the hotel, we departed Livermore and headed to Santa Rosa to watch the finish of the final stage of the Tour of California. I had looked up the details the night before and found out the riders would be circling the final stretch three times in downtown Santa Rosa and made plans to get there early and steak out a good spot.

We left Livermore a few minutes before 8:00 and arrived in Santa Rosa a little after 9:00. The spot where I set the navigation on the phone to take us landed us right where we needed to be and we lucked out and found a free place to park in a Sears parking lot. The city was still setting up for the finals and there were not too many people milling about when we first arrived.

We made our way down the street and checked out the merchandise tent and the vendor tents. At the Nissan tent, we were given cards for a free jersey, all you had to do was test drive a Nissan at a California dealership and send the validated card in (remember this for later). We also got free Cliff Bars and other random freebies.

After perusing the vendor tents, we made our way back up to the finish line and I found a spot between the 100 and 50 meter marks to stand. I actually sat on the curb for about an hour and a half because the race was still a ways out. Once I did stand, the roads had filled in with lots of people which was good to see. The three laps by the riders went by quickly but was so exciting. I took some photos, beat on the side boards and yelled all at once The final time the riders came through I just cheered because I wanted to just enjoy it all. I was hoping Tyler Farrar from Garmin would win the stage but it ended up being Peter Sagan from Cannondale. It was still and exciting finish and I'm so glad we were able to be there.

I wanted to make my way towards the podium after the finish, but so did everyone else and so we just decided to go back to the car and head on out of town. The navigation system sent us a great route where there was little traffic and I spotted a Nissan dealership as my dad was driving. We stopped in and the manager just validated our cards without making us do a test drive. We also went ahead and filled up with gas because it was at a good price of $3.93 per gallon.

Soon after we were back on the freeway and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. We stopped there and walked across and back, taking our time and enjoying the views. It was a very clear day and there were lots of people out and about.

We then decided to check into the hotel and after resting about 20 minutes we loaded up and went out again. We just drove around town for a while and then went to South San Francisco to go to church at the Airport Church of Christ. The crowd was small, but it was a good church and the people were very nice.

Before church, we had looked on the Garmin for placed to eat and the Garmin told us there was an Outback nearby and so that's what we decided on. However, when we drove to the address there was not an Outback in sight and I looked on their website and there are no Outbacks in this area. So, back to the hotel we went and ate seafood at a place at Fisherman's Wharf which was good. We were back to the hotel around 9:30 and I promptly went to bed. It was a long, but very fun, day.

On the agenda for Monday is Alcatraz and the San Francisco Giants baseball game and whatever else we can find along Fisherman's Wharf. We are only a couple of blocks walk from Fisherman's Wharf which is very nice since that's where all the action is. We are looking forward to whatever the day brings us.

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