Oakland to SF Ferry Boat Adventure

Playing tourist is one of my favorite things to do when I go home to the Bay Area. I’ve been gone for 13 years living in other parts of California (Humboldt and Sacramento), and now Michigan, so even old familiar places sometimes feel new.

I wasn’t sure how much exploring we’d be able to do with Ziva being just 3 months old on our trip this spring. When my Dad and his girlfriend Stephanie suggested taking the ferry from Jack London Square in Oakland to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, it sounded like a great idea, just maybe not with a baby… but, as I’ve said before, I waaaay underestimated my little Ziva. I’m so glad they convinced me to give it a go!


Once the decision was made that we were headed to SF by ferry, it was a mad dash to get from El Cerrito to Jack London square in time for the afternoon boat. We made it with just minutes to spare. The boat wasn’t too crowded and there was plenty of room for us to all sit together in the front with a great view of the ship yards and the slowly approaching San Francisco skyline.



It was a much shorter ride than I’d expected and before long we were pulling up under the bay bridge.

 First stop was the Ferry Building. We were a bit too late for the Saturday Farmers Market, but all the vendors and booths inside the ferry building are worth the visit on their own.

My favorite stop is always the Mariposa Bakery booth. They have absolutely Devine gluten free baked goods. I’ve never gotten something from them that wasn’t delicious, and the loaf of facacia bread I picked up this time didn’t disappoint.


We walked around inside for a while before heading out to the water front to enjoy our treats and coffee. The sky that day was impressively blue.  

We brought a stroller for Stella, and Ziva road most of the afternoon in he Baby Bjorn since she LOVES forward facing. Our next carrier is going to have to be the Ergo 360 (though she is starting to like her inward facing carriers more recently). Ziva was enthralled by all of the people and new things to see. She just took it all in, looking around until she eventually fell asleep.

Next we crossed the street to check out the makers fair and all of their goods. My sister ended up getting a beautiful necklace and I picked up some earrings.



We decided to walk the Embarcadero past the tourist filled Pier 39 to catch the ferry boat back to Oakland at Pier 41. Along the way both babies began to get a little restless, so we stopped to nurse them. The girls ended up switching for the remainder of the walk so that Ziva could ride in the stroller (and give my back a break) and Stella could ride in the Bjorn (satisfying her need for mama-snuggles)! She was just weeks shy of 1 year old, but she is never to old for baby wearing!

If you know San Francisco, than you know how once that fog rolls in it can make a sunny day grey and chilly. By the time we reached the pier it had gotten cooler and the wind was blowing in. Perfect timing to cross back over to the sunny side of the bay.



We ended up beating the fog across the bay and were able to enjoy almost another hour of sunshine in Jack London square. There is a wine tasting room right next to the doc were the ferry lets you off and my dad and Stephanie are members and had a case to pick up, so we stopped in for some tasting (Ziva enjoyed a tasting from the boobie bar while I enjoyed some tasty water). Surprisingly, we weren’t the only group with babies enjoying some wine and sunshine that afternoon on the patio of Rosenblum Cellars tasting room, there was what looked like a mom and baby group a few tables away too!


 

So, somewhat surprisingly this ambitious adventure across the bay and back turned out to be one of my favorite memories from this last trip home. Ziva loved taking in all of the sites, she happily napped in the carrier (yay baby-wearing), and I loved every moment of the bay breezes and California sunshine. Grandpa Gilbert for the win :0)

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