The time had finally come for my niece’s 5th grade Girl Scout Junior troop to come up and visit San Francisco! We have been looking forward to this trip for over a year when I was still their troop leader and we all had a fantastic time together!
Judith (my sis-in-law), Dorothy (my mama-in-law), Katelyn (my niece) and 8 other Girl Scouts and their moms arrived to San Francisco Airport on the morning of Friday 5/7. I met them at the airport and we then BARTed our way to their hostel (a super cute place if anyone’s interested in staying in a hostel in the city) to drop off luggage.
The girls in front of their hostel
We then rushed off to eat some lunch at Mel’s Diner (a well-known diner in SF that had so-so food) and then made our way to Golden Gate Park
Milkshakes at 10am? Sure!
The group really wanted to go to the California Academy of Sciences so that’s where we spent the afternoon.
Golden Gate Park
K. and the frog having a face-off
My favorite part of the CAS: the 4-story rain forest
These frogs cracked me up! They seemed to be such characters, kind of reminded me of little Buddhas 😉
V. and the beautiful jellyfish
This sea star seemed to be laying out on a beach sunbathing
The awesome albino alligator!
V., K. and Katelyn messing around (it’s what they do best!) This beast of a display was for their “Extreme Mammals” exhibit
I have to admit, I was a little worried about being their tour guide since Kevin’s usually the tour guide when visitors come out and we generally don’t take public transportation with visitors–so though I’m super confident when it comes to the route I take everyday for work (2 buses + BART) it was a little worrisome to make sure we got on the right bus (and made sure all 18 of us got on/off at the same time!) But the first day went super smoooooth and I was pretty proud of myself. 🙂 Some funny moments riding the bus with the group–the girls absolutely LOVED riding the bus and were sad when we told them to sit down because the bus was getting full (they loved hanging onto the poles and swinging around); some young guys decided to sit down amongst the 9 girls and after they figured out who they were sitting next to (a bunch of giggling girls) it was funny to watch their facial expressions change.
They even enjoyed waiting for the buses at the bus stops…
A bunch of little monkeys!
Good friends V. and A.
This photo shows their level of excitement really well…bunch of nerds! 😉
For dinner we went to a real local treat…Chevy’s Mexican restaurant (can you hear the sarcasm in my typing voice? 😉 ) We called it an early night because we had a loooong day ahead of us!
On Saturday morning I made my way to the hostel to meet the group so we could make our way to the Golden Gate Bridge for the Girl Scouts’ annual Bridging event! When girls in GS graduate from one level to the next they call it “bridging” so the Northern California GS organize a huge event so that girls from all over can “bridge” across the Golden Gate Bridge. Our girls graduated from GS Juniors to GS Cadettes (6th-8th grade). This event attracts over 4,000 girl members (that’s just girls we’re talking about!) and is put together really well. The GS hired shuttle buses to take troops across the bridge into Marin County and then we all hiked our way back across the bridge back into SF.
Excited for yet another bus ride (driving across the Golden Gate Bridge)
The gorgeous ladies of Troop 3933!
It sure makes you think when you’re crossing that bridge and only have the water below and the huge metal structures surrounding you and the wind is blowing like crazy!
It sure doesn’t look like 4,000 Girl Scouts were crossing the bridge but believe me they were!
My beautiful niece, happy to be bridging to Cadettes!
I made an announcement as we approached the end of the bridge, that once they crossed the line they would no longer be Girl Scout Juniors but instead become Girl Scout Cadettes, so I took a few photos of them as they crossed:
B., Katelyn and K. running across the “finish line”!
V. & A. crossing in style
J., S. and M. crossing as a unit
Say hello to the newest Girl Scout Cadette troop in Long Beach!
After our trek across the bridge we were greeted with a festival for the girls–tons of booths with activities for the girls to participate in.
B. & K. with a vintage GS uniform
Katelyn & Judith taking a break
A GS tradition is making “swaps” that represent your troop and “swapping” them with other troop’s to create a collection. This is Katelyn’s hat decorated with her swaps (that was probably on 1/3 of them!)
After the event it seemed my luck with being the tour guide started to run down–I didn’t know how the heck to get us back to the hostel! Our misadventure included–walking up a huge staircase and then finding out that we had to go back down the stairs (oops!), stalking a park ranger and waiting for him outside the restroom so that we could ask for directions (awkward!), then walking a mile and a half to get to the darn bus. My excuse was that I never come to this part of town! Oh well, at least we eventually made it back safe and sound.
That night we met up with Kevin and ate at the Cheesecake Factory on top of the Macy’s building in Union Square. The group was so huge we had to get split up but it ended up being really nice spending time with Kevin and his mom Dorothy for an evening.
Overlooking Union Square: Judith, J., M., S. and B.
Sunday morning Dorothy and I made our way to the hostel to meet up with the group for their last day in the city. We went downtown to wait in a 20 minute line to take the famous trolley (I hadn’t done that since living here so it was nice to do).
The girls and the trolley
The blue skies in downtown
A group of men from Dockers pants were walking through the area with roses for all the moms out there in celebration of Mother’s Day (how cute!) So here’s a photo of all the moms with their roses.
Dorothy and me on the trolley (proof that I was there that weekend! 😉 )
Some of the girls got to ride on the outside, this is M. en route to Ghirardelli Square
The trolley took us right to Ghirardelli Square where the group split up for a bit and our little group enjoyed some delicious Ghirardelli ice cream treats (yes even at 10 in the morning!)
Katelyn getting ready to enjoy their sundae
Dorothy and my sundae (amazing!!)
The happy tourists 😉
We then walked to Fisherman’s Wharf (have I told you how much I love that place? 😉 ) and I am happy to announce that I finally saw the bushman!
The troop spent their last afternoon on a bay cruise and since I didn’t see the point in forking over $25 for me to do something I could day any ol’ time, I said my goodbyes at Fisherman’s Wharf.
It was so so so so nice spending a weekend with my family and with those crazy 5th grade Girl Scouts…I really miss spending time with them every other week at our troop meetings. Those girls mean a lot to me after being their troop leader for two years and it was so great to feel connected to them with this trip.