San Francisco with a car and the One Star Hotel

The next day on our way up the windy road again (we didn’t book far enough in advance to make staying in the park remotely affordable so we stayed at Jamestown Railtown Motel, which was fine) we saw a billboard saying that Yosemite would close (I’m really glad we noticed the small sign!) due to potential flash flooding!!

By the time we’d make the two hour drive we’d only have an hour before everything closed and have to make the same drive back out again (no thanks!). So instead we were thankful of what we got to see yesterday (this hike and this one) and did a narrow u turn on the side of the mountain and started towards San Francisco and started looking up fun things to do together to spend the rest of our day!


Taking a break on the side of the road after losing her lunch


After stopping for a bit for a clean up and rest after Kaya threw up (we’re not sure if it was the switchbacks, which didn’t affect her the day before, or that she got a vaccination a couple days before) then was happy as a clam the rest of the trip, even in the rain.


Suit up to hit the town! Er, Trader Joes and a Donut shop

We were in San Francisco twice before in the past year (this trip and this one) but we’d avoided getting a rental car both times. This trip we had one for Yosemite anyway and did the math on the drop fee (since we flew into San Jose) and Uber rides (yes, we also looked at public transportation but that was going to add several hours) and it was actually less expensive to pay for the rental car and $30 parking! So we googled what to do with a car in San Fran (and yes there really are lists because apparently we’re not the only ones that think of this as an event)  and got the following:

Driving Lombard Street


Christmas Tree Point (on a not so clear day)


And dinner in China Town (which I apparently didn’t take any pics, likely because I was starving and then busy feasting while trying to keep a toddler occupied) after parking the car.

When we got to the hotel, Layne Hotel, I was amazingly surprised. See, somehow among trying to plan several vacations at once and booking a lot of different hotel rooms there’s exactly one that I didn’t comb through the reviews on…this one, until the night before when I was looking up parking and fell into a very long list of absolutely horrible reviews (no wonder it was so much cheaper) with one stars and comments like “where I wouldn’t even take my hooker”. I wouldn’t want to stay in the hotel they described even without a baby walking and crawling everywhere and putting things in her mouth!!

We hadn’t been able to find a reasonably priced AirBnB that allowed the under 2 crowd (which really needs to be built into the search, by the way, since it takes so much longer for me to wade through places despite entering her age in the occupants section it doesn’t filter out their checkbox, seems silly).

I had to very purposely put on my “we’ll always figure out a way to make things work” attitude, loudly repeating this to myself, to keep the panic from setting in as we waited to be buzzed in at the door.

Hello new management? Because the man behind the desk was friendly (he even helped me up the old style elevator with the gait you have to push open, with all my bags and baby, as Alex parked the car a few blocks away), the room was clean. And there was a tall mini fridge, as advertised, for our Trader Joes groceries. For the first time I left a review, because they’ve obviously changed their style, though part of me wanted to keep it a secret to keep the rates low for the next time we’re in town.

Baby proofing / child’s play table?

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