Through a freak combination of holidays in February, Chad was able to get eleven days off just by taking five days off work, so we’ve planned a family vacation to San Francisco (that means me, Chad, Bella and Bella’s friend Dawkins) next week. Coincidentally, my brother Songbae, who lives in North Beach, will be in Asia that whole time – so we will have his one-bedroom apartment to ourselves for the week. How’s that for a fortuitous collision of events?

We sat down this morning to peruse our half dozen guide books Chad brought home from the library and set up some kind of itinerary for the week. Now Chad already knows the city as he did his undergrad at San Francisco State, but that’s how he’s likes to do things: plan it out, especially to make sure we stay within budget.

Since we will have the kids this time around, we’re including some shopping time and more touristy stuff like Alcatraz. And of course Chad and I like to hit the main museums while we’re up there (SFMoMA, De Young, Asian) and we started to realize that even if we went to SFMoMA on Thursday night when tix are half price, we were racking up the cost of the trip in entrance fees. And then we stumbled across The City Pass.

The City Pass looks like a great deal: $54 for adults and $39 for kids for an unlimited 7-day Muni and cable car pass (which we always get anyway for $25) and free entrance to seven major attractions good for nine days. It doesn’t included Alcatraz, but we’re psyched! Bella and Dawkins at fourteen don’t even count as kids anymore at most of the museums – but they do for the city pass, which counts you as a kid to age 17. Plus, they will be stoked that the pass includes a free one-hour “cruise” along the shore.

Our itinerary so far:

Friday – We arrive late at night and hang out with Songbae.

Saturday – Dim sum in Chinatown, maybe at Gold Mountain at 664 Broadway. in the afternoon maybe the Asian Art Museum? or a little explore of Golden Gate Park?

Sunday – Take the cable car to Union Square, Westfield SF, Powell Street and let the girls get some of their shopping urge satisfied.

MondayAlcatraz ($24.50 for the cruise over and tour), Telegraph Hill, SF State

Tuesday – DeYoung and Legion of Honor. Maybe hang out in Golden Gate Park a while.

Wednesday – See babies I know in Berkeley (and their parents)

Thursday – Hike the Coastal Trail and eat something chocolate-y at Ghiradelli Square for Valentine’s Day.

Friday – Exploratorium in the morning, maybe hanging out with Chad’s mom and sisters in the afternoon.

Saturday – Cruise in the morning

Sound fun or what?! Chad just pointed out that we’ve gone to San Fran in February 3-4 times already, so I guess it’s becoming a little Valentine’s tradition of ours.

We’re going to try and keep costs down by eating only one meal out a day…

My posts from our trip to San Fran in 2007 here and here and here.