Editor’s note: Craig and Bryanna Royal have been writing this column for the Kenosha News for a year, and their contract is expiring. This is their last column.

A trip on the Pacific Coast Highway wouldn’t be complete without making a stop in San Francisco. Bryanna had a Pinterest conference to attend while we were there so it worked out for us to stay a couple weeks. This was a welcomed slowdown from the hectic travel schedule we had been keeping in California.

There were so many things to do in the city, it was overwhelming. We wanted to get into the city to walk around and check out some of the touristy sites. That began with Pier 39. We checked out a bunch of shops and sweets shops as well as a fun street performer. Then we needed some lunch so we stopped at The Hangout.

We all sat down at a table near the front of the restaurant and before we even got our food, our backpack, which was on a chair at the end of our table, was gone. It was literally stolen from right under our noses.

We were warned of the petty theft that runs rampant in that area of San Francisco, so it was a complete “duh!” on my part for putting the bag there. Luckily there wasn’t anything too important in it, but it was a terrible way to start exploring a new city.

We notified restaurant management and Pier 39 security, finished our lunch and were on our way. We tried to get back in the swing of exploring when not even five minutes later, a car completely ran off the road over a sidewalk and took down a light pole, just missing a group of people! It was the most bizarre afternoon we ever had.

We weren’t going to let all that stop us from having a good time, so we walked toward Lombard Street to check out the crookedest street in the world. It was a challenge walking up that street and I’m surprised there were so many cars driving down it since it must have been tough on their brakes, but it was definitely cool to see.

I was pretty excited to check out the Golden Gate Bridge since it is such a California icon. Traffic was pretty bad near the bridge, so we weren’t able to park and walk on it, we just drove across it. I’d say it was the best $7.75 in tolls I’ve ever spent.

My favorite San Francisco spot was Muir Woods. It’s a national monument just north of the Golden Gate bridge. We walked the path through the forest and marveled at the amazing redwoods towering above us. The forest was magical and is a must-do if you are in the San Francisco area.

Despite a rough start to our stay in San Francisco, it turned out to be pretty amazing.

Craig and Bryanna Royal are Bradford High School graduates who decided in 2014 to sell their house and raise their four children on the road, exploring North America in an RV.

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