After enjoying a nice breakfast in the CL at the Stanford Court Renaissance, we were ready to hit the road. Day 3 started out with a drive to the Golden Gate Bridge and a ride through Sausalito. This was the first day of our trip where the top of the Golden Gate was fog free. This magnificent structure celebrated it's 75th anniversary in May, 2012. We drove over the bridge and parked in the northeast side Vista Point area. The view of the bridge and the bay was spectacular. We spent about an hour and then headed to Sausalito. That was a great little town. Many people were out walking and having breakfast. You could sense the overall feeling of contentment and relaxation in the residents.
We went back for an hour or so to Fisherman's Wharf for some souvenir shopping and then on to Chinatown for lunch. Once again, we asked for recommendations from the locals. My wife has a friend that lives and works in San Francisco. She suggested the House of Nanking on Kearny St. One other local had mentioned this restaurant, so off we went. Merchants and clients alike were out in force throughout Chinatown. We surprisingly found many parking spots two blocks from the House of Nanking. The walk to the restaurant made clear why the parking was plentiful....adult theaters were the main tenants, yikes!! The exterior of the restaurant was nothing special so we were now getting a bit worried. That all changed once we entered and were greeted by the cheerful, knowledgeable staff. Our party of three shared three appetizers and main courses for lunch. This was the best Chinese food any of us had ever eaten!!! The cold sesame noodles, house fried rice and steamed dumplings were all outstanding. My wife enjoyed lettuce wraps. I had sesame chicken. My daughter ordered sauteed calamari. All three were, once again, outstanding. The quantities were all too big to finish so we packed up a great big doggy bag. The tables were full of happy customers from 11:30AM when we arrived until 1:00PM when we left. This is a restaurant that I can suggest if you're looking for great food at reasonable prices.
The last sight I needed to see was the zigzag street...off to Lombard! It was comical watching the cars and the tourist on both ends of this famous avenue. We took our pictures on foot and then turned the car down the hill. The houses and landscaping on Lombard are beautiful to see. Now it was time to set course for Madera, CA.
We chose Madera vs Fresno as our overnight stop on the way to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Both towns offered Marriott properties. There is a recently built Springhill Suites that fit our needs in Madera. For less than $100, we were set. The drive from San Francisco to Madera was a little over 3 hrs. The setting sun and evening sky over Madera was beautiful. The hotel had fresh coffee available all evening. The breakfast was full and replenished throughout the next morning. All staff members that we met were cheerful and professional.
Pictures have been added!!