What an amazing weekend. After getting off of work early, Ben and I had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory before seeing Swan Lake. Hmm, that merits its own post, so I’ll add that later. The next morning . . .
San Francisco, California!
(brace yourself for a lot of pictures)
Sorry it’s blurry (I hate the way flash looks). Bento boxes started the trip.
We quickly spotted our future penthouse apartment.
Getting our bearings. We rode the bus everywhere. San Francisco has great public transit.
Chinatown: window gazing and a vanilla cake snack (the puffy ones).
Then onto North Beach. I liked that all the posts are painted this way.
We decided to cut east to Lombard street. I was out of breath before the hard part!
Great view from the top though.
After the most amazing hot cocoa I have ever sipped, we went back to North Beach for dinner. Of all the Italian restaurants, we happened to pick the Mona Lisa, where I went with my family the last time I was in SF! I had a delicious artichoke ravioli with tomato cream sauce.
Our hotel, the Stratford, was right on Powell and Market. Very convenient. A bit noisy at night with one begger playing Christmas carols on his violin, another banging plastic tubs and singing Rice-A-Roni, and a third banging Chinese drums in the morning with his friend playing a recorder. Add to that the cables churning underground, and it’s a good thing we were exhausted every day and didn’t have trouble sleeping.
Small rooms, but clean and smartly decorated.
The elevator was incredibly slow. One time we tried taking the stairs to our room on the 6th floor. Only one time.
Cute breakfast room overlooking the street.
The F Line streetcar was our favorite route. It was quick, convenient, and fun to ride the old cars.
Ah! Look how relaxed these two strangers are.
This is the farmer’s market on Saturday morning at the Ferry Building. So much wonderful produce!
Ben’s new favorite orange is the cara cara, seen here.
At the wharf. We tried to buy Alcatrez tickets but they were sold out until Monday. Oh well, there was so much else to do, like seal gazing.
At the Boudin bakery museum, Ben provided a little free tech support with their jammed printer.
The vault with the MASTER MOLD!!!!
Mmm, sourdough . . .
We thought it was hilarious that there’s a GAP squarely on Haight and Ashberry.
While once a hippie nexus, the street is full of cafes and vintage clothing stores now. We went to the Red Vic Movie House and saw a documentary called 24 hours on Craigslist. It was obviously low budget but you don’t notice because it had such hilarious content. It was the perfect way to feel like a local on a rainy afternoon.
Dinner was at Bangkok Noodles back near Union Square. Ben had Tom Yum soup that made him cry from the heat (very unusual for him) and I had yellow curry chicken. That’s a gardenia in my hair he bought on Haight after our movie.
Ghiradelli still has the best sundaes.
Oh! The visions of my childhood revisited!
Sunday morning, the museum wasn’t open yet, so we wanted to hike up to Coit Tower. Unfortunately, the Tour of California had the same plan.
We made it!
Look at all the supporters cheering us on. 😉 They also gave us energy bar samples, how thoughtful!
Such a beautiful day, we wanted to do more walking before going to the museum. This is back in North Beach at City Lights bookstore.
Lunch across the street
Cheesesteaks and garlic fries.
In the Presidio neighborhood I found another sweet from my younger years.
It’s amazing to see calla lilies growing all over.
Change of plans: instead of the museum we walked all the way from the Exploratorium to Sausilito. This is halfway, on the bridge.
Dang, that’s a long way to walk. Our feet are killing us and we didn’t plan for bringing water or snacks. But it was worth it.
Took a ferry and bus back to Union Square where we had Indian food, cheesecake, and collapsed into bed.
It was a fantastic trip. I only wish we had another day or two to see more. We didn’t get to the Golden Gate park, any museums, Castro neighborhood, Cowhill shopping, etc. But it was a great and memorable birthday.