Thursday, June 28, 2018

San Francisco Trip Report - Part 1

The week has sped by and I can't believe it's already Thursday!  I guess that will happen when you have evening meetings the first two days of the week.  I thought I'd go ahead and start my trip report for California.

Saturday - This was the day we flew in to San Francisco.  We flew into Oakland Airport since it was a bit cheaper and used Lyft to get to our hotel.  It was pretty easy and we didn't run into much traffic since it was the weekend.  We stayed at the Marriott Marquis in the financial district near union square and that was a great hotel. It wasn't near the tourist activities but it was less than a mile easy walk from the water and the ferry building and just a couple blocks from Union Square.  It was also in a mostly flat area.  It was busy during business hours but I kind of enjoy that sort of hustle and bustle anyway.

The city was all decked out for Pride, which was the next weekend

Saturday evening we had tickets for a show called "The Speakeasy."  I don't even know how to describe it other than to say it's interactive theater and you really felt like you were transported back to a 1920s speakeasy for the evening.  It was super fun.  It was on the expensive side but we felt it was well worth the money.  Here's the description from their website:  "Step back in time to 1923 as 35 characters lead you on a “choose your own adventure” into the depths of the Prohibition Era. Song and dance, comedy and drama, casino-style gaming and killer cocktails are among the many delights you will encounter as you explore the secret passages and hidden rooms of The Palace Theater."  Of course, no cell phones were allowed as that wouldn't be very accurate to the time period so no photos.

Sunday - We had a late night Saturday so we had a leisurely morning on Sunday.  I went out for a run and then we met up with some old friends from college for brunch.

After that, we picked up my parents from the hotel and decided to get some views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  I had heard of some views that were a bit better than from the bridge itself so our first stop was Fort Point, at the base of the bridge.  It was cool to explore what was left of the fort as well as to check out the videos they had on the military history of the fort as well as the building of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Then we drove over to Crissy Beach, which is a little beach a bit further down the coast.  It has some great views as well and there seemed to be lots of locals enjoying the beach with plenty of cute kids and cute dogs.  But it was a windy day and we didn't stay there too long.  We went on to explore Japan Town.

We had dinner that evening at a vegan Mexican restaurant, Gracias Madre.  It was so good!  I love all the plant based cuisine we were able to enjoy while we were in California.  And it was all so different too.

Monday - Monday morning, we had a walking tour planned and my parents had a reservation to see Muir Woods.  Muir Woods requires advanced reservations for parking or a shuttle so it's best to plan ahead if you want to see it.  We had breakfast together at the Ferry Building (they have a gluten free bakery that also has vegan options as well as a vegan doughnut kiosk) and then went our separate ways.

The beginning of our self guided walking tour was along the water.  We saw Coit Tower but chickened out of climbing to the top of the hill because the steps looked pretty daunting!  I hear there are great views from the top though, with pretty murals in the building and parrots along the way for some reason.

We continued walking by the water and walked up the hill to see Lombard Street.  It was pretty steep but there were some great views along the way.

We walked back down the hill and continues along the way to Ghiradelli Square.  We stopped at the Cartoon Arts museum along the way.  It was pretty small but really well curated.  And we of course picked up some chocolate at Ghiradelli Square.

We met up with my parents for lunch at the Hot Spud.  Its a quick baked potato place that had plenty of vegan and vegetarian toppings.  It was nice that everyone could create their own potato with what they wanted, and it was supper filling.   And it was right by Fisherman's Wharf.  So afterwards, we were able to explore Boudin's Bakery for some sourdough bread, a weird little arcade that had historic arcade games and stuff right by the water, and walk down to Pier 39 to see the sea lions.

Dinner that evening was at a vegetarian Chinese restaurant where most things were vegan. There were a couple items with egg noodles.  It was delicious, though the service was a bit curt.  Mike and I took advantage of being in Chinatown to explore a bit before dinner.  We also took advantage of the hotel bar after dinner since they had a great view of the city.

And that's it for now!  This has gotten pretty long so I'll leave our last day in San Francisco and our time in Napa for the next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment