Sunday, April 22, 2012

SF Trip Days 3, 4, and 5

Wednesday morning we were up early again because we had tickets to go to Alcatraz.  When we first started talking about going to SF, Drew said he didn’t want to go to Alcatraz.  I told him I wasn’t going to SF and not going to Alcatraz.  He eventually came around to the idea and I’m glad because we both loved our Alcatraz tour!  We woke up to a gorgeous day and we headed to catch our boat.  We loved the self paced audio tour and found everything they told us really fascinating.  Alcatraz has some of the best views around.  Great views of the city and of both bridges.  When we got back we walked down along the piers.  We saw the sea lions at Pier 39 and we ate lunch at In-n-Out Burger.  Our first In-n-Out burgers – animal style.  That’s how the locals eat them – or so we were told.  They were awesome!  We also walked by Lombard Street and saw the crookedest street from the bottom. 

Wednesday afternoon we walked to San Francisco’s smallest bookstore, G.F. Wilkinson Bookstore, as well as through Chinatown.  I had seen this bookstore online somewhere so I took Drew to it.  It was seriously like 3 store windows and that was it.  But fun fact is that Drew’s mom’s maiden name is Wilkinson.  So maybe they are related!  We walked through Chinatown and stopped in some of the souvenir shops.  We got treats at Eastern Bakery and we watched two ladies make fortune cookies at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company.  I got in trouble for going in too far.  You had to pay 50cents for a picture.  ha!  We tried to go in a couple Chinese temples but they were already closed for the day.  We walked in a few parks and we saw tons of groups of men and women playing some intense card games.  Drew read that SF Chinatown is the 2nd most densely populated neighborhood in the US (second to NYC Chinatown).  It was a crowded place! 

Wednesday evening we went down to Fisherman’s Wharf and had a nice seafood dinner on the water.  Afterwards we got Irish Coffee – Drew was shocked to find it was spiked.  We didn’t know what it was – we went because my uncle recommended it!   We also rode the elevators at the Westin Saint Francis hotel.  The ride to the 31st floor gives you great views of the Union Square area.  We did it during the day and at nighttime to see both views.

Thursday morning we headed out to the Legion of Honor art museum at Land’s End.  We got a pretty view of the GGB from the Pacific Ocean side.  Drew enjoyed the Legion of Honor.  I thought it was okay for an art museum.  We left there and walked to Golden Gate Park.  We ate lunch around a nice pond in the park and then headed to the de Young Museum of Fine Art.  I liked this art museum better.  It had more modern things in it.  It had a neat observation tower that had nice views.   We headed back to the hotel and we got ready to head out again.  We headed to Grace Cathedral and then dinner at a Chinese restaurant my uncle also recommended.  We stopped by City Lights, another famous bookstore in SF, which made Drew happy.  Thursday night we saw Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest running musical revue in theatre history.  It was a parody of lots of celebrities and it was a good time.  The show was very current (they talked about Kim Kardashian dating Kanye West) and had the most elaborate hats – or head dresses - I’ve ever seen.  It was very entertaining.  When we came out there was a full fledge thunderstorm going on so we headed to the hotel for the night.

Friday was our last day in SF and we woke up to another pretty day.  We ate breakfast in our hotel restaurant and then set out for Coit Tower.  On the way we stopped at a bakery in North Beach that is supposed to have great focaccia bread – my favorite.   The line was out the door but we waited and got our bread.  It was the closest to a ‘Soup Nazi’ experience as we’ve ever had.  The younger of two  ladies in there was no one to mess around with.  We were afraid of ordering wrong and hearing “No Bread for You.”  Thankfully we got bread and it was indeed very tasty.  We walked up to Coit Tower and enjoyed more beautiful views.  We walked down to the Pier and we walked inside the Ferry Building.  It was a neat old ferry building they’ve turned into all kinds of food stalls and restaurants.  We ate our focaccia bread for lunch and then got gelato for dessert.  We headed back to Union Square where I did a little shopping and then we got a quick bite for dinner before heading for the hotel to pack up.

We woke up Saturday morning at 4:45am and caught a 5:55am shuttle to the airport.  Our flight left at 7:50am and we flew back and stopped in Minneapolis on the way back.  We got to Charlotte a little early where Bob picked us up and we met back up with Suzette.  We finally got home a little after 8pm.  We came back to Welcome Home signs on the door and signs inside.  Thanks to the tv and Team Umi Zoomi, the kids could not have cared less that we were home!  They hardly blinked that we were home.  Oh well.  I’m glad they had fun without us around. 

We had an absolute blast exploring San Francisco.  I enjoyed my first trip to California and hope to make it back!  Drew and I had fun together.  Which is always nice after 10 years of marriage! 

Heading to AlcatrazDSC_2001DSC_2003DSC_2005DSC_2016DSC_2024View of the city.DSC_2036Playing a little jailhouse baseball.DSC_2081DSC_2116The sea lions at Pier 39DSC_2138At the bottom of Lombard St.DSC_2154View from the Westin, looking down on Union Square.DSC_2172G.F. Wilkinson Books – those 3 windows are the whole store!DSC_2177Entrance to ChinatownDSC_2181Groups of men playing card games.DSC_2198Making fortune cookies.DSC_2204For any good Methodists reading – the Chinese UMC!DSC_2208Sea cucumbers.  $168/lb and $238/lb.  WHAT?  Who would pay that?DSC_2210Riding cables cars was quite fun.  Nice to be able to hop on and off.DSC_2439Riding a cable car and passing another cable car.  You could have reached out and touched someone.DSC_2221It looked like the road was ending.DSC_2226Nope, it was just a really big hill!DSC_2231Night view of from the Westin elevator.DSC_2242The Legion of Honor.DSC_2252Nice view of the Pacific coming into the bridge.DSC_2254People had remote control boats on the little pond we ate by.DSC_2271My favorite piece at the de Young Museum of Fine Art.  DSC_2287This was charcoal from a church that burned down.DSC_2298This was a model of a cathedral made from parts of guns. It had a really interesting story behind it.  DSC_2299DSC_2344Inside Grace CathedralDSC_2351The Focaccia bakery.DSC_2369Coit TowerDSC_2375Views from Coit TowerDSC_2383View of Lombard (crookedest road) from Coit TowerDSC_2395This guy serenaded us every single night (well except the night there was a thunderstorm) with his trumpet.  Our hotel room was right by him and we fell asleep to him playing each night.  DSC_2443The signs on our front door when we came home.DSC_2445The Welcome Home sign inside.  DSC_2447

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