San Francisco was absolutely amazing. We arrived on a Saturday, just before lunch, and had a few issues getting to our hotel from the airport. Once we made it, we checked into the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf. The food there is not that great, but the room was nicely decorated, comfortable and clean. The staff was very friendly and helpful.
We walked down to Fisherman's Wharf and had lunch next to seal pier. It was stinky! They are cute, but boy do they smell.
On our first night out, we had dinner at The Stinking Rose, which is known for its garlicky menu. Overall I found it to be very overrated and would probably not recommend it. After dinner, we took a stroll, is there such a thing there, up and down the hilly streets and meandered into Chinatown. The Republic of China was celebrating its anniversary and the streets were decorated and we saw a dragon dance. I had a great time visiting the little shops and enjoying the nice weather. It turned out to be the warmest night of the entire trip.
I thought my legs would be sore the next day from all the uphill/downhill action, but they weren't. I'd like to also mention that we saw not only a lot of foot traffic on the streets, but a lot of biking as well. Kudos to the locals!
We decided to rent a car for the day and drive down the coast. We visited Seal Cove, Half Moon Bay, Monterey and Carmel. We made lots of stops along the way that included 17 Mile Drive/Pebble Beach Golf Course, Half Moon Bay Brewery, Hogs Breath Inn and lots of little shops. It was overcast and foggy for much of the day, but I didn't care. It was a lovely drive with my sweetie and he was so nice to do ALL of the driving.
The next day was probably one of my favorites of the whole trip. It was pampering and fun the entire day! No, girls, there were no facials or pedicures. It was eat, eat, eat and play, play, play. We started our morning by racing to the pier to catch the ferry to Alcatraz. What an amazing experience! Alcatraz was every bit as cool as I thought it would be and the audio guided tour was very well done.
After Alcatraz, we had a few hours to kill and I had been dying to get to Hog Island Oyster Company. Tyler Florence did a bit on ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’ a while back and raved about it. Having never had a raw oyster I thought it would be the perfect place to try them. They were amazing! Tyler was right and I thoroughly enjoyed that very expensive treat! I had a half dozen (Kumamoto and ???) and an iced tea that totaled $33! Marc just watched.
Oh yes! The Ferry Building is a must visit for foodies. I could have spent an entire morning in there. There are lots of restaurant type shops, but there were also fruit stands, artisan bread and cheese shops, wine stores, etc. Amazing! Oh yes, gelato too! YUM! Yep, I ate ALL day!
We raced to the hotel to freshen up and take a twenty minute nap. Then, we headed to the San Francisco Electric Tour Company for our Segway tour. I was terrified once I discovered they weren’t driven using the handlebars and that there wasn’t a stop button or brake. Something about rolling through the busy streets of San Francisco on something you do not know how to drive seemed scary to me. Hmm. I’m a sissy though so, I forged ahead. I didn’t breathe or move for the first thirty minutes at least. Once I got the hang of things, I don’t think I stopped smiling once, except maybe when Marc fell off. Then, I just laughed hysterically!
We turned in the Segways and headed to Scoma’s for dinner. Our table provided a nice view of the harbor and Ghirardelli Square. It took quite a while for our bodies to thaw. Yes, it was freezing cold. Who would’ve guessed? I had the most amazing meal there. It was so delicious (lobster bisque, scallops on a bed of swiss chard and fingerling potatoes and tiramisu). MMMMMMM! It is a little hole in the wall, but the locals swear by it and now, I know why.
On the way back to the hotel we picked up coats from a street vendor. Yes, coats. The weather was seriously fickle there. At any given point, I could be in one layer or another. I did see some really ridiculous tourists walking around in mini skirts and shorts. Seriously?! I could see my breath in the night air. Ding dongs!
It was hard to get up early the next morning after all the fun we’d had the night before. It was even more difficult for Marc, who wasn’t looking forward to some of the day’s events (i.e. wine country). We had breakfast at a little bread shop across from the tour company (ham and cheese croissant and a latte for me). The bread display there was picture perfect.
The tour company that ran our tour that day SUCKED SUCKED SUCKED! Seriously and totally sucked. I would never book with them EVER again. If I could remember their name right now, I would blast them all over the internet, but that will have to wait. Putting all of that aside, we had a wonderful day!
First stop, albeit very brief, was Muir Woods. I cannot even begin to describe it. It was amazing and you just have to go. I could have easily spent the entire day there. In fact, one day, I’d like to go back and do just that.
Next stop, Sausalito. We could have easily spent another day there touring the shops and hanging out by the water. It was a cute little spot and the birds there are NOT shy.
Final leg of the day was the wine tour and Marc’s least anticipated part. Marc doesn’t drink wine, but played along and indulged me. Turns out, he didn’t have such an awful time and he even tried a wine he liked! Holy crap! I bought it on the spot.
I had never been on a wine tasting tour before. We visited three wineries in Sonoma:Homewood, Jacuzzi and Viansa. Of the three, I think Viansa was my favorite. Jacuzzi also specializes in olive oils and it was a treat to taste several of those as well. By the end of the trip, I was getting the hang of it. I could actually pick out flavors in a few of the wines and I wasn’t drunk. Now, being the rare drinker and lightweight I am, I thought that was an accomplishment.
So, in a nutshell, that was our trip. We had such a wonderful time and I loved that city!
I would love to post photos, but Blogger is being a pain the butt today. So, you'll have to check them out on Facebook.