San Francisco, the city of sore calves
There is no doubt she is a beauty! It was my first visit to the hilly city and I loved her, my calves did not quite share my passion. The hills are steep, very very steep, which provides for amazing vistas and for the uninitiated, ok fine, the lazy – sore calves. My betting is that anyone who lives there and walks regularly has the most amazingly toned butt, so totally worth it then 🙂
Anyway…I have the privilege of being on a friends flight concessions, so when she called to say she had a 4 day San Francisco coming up I jumped at the chance to join her. We would land on the Sunday night and leave the Tuesday afternoon, ridiculous to fly so far for so short a time but equally irresistible.
We arrived to find our friends had booked dinner at the quite marvellously kitsch Tonga at the Fairmont Hotel, a tiki themed restaurant complete with swimming pool, pirate ship, thunder, lightning and RAIN! It was flipping awesome, the pirate ship drifts out onto the pool and you are serenaded with fabulously cheesy 70s tunes before the rain starts, the thunder booms and the lightning flashes and the boat returns to dock. Not the ideal restaurant for an intimate conversation but the perfect restaurant for a raucous night out with friends. Much laughter, singing along and a few cocktails later and we were ready for bed.
After a long and cosy sleep at the Stanford Court Hotel, we woke to brilliant sunshine and headed down the slope to Loris for an American breakfast of stupid proportions, French toast, bacon and hash browns for me. Heart attack fodder on board, we wandered down to Union Square and a spot of shopping. Then jumped in a cab up and down the hill to Fisherman’s Wharf and my first view of Alcatraz, much closer and smaller than I’d imagined but clearly a pretty great place for a prison. At the Wharf I wanted to eat everything I saw, except I was still completely stuffed from breakfast so we wandered making mental notes on what to eat later until we found the Musee Mecanique and it’s wonderfully innocent charms. We had our fortunes read by the Gypsy Queen, watched Susie do the CanCan although in truth it looked more like she was having a seizure, and enjoyed the dubious pleasure of the foot massage machine which felt like my feet were stuck on a washing machine on spin cycle and left me feeling as if I didn’t have feet *scratches head*.
We avoided laughing out loud and being run over by the groups of tourists on segway tours (so perfectly dorky) and had a relaxed late lunch, after which we headed out on a mini tour, the highlights of which were driving over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge for a jaw dropping view of the city and going to Lands End for another breathtaking view.
On the morning of our final day we bypassed Loris heading straight back to the wharf and a breakfast of chowder, which was followed over the course of the day by fried doughnuts, a corn dog, cupcake (The most delicious red velvet cupcake from Kara’s Cupcakes in the old Ghirardelli chocolate factory) shrimp and more fried doughnuts, ooh er I do love me some street food. Corn dogs should be illegal they are so yummy. In between all the shoving of food in faces we sat in the sun and watched the famous seals at Pier 39 jockeying for position and aarfing away (closest descriptor I can find to the noise seals make, feel free to message me a better one).
No trip to San Francisco would be complete without a ride on the cable car, so we queued, and queued and queued a bit more in the glorious sunshine and finally sardined ourselves in with the other sweaty tourists and rode back to our hotel up and down the impossibly steep hills, it was totally worthwhile!
I was there less than 48 hours, pretty sure I brought my heart home with me, but for sure my flying visit whet my appetite for more. I am grateful that I have friends I can fly to far off places with, grateful to have friends who’ll entertain us in those places and grateful to come home to the lovely JHubz Xx
The photo was taken from Lands End.