Travel Adventures – San Francisco

My first trip to the west coast: yep! The Katie’s hit San Francisco hard these past couple days.

Since we landed early afternoon on Sunday, our day was filled with site seeing! Our first stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. As the iconic symbol of the city, and with big hopes for our 2012 year it was a must see for us. Glistening in the sun, there it stood, 887,000 tons of metal stretching 1.7 miles long. Filled with excitement we decided to walk the entire length of the bridge. It was packed with other tourists, local runners and tons of bikers. Not only was the site of the bridge spectacular, but also the walk across it gave breathtaking views of Alcatraz, the city of San Francisco and an afternoon of sailors filling the waters below. After exploring the sites we were in dire need of food and a bathroom. Having never navigated around the city we trekked to find a train, a bus, a cab… (at one point, Katie even asked about my thoughts on hitchhiking) anything to get us to our next stop, Fisherman’s Wharf.

Upon our search, we stumbled into the most amazing beach. Chrissy Field beach (I highly recommend) was filled with locals enjoying family picnics, children running in the nearby grassy fields, dogs and owners playing fetch, and couples strolling along the shore. Just minutes away from the cities biggest tourist attraction, we discovered a hidden secret.

Upon recommendation of our taxi driver we landed at Scoma’s for a fresh from the ocean dinner. The atmosphere was so relaxed, and the view was picturesque as we looked out towards the bay. With a chill in the air, the lobster bisque soup was the perfect choice. Our first day of adventures came to an end as we rode a trolley (how cool!) back to our hotel for the night.

Still being on east coast time, Katie and I were up bright and early…early as in 4am. Starving and ready for our day to being we hit up the outdoor breakfast place next to our hotel. Talk about delicious.

As Katie headed off to her first meeting of the day, I headed up to the rooftop terrace at our hotel for a morning run. Being outside in shorts and t-shirt in January was amazing! Thank you Galleria Park Hotel for starting my morning off great! After morning meetings commenced, we hit up the Ferry building for lunch. Inside was filled with several trinket and food shops. Luckily, we made it out with only a few purchases. We indulged in lunch at the Slanted Door, an excellent Vietnamese restaurant located inside the Ferry Building.

For our evening adventures, we took more local advice, and hit up the Missions Area. A unique, off-the-beaten-path spot gave us some of the best shopping and dining I’ve ever experienced. Therapy, a trendy retail shop occupied our time for hours, and made a large dent in our wallets. From clothes to shoes for both men and women to purses and jewelry this eclectic spot is a must. Not only did we hit up some amazing shopping, but we stumbled into the best Mexican restaurant. Mosto Tequila V Botanas satisfied our palettes to no end. The joint was packed, the atmosphere relaxed and the margaritas strong…what more could you want.

Again, our day started early, but we waited for the hotel restaurant, Hecho, to open before we grabbed breakfast. Delicious! With some free time in the afternoon, we explored the Berkley and Oakland area. Talk about a different atmosphere from downtown San Francisco. Again on recommendation, we ended up at Barbacco Eno Trattoria for dinner. The food was tremendous and their wine selection was extensive.

As Katie headed back to Ohio to see her munchkins, I had a few more meetings before making my way to the airport. It had been a busy few days, but ones I will never forget. San Francisco, I hope to see you in the not-too-distant future!

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