San Francisco is the perfect urban gym. You can work your legs and butt hiking up steep hills, you arms by holding on tight and leaning in or out while on the cable car and get in a little cardio running after a bus. The constant breeze off the bay provides refreshment during and after all these activities. Much like Seattle the weather can be a mixed bag of fog, rain, sunshine and blue skies all within a day or even an hour. They have an expression here, "Dress in layers and hope for the best" We have experienced all types of weather while visiting San Francisco and in an effort to stay warm or dry have come home with umbrellas, warmer coats and scarves as souvenirs. I knew this time since I packed the umbrella we would probably luck out in the weather department. The first two days were glorious and the last two were pleasant.
Normally we drive down to California, but this time we decided to fly. It was sure nice to get somewhere in two hours instead of thirteen. No matter how many places I go it still amazes me that I can wake up early in the morning and within mere hours find myself in a different city. I have been to San Francisco numerous times, but it was not until this trip that I felt like a savvy traveler. In the past, our time in the city has been limited to either a few hours or a couple days and we had never stayed downtown for more than just one night so three nights felt like pure luxury.
Our first stop was the Saturday market at the Ferry Building. We had been to the Ferry Building before, but had never managed to be there during the market hours. The Farmer's market was a feast for the senses. The crowds, the lines, the booths were a dizzying array of sights and sounds.
Operating like all naive tourists we were drawn to the places with the longest lines. Although fairly famished we would not be deterred by a particularly long line at Roli Roti. What is it about getting in a line only to quickly have people jump in behind you that confirms your decision to get in line? I guess it is nice to know that even though a couple dozen people are ahead of you, there are still a certain number of people behind you. Roli Roti is the country's first mobile rotisserie serving only sustainably farmed meats and organic produce. As I ate my sustainable chicken, arugula and onion jam sandwich I contemplated how I might coerce Cameron into moving to this fine city.
While at the market we sampled, watched, and listened to what the farmer's had to say about their products. I wanted to buy these fava beans just so I could carry them around in this cute little paper bag, instead I took a picture.
Inside the Ferry Building is even more delightful than outside. Miette, The Gardener, Heath Ceramics and Far West Fungi are some of my favorites.
At Far West Fungi they sell these blocks that grow mushrooms. Is that too strange a thing to ask Santa for?
This trip I was determined to get some good photos of Cameron and I not taken three feet away from our faces by ourselves. As a result, I needed to be outgoing and ask lots of strangers to take our photos.
We wandered into Boudin, which is the only place still making fresh sourdough bread on Fisherman's Wharf. We took a tour of the bread factory, sampled lots of delicious bread and discovered all the many foods beside sourdough that originated in San Francisco. Fortune cookies, popsicles and sushi are just a few of San Francisco's inventions.
Feeling extra indulgent.....(I mean we were on vacation) we treated ourselves to a double scoop chocolate dipped waffle cone at Ghirardelli. The only thing disappointing about it was that it started to melt during its photo shoot. Satisfied with our sugar buzz we found our way to Alamo Square to check out the famous "Painted Ladies".
Most notably the Painted Ladies appear in the background on the opening credits for Full House (a television series we both adored as children) They have also been in a number of other movies, like Mrs. Doubtfire. The Painted Ladies are seven immaculate Victorian homes all in a row with views of the city popping out from behind and a park across the street.
I could wander around all day taking pictures of the many interesting colors and architectural features on all the homes.
Walking back towards the downtown core we stopped by St Mary of Assumption Cathedral and popped in for a peek. This modern cathedral is located on Cathedral Hill and is known as a landmark in the city. The interior has a beautiful stained glass cross and an impressive chandelier.
This was just day one, now you can see why I like being on vacation so much, more to follow in the days to come.