California Dreaming: San Francisco

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
So here it is… the last leg of our California Vacation… San Francisco! To recap we started in Los Angeles (recap here), drove up the famous route 1 to Carmel by the Sea (recap here), hiked  Yosemite National (recap here) before making it to the fog city of San Francisco where we explored and did a few local day trips out of the city. (recap of day trips to Muir Woods National Park, Hog Island Oyster Company-Marshall & Sonoma Valley)
The drive from Yosemite was fairly short, sweet & uneventful. (about 3 1/2 hours from our hotel) We hit a little bit of traffic coming into the city which put me in a state of pure misery because I was so excited. I had heard so many wonderful things about San Fran and I could not wait to experience everything!
Our hotel, The Hotel Stratford was located in a prime spot (and very decent price I might add!) right in the heart of Union Square on Powell Street. The staff was so friendly and gave us tips on getting around the city… such as catching the trolley car (stops right in front of the hotel) to Fisherman’s Wharf at least once and to take the Powell-Hyde Trolley for a more scenic view of the city. 
After checking in we were starving. My parents have always ranted and raved about San Francisco’s sourdough bread so we decided on Boudin’s Bakery, which was right near our hotel. In fact, my Father made it our mission to find him packets of sour dough starter to bring back. (Something about the air in San Fran does something special to the yeast and makes the Sourdough delish)
At Boudin’s I ordered the broccoli cheddar soup in a sourdough bread bowl of course along with a chicken Caesar salad. The Hubs ordered chili in a sourdough bread bowl with a turkey avocado sandwich.  We wondered around Union Square for a bit before waiting in line for the trolley. We waited for about 45 minutes for the Powell-Hyde Trolley (would have been shorter if we bit the bullet and took the Powell-Mason Line) but managed to get a space on the outside back/side of the trolley for some perfect views.
Fisherman’s Wharf was packed and man was it windy.  I loved  the views of Alcatraz and wished we would have added that to our agenda. We explored the various shops and enjoyed some street performers before hitting up some random bars for happy hour. After a quick trip to Pier 39,  we stopped nearby the floating docks where we got some prime views of the Sea Lions hanging out.  We stopped by Ghirardelli Square before heading back- the place was packed but we still managed to get our free piece of chocolate!
At $6 a way to ride the trolley back to the hotel, we opted to walk back to our hotel and explore along the way.  It took much longer (and more exhausting- hello hills!) than we anticipated but we managed to see a ton. A visit to Lombard street was a must and I just loved the beautiful flowers that lined the street. Following walks through Knob Hill- Russian Hill & China Town- we made it to Little Italy for dinner at Il Casaro Mozzarella Bar & Pizzeria. Beer was ordered by the pitcher while we watched the kitchen make our delicious Capricciosa pizza (san marzano tomato, mozzarella, artichoke, black olives, prosciutto cotto & mushrooms.) In fact, the pizza was so delicious- we ordered another one! 
After dinner we were stuffed and still had a bit left to walk- so some libations and relaxing at the hotel is what went down the rest of the night. 
The next day we work up and headed for our day trip to Muir Woods National Park and Hog Island Oyster Company-Marshall. On our way out (so foggy!) and back into San Francisco we made sure to stop to see the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was so cool to see the bridge from different views. Confession- since we splurged at Hog Island- we had Chipotle for dinner once we were back in the city.
The next day we woke up sad that it was our last full day on vacation but super excited to go on our Sonoma Valley Wine Tour with Taste of San Francisco and Beyond. We had a blast on the tour (recap here) and we were able to view the Golden Gate Bridge from yet another beautiful view.
For the last supper we ate at Hops and Hominy which was not too far from out hotel. I loved the atmosphere of the place (laid back-industrial look) and cocktail/craft beer! 
The following morning, before heading to the airport, we stopped by the Ferry Building for one last attempt to find my Father’s beloved sourdough starter and to look around at all the vendors of course. Alas! the sourdough starter was found at a grocer vendor.  I left San Francisco feeling accomplished.  
Thank you San Francisco for such a wonderful time! 

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