Our journey begins in San Francisco at the historic San Remo Hotel. The San Remo was built in 1906 to serve as a brothel after the earthquake and fire. After all, we must have our priorities. The hotel was quirky, charming, old, interesting and haunted. The building was so old that the electricity was run through conduit on the outside of the walls. The building had no elevators, tv’s and thanks to our daughters room blessing, no ghosts.
We dropped our luggage and immediately walked the four blocks to Pier 39 on the wharf. Our daughter had grand plans to see the Sea Lions and they didn’t disappoint. A large crowd was on the wharf enjoying their antics. It would be all we would do today after our cross country travels.
Having been to San Francisco in the past, this trip was about what our daughter wanted to do most. Today we headed North of town across the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. The fog was still covering the top as we crossed. We first went to Muir Beach to see the Pacific Ocean. Despite the balmy 58 degree Summer temperatures, people were swimming, hiking and surfing.
From the beach, we moved into the heart of Sonoma County. We visited a couple wineries prior to enjoying a nice meal at A Taste of the Himalayas. We were heading to an Irish Pub, but the strong spice smell of this restaurant drew us in quickly. We finished the evening with a late afternoon trip to the Muir Woods (please reserve in advance). It was our daughter’s first look at redwoods. It was a stunning place.
We return to our hotel completely spent every day. Thinking about our daughter’s leg injury, we realized we needed a new plan. Tomorrow would belong to Uber. We planned a full day in town to see the tourist areas of San Francisco. Our first stop was Chinatown. We had a little fun as we quickly realized we were too early for Chinatown.
Our next Uber is to the Episcopal Cathedral. While we didn’t stay long, the Cathedral is stunning. It has old world styling while the construction techniques are much more modern, ie concrete. We explored the grounds and walked the maze.
From the Cathedral, we took an Uber to Ghirardelli Square. We took a little time to rest as we enjoyed magnificent ice cream treats.
We returned to Chinatown knowing most places would now be open. We visited a fortune cookie factory, enjoyed a tea tasting, and had a wonderful dinner. The tea tasting rivaled any wine tasting.
Our last day was for exploring anything we felt we missed. We fully explored Pier 39, including some more Sea Lion time. We enjoyed the shops at our leisure. We took time for the aquarium, which we all felt was very small for the price.
It was finally time for our last night in San Francisco, an evening tour of Alcatraz (highly encouraged, book well in advance). Alcatraz is a special place especially at night. We explore the grounds, discussed the escape attempts and watch the sun drop below The Golden Gate Bridge. Our second visit was as good as the first. San Francisco is an amazing city. If you visit San Francisco, don’t miss the wine, sourdough and crab. Next up, We move to Yosemite National Park.