San Francisco Vacation

This weekend I decided to return to San Francisco. I figured the first time (only two weeks ago) was strictly business so I needed to go back and see the sights. Plus, Noah was celebrating his birthday and I couldn’t not be there. Thus, I left for SFO on Friday morning…

This time I had a travel partner which made things lots more fun. We hopped on the bus at 5:45am and arrived at DIA around 7am. Security took all of five minutes and so we decided to have some breakfast. I don’t know why airports can charge so much for food and/or beverages. It’s not like coffee is rare here in Denver…

Getting around San Francisco

We arrived a little after 10am and knew we had to get to Fisherman’s Wharf by 1:00pm. So, we got off our plane and decided we needed to find a place to put our luggage for the day. There was a place at the airport that would charge $10/day/bag and we decided a) that was too much and b) we didn’t want to come back to the airport that evening. So, we headed upstairs to the BART. After five minutes of looking at schedules and fares we figured we needed $5.15 to get downtown (Union Square area). This worked out perfectly for two people who had no idea what they were doing in a strange land.

Once we got off BART we purchased a ‘passport’ that would allow us to take any cable cars and buses for the entire day. Having absolutely no game plan we figured this would be $11 well spent. We headed off and figured we’d find a hotel and tell them we wanted to store our bags before our flight (wink, wink). The first hotel saw through our game and knew we weren’t checking out (nor in). So, we moved along…

Leaving Our Bags

The second hotel was fun. The bell hop came downstairs and promptly started taking our bags. Meanwhile the concierge was still trying to look up our names in the computer (“you’re sure it’s under this name?”). After a few questions they gave up and let us go (the bags were already in storage). We won. Some of our favorite responses include:

“Well which room were you in?”
I don’t remember the number… the one by the elevator…
“Which floor?”
“There are none on the first floor…”
The first one off the elevator, I mean. You know, the second…

Did we lie? Yes. Did we feel bad? Yes. Did everything work out? Yes. Did the hotel suffer any loss? No. Did the bellhop feel bad taking our $4 tip? No. Nuff said!

Cable Cars and Fisherman’s Wharf

We proceeded down towards what the map indicated as a trolly car ‘turn around’. I should have read that ‘turn around’ part because we approached a stopped car and decided to hop on. At this point the driver simply said ‘nope, you’re wrong’. What he really meant to say was ‘I’m sorry sir, please go down a block to that turn table where I will soon turn my car around. You will see a line of passengers waiting there which you can then join.’

The cable car was fun. The hills are amazing. If you’re not familiar, there are cables running under the streets which constantly move at 9.5mph. The car simply grabs onto the cable and away it goes. It took some time but it was awesome to watch the city slowly go by.

Trolly on Turn Table Trolly Line Fisherman's Wharf Fisherman's Wharf

We arrived down near the wharf and walked around a bit. We were getting hungry and I remembered there was an in-N-out so we stopped by. My friend had never eaten there before so it was one of those ‘life experiences’.

Alcatraz Island Tour

After lunch we walked over to Pier 33 and got in line to pick up our tickets (we had reservations). Although we were instructed to arrive an hour before departure we figured that meant 10 minutes. Rules weren’t made for us. We obviously didn’t need to wait in line for the boat and we hopped right on.

Alcatraz Alcatraz Vacancies Library Outside Field Alacatraz from Cruise

The island is amazing. The audio tour is well done. I was skeptical at first but it really gives a great look at the history behind the island. Plus, you could take some awesome pictures looking back towards San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge.

Pier 39 and Ghiradelli

After we got back from our tour it was about 3:30pm. We walked the piers and checked out Pier 39. We even had a chance to see the sea lions. We made it all the way down to Ghiradelli Square. Having our free samples in hand we then walked down to the beach and watched the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge. We had some time to kill and killed it quite well.

Pier 39 Pier 39 Sea Lion Pier 39 Flags Pier 39

After picking up our bags and heading to Shivani