Over the Easter long weekend, we went to San Francisco, USA. It was M’s first time, and my second time there. The weather was wonderful and I am proud to say I have yet to experience San Francisco’s famous fog.
For accommodations, we stayed at the Hotel Carlton on Sutter Rd near Nob Hill. I thought the hotel was very centrally located and was very well priced for its class. It was one of the few hotels that did not charge us extra for having 4 people to a room. The hotel room walls were a bit thin, the heater rattled, but there was free Wi-Fi, a nice washroom, good neighbourhood and a comfy bed. For 3 nights, we spent $415 CAD on accommodations. The walk up from the Bart station at Union Square was very interesting though. I felt like I was walking through E Hastings in Vancouver; it was very likely the San Francisco equivalent.
There were so many hills in San Fran! Some tourists rent these scooter/ go carts. They get stalled climbing the hill and block all the traffic. It is amazing that the locals are all so patient with these tourists.
Here we are at one of the wharfs and they have a very cool exhibit/museum with old school arcade games. M tried playing the old arm wrestling one; he won one and lost once. The Opium Den is my favourite; drugged out Chinese men pop out of the doors when you insert the coins. How politically incorrect. The great thing about this is that all the games are only 0.25$!
We spent a day walking to the Golden Gate Bridge from our Hotel. It was quite a long walk, perhaps next time biking would be the better option. We did walk through Exploratorium (Palace of Fine Arts), laid down on the beach, people watched. For some reason we reached the bridge and decided to take the bus to Little Italy only to realize we had no cash. Luckily I bumped into my sister (who had gone off with her friend to bike) and she gave me $2.
We didn’t manage to go to Alcatraz because all the trips were fully booked! That was ok as I had gone there several years back and didn’t find it particularly memorable other than the gale force wind.
As it was Easter, we found out there was a “Hunky Jesus Contest” at Delores Park near the Castro district. Naturally we had to go. The park was PACKED with lots of men young and not so young in loin cloths or drag clothes. Some pictures I took are not suitable for publication. Basically it is just a festival where people gather to drink and show off their crazy hats and have a good time. I sure did. We later wandered to the Castro District and bought my sister W a lovely 8” penis shaped chocolate macaroon cookie called “Penis & Venus”. Nom nom nom.
My favourite food street was Polk St. It had so many brunch spots. Another must try in California is “IN and OUT”. It is a burger chain that serves cheap , good burgers. We got a cheeseburger and fries “Animal Style” (off menu request) and milkshake. Getting your food “Anima Style” means cheese, bacon, sauce, onion is loaded on top of an already heavy burger. With the milkshake, the meal easily topped 2000 calories. Yum.
We also went to Tony’s Pizza Napoletana with their world famous ‘Napoletana’ Pizza that was named the Best Pizza in 2007. It was delicious amongst their many other pizzas all baked at different temperatures and style to perfection. I would highly suggest going to the restaurant at odd hours to avoid a 2 hour wait as they do not take reservations. Upstairs is apparently a pizza academy where wannabe pizza makers practice their flip. It provided great entertainment for us.
San Francisco is a great place to live and visit. The residents are nice and helpful. The weather is nice. You would never get fat due to the number of hills in the city. The homeless people are all crazy and fun. If I was American and didn’t have wanderlust I would move to San Francisco tomorrow.