As much as I travel, I had never made my way to San Fran. Surprising, right? In my defense, I did most of my domestic travel when I was an Instructor with my last job. I would go to San Diego often to conduct training on their Navy ships, and I go to Los Angeles frequently, because I love that city and I have many friends there. The Bay area, however...ehhh...it's not something that excited me. Still doesn't, to be honest. But...it was a welcomed breath of fresh air for me, and I'll share what I did while there.
First thing's first, my flight was booked for free, using my Delta credits that I got from my Platinum American Express card membership. Then I booked my hotel using my AMEX points. Yup, this trip didn't cost me a cent! I texted one of my friends from LA, and he flew up and chilled for a couple days. It came together quite simply.
On Day 1, we headed to Pier 39 to find some dinner. My friend doesn't really eat seafood, so we passed a slew of restaurants before we finally settled on...In-and-Out Burger. I got the Double Double and animal fries. I'd like to settle this debate once and for all. In-and-Out is NOT better than Five Guys. Also, the animal fries are pretty nasty to me. I should have just gotten regular fries or cheese fries. So, there's that.
After we finished our burgers, I noticed that Krispy Kreme was next door, so....
We hopped in an Uber turned in early that night (I was still on east coast time). Note: I rarely rent cars anymore, so I always go with car services. Uber was super convenient and affordable in San Francisco. Also, who wants to deal with the stress of finding and paying for parking in most large cities??
The next morning, I googled some places to have breakfast, and I'm so glad I came across Mo's Grill. This diner setting and open kitchen format was pretty dope. As soon as we walked in we saw how the foot was being prepared and peeped the breakfast potatoes being buttered, placed in a skillet and then onto the rotating grill. They apparently use that grill for everything! We went for the eggs and smoked bacon meal, and I added a side of pancakes. The food was so good I didn't get a picture.
Before I even arrived in San Fran, I told my friend the only things I really wanted to see were the "Full House houses" and the Golden Gate Bridge. I was fine with playing everything else by ear. So, we decided to knock those both out in one day. First, we headed to Alamo Square Park to see the houses. Once you walk to the top of the hill, you see people laying around, chatting with one another and letting their dogs run without their leashes. After a quick five minute walk around the perimeter of the park, we spotted the houses...the Painted Ladies! We got our pictures, I took my obligatory snap with the Full House theme song music, and we were ready to leave.
Next, we hopped in an Uber and headed to Fort Point Park in order to see the Golden Gate Bridge. The driver dropped us off at the visitor center, and then we walked around to get to the running path. That's where you can get better photos from.
So there you have it. I was set! After this, we decided to find a coffee shop to sit, people watch and get work done. Ironically, I didn't work on this blog post during that time...so I'm writing this as I wait for my flight back home. We settled on Corner Bakery in the financial district to set up shop. As we were working, I looked out the window and low and behold...the Women's March! I immediately walked outside to get a better view and hear the chants. The energy was awesome!
After Corner Bakery closed, we walked alongside the march until we came to Joe and the Juice, where we sat for a little longer while I got some work done. I also had the opportunity to speak to a few protesters as they walked in to get coffee.
That evening we went to SF Kebab for dinner, and called it a night.
The next day, my friend flew back to LA, and I had one final day in the city. First, I went back to Mo's Grill and got their infamous breakfast burrito, which I couldn't finish, followed by their apple pie a la mode. I was set for the remainder of the day! I didn't eat lunch or dinner because of how much food that was.
Oh, I should note that first I went to this place called Little Skillet because I was in the mood for fried chicken. But, as I walked in, I noticed the place was full of hipsters. I then went to the counter and looked back in the kitchen to see who was cooking. At that moment, I remembered that I was in California and decided I did not want any alleged "soul food" from California, LOL.
After breakfast I had no solid plans, so I decided that it would be the perfect time to take a cable car for fun, and see some more of the city. I took an Uber to Fisherman's Wharf, and purchased my $7.00 one-way ticket for the cable car. When riding the car, you can either choose to have a seat in the covered area of the car, or in the open-air part. I sat in the open-air part and also stood on the edge of the car, holding on to the handrail while taking photos and video. Our trip ended at Union Square.
I'm sure there is MUCH more I could have done in the city...that's the case with many major cities. I have friends who live there who'd probably have a long list of more that I could have done. Maybe next time. I didn't fall in love with San Fran like I did with LA and San Diego, but it was such a welcomed break from the concrete jungle that is NYC!
What should I do next time I'm in San Francisco?