On our way back to San Francisco, we drove through old town Sausalito which was so cute and charming. I definitely want to go back and spend a few days there on our next visit. All the little wine and coastal towns have so much character to them. We didn’t get back to our hotel until almost 8pm. This will sound very un-touristy, but we were so worn out from the day that we stayed in and ordered pizza and a cal-zone (which were very yummy). We took it easy, watched TV and crashed out early. Monday morning we woke up refreshed and ready (and sad) for our last day in SF. We took advantage by heading to China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, and up to see the Painted Ladies (totally not near each other so we did a ton of walking again!) While we were at Fisherman’s Wharf we came across this super cool Antique Coin Operated Arcade with tons of vintage/classic games that were all fully functional. We had so much fun there playing Pacman and taking pictures in the photo booths. This another “must” on my SF to do list. You won’t find any games like this at your local mall.
We also hiked it up to Alamo Square Park to see the famous Painted Ladies! A staple in nearly every movie or TV show based in San Francisco (hello Ms. Doubtfire!). You would not believe all the people there just standing and taking pictures, marveling at their awesomeness. It makes me wonder if people actually live in those houses and how they feel to have people looking at their homes year round. So, I did some googling and people do live there, one was even on the market a year ago. Check it out here to see what the inside looks like.
When we took the bus back from Alamo Sq. our stop was literally right in front of the new Converse store. It was a sign. The displays and visuals in this store were incredible. I have never seen so many converse in my life. From the classics in every color, to the Dr. Seuss shoes, there was definitely converse eye candy everywhere. They even had a design center where you could customize every part of your shoe. I wish they would bring one of these stores to Atlanta because it really it a sight to see.
We wrapped up the day with some drinks at Hotel Adagio, followed by an incredible dinner at Fino, an Italian restaurant in the classic Andrews Hotel. This was probably some of the best Italian food we both have ever had. We started with the hand cut french fries tossed with fresh garlic, parsley, truffle oil and parmesan cheese. I think our taste buds had literally exploded. If I had to choose something to eat on a weekly basis for the rest of my life, these would be on the menu. I also had the Gnocchi and it was cooked to perfection. Cooking Gnocchi can be so hard because you have to keep a constant water temperature and the water can never drop below boiling. I highly recommend this place if you visit.
After inhaling all those delicious calories we decided to walk to the Embarcadaro and up the waterfront. We came upon an amazing, all organic out door market on the pier that was insane! So much great meat, produce, spices, herbs etc. There were probably 100 vendors all with the freshest ingredients. After seeing this we decided that if we were to ever relocate, San Francisco would be the place to do it. We browsed for a little bit before having lunch on the waterfront at Fog Harbor Fish House while overlooking the Sea Lions. They reminded me of big dogs and I was so tempted to go out there and pet them (not sure how well that would have gone over). Of course I had to get some oysters, and oysters I got. Baked with spinach, bacon and parmesan cheese. I seriously think I could have eaten 2 dozen of them. We also got steamed clams with roasted peppers, corn and chorizo butter (so good!) and Jan got the clam chowder in a bread bowl.
Today was the day I had been waiting for … it was ALCATRAZ day! I have wanted to go to Alcatraz ever since I saw “The Rock” like 15 years ago. I could not believe I was actually walking the grounds and prison where some of the most famous inmates had once lived. (Not to get into a history lesson here, but did you know that all the guards and staff lived on the island as well with their families? Children were raised on Alcatraz and even went to school there. So crazy). If you do one thing in San Francisco, make it this. We took a ferry over to the island and then after a very brief welcome by a tour guide, you are free to roam the prison/island at your own pace and then choose a ferry to get back on. You could stay on Alcatraz all day if you wanted to. There is even a free audio headphone tour that you can listen to (do it!) that tells all about the day to day lives of the prisoners, the 3 men that escaped and even when the prisoners took the guards hostage and the military had to come in (they point out where the grenades hit the floor during the stand off and the damage is still there). The audio tour was narrated by former inmates and guards from Alcatraz and it made it that much more real to hear them talk about this erie prison. A friend of mine had recommended taking the night tour but unfortunately they were sold out, and I even booked 3 weeks in advance. This tour definitely sells out fast. If we ever go back, I am definitely getting in on the night tour action.
After spending a few hours on the island and taking the ferry back, we decided to keep on trekking and hit up Tacolicious. We each loaded up on different tacos (my favorite was the House Made Chorizo and Potatoes), a tequila sampler and a classic margarita. You’ll notice in the picture below I am holding a menu, the front and back. Not for food, for tequila. Yes, their menu for tequila was that extensive. It felt so good sitting outside in the cool breeze (with no humidity) after walking so much. Even in sneakers, my feet were throbbing. We headed home relatively early since we had to be up early for our wine tour the next day! I still can’t believe this was only one day worth of activities. When we’re on vacation, we definitely like to fit in as much as possible. Last post of the trip coming soon 🙂