Our early flight to San Francisco meant we were waiting for a taxi in the lobby of our San Antonio hotel at 5am. Has may have dropped the “We’re on our honeymoon” line to the check in lady and they may have resulted in us securing a nice little upgrade. Score!
We landed in San Francisco and took the train into the city. We had no intention of getting taxis any where that we could catch public transport. Ok so it was hard work lugging our cases on and off trains but neither of us wanted to use up our honeymoon budget on over priced cabs. Plus it really wasn’t that bad! We made our way to the Omni San Francisco where we were greeted by an incredibly friendly and informative check in assistant. He was so helpful and alerted us to loads of cool things including a local market that was on over the weekend.
We headed out to Union Square and spent the day doing a LOT of walking around! We pretty much just walked around where ever we fancied with no particular destination in mind. We ate a very large late lunch at a diner just off Union Square then walked over the China Town. It was so fascinating, I absolutely loved all of the architecture in the city it really is beautiful and hilly! After a few hours the temperatures dropped and our legs ached so we went back to the hotel to rest up and get something warmer on.
We spent the evening at Pier 39, which I loved! I had visited San Francisco 8 years ago and whilst I remembered some things it was great to see it all again. We walked over the Fisherman’s Wharf where Has grabbed some shrimp. We didn’t really love Fisherman’s Wharf so we walked back to Pier 39 and sat and watched the Sea Lions.
Early the next morning we headed to Pier 14 for breakfast at the local market. I absolutely loved the atmosphere there, it was so colourful with fruit, vegetables, handmade crafts, cakes. The San Francisco Bay Bridge loomed in the background and the smell of all the freshly cooked food had our mouths watering. We each had an egg and sausage sandwich – incredibly messy but most definitely delicious. We didn’t have long to savour our breakfast before we had to walk up to Pier 33 for our Alcatraz Cruise. The walk was a little frantic, our Iphones told us it would be a 20 minute walk, unfortunately we had to check in for our tour in 15! Full on food we marched in the heat, being overtaken all the time by extremely fit joggers by the time we reached the ticket collection office we were exhausted! Luckily for us we made it there with time to spare so a brief sit down in the shade with a bottle of water and we were raring to go again when our tour time was called.
I had already been to Alcatraz when I visited San Francisco 8 years before, but it was such an amazing tour I really wanted to do it again, plus I knew Has would love it. The boat journey to the island provides wonderful views of he bay area and the Golden Gate Bridge. We didn’t witness any of the famous San Francisco fog, we had clear blue skies and gorgeous views.
The Alcatraz audio tour is award winning and is absolutely something you have to do if you’re in San Francisco. You are guided around the prison by past wardens and prisoners, they tell you stories of day to day life, riots and even the attempted escapes. Once the tour was over we walked around the island to admire the view of the San Francisco Bay area, where we are pretty sure we saw a Sea Lion bob his head above the water (Either that or a Shark!!)
After catching the ferry back we made a quick pit stop at IHOP, then caught the bus to the Walt Disney Family Musuem. We weren’t allowed to take photographs inside but I thoroughly enjoyed learning not only about the growth of the Disney enterprise but also about Walt’s family life. I loved learning about Walt and the people around him, as you walked around the different rooms different stages of both his professional and personal life were explained. By the time the tour was coming to an end and I learnt about Walt’s death, I actually felt a little emotional. The tour did a really great job of connecting you to the man behind the mouse.
We had intended to walk over the Golden Gate Bridge but the time had slipped by us and we had to get back to our hotel to get ready to see Rufus Wainwright at the San Francisco Symphony Hall. He sang five Shakespeare Sonnets with the San Francisco orchestra. It wasn’t really my thing but Has really enjoyed it.
The next day we took advantage of a breakfast coupon we had been given and enjoyed the most amazing meal. I totally embraced the American way and was ordering my eggs like a native! Although I did make a rookie mistake and completely forgot where I was when I saw “Hot Tea” on the menu. Thinking I might be in for nice hot brew I felt a little silly when I was given a blackcurrant tea bag. Still it was a nice drink, just no Yorkshire Gold!
We had tickets to see the San Francisco 49ers. We knew there was a city bus that took us to the stadium but were a little unsure of where to catch it, so we did he most sensible thing… followed the fans in the 49ers tops! It was such a fun atmosphere, as we were following someone in a football jersey a lady walked past with her children and cheered “Go ‘Niners!” The bus journey didn’t take too long and we could soon see the stadium. We bought a brochure, 2 hot dog, and a couple of drinks in souvenir cups before taking our seats.
It was an insanely hot day, as we waited for the game to begin the sun was behind the stadium offering us some shade. When the game began the sun moved around a fully soaking us in heat. We pretty much sat in the sun all afternoon, I started speaking to a fan next to me who said it was really unusual for it to be so hot at this time of year in San Francisco. One of my favourite things about American sports is the atmosphere, next to Has were a family of Rams fans who were there to cheer on their team against the 49ers, not once was there any trouble from anyone. We both really enjoyed the game and as it went into overtime we were both on our feet cheering for a 49ers victory. They finally won 20 – 23.
On our last night in San Francisco we were determined to ride on a cable car, it did however mean climbing a few very hilly blocks to get there. The night was still hot and I had stupidly worn a coat, the hills in San Francisco were incredible I ached every night and actually really hurt my ankle whilst we were there. We only climbed about 5 blocks but they were all up hill and stupidly steep. We rode the cable car to a really small little restaurant called Frascati. I had an amazing duck salad to start and lamb for my main, Has was a little jealous after he tried my duck salad because it really was that good! The restaurant was small, rather crowded and because it was a hot night really stuffy too. They didn’t have air conditioning but they did have all the windows open. I really loved the restaurant, it was so romantic and the staff there were excellent. I’d definitely go back. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend in San Francisco.