Anniversary Weekend No. 2 – San Francisco: Fisherman’s Wharf

After our weekend in San Diego that John planned, it was now time to go on the trip I had planned to San Francisco. When I planned it, I had no idea that both USC and UCLA would be playing Stanford and Cal, that both the Raiders and the 49ers would be playing at home (and the Raiders were playing San Diego), and it would be Fleet Week!  Yeah, it was pretty crowded, but at least we fit in with all the Southern Californians who had ventured up north for the weekend!

We started our trip on Friday with a drive up the oh-so-not scenic Interstate 5 to San Francisco, with a stop for lunch at In-n-Out in Kettleman City (it’s like the only In-n-Out easily accessible from the freeway for most of the drive). After another stop in San Jose for my zoom lens rental (I was NOT going another weekend without a zoom lens), we finally made it to our hotel just in time to explore the area for dinner. We actually stayed in Hayward (it was a lot cheaper than hotels in San Francisco and the parking was free!). We ate at a little diner just down the street that was famous for its ribs, and we quickly learned why (even though the place was pretty much empty). The price couldn’t be beat either!

The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel (I LOVE those waffle makers…I want one!), another perk of staying at the Hampton Inn and then drove a short ways to the nearest BART station to take it into the city. I did not want to deal with driving into the city and paying parking, and after we arrived in the city and discovered just how crowded it was, I was doubly glad, even though I had a huge fear that there was going to be a massive earthquake while the train was in the tunnel under water and it would break open and flood and we would all drown (think Jaws…the SeaWorld one…can’t remember the number).  Yes, I have a very active “worse-case-scenario” imagination.

Despite my totally unfounded fears, we made it into the city safely and bought our one-day MUNI passes that would allow us to ride on the cable cars, buses and street cars, then boarded a street car that took us down to Pier 39 (after a long ride along The Embarcadero because of all the pedestrian traffic from Fleet Week).

We walked along Pier 39 to get our first views of several San Francisco landmarks, including Alcatraz (we didn’t actually go out to the island because of cost and time).

On our walk back up the west side of the pier, we spent some time watching the sea lions. It was rather entertaining to watch them climbing over each other, diving in the water, and then getting back up on the floating decks.

Our next stop was Pier 45 where we saw the USS Pampanito Submarine (we didn’t actually go on it), a WWII submarine. We missed seeing the USS Jeremiah (the last remaining WWII liberty ship that participated in the D-Day landings in 1944) because it was out and about the bay because of…yep, Fleet Week.  Noticing a trend?

Walking back up the Pier to the main part of Fisherman’s Wharf, we saw this view of Coit Tower. We didn’t end up going there either, but had views of it from pretty much everywhere we went. It sticks out in my mind from the 16th season of The Amazing Race when they finished the race in San Francisco and had a challenge there (I don’t remember exactly what they did).

I think the seafood stands along Fisherman’s Wharf were one of the highlights of my day. I could eat and eat and eat for days from these stands.  So good!  And it’s all fresh seafood!  Example: these crabs.

Before grabbing lunch, we walked along the street next to Boudin’s where they make fresh sourdough bread. Another food I’m a total sucker for…bread! After watching the bakers shape various animals out of the dough through the window, we headed inside to grab a loaf of fresh sourdough to take home with us.

We then went back over to the seafood stands and ordered our lunches. John got crab chowder in a bread bowl (I tried his, but didn’t like it) and I got lobster bisque, also in a bread bowl. I love lobster bisque, though I still haven’t found one that compares to the one I had on our honeymoon cruise! This version was actually really good…pretty close to the cruise version.  Even though I didn’t like the crab chowder, it was a good thing John did!

So, I just realized how long this post is getting, and how late it’s getting, so I’m going to end it here, for now. Tomorrow I’ll post photos from Hyde Street Pier, Fleet Week Air Show, and Ghirardelli Square.

Be sure to enter my new photo challenge, LENS ART, by Tuesday at midnight!


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