April 9, 2009

On the road

I alluded last week that I had spent some time away working on my list. I spent a long weekend in a new to me city: San Francisco. Here’s day 1 of 4 in that city by the bay. I’ll be bringing you days 2, 3, and 4 each Thursday over the next three weeks.

We believe it’s important to start your day with a good breakfast and, boy, did we ever! Located a few blocks from our hotel was Dottie’s True Blue Café. The guidebook warned of its popularity and potential lines down the block and this day was no exception. But the weather was brilliant, the line moved fast, and the food was unbelievable. Once inside you notice the funky yet delightful décor made up of chandeliers from old coffee pots and cups and saucers, a great little bar, and a cozy assortment of tables and booths.


From there our intention was to catch the bus to Ghirardelli Square but we ended up walking the distance. The bus transportation in San Francisco is great with many of the stops giving you minute-by-minute updates of arrival times. We kept passing stops and seeing it would be a few minutes until the next bus and deciding to just walk one more block. By the time the bus caught up with us we were nearly there and it was really no problem to keep enjoying the sun and warmth.

Once at Ghirardelli Square we began the beautiful 3.5 mile walk along the Golden Gate Promenade to the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. On this walk you pass through Fort Mason, the Marina, and Crissy Field. Everything was green and blooming and I stopped more than a few times to capture those beautiful blooms with my camera. I also loved capturing how the Golden Gate Bridge seemed to grow and change as we got ever closer.

walk to GG

Tops on my list of things to do in San Francisco was walking the Golden Gate Bridge so that’s just what we did. The dudely was quite horrified that I wanted to walk the whole thing, down and back. He thought halfway was more than sufficient. You see the dudely has a bit of a fear of bridges. But we did and were awarded with amazing views of the city. I was brave enough to capture the sights down into the bay while the dudely hung back, way back.

on the GG

At that point we’d walked about 10 miles in total since breakfast so we caught the bus back to Ghirardelli Square for afternoon tea for two at Crown & Crumpet. Crown & Crumpet is just fabulous. Not only did they serve us a delicious tea complete with scones, crumpets, tea sandwiches, and sweets but they treated us like a million bucks. Oh, and the décor? Divine! Bright white tables and chairs with floral tablecloths a la Cath Kidston, lots of etsy art, and a big comfy couch and chairs around the “fireplace” are what we found. But my absolute favorite feature was the chandeliers in giant white shades. I really wanted to fold up the entire place, tuck it in my pocket, and bring it home with me. I did bring home some small pieces of Crown & Crumpet: a cup and saucer complete with a witty tea related comment, a teapot perfectly sized for one, and a few ounces of tea. Splendid.

Crown & Crumpet

Oh, but we weren’t done yet! We hopped the bus back to the hotel to change for our night on the town. At Yoshi’s we enjoyed cocktails, a sushi feast, and a caffeine pick me up. It was certainly good but it’s not the reason I’ll be rushing back to San Francisco. We followed up dinner with a live jazz performance by Grupo Fantasma at Yoshi’s intimate little jazz club. (Be aware the club has a one item minimum per person, plus tickets, which caught us off guard as we had just gorged ourselves in their restaurant. We were a little annoyed.) The group was high energy, which was much needed after a long day. They unexpectedly, to me anyway, invited everyone to dance. Too tired for that, it was a great opportunity to people watch; there was some crazy dancing happening on that floor. That alone was worth the price of admission.

It was a very good first day.

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