Tag Archives: Ferry Building

Weekend in San Francisco

Check it out, the last post on our trip to California in October! If you’ve read all of these posts (here, here, and here), and we’re not related, bless your kind soul.

While planning this trip, we intentionally decided to spend the first part of our trip in Napa so we could avoid the large crowds in the tasting rooms, and also so we could enjoy the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco on Saturday. It may sound weird to plan a trip to such a big city around a farmer’s market, but it truly is incredible. Between the Ferry Building and the plaza behind it, there are rows of booths with fresh produce, stores with candles and ceramic bowls, and lots of yummy food stands. We stocked up on a few picnic items for the afternoon and grabbed some delicious breakfast sandwiches.

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Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

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Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Since we were lucky enough to have visited San Francisco two other times, we decided to skip out on walking along the Embarcadero and instead check out a new part of the city we had never visited before: Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park covers over 1,000 acres and is one of the most visited parks in the U.S. You could easily spend an entire weekend exploring all parts of Golden Gate Park. Since we only had a few hours to spare that afternoon, we chose to focus on getting a boat to view the park from Stow Lake before visiting the de Young Museum.

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Golden Gate Park

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Personal boat rower at Golden Gate Park

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Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden

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Golden Gate Park

After our time on the water, we walked over to the de Young Museum, where we had a picnic before checking out the exhibits.

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Outside the de Young Museum at Golden Gate Park

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Our picnic outside the de Young Museum

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Inside the de Young Museum

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Inside the de Young Museum

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Inside the de Young Museum

We left the de Young Museum and walked back to our car so we could drive by the bison paddock on our way out of the park. Yes, bison. It was a little strange to see these large animals in the middle of a large city, even if it was in a fenced off area.

As bookends on this trip, we would only get two dinner meals in San Francisco. On our first night, we had a (very late) dinner at Tacolicious. The other restaurant we love is Coqueta along the Embarcadero and we were so excited to get reservations there for Saturday night. The environment is a lot of fun, and their food is delicious. We sat up at the bar where we were able to watch the chefs in the kitchen. Warning: if you sit in this spot, you will be tempted to order every single thing you watch them prepare. We may have been convinced to order a few tapas because of this kitchen view, but they went perfectly with our paella dinner.

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Before drinks along the Embarcadero. Chip made fun of this vest when I first bought, but I still love it.

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Pre-dinner drinks

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Coqueta

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Coqueta

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Coqueta

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Delicious paella at Coqueta

To wrap up our night in San Francisco, we went to grab a drink and dessert at Ghirardelli Square.

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Chocolate martini at Ghirardelli Square

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Dessert at Ghirardelli Square

We had some time Sunday morning before our flights back to San Antonio. We decided to swing by Mama’s for a hearty breakfast. It doesn’t seem to matter how early we get there, there is always at least an hour wait. This was our second time there and I have to say, I don’t totally get the hype. Yes, the food is good, but not “wait in line for over an hour” good. If you have limited time in the city, there are a lot of other great small restaurants that won’t have as long of a wait. We had hoped to drive around a few neighborhoods and check out the Painted Ladies again, but we had to eat our food pretty quickly to get to the airport on time.

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Glad to see these Tai Chi classes are still going on across the street from Mama’s

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The view from breakfast

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Breakfast at Mama’s

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Driving to the airport

After a couple of flights, we were back in San Antonio to our sweet pup who was ready for some cuddle time. We loved our time in Napa and San Francisco and hope to be back again soon!

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San Francisco, Round Two

Last year, Chip and I took a (belated) anniversary trip to San Francisco and Napa. To say we had a great time would be an understatement and we have mentioned more than once how fun it would be to go back again someday. We really enjoyed getting to see different parts of the city and the wine country was awesome (hello, it’s the wine country). So when my mom suggested these two spots for our family vacation this year, we were pretty excited. Since I was taking some time off of work this past spring, I was able to help my mom plan the trip and find places for us to stay, restaurants to try out, different winery tours, etc. Since we would be a group of six with my parents, Chip, myself, Alex, and his girlfriend Teresa, we thought a rental home would be great for us instead of a hotel. I’m glad we started planning this trip back in April since we quickly discovered that a lot of places were already booked almost five months in advance. Thankfully, we still found some really great places, but if you’re planning a trip to San Francisco or Napa, get to booking stuff early.

Chip and I flew into San Francisco on a Friday afternoon and got into the city just in time for dinner at one of our favorite places from our last trip – Tacolicious. Chip has mentioned this restaurant just about every time we talk about San Francisco, so I was really glad we were able to go back and enjoy it all over again. My parents had flown into San Francisco Thursday afternoon, so the four of us had dinner together before Alex and Teresa landed later that night. My mom just about ate a bowl of salsa by herself, which if you’ve tried their salsa, you would understand. It’s some roasted tomato-mint combination and it’s delicious. Chip and I are going to try to recreate it and probably never come close to the real thing. But we will try. Tacolicious actually has some of their other salsas for sale at most William-Sonoma stores right now. We bought some this past weekend and will be having an epic taco night soon.

On our flight to SF

On our flight to SF

Tacolicious

Tacolicious

Can Tacolicious please deliver to Texas?

Can Tacolicious please deliver to Texas?

Now, we had been really excited about our rental home in San Francisco. We found a great spot in Nob Hill that was a perfect space for the six of us…. as well as some super rowdy neighbors below us. How rowdy? We’re talking a party that was just getting started when Alex and Teresa landed a little before midnight and went until about four in the morning. Somehow, I slept through the worst of their music and dialogue but no one got good sleep that night. It wasn’t the experience we were looking for, so we actually decided to stay in a hotel Saturday night. Regardless of our sleepless night on Friday, we had a fun and very full Saturday in the city.

Saturday morning, we took a cable car to the farmers market at the Ferry Building. This is hands down the best farmers market I’ve ever been to. We made our way around the Ferry Building and the stands outside, eating breakfast and more than our fair share of samples (I’m looking at you, dad). And no, I didn’t eat the deep fried mac n’ cheese we got last year (shame, I know).

Foggy ride on the cable car

Foggy ride on the cable car

On the cable car

On the cable car

The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building

Why, yes, we did have some of these

Why, yes, we did have some of these

After the farmers market, we spent some time walking along the Embarcadero. This included some time at Pier 39 watching all of the seal lions.

Posing for the camera

Posing for the camera

How is this comfortable?

How is this comfortable?

Walking around Pier 39

Walking around Pier 39

Pier 39

Pier 39

Mom and Dad at Pier 39

Mom and Dad at Pier 39

Alex and Teresa

Alex and Teresa

Ready to go on our tour of Alcatraz

Ready to go on our tour of Alcatraz

More to come on our afternoon at Alcatraz and the rest of our time in California!

San Francisco: Part Three

One of the best parts to our trip to San Francisco was the beautiful weather. While the mornings and evenings were pretty chilly, the days were clear and sunny. With this great weather, we had been really excited for our Saturday in the city and spending the morning walking Fisherman’s Wharf and experiencing the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building.

We took the bus once more to get to Fisherman’s Wharf early on Saturday and couldn’t believe the size of the farmers market there. There were different stores and small stands inside the Ferry Building with the rest of the local stands outside and behind the building.

Empanadas in the Ferry Building

Empanadas in the Ferry Building

Breakfast

Breakfast

The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building

Part of the city skyline

Part of the city skyline

Fresh flowers

Fresh flowers

Farmer's Market

Farmer’s Market

Checking out a meat stand at the farmer's market...

Checking out a meat stand at the farmer’s market…

... where we got some deep fried mac n cheese

… where we got some deep fried mac n cheese

Maybe not the best decision at 10am, but it was delicious

Maybe not the best decision at 10am, but it was delicious

Cellist playing at the farmer's market

Cellist playing at the farmer’s market

Lovely candles at the Ferry Building

Lovely candles at the Ferry Building

Inside the Ferry Building

Inside the Ferry Building

We had originally planned on going to Alcatraz on Saturday after the farmer’s market. Unfortunately, we had to cancel this part of our trip… with the government shutdown, all national parks were closed which included Alcatraz. Sad day. We got some great views of it from the city but would have loved to walk around the island and see the old facility. Guess that means we’ll have to go back to San Francisco another time, right?

Two thumbs down

Two thumbs down

About as close as we got to seeing Alcatraz

About as close as we got to seeing Alcatraz

Enjoying the beautiful day

Enjoying the beautiful day

Since missing out on Alcatraz meant we had a few hours cleared from our Saturday, we decided to check out the Exploratorium. This was one of the parts of the trip that Chip had been most excited about after reading some information online. We had already had a preview of the building Thursday night when we spent some time in the gift shop. Not going to lie, the actual Exploratorium was almost overwhelming. It’s a really cool museum with hands-on exhibits and all are very kid friendly. It was so fun to just watch the kids running around everywhere and trying out the different stations while trying to squeeze ourselves in for a turn at the different exhibits. Confession: Chip and I weren’t smart enough for some of the electricity exercises. Too much science for us!

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

There was one mirror exhibit that showed the reflection upside down, which was a popular station. We tried to get a picture of this, but here’s another place where I just wasn’t quite smart enough. I feel like no matter how I angled our camera, all I could catch was the ceiling. #fifthgradesciencefail

Trying to get our picture

Trying to get our picture

Pretty sure Chip was asking me why I was having such a hard time taking this picture

Pretty sure Chip was asking me why I was having such a hard time taking this picture

After spending a couple of hours at the Exploratorium, we kept walking along until we got to Pier 39. When we had walked along Fisherman’s Wharf on Thursday night, we really hadn’t been able to see much here (although we did hear sea lions off in the distance…), so we were excited to check it out when all of the shops were open. There was so much more activity than we were expecting and we had a lot of fun just walking around this area and checking everything out (including a few minutes of a magic show outside a few restaurants). It may sound weird, but our favorite highlight of Pier 39 were the sea lions… they were just so funny to watch!

Pier 39

Pier 39

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39

Until next time, Alcatraz

Until next time, Alcatraz

Pier 39

Pier 39

So very thankful for this guy

So very thankful for this guy

Sea lions at Pier 39

Sea lions at Pier 39

So many sea lions

So many sea lions

Pier 39 with the sea lions

Pier 39 with the sea lions

This one was our favorite

This one was our favorite

For dinner, we had reservations at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana. There’s no way we would have gotten in without reservations, it was so crowded when we first got there around 6:00 that evening. I was really excited about this meal and had a pisco sour while Chip enjoyed some wine. We split a plate of cebiche for our appetizer and then had a great meal to end our Saturday.

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

One of the best pisco sours I've had since studying abroad in Chile

One of the best pisco sours I’ve had since studying abroad in Chile

I knew it was going to be good when I saw the Peruvian word for corn (choclo) in the menu

I knew it was going to be good when I saw the Peruvian word for corn (choclo) in the menu