Thursday was our first full day in San Francisco. We had planned on having Thursday be our big exploring/walking day and wanted to check out the Financial District, Chinatown, the cable car museum, Russian Hill, and Nob Hill. Probably a little too ambitious in hindsight… this is usually my problem with a lot of things I plan.
We got Thursday started with breakfast at Mama’s after some reviews on Trip Advisor (of course) and some recommendations from our friends Jeff and Megan who went to San Francisco about a year ago. Mama’s was only about a mile and a half away from our hotel, so we thought it would be a lot of fun to walk to breakfast and enjoy the crisp weather, which was such a nice break from the Texas heat. We were so wrong about this being a relaxing walk. Like really really really wrong. It was just about a straight hike to breakfast thanks to those famous San Francisco hills; I’m pretty sure my Google maps app took us on the route that would work our glutes the most. After walking up a bunch of streets and climbing flights of stairs through a park, we eventually got to Mama’s to find a nice long line waiting outside.
Our view of the city while making our way to breakfast
Line for breakfast
Put my new duck boots to good use
The view from Mama’s
The street to Mama’s
Lots of rave reviews
Waiting outside for breakfast
Thankfully we only had to wait about 25 minutes or so before we finally got in to order some food. In the meantime, we had shed our sweater layers and eventually cooled back down following our morning cardio hike. Once we got inside the restaurant, I ordered the Dungeness Crab Benedict and Chip got a scrambled egg plate. And since this was vacation, we ordered some French Toast to split, too. The food was good, especially that French Toast which turned out to be our favorite part. I liked my Crab Benedict plate, but to be totally honest, I preferred the one I had in Maine at our awesome bed and breakfast.
Just call us the plaid family
After breakfast, we walked over to Chinatown to take in the sights and sounds. It was pretty crazy and there were lots of tourists around!
We then walked to the cable car museum, which was a lot smaller than I had expected, but it was still pretty cool to see the giant cable pulleys that actually operate the cars. Unfortunately, I was starting to feel pretty crummy at this point in the day; I think we had just done too much that morning while I was still getting over that pesky cold, so we went through the museum pretty quickly before leaving to catch a cable car. I had read that the Powell-Hyde cable car had the best views, so we waited around a few blocks away from the museum until that car came by. We paid our $12 and hopped on! The conductor on the cable car saw us with our camera and gave us a great spot on the edge of the car so we could lean out and see the views of the streets as we drove by and even helped point out Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.
The cable car pulleys at the museum
View from the beginning of the ride
View from the cable car
Driving past Lombard Street
If you look closely, you can see Alcatraz in the background
The cable car took us to Fisherman’s Wharf so we spent some time walking around until I had to call it quits for the afternoon. I was pretty frustrated that I wasn’t feeling well and that we had to put a pause on our sightseeing, but I felt drained and clammy and knew some rest was needed. We took a quick cab ride to the hotel where I quickly passed out for three hours. If you know me well, you know I don’t really take naps very often at all and anything over 45 minutes is super long for me. So a three hour deep-sleep nap is pretty crazy. But I thankfully felt so much better when I woke up later in the afternoon!
We took a bus to North Beach where we would be having dinner at Cotogna. Since we didn’t get lunch earlier in the day because of my epic snoozefest, we were hungry and actually showed up at Cotogna a little before our 5:00 reservations and got started on a great dinner there. Cotogna was one of my favorite restaurants during our trip; I loved their take on rustic Italian food and also appreciated their very friendly staff who answered all of our questions about the menu written predominantly in Italian. Also, as a bit of a nerd, I liked how they encouraged people to Instagram pictures of their food with a certain hashtag. Way to know your audience, Cotogna.
Chip and I had a fancy ravioli appetizer and then split a delicious buffalo mozzerella margherita pizza. We finished dinner with a great gelato and then walked back over to Fisherman’s Wharf to explore a bit. We stopped by the Exploratorium gift shop and eventually walked down to Ghiradelli Square where we had some yummy after dinner drinks before calling it a day.
Can’t have a great Italian dinner without some wine
We love pizza
Celebrating our two (and a half) year anniversary
Our view from Fisherman’s Wharf
A cool mirror at the Exploratorium
Exploratorium gift shop
Having a childhood flashback to time spent at the Gem and Mineral Show
Chip really enjoyed the gift shop
Chocolate cocktail and mojito to end the day
Stay tuned for our Friday spent in the wine country!