Tag Archives: PIer 39

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