Tuesday, August 14, 2012

San Francisco: Day Two

On our second day, we kind of wanted to take things in stride and just walk around again. We're not huge planners if you're seeing a trend here. Adam wanted to keep an eye on the keynote from WWDC, so he stayed at the hotel and I walked around a little down towards Yerba Buena Gardens and past the WWDC line (which was still around the block 10 minutes after the keynote started).

After the keynote was over, I came back to the hotel and grabbed Adam to head out for the day. We looked the day before and found that Adam's favorite food truck, Curry Up Now was down the road on Bush St. for lunch so we walked over and got some sexy fries and a chicken tikka masala burrito for lunch. I promise you, the sexy fries are much more delicious than they look. They're waffle cut sweet potato fries topped with chicken tikka masala. You can't go wrong, unless you don't like Indian food.

After lunch, we climbed the hill to the closest cable car stop (two blocks away) so we didn't have to climb one of the largest hills in San Francisco to get to the top of Nob Hill and the Fairmont Hotel.

I forgot to mention in my last post that we had purchased City Passes at the Alcatraz Cruises landing on Pier 33. I bought the City Pass the year before when I tagged along with Adam to San Fran and while he was attending WWDC, I was living it up and touring the city. For around $70 you get admission to many of the big attractions in San Fran: Cal Academy of Sciences, DeYoung Museum or the Exploratorium, SF MoMA, and Aquarium of the Bay. If you purchase the pass at the Alcatraz Cruises pier, you get a trip to Alcatraz included in the fee. If you purchase it elsewhere, you get a tour of the bay on the Blue & Gold Fleet, but don't get to set foot on Alcatraz. Trust me, it's worth the trip to Pier 33 to pick up your pass, Alcatraz was probably my favorite part of the whole package (well, that and the Cal Academy of Sciences, be still my nerdy heart).

The nice thing about the City Pass is that it gives you a 7 day unlimited MUNI/Cable Car pass. The Cable Car passes alone run you around six bucks a ride (that's one way!) or around 14 bucks for an unlimited day pass. I know that locals think the Cable Cars are touristy and few people ride them, but I've found that they're helpful to get down to the piers and they're fun. Since I am a tourist, I might as well get the most out of it.

I was itching to show Adam the Fairmont Hotel since I stayed there and attended a conference last October with my lab mate, Kate. The place is pretty amazing and has so much history. Like the Ferry Building, it survived the earthquake of 1906, but it was severely damaged after the fires that followed the earthquake ripped through it. I feel the need to mention that the closet in our room was about 6-feet wide. We found out that it was because it was designed to hold the large trunks that were traveling staples back in the early 1900's. Girl's got to have her clothes.

This was our view from our room the night we arrived and our view at sunrise the morning after. Isn't it amazing?

It's way too expensive for our poor grad student salaries to stay there normally (we got a great rate when we attended the conference), but I wanted to show Adam the views from the beautiful rooftop garden. Maybe some day we'll get to stay there. Our room was the third one up and to the left of the balcony in the photo below.

We decided to walk the rest of the way down to the bay, since it was all downhill. We happened to walk by the Cable Car Museum and figured we'd stop since we were passing it anyway. They always announce it on the Cable Car when they stop there and it's free admission. It was actually pretty fascinating to see how the cables work and to see the historic cars they had on display. Things sure have changed from when the cars were first introduced.

We figured we could treat ourselves to a cupcake for walking all the way down to the water, so we stopped in Ghirardelli Square. I thought these little birds splashing around in the fountain were adorable. After our stop we wanted to walk down to Municipal Pier that circles the aquatic park cove.

We've never walked this pier before and it was probably a good thing we avoided it. Between the Segway tours that were speeding up and down it (seriously, the Segway guide basically said to the tour, "Have at it.") and the wind that made it feel like we were being forced backwards/forwards/sidewards I don't think I'd walk this again. It does give lovely views of the Golden Gate bridge and the city though.

I got photobombed by a seagull while trying to take a picture of the city with my phone. This might be my favorite shot of the whole trip. It's been my phone home screen since I took it.

We stopped at the Maritime Museum on our walk back. I had been inside the museum before, but hadn't seen their large maritime exhibit "A Walk Along the Waterfront". It oddly reminded me of an exhibit in Disney, even the musty smell was familiar (weird, I know). We sat and watched the video that described the history of boats in the San Francisco bay and walked around and looked at the other historical information they had to offer. Did you know that there are a whole bunch of old ships buried under buildings in San Francisco? No? Well now you do! The guy floating in a life saver from the ceiling kind of cracked us up. Not sure what he was doing up there?

By the time we left the museum, it was getting pretty late and we were ready for dinner, since we had probably walked a few miles at that point. I don't even remember where we ate that night. It could have been In-N-Out. I wouldn't be surprised if it was, would you? :)

Next up: Cal Academy of Sciences!


  1. Cool write up. Next visit there, you should definitely do a bit more exploring of the outer areas (particularly the park just north of the GG Bridge, and the Sutro Bath Ruins. And if you haven't already, the Walt Disney Family Museum is amazing!

  2. I like Hector's idea of the Walt Disney Family Museum. You really got some nice shots from your trip.


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