Sunday, August 12, 2012

San Francisco: Our First Full Day!

We had a few reasons that we booked our trip in June during what was probably one of the busiest weeks in San Francisco. The first reason was that my very first friend from college was getting married about an hour outside of San Francisco in mid-June and I really wanted to attend her wedding. We both happened to have January admission to the college we attended (there were only about 30 of us in this admission class), we lived in the same dorm and had a lot of the same classes together. We lost touch a bit after college (what can I say, things get crazy when you leave school!), but we've been fortunate to reconnect a few times over the last two years in San Francisco where she had been living and I was visiting.

Adam and I have been to San Francisco three years in a row now. Adam attended Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) the first two years we visited, but unfortunately he wasn't able to get a ticket this year. We decided to go to San Fran during the same week as the conference anyway and Adam agreed to take a real vacation and tour the city this time. I was pretty stoked since he hadn't had the time the last two years and I had so many things I wanted to show him.

We got an early head start out of our hotel (the only nice thing about jet lag from the East coast) and decided to walk the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf to grab some In-N-Out burgers for lunch. We figured if we walked the whole way there we wouldn't feel guilty about eating those delicious burgers and maybe some cupcakes after.

We walked down Bush St., the street that our hotel was on, and headed over to Market St. to catch up with the Embarcadero at the Ferry Building. I had actually never been this way before, but Adam had on his first trip to San Fran three years ago. The Ferry Building was built in 1898 and survived the earthquakes of 1906 and 1989. It's amazing to think that 100 years ago they could build something so solid.

The walk from the ferry building down the Embarcadero was a nice one. It was breezy and lovely out that morning (although when is San Francisco not lovely?). From the Embarcadero you can see few of the cities landmarks like, Coit Tower and Treasure Island, which was home to the 1939-1940 World's Fair.

It was a leisurely 45 minute walk to get to In-N-Out burger from the Ferry Building and we got there just after they opened at 10:30 AM. It's kind of become a tradition that when we visit the West Coast, we stop at In-N-Out as soon as we arrive. It's kind of become a running joke with my family and we even got In-N-Out t-shirts as a wedding gift from my family in California (Thanks Aunt Sharon, Uncle Brian, and Kira!).

After lunch, we trekked up the hill to Ghirardelli Square to grab some Kara's Cupcakes (our favorite!!) to bring back to the hotel for our late night snack. They have THE BEST s'mores cupcake e-ver. I have dreams of the fluffy marshmallow pillow topping and the graham cracker crust. Adam went with a strawberry cream cupcake, which was their seasonal special. We also picked up a red velvet and a peanut butter milk chocolate ganache for later.

Speaking of cupcakes, after we had checked in the previous night, we headed out to Bristol Farms on Market Street to grab some drinks and dinner. On our way over we passed a cupcake stand that we hadn't seen before called Cako. We decided to check out what they had to offer and ended up bringing two cupcakes, a snickerdoodle and a maple bacon back with us. I liked the snickerdoodle cake it was all yummy and cinnamon-y. Adam really enjoyed the maple bacon one, but he likes the one from our local cupcake joint, Kayce Cupcakes best. ;)

Ok, so back to business. We kind of felt disgusting after eating a burger, fries and a cupcake, so we decided to walk back to our hotel via the Embarcadero so we could check out the Ferry Building Marketplace on the way back.

On the way we saw a blimp, which was sponsored by some vodka company, flying overhead. Since we were kind of walking slower than before, I was having fun looking at all the different styles of the piers. This one in particular, Pier 17, was home to a chocolate company and was my favorite. I was crushing hard on those huge wooden doors. Gorgeous.

We finally made it to the Ferry Building and decided to walk around inside a bit to check out what it had to offer. There was everything from restaurants to pottery to mushrooms. Yes, there was a store dedicated to fungus.

After we felt that we had seen enough, we headed back to the hotel to relax a bit before dinner. We were going to walk down to the Ferry Building for dinner, but about twenty feet from our hotel, I saw a sign for The Irish Bank restaurant, looked down at my aching-still-not-recovered feet, stopped to check reviews on Foursquare and told Adam, this was where we were eating dinner.

And it was good. I had a Boddingtons and shepherd's pie, by recommendation of a few people on Foursquare. I don't even remember what Adam had, but both he and I scarfed our dinner down quickly and were satisfied.

It was definitely a fun first day! Be sure to stay tuned for our trip recaps to Golden Gate Park and Alcatraz!

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