San Francisco

January 17, 2013

All photos at the end of the post! 

I had quite a day in San Francisco and I've got even more coming up today. Yesterday I walked about 9 miles, and my feet hurt!

For breakfast we headed to Bette's diner, my friend is a regular there, so I followed her recommendation and ordered the herb and cheese omelet, it was delicious!

After finding the house from Full House, my friend dropped me off to explore since she had to work a few hours. On her recommendation I got a cafe au lait from La Boulange.

I knew San Francisco had a lot of hills, but these hills were SO much steeper than I imagined. Many of the sidewalks had stairs in them because they were so steep! I walked all the way to the water then headed towards Fishermen's Wharf.

Of course I also stopped at Ghiradelli for a sample. I also stopped at Boudin for a sourdough bread sample. So good! (Just a bite of glutinous bread doesn't seem to bother me).

Next I was in search if the "squiggly street" which is a section of Lombard. It was so cool to see in person! 

And after that it was off to Polk St to walk around. I had lunch there, at I spot I found through Yelp called Square Meals. I got a trio of salads, both gluten free and vegan, and they were absolutely delicious.

From there I headed towards Coit Tower, a large white tower on top of a big hill. A BIG hill! But I made it up there and the view from the tower was spectacular.

From the tower I headed to the Ferry Building to meet up with my friend. We shared a pretzel from Mariposa, a gluten free bakery.

We also sampled a few cheeses and I got these chocolates (not eaten yet).

We headed out to Lands End trail to walk with her dog. I was literally blown away, I felt like I wasn't even in the US anymore.

After our walk we went to Comstock for a drink. Again, I took my friend's advice and ordered her favorite drink, which was gin with sugar, lemon and mint.

We dropped her dog off and headed out for dinner. I completely forgot to take a picture but I had a little personal sized Shepherds Pie, very good!

Thursday was more of a scheduled day here in San Francisco, with two big adventures: Alcatraz and Muir Woods, both national parks!

Several people recommended that I tour Alcatraz while in San Francisco, so I bucked up, paid for a ticket and showed up for the 9:30 boat to the park. The ride was only 12 minutes since the island is just over a mile away from downtown San Francisco.

P.S. it was COLD! Despite my puffy coat my fingers and feet went numb while touring the island!

I started out by watching the orientation video. After that, I followed the audio tour, which most everyone seemed to do. It’s a 45 minute tour that guides you around the cell block, telling you the history of the island. It actually started out as a fort, then it housed war prisoners, and eventually became the federal prison that it is most famous for until that was shut down in the 1960s.

I loved hearing about the prisoners, especially some of the escape attempts. Did you know that three men managed to escape by opening up the air vents in their room with spoons? They are the only people who were never found or returned after trying to escape, no one knows if they died trying to swim back or made it to freedom. I like to think they made it and started new lives somewhere else.

Another interesting thing is that the officers’ families also lived on the property, little kids called this island home! They showed an interview with a woman who had lived there as a little girl and she said they barely thought of the prisoners, and they loved it because it was like living in a small town and then they got to take a boat to school. I’d be creeped out.

After the audio tour, I walked around the island, which was actually quite beautiful! It also had some gorgeous views of the area.

After Alcatraz, my friend picked me up (she was at work) and we headed out to see the redwood forests! After getting some gluten-free pizza for lunch, we headed to Muir Woods National Park.

I’ve always wanted to see the giant redwoods, so this was definitely checking off a bucket list item for me! Not as much commentary about this trip, I think the pictures speak for themselves!

It was a beautiful hike and a great last day in San Francisco! Today I’m on my way back to Kansas City and then back to Chicago because it’s almost time for school to start up again!