Sunday, July 7th, 2013
It was a restless night since Oakland is noisy, but we found an awesome coffee shop called “Urban Blend” right down the street which we would frequent. Even though the room wasn’t available yet, we got checked in at the hotel, then took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to San Francisco, CA.
Once we got there, we walked down Market Street to Embarcadero and tried to check out Alcatraz, but all tours were booked up through August 1st! Just another thing to add to the list of things we need to do next visit to California! I’m bummed out, but get over it quickly.
San Fran is a super walkable city with plenty to offer. We walked to Fisherman’s Wharf and were at least able to get a view of Alcatraz as well as the glorious Golden Gate Bridge from a distance.
We decided to splurge on an expensive meal for a change at “Alioto’s Waterside Café” which has been around since 1925. We got crab-artichoke dip, clam chowder, and salmon with rice and vegetables, before heading towards the Cannery and Ghirardelli Square.
I thought I was imagining things when I saw 3-4 green parrots flying overhead. It turns out the “Parrots of Telegraph Hill” are real. The story goes that two parrots escaped from a household in 1990 and the population has grown to over 200 parrots (as of 2005).
We walked around popular San Fran landmarks such as “Zig-Zag” Street, followed by Chinatown.
There we listened to street performers, checked out all the small shops, and got a butterfly shortbread cookie from the oldest Chinatown bakery, “Eastern Bakery,” which has been around since 1924.
We headed back to Market Street which had a Farmer’s Market going on out front of City Hall.
After that, we located Haight Street and followed it, enjoying all the street art along the way, to where it intersects with Ashbury Street, where we browsed through all the hippy shops.
We grabbed coffee before heading back to Market Street and taking the BART back to Oakland where we checked into our hotel room. We unloaded our stuff from the van into our room, showered, walked passed the gutter punks begging for money at the intersection on the way to “Urban Blend” for coffee and WiFi, then wandered around Oakland a bit more before settling in.
Jump Ahead to Part 64: More San Fran Sightseeing & Vegan Soul Food
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening