Saturday, November 21, 2015

October 4, 2015 Wandering Aimlessly in San Francisco

Since we only have one day in San Francisco, we decided to do what we do best...wander aimlessly and see what happens. So we walked out of our hotel and headed down Lombard Street to look for a place to eat breakfast. We walked into Mel's Drive In...the original site was featured in American's Chrissy enjoying her biscuits and gravy with a chocolate malt.

A beautiful day to walk around a city. After breakfast we walked along the upscale Chestnut Street and eventually we headed toward the bay.

There were plenty of beautiful and colorful houses along the streets in the Marina District.

The reason we love walking through unfamiliar cities is stumbling across amazing places like the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.

Here are a few pictures taken as we walked along the paths on the Palace grounds.

I think this is a great blue heron.

Sorry, could not identify this bird. UPDATE: But thanks to Deb Cano, I now know it is a juvenile black crowned night heron.

Picture of a house near the bay that we can not afford but would love to live here.

My first sighting of the Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field.

Chrissy in the water at Crissy Field.

We took our shoes off and walked along the shoreline toward the bridge...

...enjoying a stroll on the beach while the locals kayaked, played with their kids and/or their dogs. I love cities that have beautiful beaches for a place to relax just steps away from all the bustle of the busy streets.

A little something we have done for years on our trips to wander aimlessly.

America's second most recognized bridge...I'm from NYC so the Brooklyn Bridge has to be #1 on my blog.

I guess Santeria is common in SF because these two headless chickens were in plain view but only I was amazed to see them on the beach.

Between the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park we spent most of our day in the National Parks Service areas.
More colorful houses we can't afford along Marina Blvd looking out onto the bay.

We both loved this unique design.

We walked along the Bay Trail in the Golden Gate NRA... the SF Maritime NHP...

...Alcatraz Island in the distance is also part of the Golden Gate NRA.

Sites along our shoreline walk...

We stopped in the Visitor Center for the SF Maritime NHP which had several great exhibits covering the history of this area. I loved the stories of the mostly Italian fishermen that started Fisherman's Wharf.

After a quick stop in the NP bookstore we toured the historical boats on Hyde Street Pier.

Getting closer to Alcatraz.

We spotted a group of kids carrying their stuff in bags and laundry baskets being led along the docks by a young man dressed in old time shipyard clothes. We later learned it was an overnight stay on one of the boats, the Balclutha. The kids were the deck hands and were being "treated" as such by the captain. While we were on the Balclutha, we saw them choosing their bunks and then given their chores for the night. I thought this was a pretty cool idea.

As a history geek, I loved walking on the Balclutha...
...especially liked the museum like cargo holds...

...sleeping quarters.

Captain Chrissy telling the deckhands to have me walk the plank.

We continued walking along the shoreline to Fisherman's Wharf...

....where the sea lions draw huge crowds to Pier 39.

We ate dinner was tasty. 

Since I made Chrissy pose at Crissy Field, she made me pose with this otter.

I loved seeing the old street cars go by as we continued walking along the bay on The Embarcadero.

We didn't take the boat to Alcatraz but if you visit they say it books months in advance so plan accordingly.

As the sun started going down and we continued walking further away from Fisherman's Wharf  into the North Beach neighborhood, the tourist crowds began to disappear and our walk became more enjoyable. So after hearing live music and talking to the friendly bouncer at this place we stopped in to relax, enjoy a drink and listen to some music.

A horn section!!!...a cold beer...of course I loved this place...

...apparently so does Chrissy. It took a few tries but I finally got this picture in the mirror to the side of us.

We continued walking along the piers toward the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge as the sun set.

The SF - Oakland Bridge. So like the people that did the Bridge to Bridge Charity Run this morning, we enjoyed San Francisco from Bridge to Bridge too...we just did it at a slower pace.

We ended our day at the Ferry Building enjoying a Humphry Slocombe ice cream cone "sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away...wasting time".

So that was our day in San Francisco. We will be back someday for a longer visit...hopefully soon.

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