Saturday, March 31, 2007

san francisco treat

Day 3: I got an hour run in this morning through the streets of sunny California. I needed it badly from the way I have been chowing down on this holiday. After running some errands, we finally made it into the city by three in the afternoon. We started off at Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf; much like the Navy Pier in Chicago, a tourist friendly hodgepodge of restaurants, souvenir shops, and rides and juggling acts. We were starving by then, so we settled for an outdoor table at Pier Market. The menu stated their clam chowder was voted the best in Fisherman's Wharf so we both ordered a cup each with our meal. I had the Crab Cakes and Esther ordered the Fried Platter. I would have to agree that the clam chowder was excellent; the best I've had by far. The rest of the meal was just OK. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the beer was quite tasty too: a local San Francisco beer called Anchor Steam.

We walked along the peer, bearing the cold wind and unbelievably steep hills, up to Lombard Street. The world famous, most windy road. I couldn't get any good photos from below because the sun was setting right at the top of the hill. We walked up the steps to the top, watching tourists and locals driving down the street. Some out-of-towners would roll down their windows and wave at the people walking by or scream like little girls as they tried not to hit the car in front of them. I wonder how annoying it would be to live in one of the row houses along the street. From there we headed to the Ghirardelli Market. They were under construction so was a bit disappointing, but I got to eat free chocolate. Not a great big fan of their chocolate but they do have a great chocolate chip cookie recipe I use all the time.

I wanted to get over to the Palace of Fine Arts before dawn so we caught one of those electric buses and headed over to the Marina/Persidio area. If you remember from the movie The Rock this was where Sean Connery's character meets his daughter, played by Claire Forlani. What gorgeous architecture; just for a moment while I was standing among the tall columns of the rotunda, I felt like I was in another world, somewhere far from California. I would have to say say this neighborhood is my favorite. The row houses are beautiful with one looking like non-other. If I were to live in San Francisco one day, I'd like to be here.

My feet started to blister from wearing new sandels so we cabbed back over to the parking garage. (Our cabby was kind enough to drive us down Lombard Street, what fun!) We headed downtown to Union Square to hit up the nightlife. The streets were bustling with tourists, locals, and panhandlers. I picked a place from the guide book that had a star next to it and read somewhat appealing: Harry Denton's Starlight Room. We snacked on an Italian anti-pasti and salad before heading over to the lounge. Located on the top floor of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, the Starlight Room is a swanky lounge with a great view of the city. A jazzy cover band did a good job getting people on the dance floor; something for a slightly older crowd but we had fun anyway. And yes, I did a little booty shaking before we called it a night.

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