We had big plans to wine taste in Napa all day Monday before leaving the baby with Grandma for our reservations at the French Laundry. But then we remembered we’re two old people with a baby and the last time I had a full glass of wine I was hung over for two days.
Before the Super Bowl on Sunday, I went for a gorgeous run from our AirBnB at the base of Coit Tower, up Lombard Street, down to Fisherman’s Wharf, and back up the near-vertical hills to where we were staying. John and his mom have never been to San Francisco, and I wanted to show them some famous parts of the city without overwhelming the trip with traffic and chaotic parking. We decided to follow my running route before heading out of the city on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Our first mission was conquering the stairs on Lombard. The baby had the time of her life, laughing–probably at me as I hauled her up all twelve million steps–and doing her princess wave to the other tourists posing mid-hill with their selfie sticks.
I still remember how incredible Boudin Sourdough bread tasted, and smelled, as a child, so the shop and museum at Fisherman’s Wharf was our next stop. Unfortunately, (or luckily for anyone who has seen it more than once) the museum was closed, so we bought a giant hunk of bread and headed out onto the Warf.
Fisherman’s Wharf isn’t my favorite place in San Francisco. I hate that it’s saturated with tourist traps and seedy restaurants, but I guess that’s been the decades old appeal for people wanting cheap t-shirts and the familiarity of Applebee’s and Hard Rock Cafe. What redeems it is the view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the Tall Ships docked in the bay.
We headed up to Ghiradeli Square to take a peek at the famous ice cream and chocolate shop, but got distracted by the organic juice place next door, and sat on a park bench in the shade, soaking up the unseasonable heat and breeze off the bay, detoxing from the game food and two days on an airplane with some sun and vitamins.
Around the turn of the century, one of my ancestors was an ophthalmologist in Golden Gate park, and the land he owned was passed down and split among my dad’s generation. It’s rented out to a gas station on a busy corner surrounded by beautiful Victorian houses. We had to stop and take a picture. I refrained from asking to speak with a manager and checking in on the quality of service.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a pillar of California history and scenery, so it had to be our last stop in the city as we headed to wine country. The views of the city and the bay from the north end were surreal, the sun was shining the way it only does in California, radiating heat against the cool, salty breeze and the lingering smell of pines and manzanita.
Up next: The French Laundry, which, considering it’s 20 hours later and I’m still full, I’m really excited to share, Monterey and then we’re off to Bend, OR!