June 28, 2015

Happenings, Part 2 -> San Francisco

Two weeks does fly by quicker than we usually realize.  These two weeks went by even faster simply because we had our Kiddos here...

Ron and I are spoiled.  We've been self-employed and working together for the past 22 years.  Although we don't get paid vacations, we can take a day off every now and then to play hookie.  We decided that at least one day was to be taken off so we could go to San Francisco.

Monday, June 15:
Today was our day to play hookie.  Jessica really wanted to visit San Francisco and get some 'real' sea food at Fisherman's Wharf.  She said the sea food in Maryland isn't that great unless you go to Annapolis or Baltimore, both of which are a long drive for her.  She also said she can get small crabs called blue crabs but "it's not the same".

it's busier than I expected for a weekday

We got a little bit of a late start for the day.  When we crossed over the bridge and parked at the garage in SF, we had one thing on our minds: FOOD!  Honestly, it was probably sooner than that but as I was the driver and my three passengers slept most of the way (cars seem to do that to them, but not me) I didn't realize it until they awoke and proclaimed their hunger...

Knowing that the weather was expected to be in the 70's, compared to near 100 (or more) at home, we brought our jackets.  Good thing we weren't crazy tourists and wore shorts!  Jessica's mother-in-law, Christine, works in the medical field.  She let us borrow a wheelchair for the day and what a lifesaver it was.  Can you imagine crutches in SF??  No thanks.

Once set up in the wheelchair, our next mission was to find someplace to get lunch.  And like Goldilocks and The Three Bears, the last one was just right :-)

the first one was too expensive
the second one was open seating with standing room only
the third one was just right, not too expensive and plenty of open tables :-)
Yes, there are a lot crazy stupid amount of restaurants and eateries on the wharf.  All we really wanted was a simple bowl of chowder served in a bread bowl.  The first place wanted way too much money and seemed a bit upscale for our taste.  We went across the street (mind you Ron is pushing Jessica the whole time) to Boudin Bakery.  It seemed like a great place to get a bowl of chowder.  Once inside we saw that it was buffet style with open seating.  No way that was going to work with a wheelchair.  We again crossed the street and there it was. The prize.  Right in the middle of it all is a little round restaurant called Chowder Hut.  It's literally round with outdoor seating, an open patio atmosphere and fire pits to keep you warm on a chilly afternoon.  We deiced to sit at a more traditional table.

the drinks came fast but still waiting for their lunch

clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl = my SF favorite
We all ordered something different.  Ron had fish 'n chips, Jessica had a spicy fish sandwich, Alex had crab chowder in a bread bowl and I had my favorite, clam chowder in a bread bowl.  We all enjoyed our meals while being serenaded by a terrific sounding street performer!

Our hunger was soon abated and it was time to stroll around the area.

meant for Father's Day but I thought it was cute because Ron was pushing Jessica around all day :-)
We ended up walking the perimeter of  Fisherman's Wharf and down the main street to Pier 39.  The crowds were more than I would have guessed for a Monday, but then again, it is summer tourist season.

Pier 39 is home to hundreds of shops,  restaurants and even an aquarium
For those who have never been to Pier 39 in San Francisco, you're in for a sensory adventure.  All senses are on high alert when you're here: you can go into the aquarium and touch the bat rays, see all of the colorful shop facades and their wares, smell the fresh bread baking at the Boudin Bakery on the pier, hear the sea lions barking at one another while vying for the best sunning location and so many places for tasty treats!  There are hundreds of shops in the multi level shopping area.  Some sell unique items only found in one location.  Others sell trinkets with the SF logo that you can find on any other corner in the city.  People watching is a past time of many, ourselves included.

chopsticks anyone??
I've heard about the musical staircase for quite sometime.  Today, I finally got to see and hear it in person.  It's an ordinary staircase, toward the center of the pier, that has been transformed into a sound resonating keyboard.  There are motion sensors located along the left side of the staircase (in black).  As people cross the steps and pass the sensors a musical chime sounds.  It's fun for children of all ages.  Could you imagine having a group of people who together could play a song? 
the end of the pier has an unobstructed view of Alcatraz Island
We went in a few of our favorite shops to browse.  Both of the Kiddos bought a poster.  Jessica bought some sourdough bread.  Ron and I avoided the knick knack souvenir collection bug.  But if I could, I would've bought this cute plaque I saw in the sea shell store.

maybe next time around I can get it, if it's still there...
The day was just about over.  We all had our sea food fix.  The kids got their souvenir fix.  Ron and I got our cool weather fix.  Now for the two hour car ride back home.  Good thing I wasn't tired, as I was the driver again :-) 


  1. SF is a great city isn't it? I love to go there every now and then. My family is from that area and I love Little Italy. I gorge there the few times I get to visit. I'm a mountain girl, but I still oow and aah when I see big buildings! Glad you had a great visit with your kids!

    1. When we lived in Belmont (1/2 hour south of SF), we would go there often but I don't believe we've been to Little Italy. Sounds like it would be a great place to visit.
      On our way out of the city, we were driving through the financial district. So many skyscrapers there. At one point I opened the sun roof and looked up. Amazing view-wish I got a photo...

  2. The kids and I have enjoyed several visits to Pier 39, usually chowing down at Bubba Gump Shrimp and making a stop at the fudge store. The only place we've gotten off of Hwy 101 in the motorhome this trip was bypassing SF - I can't believe the hwy goes right through the city! So we didn't see it this summer. Looks like you all had a great day and am so glad you had a cool weather fix!!

    1. Ron doesn't care for shrimp but I'd be up for it :-)
      Fudge = Yum!
      Yep, right through the city and over the Golden Gate Bridge.
      You had to go across the bay somehow. Which route did you take?


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