San Fran is more than hills, carbs and crabs. But, ya gotta start somewhere…
As an East Coast kid, Bart grew up thinking San Francisco was only known for the jingle “Rice A Roni…the San Francisco treat” from the popular 60s TV commercial. He thought this ad was as close as he’d ever get to “The City by the Bay“.
Rorie first learned about the city from the 70’s TV show Streets of San Francisco, starring the dashing Michael Douglas. Fast cars, fast women, dashing crime fighters.
Our investigation of the place some call “Fog City“gave us both the chance to find out what the real San Francisco is all about (though Rorie kept looking for Michael Douglas).
The Tour-mobile got a primo parking space at the waterfront.
We wandered the San Francisco Aquatic Park Historic District, which includes the Maritime Museum housed in a bathhouse built in 1939. So much to learn about the city’s seafaring roots.
Right across the street from the park is the world famous Ghirardelli Square. It’s the Christmas season and, while some may have “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads”, Rorie was fantasizing about one thing and one thing only…The Mother Ship!
Ghirardelli Square chocolate vats…Look, but don’t touch Rorie!
This complex, which now has a variety of restaurants and shops, was the original chocolate factory. All nice places, but we had only one thing on our minds….
AAHHH…the breakfast of champions.
A master craftsman at work.
Lori’s is a cool looking retro, kitschy diner near Ghirardelli Square.
Across from the Aquatic Park, the Argonaut Hotel is in what was once the largest fruit and vegetable cannery in the world. The hotel shares space with the Visitor Center and Interactive Museum…a great place to see, hear and feel the maritime history of the city.
The one and only Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge with two 746 foot towers supporting two main cables (do you think that’s really enough support?). Not being a fan of any kind of bridge, this was as close as Rorie would get to the famous icon.
Fishermans Wharf and the Embarcadero are huge tourist attractions, but the area is still home to many fisherman and their fleets. If you want fresh fish, this is the place to be.
Alioto-Lazio is one of the last family-owned and operated fishing companies in San Francisco. We stopped here to check out the local Pacific Northwest catch.
BEFORE: Dungeness crabs are some seriously big and scary looking crustaceans. Bart made friends with this guy. Hey, you looking at me?
AFTER: These sea critters are sold all along the Wharf. Kids, don’t try this at home.
FINALLY: Rorie needed a little snack to hold her until her next taste treat and had an overstuffed, fresh crab salad roll. After wolfing one down, Rorie was overstuffed too!
We continued wandering and ran into Boudin Bakery, home of the original San Francisco sourdough bread. If you’ve never eaten their tangy bread bowl filled with thick, creamy decadent clam chowder, you haven’t had one of the greatest inventions in the world!
Obviously, Boudin has expanded its repertoire since the early days…
OK, OK…this may seem a little cheesy (pun intended), but our friends Linda and Bill told us we MUST try an IN-N-OUT cheeseburger, which isn’t available in the East.
Folks who worked there were very cheery. And YES, the cheeseburger was great!
Bart looked across the Bay at a place he’s glad he avoided being sent. Given his checkered teen years, Rorie agreed he was lucky he didn’t have to spend time in an exclusive island room at Alcatraz Prison.
Bart loved Steve McQueen’s 70’s movie Bullit…especially the chase scene on these hills.
Our very own Dale “Bart” Earnhardt decided HE needed to drive one of the City’s roller coaster streets too. As a result, Rorie “left her heart (and stomach) in San Francisco”.
Time to leave the “City by the Bay” and head south. Next stop, the small seaside village of Cambria and it’s famous Moonstone Beach, midway between San Francisco and LA. See ya soon…