Friday, October 27, 2017

2017 - California Day 14 (San Francisco)

Friday, September 22, 2017. Today, we visit the Golden Gate Bridge, explore San Francisco and aim to be in Oakland to meet up with a friend from Toronto for dinner.

Golden Gate Bridge - Visitor Center
We got a bit lost by the signage on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge visitor center, so make sure to look at the signs properly. We ended up getting to the visitor center at roughly 8:30am. Parking is paid at $2 for 2 hours which didn't seem too bad. The visitor center didn't open until later, so we went to explore the area and wander a bit of the bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge - from Fort Point
Nearby, you will notice that there is actually a lot of history behind the bridge. While here, you will learn about how much it cost to build, how long it took, why it is called the Golden Gate Bridge even though it is red, and a lot more. There is even a sample cross-section of the wire that is used.

We finished the area and the visitor center by 9:30am, so we spent an hour here. It got busy by the time we left with tour buses being in the parking lot and the parking lot actually being full.

When we went to the visitor center last night, we learned about Fort Point. It was where we should park if we weren't able to find parking at the visitor center, so, we decided to go pay them a visit since we were here.

Fort Point
Fort Point is actually quite interesting to visit and they also have the Junior Ranger program! At this point, Allison was saddened that I didn't inquire about this at the other National Parks (like Yosemite), oh well. We spent about an hour here.

Parking is free there, and there is no cost to visit. It also gives you a different view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bonita
Bonita
Bonita

Lunch was at Bonita which is by the hotel where we ordered 4 tacos. The tacos are roughly $5 a piece, but actually very good. Also, a bit messy. If you're in the area, give it a shot.

Crooked Street
Walked to the Crooked Street next to see what the big deal was. It was clearly a tourist attraction since you could see all the cars and the tourists here. Apparently, it wasn't even that busy yet and it would be worse if you come during the weekend.

Wandered back to Fisherman's Wharf next to finish up what we missed yesterday. We visited a historic arcade which had machines that were really old. Some that just play music, others that have puppets that dance, and some weird one that showed a hanging (yup, a puppet gets hung).

Nick's Lighthouse
Nick's Lighthouse is where we stopped for some seafood. It took a bit longer to get our order since the cashier must have been new and messed up some big orders (charged too little). Allison got some oysters and clams. They threw in some shrimps since the cashier charged us $0.02 for nothing. $1.75 for each oyster, same price for the clams. Allison really enjoyed them, I don't normally eat them.

Boudin Bakery
Boudin Bakery
Boudin Museum & Bakery Tour was next which is where a majority of the local sourdough bread comes from. The museum and tour is free and self guided. Have a look if you are curious.

San Francisco Maritime National Park
San Francisco Maritime National Park
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park was next. It costs $10 per person, but it is included with our annual pass. Our cost has been made back! Any other place will be a bonus. We made it here at 2:30pm.

Stopped by Over the Moon near our hotel for an ice cream before jumping into our car and driving over to Oakland. We left at 4:30pm and made it to Oakland by 5:30pm. So, it took us an hour.

Portal - Garbage Bread
Portal - Pork Belly Salad
Me and Mario (friend from Toronto)
 Dinner was at Portal. Ordered the pork belly salad, and garbage bread. They were okay. Ended up going to Drake with my friend as well for some drinks before we called it a night.

Drake's Brewing Co - bread pudding
Tomorrow, based on feedback, we head to Muir Woods in the morning and explore what we have left before heading to the airport.