Sorry I took so long to get back to post the next bunch of photos from my West Coast Adventure……I’ve been a busy girl!!! 🙂 But, here I am! And, today, I will focus on my time in the city of San Francisco!
When I booked the Coastal California Cruise, I decided to spend a few days in San Francisco area while I was out there…..thought it was a shame to fly all that way and not do as much as I can! I visited San Francisco many years ago – actually, I spent a long weekend near Sacramento visiting a friend and we drove to San Francisco one day while I was there. Since we only had a day there, we crammed as much as we could in, but there just wasn’t time to do too much. We rode the cable cars, did a quick photo op on the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets, and spent most of our time on Fisherman’s Wharf. I’ve always wanted to go back and see more of the city and another bucket list item was to visit Napa Valley. So, this was my chance to do these things!
I disembarked from the cruise ship the morning of April 1st and took a taxi to the hotel – Cow Hollow Inn on the corner of Lombarde and Steiner Streets (eight blocks up Steiner from this corner is the house from Mrs. Doubtfire – Robin Williams actually owned and lived in that house (which is why they could say the actual address in the movie with his permission) – he lived there until he got tired of people knocking on the door and asking for Mrs. Doubtfire and moved). They, of course, were not ready for me to check in, but I had planned on that. I asked them to store my luggage and I walked a few blocks to the closest stop for the Gray Line Hop-On-Hop-Off tour bus – I had a 48 hour pass and planned to use it to the fullest extent I could to see as much as I could see in two days! On days three and four of my time in San Francisco, I had tours to Muir Woods / Sausalito and Sonoma / Napa Valley – they will be separate posts.
BTW – I would definitely recommend the Cow Hollow Inn – check them out through Expedia and get a good deal on the room – they were very friendly and helpful and the room was big, bright, comfortable, and very clean!
Here are photos of things I saw and did along the way in San Francisco!
Sunrise as the cruise ship pulled into the San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge
On the upper deck of the open top tour bus with the Golden Gate Bridge behind me!
The architecture was amazing throughout the city:
You know that if I came up on a block of purple houses, I’d definitely take a photo, right???
This was near the Golden Gate Park…..don’t remember what it is used for, though!
Interesting windows…..more on that dome in the distance later!
This spire looking building is currently the tallest building in the city…..but, there is construction going on nearby on a building that will far surpass this one in height!
This is the dome you got a glimpse of a couple photos ago. It is the San Francisco City Hall – rear view!
The interesting story is that Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe here! He wanted to marry her in the Cathedral he loved, but he married his first wife there and the Catholic Diocese wouldn’t allow him to be married in the Catholic church twice. So, they did their vows at City Hall and then went to the Cathedral for photos that were then provided to the news outlets.
The dome is a gorgeous blue and gold
And this is the front view of City Hall
And, this is the Cathedral where Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe had their photos taken (and where Joe married his first wife)
A side view of the Cathedral
This is the reason you’ll never hear me say I want to live in San Francisco….even though I found it to be a stunning city with a ton of cool stuff to see and do!!! WAY too crowed! (view from my hotel room window)
This is an art museum — we couldn’t get close enough to get a decent photo and I didn’t want to “hop off” here, so this is the best I got of it!
This is a Ballet and Opera House – built to look like a grand piano — the windows designed to look like the piano keys!
The entrance into China Town
When space is an issue in an already crowded city, architects need to get creative with their buildings!
I found that, unlike other huge cities I’ve been in, there is still TONS of greenery and parks!
There are many, many beautiful “painted ladies”! I didn’t get to see THE painted ladies – the ones made famous in movies and TV – because tour buses are banded from going in some residential neighborhoods – including the one they are in – and I didn’t want to walk about 3 blocks up a STEEP hill and across a park to get to them!
We were told that there are more registered vehicles in San Francisco than there are physical spots to park, so parking is a multi-million dollar business and houses that have off street parking are priced at a premium and highly sought after!
This is the street made famous by the car chase in Steve McQueen’s movie, Bullet! It also shows off the roller coaster feel of most streets in the city.
This is the entrance to a Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park…..but, I have so many amazing photos of this place, that I’ll do a separate post to showcase them!
The Golden Gate Bridge in daylight
And on a very foggy morning
Every tour guide said that it was their most famous bridge and the second most visited tourist attraction in the United States (second only to Disney Land), but that everyone comes to see the WRONG bridge! This is not only smaller, but much less impressive than the Bay Bridge. I thought I had some photos of the Bay Bridge, but nope…..they must not have come out!
The Haight…..a neighborhood made famous during the Summer of Love in 1967:
Me, on the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets
All the big artists of the 60s are depicted in some way in The Haight – here is Jerry Garcia
Jimi Hendrix lived in one of the front apartments in this building with a mural of his likeness on one side, and……
…..a mural of the girlfriend who lived there with him on the other side.
The tour guides also pointed out the houses that Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and many others lived in during the Summer of Love and beyond!
It is a VERY eclectic neighborhood, to say the least!
Speaking about the 60s and the Summer of Love and hippies……I saw LOTS of public advertisements for marijuana – even on the sides of the public transportation buses!!! LOL Recreational marijuana is legal there and you see a lot of head shops and advertising! Didn’t get a chance to get a photo of a pot ad, though…..darn it!!! LOL
Alcatraz……nope, I didn’t get any closer than this…..had too many other cool things I’d rather see!
I had lunch at this amazing outdoor Italian cafe
And had a super delicious dungeness crab salad sandwich (you didn’t really think you’d get away without some food pics, did you?)
The best part of Fisherman’s Wharf, for me, was the sea lions! Hundreds of them gather at the end of Pier 39. They originally tried to get them to go away, but now they celebrate them and they are quite the tourist attraction! Recently, the Wharf neighborhood planned an anniversary celebration with a festival and parade and cake and all…..but, the day of the festival, all the sea lions had left – there were none there to celebrate! They came back after a couple days and all the hoopla was done! 😀
I could have stood there all day watching them sun themselves and play and swim……but, I only stayed about an hour!
Lots of other cool stuff I saw around the city:
There was a Mel’s Drive-In right across the street from my hotel – this photo was taken from my room window. I had dinner there the first night and breakfast one morning.
Look out, little boy…..that thing is about to get you!!! 😀
The coolest of all the tour guides I had over the 5 days I was there!
Gotta love the license plate on this mini-cooper…..and, the driver that got out was a little old lady (wonder if she was from Pasadena!!!???)
If you’re ever in San Francisco, be sure to stop in for breakfast at the Home Plate restaurant on Lombarde Street – about a 1/2 block down from Steiner Street. Best breakfast EVER…….they even served scones with two types of homemade jams (raspberry and mango) with my tea!
And, the rest of the breakfast was pretty impressive, too!
This cracked me up……but, I later found out it is a tour you can take, so there was a good reason for a group of segways to be tooling around through Fisherman’s Wharf! 😀
And, here’s another cool tour available!
A park near the Golden Gate Park that was a key place for gatherings during the Summer of Love
Just a great van parked on Haight Street!
Another roller coaster street…..like so many in the city!
Murals are a key artistic outlet throughout the city – they used to fine them, now they pay them!
In addition to this ultra cool mural, those things that look like books tossed onto the wires are actually an artistic lighting feature!
This colorful character leads walking tours around some of the neighborhoods
There are several of these hand painted hearts around the city – part of a fund raising effort, which has already generated over a million dollars!
This one was painted by singer Tony Bennett!!!
And, then there are the statues – zillions of them…..each commemorating someone or something…..I won’t pretend to remember what any of them are supposed to represent!
Look at this creepy mannequin in the side window…..there is another on the other side that I couldn’t get a photo of!
I walked past this tree several times a day near my hotel……it was so pretty……sad that the photo doesn’t represent it well!
Fountain in Golden Gate Park
See in the background – the banner on the building is advertising one of many events scheduled over the summer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love……boy, does that make me feel old or what!!!???
An amphitheater in the Golden Gate Park – there was a group rehearsing while I was there taking photos – they sounded good!
Well, that’s it for San Francisco……coming up will be posts for the Japanese Tea Garden, the Muir Woods/Sausalito tour, and the Sonoma/Napa Valley tour……then, on to Seattle!!!