Monday, August 12, 2013

A San Franciscan Friday

Our last day in San Francisco started at Hollywood Cafe, which came recommended by several friends. Like our other mornings of the trip, we got an early start and were seated immediately. By the time we walked out after breakfast, there was a crowd of people waiting for a table! Thomas had pancakes and bacon, and I had eggs benedict made with turkey and avocado. SO GOOD.

We had time to kill before catching our ferry to Alcatraz, so we wandered into Boudin Bakery for some sourdough. Carbs don't count on vacation, right? 


And what's one more walk around the Wharf without a trip to see the sea lions?


Our trip to "The Rock" started around 10:30 a.m. when our ferry docked at Alcatraz. Alcatraz was first a military prison in the late 1800s, and then served as the famous federal penitentiary from 1933 to 1964. The island so is beautiful, which stands in contrast to its fascinatingly dark history. The remains of buildings are covered in greenery and hundreds of birds and marine life call the island home. It just seems eery to be snapping photos and taking a fun audio tour when you think of scary inmates like Al Capone and "Machine Gun Kelly" serving time. 



The audio tour was really informative and brought everything to life, especially since former officers and inmates did some of the voice overs to share their experience. We loved it!









After returning to SF from Alcatraz, we thought it would be a great idea to walk over to China Town for lunch. Thomas pulled up directions on his iPhone and said "oh awesome, looks like it should only take 12 minutes to get there!" And on the map, it looked simple enough. But when we turned a corner and came face-to-face with a staircase winding up the side of Telegraph Hill, we were singing a different tune.

That's one thing we learned about the city of San Francisco: never underestimate the topography when looking at "simple" directions. There are soooooo many hills and steep streets! Hundreds of steps later, we got to the base of Coit Tower on the top of the hill, and though our legs were shaky and we were sweaty as can be, we enjoyed this beautiful view of the City. Then, as luck would have it, we had to walk down Filbert Street, one of the "steepest navigable streets in the Western Hemisphere."



Lunch in China Town, followed by Lombard Street




The famous Painted Ladies across from Alamo Square Park

This little part of town reminded us a lot of our beloved Austin. 


If you're in San Francisco, try Blue Bottle Coffee! A refreshing treat after walking around the city.



That's a wrap on our California vacation!

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