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San Francisco in a day

yeah, we did all this in about 24 hours...

slanted building san francisco tilted

BIG

as soon as we were checked in, kat and I took off on a brisk 3 mile walk up and down the hills.  trying to get to swan's oyster depot before they close at 5:30.  they're closed the whole week of july 4th... 

we stayed at the Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel.  I remembered that Kimpton usually hosts a free wine social hour.  We have a friend that works near, he stopped by to join us. 

scala's bistro tim nugent kimpton sir francis drake

we found TV celebrity chef Tim Nugent working a Hula-hoop at the social hour.  he offered to take our pic with my iphone, WHILE HULA HOOPING!

photo by chef tim nugent

nice try chef!  maybe hula hoops and steady hand photography don't mix well?  show us what you can do in the kitchen while hula-hooping, there's a new reality show for ya: Top Chef, Hula-Hoop Challenge.

scala's bistro sir francis drake san francisco 

we grabbed a snack at Scala's Bistro at the hotel to feed the kids.  the squash blossom pizza with truffle oil was pretty good!  and, we got oysters!

oysters at E&O asian kitchen san francisco

kat and I stepped down the street to E&O Asian Kitchen.  We got Oysters!

sir francis drake beefeater

starlight room

we closed the night at the starlight room, managed a few moves...  but the trip was starting to slow us down.  that, and two V&T set us back $25. 

starlight room san francisco

sir francis drake hotel san francisco

#2 son was anxious to hit the streetcar early the next morning.  he'd noticed them just out front of the hotel the day prior.  he'd yelled "WHAT'S THAT!?  I WANT TO RIDE IT"

san francisco streetcar

and so we did.

san francisco street car trolley

streetcar came off the cable san francisco

we finally caught a streetcar, then it lost the cable.  they had to roll downhill to re-connect. 

san francisco streetcar personaliy

this guy was fun.  he played around and joked with everybody, especially the kids.

golden gate bridge peaking out above the fog in the distance.

sf

streetcar ride, CHECK!

golden gate bridge under fog

saw the golden gate bridge, CHECK!

alcatraz

alcatraz, CHECK!

fisherman's wharf pier 39 from Fog Harbor fish co

Fisherman's Wharf: CHECK!

around noon, we were in the middle of Fisherman's Wharf.  that place is a tourist trap.  it was crowded and loud.  kat had to take a work conference call.  we finally found an alley where she could take the call.  the kids and I stood on the street and waited, 5, 10, 15 minutes.  the boys started to melt down.  one was bawling, "he punched me in the stomach".  I asked why?  "he punched me in the balls!"...  I paused and issued the bad news to #2 son.  "You can't knock somebody in the nads and expect to NOT be punched in the stomach".  these kids needed some food.  I used yelp to steer us away from the fishy tourist traps (most have two stars and 3 $ signs down there)

fog harbor fish co hostes star wars rebellion symbol san francisco

what are the odds.  I was walking into Fog Harbor Fish co when this girl complimented me on my jacket.  the guy next to her said "I was JUST going to say that!"  then she pulled back her hair to show that she had the same symbols as my shoulders, tattooed behind her ears.  my right shoulder matched her right ear, my left should matched the symbol behind her left ear.  it was my DESTINY, to dine at the Fog Harbor Fish Co. 

fog harbor fish house san francisco

Fog Harbor Fish Co.  this place saved the day!  we LOVEd it.  great food, great location, friendly staff...  and that $8 blue cheese garlic bread got the kids smiling again.  

fog harbor fish co oysters 

one hour later, kat came out of her alley!  she joined us at the Fog Island Fish Co, and we had oysters!

then we walked from pier 39 to pier 1, and then ferry building.

hog island oyster co san francisco ferry building

Hog Island Oyster Co, We had oysters!

#1 son enjoys an oyster

we decided we'd had enough.  we walked for miles, and had a long walk back to union square to get the car and head out of SF.  it was not to be. 

about 30 minutes into the walk, #2 son announces he needs to go potty, NOW.  we were in the financial district and didn't know where to turn.  then, we spotted this tight alley filled with umbrellas and tiny tables.  a quick witted hostess asked "would you like to join us for happy hour, we have $1 oysters"

belden taverna fidi san francisco

they treated us real well at the Belden Taverna

belden taverna san francisco

we had oysters!

beldern taverna happy hour san francisco FiDi

the daughter found none of this oyster and happy hour business amusing at all.  she just wanted to get some sleep.  the boys were still going strong.

chinatown gate san francisco

Chinatown: CHECK!

chinatown san francisco shopping

we stumbled through chinatown on the way back to the parking garage.  we'd been trying to buy the daughter something for her birthday.  she never wants us to spend any $ on her.  she'd refused every offer.  those boys always want lemonade, the daughter always orders water to save us money.  I think kat finally talked her into a scarf, the boys took the opportunity to get scarves in chinatown as well... I stood outside.  those shops are too cramped for me.

san francisco chinatown photo-bomb

chinese violin san francisco street musician

san francisco sunset

we're proud of these kids.  they walked nearly five miles this last day of vacation, and some of those roads in san francisco have a bit of an incline to them...

we spent our last night near SFO.  some friends met us for Szechuan food.  I ordered our beer in mandarin.  yeah, I can do that.

hand stretched noodles milbrae Yi Yuan szechuan

Yi Yuan Szechaun had great food with many selections I'd not seen before.  the service sucked, that that is sort of the norm in real chinese restaurants.  you end up waiting and waiting to pay for the food you ate.  it helps if you stand up and make things happen.  they will eventually take your $.  don't worry about all those tables that need bussing.

twisted chicken at Yi Yuan Milbrae

twisted chicken!  this was a new one for me.

mapo tofu szechuan milbrae sfo yi yuan

kat said my mapo tofu is better than theirs, I'd have to agree.  theirs was good, but mine is much spicier.

virgin air sfo to aus 

and then, on the 4th of july, we flew home.  virgin now has direct flights sfo-aus.  the plane was comfy and the seat prices are good!  something to think about...

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