No brainer, we're stopping here...

Trip Start Nov 21, 2010
Trip End Nov 01, 2014

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So we learned that the first thing to make a San Francisco tourist stick out is to refer to the city as 'San Fran' or 'Frisco' we tried to stop that right away. But the camera draped around my neck and the constant map-checking gave us away pretty quickly...oh well!

We started off our trip arriving at night to find out that parking was $42 per night at the 'cheap' hotel we'd found at Fisherman's Wharf. Oh well, it was convenient to be at this location and we decided that it wasn't necessary to tip the valet at that cost. Some days it pays to be an unknowing tourist, I suppose.

The next day we took a drive to Golden Gate Bridge National Park, the country's largest urban national park. Dogs are allowed unleashed here, so we were even able to rescue Toby from his bane hotel existence. We played some fetch with the dog, grabbed a bite to eat at a water-side cafe, walked down to the Golden Gate Bridge, watched the surfers under the bridge, and enjoyed an easy day of relatively non-touristy things. Afterward we drove down Lombard street, just to make sure we got our tourist fill.

(By the way, we're in north-central British Columbia, Canada already. My blog kind of fell by the wayside once the weather got colder and rainy...interesting. But we stopped early tonight, so I'm playing catch up. If I forget the details, you won't know'll just think our trip was boring.)

With so many restaurant options, we really didn't know where to start. We ended up at Boudin Sourdough Bakery for a happy hour and decided to stay for dinner. We had a roasted tomato and goat cheese appetizer, which was delicious. The sourdough alone was pretty incredible, and they had some good local brews on the tap, so we stayed for dinner. Doug had an incredible bowl of dungenous crab mac and cheese. It was heavenly. I had been craving salad for days (since LA, Gavin and Vicki can attest to that), but had failed to eat anything green or veggie-related for days, so I went for it. Needless to say, I snitched more of Doug's mac and cheese than he probably wanted. :)

On our second day in San Francisco we walked around Fisherman's Wharf a little bit more - getting the dog out in the morning for street-side breakfast (at Boudin's again, haha) - and went to Alcatraz. Fisherman's Wharf is interesting, but there wasn't too much going on. Alcatraz, however, was a trip. We tried to take the night tour (per Zach's suggestion), but it was all booked up. The daytime tour was well worth the trip anyway, and I hopefully got some decent pictures of the place. It's a pretty interesting little island. It was actually 'taken back' by the Indians who wanted to make a point that their land was stolen from them. This was long after the prison was closed, of course, so the island is littered with graffiti that reads "Indians Welcome". They inhabited the island for some nineteen months before giving up. Anyway, if you ever get to Alcatraz, make sure you take the audio tour. You get a headset and can walk around at your own pace to narration and direction by former prison guards. It's pretty interesting, and yes...they talk about the breakout attempts. :)

That night Doug wanted some brewery food. Stumbled upon Rogue Eatery trying to find a brewery. Rogue Brewing Company started in Oregon, but has eateries around the northwest that serve their beers and have delicious food, they just don't brew on-site. They seek out old restaurants or buildings that have been part of a city's fabric but are somewhat failing, buy the space, try to change it as little as possible, and bring in new food, drink, and a new mentality. The place we went to was always a corner pub in a part of SF. They kept the original murals and layout and storefront, thereby keeping the local clientele and attracting local breweries to be on their menu as 'special guests'. Great place. They also are dog friendly. Doug found this on their website and even called to verify. "So I was looking at your website and it says you're 'dog friendly'...what exactly do you mean by that?! You can just bring a dog...?" Answer was yes! So, Toby got to come to dinner with us, which we realized was kind of stupid after we got him there. He wanted to hang out with all his 'friends', ie: every other warm body in the place, didn't have anything to do, and tried to greet everybody coming in the door. He did make a little boy (with a very cute giggle) extremely happy it was worth it. We kept waiting for people to come over and complain or for somebody to be appalled that the waitstaff was bringing our dog treats and petting him when they walked by...but it never happened. Pretty amazing.
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