On a recent work trip to San Francisco I had the pleasure of a two day weekend in the city which was awesome! I’d had been just two months earlier for another work trip so I already had a rough idea of the layout of the city and I couldn’t wait to get going.
After a couple of days of bad coffee I was keen to uncover those little places that the locals head to so I used my trusty Foursquare app to locate some nearby coffee serving establishments. First stop on Saturday morning was farm:table located on Post Street where I had fabulous eggs on biscuits with bacon and Roast Co. coffee from Oakland California.
Eggs on biscuits at farm:table
Like many of the food and coffee places in San Francisco farm:table uses Square Register to accept payments on an iPad and I was excited to try it out. I paid with a pre-paid cash card and it was easy. The printer wasn’t working so I had my receipt emailed to me which was actually far more convenient as this way I couldn’t lose it!
Next I took a bus all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond to Fort Cronkhite, a former World War II military post located in the Marin Headlands on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. That was the end of the line and I just stayed on the bus for the return trip (a bargain way to see the coast as it only costs $2 for 90 minutes of travel on the Muni bus network!). I got off at the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge and walked back over it and then kept going.
Golden Gate Bridge from the bus
I walked all the way down Alexander Avenue, through beautiful and sunny Sausalito looking out to fabulous views of Angel Island and beyond. I continued via Bridgeway to the Marin City Bus Hub making a quick pit stop at Drake Avenue (well, of course!) where I waited for the Muir Woods Shuttle Route 66 – a 6 mile walk in the sun (I still have the tan lines to remember it by).
The bus took us up lots of narrow winding roads with glimpses of the coast teasing at every turn all the way to the gates of Muir Woods. As it was getting late I only had time to complete the 1.5 mile trail through the giant Redwood trees but I loved every step. The woods were so quiet and the air was so fresh. It just felt good to be there. I saw a lovely big fluffy owl (a Spotted Owl) sitting high up in the trees who also seemed to be having a jolly nice day.
Looking up at Muir Woods
Next, I took the shuttle back to Marin City and then another bus all the way back to Market Street for a spot of shopping before walking back to our base in Japantown which took a long, long time! By now I was exhausted but I made it over the road to Kippu Sushi where I didn’t have sushi (I had chicken teriyaki, tempura and gyoza and beer). Then I went to bed.
Sunday morning saw another planning session on the Foursquare website. I then walked around the corner to Fillmore Street for breakfast at Janes. I had a huge portion of granola with yoghurt and fruit and a very tasty brewed coffee from Stumpton coffee roasters.
Jane on Fillmore
After a nice stroll Van Ness during which a man told me I had a body like a gazelle (!?) I took a bus to Lombard Street. It was so steep that my nose was practically touching the floor as I walked up it. I walked down via the “crookedest road in the world” past the stunning Victorian houses watching the cars attempt to navigate the eight tight hairpin turns. Another bus to one of my favourite districts The Mission (I really like getting buses) and then back to Blue Bottle Coffee on Mint Plaza for a refuel (discovered this the first time I was here).
A two day weekend meant that I had time for a gallery visit. SFMOMA was closed for expansion construction but there were plenty of exhibitions in various locations to choose from so I headed to the Contemporary Jewish Museum for the Beyond Belief exhibition which spanned 100 years of the spiritual in modern art from Piet Mondrian to Mark Rothko. I also had time to look around Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg. The CJM museum is housed in a fantastic space and it was not too busy. Happy days.
Two more buses back to Japantown and a quick detour to see the “Painted Ladies” in Alamo Square park. I wasn’t sure at the time what the name referred to but Wikipedia tells me that it is “a term in American architecture used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details.” So there you go. They were rather pretty. Dinner Sunday night consisted of enchiladas and some more beer at The Grove on Fillmore Street. It was yummy.
And with that the weekend was all but over. I had a long three days ahead of me so I went back to our hotel and set my alarm for 5.30am (gulp!) ready for work.