Hi everyone! Greeetings from west coast 🙂 My flight was delayed by 3+ hours but I’ve made it back safe (at last!) to the gold coast California for part of the summer. I started the trip with a pretty intense schedule – arrived way late than the original schedule, and as soon as I got home I had to unpack and pack again for family reunion trip in San Francisco. The last time I was there was sophomore year in high school, so I was super excited to back in NorCal, to see the city with a new perspective, and not to mention it’s always more fun to explore the city with a local – brother!
From LA area to SF, the drive was roughly 6.5 hours without traffic. As soon as we approached the bay bridge we started to see cars, lots and lots of cars. I have to admit it was quite stressful driving within downtown San Francisco. Drivers were fast & inpatient, the roads were SUPER hilly (like a roller coaster) and narrow, and there were a lot of cars everywhere. 0_0 But thanks to Apple map’s friendly GPS, we made it safe to the hotel my parents booked back in Asia… The Scarlet Huntington.
The hotel looks quite old and historic from outside with ivy covering some parts of the building. I’ve done some research before the trip so I already knew it’s a boutique style hotel, and according to the website all the rooms are slightly different. I liked the entrance to the hotel a lot – it did not feel like a hotel entrance at all, but as soon as you walked in, you are greeted by vivid colour chairs and design – scarlet red, wine red, suede purple, chili red leather… The display and interior design shows sort of a ‘W hotel’ vibe but adding a bit more timeless classic to it.
We arrived the perfect timing and ran into my brother when we checked in the hotel. After we catch up a bit and unpack, it was time for some early evening adventure! As planned by brother, the first stop we’d go to begin our San Francisco adventure is Fisherman’s wharf.
(on the way to Fisherman’s wharf. Hotel Fairmont where part of the movie “The Rock” was filmed!)
I’ve been to Fisherman’s wharf my last trip to San Francisco. I remembered there were shops, very touristy, but that’s pretty much it. So happy I had to opportunity to revisit this time with family
not a tour group. The experience was much better, welcoming, and it was just awesome to have a local tour guide sharing fun stories about his experience / adventure here. It was cold though. I wish my brother told me San Francisco is this cold fleece status in the Summer. I had a jacket, but it’s still not enough especially when I started to see more and more people hanging out in their puffer jacket, big North Face… >_< Although I was cold, I didn’t mind it one bit since it reminds me so much of the dear Santa Barbara weather I miss so much during my college days. If only summer could be so nice everywhere…
Brother already made a reservation at one of the places he enjoyed, so we decided to walk around the shops a bit. I was quite hungry so I decided I’d like to have some freshly made Belgian waffles beforehand. They were super delicious. The staff made the waffles in front of you so they were soft and warm. Perfect for cold summer in San Francisco! I thought it was a bit overpriced, but worth it for the experience because I was a tourist 😛
Dinner location was at Fog Harbor. Very popular place full of people. One nice thing about the restaurant is you can put your name on the wait list and go walk around the stores – they will text you when it’s almost your turn, unlike some restaurants that required you to wait there in person. I love the big windows at the restaurant where you can get views of boats, a little lighthouse, or Alcatraz depend on the location you are in the restaurant. Apparently you can make a reservation in advance to get the seats by the window. Unfortunately my brother did not know to do that. Always next time right?
We had the classic sourdough clam chowder, seafood penne, swordfish, and halibut. Everything was delicious and fresh. I love seafood and I enjoyed the freshness of the ingredients. The dessert tray looks super delicious as well, but we just did not have enough stomach to enjoy that. Perhaps next time… because I’d really love to try the cookie pie or lava cake 🙂
After dinner we decided to walk a bit more to see where the sea lions like to hang out. Unfortunately that evening was colder than usual (according to brother and the staffs), we only caught 3 sea lions… they were just laying there not doing anything. I was still happy to see them though because I’ve recently watched the movie “Finding Dory,” seeing the actual sea lions brought a smile on my face. The merry go round was also a pretty spot for photos and for kids to play. There was also a stage where comedians, musicians, or band could perform. When we passed by there was a guy doing some high tech tricks to entertain tourists. I loved how he joked that San Francisco is the only place where you catch a cold in the Summer. Brilliant eh? 😛
Afterwards we walked a bit further to see a sourdough bakery where they make cute animal style bread. I especially liked the alligators?! crocodiles. So fun! It’s a bakery museum where you can purchase ticket to see how they make the bread, but there’s also a cafe where you can enjoy the bread, and also a gift shop section where you can buy souvenirs, bread, San Francisco goodies.
On our walk back to the car, I discovered Hello Kitty actually team up with San Francisco! You can actually get some Hello Kitty x San Francisco tshirts, mugs, hoodies, and fleece…. Only in San Francisco! Did I get some? Nope. But I did take a photo of some of the merchandises to save in my album. Hello Kitty everywhere nowadays 😉
I thought it was nice we spent a lovely and relaxing evening near Fisherman’s wharf. There were a lot to see and good things & food to enjoy. One thing I did notice was how expensive and difficult to park your car around downtown SF. It probably made more sense to just Uber around if planning to only travel within the city. The other thing I thought was also different compared to SoCal was that they charge for bags… paper bags, plastic bags… they are not free! Luckily I choose to use my backpack for this trip up North… comes in handy 🙂
Have you been to SF? How about Fisherman’s wharf?
Be sure to bring a fleece when you are there… probably all year long 😉
More SF travel to come!