It all started Thursday with a nice mid-morning 4 hour flight. We landed in San Fran around 11:15 and quickly tried to find a cab. Well, all of the cabs were lined up and we jumped in the first one. This was a BAD choice! Our cab driver drove us to the hotel at 95 MPH!!!! Rusty and I always have bad luck with transportation, particularly cabs, and this one was no different. After our terrifyingly speedy cab ride, we checked in at our hotel, the Hilton at Union Square.
The Hilton was a great hotel. It is an enormous epicenter for major conferences, which was very apparent when we arrived. There were a million bags and people everywhere! Our room was great with a pretty decent view of the nearby buildings.
As far as hotel advice, if you need to be near Union Square, the Hilton was great. If you are simply a tourist, stay closer to the Wharf. I recommend a little boutique hotel called The Argonaut, it was beautiful and in an awesome location.
After checking in, we had a quick lunch at Max's. Max's menu reminds me a lot of a Jewish restaurant Katz's. There were a million choices, mostly consisting of huge sandwiches. I tried the blackened shrimp tacos and they were awesome (but a bit on the spicy side).
Once we finished lunch, we headed straight for Fisherman's Wharf to hop on our tour bus. Before loading, we were introduced to the phenomenon known as the SF street performer. I am pretty sure this guy had 10+ instruments!
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT...If you are going to San Fran and have time to check out the city, get an All Loops Pass from CitySightseeing Tours!!!! We had a 48 hour pass that allowed us to hop on and off double decker buses that toured all around town! Our first tour included so much that we almost felt like we had experienced everything we needed to in just an hour and a half (of course we did many other things!!!).
Here are a few pics from the first tour (thank you Rus for playing photog!):
The Transamerica Pyramid:
The Bay Bridge:
St. Peter and Paul Church:
We hopped off the bus at Union Square near our hotel to get ready for dinner. Our dinner was at this incredibly cool but pricey attraction in town, Teatro ZinZanni! This dinner and show combo is housed in a huge complex of circus tents at Pier 29. You walk in to a very "burlesque-ish" type bar with a neat little shop to the side. The website says to dress "festively" and I came very close to adding this beautiful headband to complete my outfit...
The 3 hour show was absolutely hilarious! I wish I could have taken pictures, but of course that was strictly off limits. The show itself is centered around the meal and keeps the time between courses action and comedy packed. The food wasn't too bad either. It was a 5 course meal with cocktails or wine. We ended up choosing the wine flight that was paired with each course. It was a bit more expensive, but for our big dinner out we figured what the heck?!
After dinner we tried to catch a cab outside the theater and we had zero luck. We were standing on a street corner on the Embarcadero, the main street running along the bay, and not a single empty cab drove by. As a last resort, we ended up walking all the way to Pier 39 to catch a cab at the mainstream tourist attraction. It was quite a hike, but thankfully we finally found transportation.
After our safe cab ride home, we sat in bed planning our fun filled days ahead. They included a trip to Muir Woods, the Golden Gate Bridge, Academy of Sciences, Japanese Tea Garden, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 (and the awesome seals), Ferry Building and holy cow farmer's market and a tour of Alcatraz. What I can't believe is that we saw all of that in three in a half days. I will try to skim the surface of our adventure and hopefully give y'all some good travel advice! If you have any questions about my trip just leave a comment or send me a tweet and I will be happy to get back to you!