The Coldest Winter Spent was a Summer in San Fran

Trip Start Mar 20, 2010
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Trip End Aug 25, 2010


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Where I stayed
2650 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA - VRBO Rental

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, June 18, 2010

....if only we could have a $1 for every time we heard this Mark Twain quote once we arrived in San Francisco..the kicker is that unfortunately no one told us this before we planned our trip.

While everyone else in the US is enjoying the splendors of summer with warm sunny days and bathing suits, the first week of our stay entailed our bracing ourselves against gale force winds and sporting wind breakers. Inland it was sunny and in the 80's, but here on the peninsula its high 50s, low 60s, grey and cloudy. We had to look at the calendar to remind ourselves it is summer.  Thankfully by the end of the first week the sun came out and stayed, making the rest of our time in San Francisco much better.

We arrived two days earlier than expected given the US Open Golf Tournament in Pebble Beach made it impossible for us to get a room in the Carmel/Monterey area..but that ended up working out well because Rene and Zinia were in town and it gave us a chance to meet up with them once again.  That Saturday night we visited Rene at his home near Twin Peaks on Ashton Terrace and had dinner with his family and his friends Ed and Yellie.  It was awesome!. Thinking we were still in NY and excited to be in a city where we can once again walk everywhere, we decided to walk to Rene's from Union Square - downtown, this turned into a 2 miles hike, the second half was all up hill!!.  Not sure why we bothered to shower, as by the time we actually got to his home, we were delirious and sweat balls. ..lesson learned.  Rene said we were the first one in history, as far as he knew, of anyone walking from Union Square to Ashton Terrace...nothing like blazing the way clear for others!!.  Rene pitied us and after dinner drove us home..which was very much appreciated.

For the first two nights we stayed at the Hilton on O'Farrell Street, but on Sunday we checked into the apartment we rented in Pacific Heights on Scott Street between Broadway and Vallejo. Before reaching the apartment though, we went to the North Beach Festival (56th Annual) that was going on all weekend....typical festival, great food, arts, crafts, etc..and a huge beer garden with live music. 
 
During our two week stay in San Francisco we spent time as locals, hanging out in our neighborhood Pacific Heights / Cow Hollow / Marina, as well as exploring the surrounding suburban areas and villages outside the city.  We went running, did some small hikes and took our bikes out when we could..we also did a lot of nothing also...oh..and a lot of eating.  There are many parks in San Francisco and everyone loves hanging out in them, gathering with friends to play games (soccer, bean bag toss, boccie) or flying kites, ..we joined in and chilled along side them as well.

We went to the AT&T Baseball field twice.  The first time was for a Saturday afternoon game where we watched SF Giants get crushed by the Boston Red Sox.  We were amazed by the number of Red Sox fans that are in SF, they are everywhere and proudly wearing Red Sox gear. .and Brian was proudly wearing his NY Yankee sweatshirt.  We made it home alive, only a few nasty shout outs to Brian from Red Sox fans ("you are at the wrong game buddy!").  The second time was with Christina's friend from DB, Chris Pocino and his wife Jenn.  The highlight of this game was the 90 year ball boy that could barely stand up let alone run and catch a run-a-way ball.  SF Giants lost again..got crushed by the Dodgers. This is a great stadium on the water.

As mentioned, while in San Francisco we spent time both in the city and the various suburban villages.  One day we rode our bikes over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito and Tiburon, and then took the Tiburon ferry back into the City. This was great!.  This was actually our second time in each of these villages as we drove over the bridge earlier in the week to check them out together with Mill Valley.  On other afternoons we took drives out to Napa and had a wonderful lunch at La Bottega in Yountsville and into Berkeley where we ate well again at Cafe Passine (focus points being food once again)

In addition to the Dodger / Giant game we got a chance to spend more time with Chris and Jenn, we had a great dinner one night on Fillmore Street, and one afternoon Chris took us to the Mission where we inhaled the best tacos of our lives at La Taquera..a must go for anyone that come to this city.

We were also lucky that Christina's friend from home, Pete Nelson, came into town for work, so we met up with him also for an awesome dinner at the Fish and Farm - won best burger, possibly in 2009.

San Francisco is a great city with different pockets each containing their own personalities - Cow Hollow, North Beach, Downtown, Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, Tenderloin, SOMA, ..the city is quite small actually, but this gives it that more manageable feel, where keeping a car is actually easy.  We spent most of our time in Cow Hollow and the surrounding area..our favorite place to hang out was the Balboa Cafe.  We plan on coming back for a few weeks in late September and October to finish exploring California and perhaps make our way to Seattle..but before all that we hit Hawaii for the summer!. 

http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/marina/
 
June 18 - July 4

Restaurants worth mentioning:

La Bottega - In Napa
SPQR
Trattoria Contadina 
Balboa Cafe
La Taqueria
Rose's Cafe
Orgasmic Pizza
 
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