It's been awhile since we've actually set foot in the City by the Bay...the last time we were actually, technically in San Francisco was when we drove through at the end of our Napa Valley adventure, which you can see in the video.
In 2005, we visited to go to a Giants game and add Oracle Park to our Major League baseball stadiums visited. Way back in 1998, we visited Alcatraz and Tim got to go on the set of a TV show at the Maritime Museum.
We don't have a lot of time but we do have a whole day to spend here.
It's not far from the none-to-accessible hotel we had to stay at in Pleasanton to the BART station. It's the end of the line so the trip takes us 45 minutes across the East Bay, Oakland, then under the bay to the Embarcadero station.
Upstairs, we catch one of the historic trolleys of MUNI's F line to get us to Ghiradelli Square. Tomorrow is Memorial Day and this first weekend of the summer travel season finds us elbow-to-elbow with other travelers.
A little over an hour since our train departed Pleasonton, we're at the destination of Taylor and Beach Streets, between Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square, except we can't get off the trolley yet. Another trolley...who's driver is on a break...is blocking the wheelchair ramp and our driver decides that's a good reason and time to go visit the bathroom.
For a few minutes, it's just the three of us on an empty, antique trolley.
Our first stop is to be the Buena Vista bar, home of the Irish coffee, across from the cable car turnaround. We cannot find an accessible entrance, although my wife thinks there could be a way through the kitchen. Nevertheless, the place is packed and we don't want to spend our time pushing in and waiting for a table.
The Buena Vista is scratched.
Instead, we head to Ghirardelli Square and McCormick and Kuleto's, a branch of the McCormick and Schmidt's chain, to try the Irish coffee in their bar. It is good and comes with a stunning view too.
You can see more from here and our other San Francisco drinking spots in our San Francisco Pub Crawl Cocktail Hour article and video.
Outside, while Letty browses one of the shops, Tim and I talk with a concierge who shows us which of the buildings used to house the chocolate factory (which moved in 1963). In exchange, I told her about the ruins of Domingo Ghirardelli's first U.S. chocolate factory that we'd found in the Gold Rush town of Hornitos.
Kara's Kupcakes was nearby and Letty was still in the store, so Tim and I sampled the Red Velvet and Carrot Cake varieties to our mutual pleasure. When Letty came out, we went to the chocolate store to buy some, then to the ice cream bar where Letty and Tim shared a sundae.
After, it was some street wandering around North Beach and Russian Hill before we went back to the trolley and the Ferry Building at the end of Market Street. One more stop there for a crowded dinner at Gott's Roadside, a bathroom break at a nearby Hyatt, then back on the BART for the trip back to Pleasanton.
Tomorrow it's baseball...stay tuned.
Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
Pictures Copyight 2014 - Letty Musick
All Rights Reserved