Day 3, Another beautiful day as we headed into SAN Francisco. The girls had more surprises in store for me as we walked and talked just enjoying the character and atmosphere of Pier 39 with views across the Bay to Alcatraz the notorious prison which I had visited on a previous sojourn in San Francisco, restaurants, attractions and shopping. This turned into a day I will never forget. My love and appreciation to Dixie, Lynda and Kathy.
Known as the Embarcadero, the roadway situated along the City’s eastern shore, is home to several waterfront attractions including the 1898 Ferry Building delighting locals and tourists alike as well as the cruise terminal. We strolled past the gourmet shops and farmer’s market with interesting produce.
Lynda, Kathy and Dixie enjoying the sights.
Strolling through Pier 39 the sights, sounds and smells captivated the senses. Fruit stalls with every conceivable variety, ice cream parlours, seafood restaurants, souvenir shops, coffee pastry and cake cafes and an aquarium all vying to grab the tourist dollars. Moored in the Bay ships of all shapes and sizes danced in the wind while there were some coming and going full of excited tourists. Making the most of our day we hitched a ride up to The Buena Vista Cafe which, I was to learn, is not only famous for its Irish Coffee but has been welcoming guests at its Fisherman’s Wharf location since 1886. Known to locals as the “B.V.”, the Cafe has survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, the Great Depression, and keeping abreast of SAN Francisco’s ever-changing eras. The Cafe is in an iconic location perched at the foot of Hyde Street overlooking the cable cars, Aquatic Park, Alcatraz Island and the Pier Maritime Museum.
Lynda and I enjoying Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista.
A bygone era.
By this time it was well into the afternoon and I learned that there was yet another surprise for me. We stopped for some sustenance and to get directions. I was told where we were going was not too far. Yeah! Meanwhile up hill and down dale as the saying goes and finally we came to the Restaurant Trattoria Contadina in North Beach. Wow another wonderful treat in store. The extensive menu of tantalising dishes made choosing difficult. Not so difficult choice of cocktail. The food was delicious. As we sat there we saw several trams going by which we probably could have caught up the hills. Had a good laugh about that.
Completely sated we left the restaurant and walked around a couple of corners where the girls had their final surprise for me. This one really blew me away. We had tickets to see the political and pop culture musical revue, Beach Blanket Babylon, which has enthralled audiences since 1974 from all around the World including royalty. Spectacular costumes and outrageously large hats as well as the prominent use of satire are features long associated with the show. It is difficult to describe this particular type of entertainment. Suffice to say I have not laughed so much in a very long time. And judging by the packed audience’s reaction a good time was enjoyed by all.
The next day was the day of my departure to family in Jersey City. Dixie, Kathy and I went shopping, had a lovely lunch and soon it was time to depart. What an awesome few days I had had. As the saying goes, I left my ❤️ in San Francisco. I will be back. Thanks once again to Dixie. I even made friends with her pet cat, unheard of apparently 🐱
And so after a night in a hotel near the airport and a very early flight the next day I continued my journey to Jersey City/New York looking forward to spending quality time with my family.
Rhonda – Australian travelling nomad.