Monday, September 29, 2014

San Francisco

The Captain mentioned we would be crossing under the Golden Gate Bridge early – like 5:30!  I wake around 6 am and look outside but we have already cleared under the bridge and we are approaching the pier.  It is very dark out and can’t see much anyways. 

I try to get back to sleep but soon there is a knock at our door “room service” I hear.  But we didn’t order anything, so I open the door and say “think you got the wrong room”.  And yup he wanted 215.  Darn maybe should of just accepted it and enjoyed, but we are awake now.

We toss and turn, try to get back to sleep but I am awake.  They announce around 7 am that we have received clearance and we can go ashore whenever.

We are meeting up with friends Paula and Minn at 10 so we are not in any rush.  We shower and make our way up to the Horizon Court for a light breakfast. 

We walk off at 9:30 am and I check out the terminal and take lots of pictures for my fan page.  It is a beautiful terminal.  Lots of room, very modern, fresh and attractive. 

Outside it is easy to maneuver and find things.  There is a great area for catching tours/buses and another line for taxis.  There is some parking for those that are dropping off or picking up too.  There are a ton of benches with plaques with ships that have called her and their history.  There are some lovely garden areas too.  You are near the Pier 39 and not far from the Ferry Building.  It is stunning and San Francisco, you should be proud.

We find Paula and Minn and very quickly we are in their car and on the road.  First stop they say is Starbucks – ahh did I tell you how much I love these guys.  We sit outside (although weather is cloudy and a little cool but very similar to Vancouver weather so we are good, but a jacket was necessary) and we catch up with each other.

Minn drives us out along the water and out towards the Golden Gate Bridge to Fort Point which is located right under the bridge.  It is open to the public and it is free. 

The website is here .  We spend about an hour here going thru the Fort and learning about some history I did not know about.  I especially loved posing Jasper Moose Jaw on some of the exhibits.  I also got some great shots of the Bridge.

Back in the car we drive by the Golden Gate Park and out towards the Sutro Baths and Cliff House.  Again beautiful views and we learn more about the Sutro Baths and check out the ruins of it.  The views down out to the beach are breathless and the history is very informative.  

We follow them to one of their recommended restaurants in the city…. Max’s Opera Cafe near City Hall.  As we are led to our table we see the displays for the desserts and we are eyeing them. 

I ordered the Smoked Meat Reuben with coleslaw, oh but I started with a cup of the cabbage soup!  Note a cup is really a bowl!  It was great but big servings!  

Then the sandwich comes and it was so good.  They even serve a variety of mustards to try with the sandwich as well.  For dessert they insisted I get something, but I am hesitant I know I won’t be able to finish it but I do order the carrot cake and eat a good 2/3 of it.  Darn it is so moist and the cream cheese frosting is just right, not to sweet and just enough cream cheese that it is not overpowering.  

It was such a great meal, great company and great food.  We would definitely come back and we can recommend it too!

They have a few locations and you can learn more about Max's Diners here.

Our next stop is Twin Peaks and can I say it is COLD up there.  Now I am no wimp but really, aren’t we in California!  But I am told it is always windy up there and well windy is an understatement, I thought we were going to blow away.  It was so windy I could stop laughing at how windy it was.  But heck that is not the half of it – we climb up one of the peaks where we stand on top of the world it feels like.  And darn the wind is even stronger!  Bernie laughs as the loose straps of the knapsack whip and hit him in the face.  Minn stands and is held up by the wind – boy flying a kite here would be a great idea. 

They both point out the sites to us and we learn so much from them and see things we have never seen before.

We drive back down the hill and we drive thru the Castro area, thru the Soho area, then thru the financial district and park and make our way to the Ferry Building. 

I love this building, the shops and services are so interesting.  And being such a foodie I love just checking out everything.  We end the day with a stop at Peets Coffee and Tea, for which I have never been to, but Paula loves it.  I order a Masala Chai Tea, and yes it is one of the best Chai Teas I have had.  We sit and chat and discuss our future travel plans. 

We walk back to the ship and kiss and hug goodbye.  It has been a great day and we really hope we get to repay them with such a great day when they come to Vancouver some time. 

Paula and Minn, I know you are reading this so thank you again for a great day.  We LOVED it, and just catching up with you both made our day.  Love ya.

We are back on in no time around 7:30 pm.  All aboard is late, 10:30 pm, and we sail at 11 pm.

There is no set dining today.  Botticelli which is normally traditional is Open Seating, the same with Da Vinci.  Michelangelo which is normally Anytime is closed all night.  

We are not hungry at all but we go looking for Mark and Lorelei, think that maybe they were up in Horizon Court we walk thru the seating area to see if they are up there, but they are not. 

Oh and they are having a Crab Shack Night there tonight.
We then decide to just head down to Vines to say hi to Anthony and we run into Liz (who is Crew Manager this sailing) and her friend Eliza who is one of the singers.  We join them for a glass of wine and catch up with her.  We are (okay I am) excited to see her engagement ring.  Since we saw her last she and Francesco have gotten engaged.  How exciting, and what a lovely couple. 

Liz is such a great free spirited caring person.  She is perfect in her job and you can see the crew really like her, and she is funny too. 

We head back to the cabin around 9:15 and Bernie is having a hard time keeping his eyes open so he crashes as I sit here writing my blog.  I knew I had to write in something while it was fresh in my mind, but I still forgot some off the names. 

Here are some notes about today that others may be interested in:

-          The street car is right across the street and there is a stop right at the exit to the pier.

-          We did not notice any taxis in the cruise pier area but there were numerous taxis available right at the Embarcadero street right outside the pier terminal.

-          It is not hard to walk to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Warf.

-          There is a Safeway and Trader Joes within walking distance on Broadway.

-          Last night we received the form with regards to disembarkation times.  We are doing walk off, and it states you can only have one bag per person plus carry on for walk off.  I don’t recall this from before but it may have been there but we haven’t done walk off in a long time.  But makes sense.  They want everyone to fill out the form and return it to the Purser’s desk before tomorrow evening.

-          There was minimal activities on board today in the Patter, but a few items for those staying on, but don’t expect a lot.

-          We were up on Lido tonight and see that they are showing the football game and they had a tray of hot wings with sauce there for people to enjoy.

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