California 2018: Day 2

Chinatown. School of Rock. Cable cars. Cider bar. Those things pretty much sum up my first full day in San Francisco. I made it until 7PM last night before crashing, and slept moderately well until 3 o’clock this morning. It is probably worth noting that the last “meal” I ate (a piece of sourdough bread with havarti) was at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon. So not only was I wide awake, my stomach was in desperate need of food. Fortunately, I had saved my Biscoff cookies from the plane, so there I was at 4AM… munching on cookies in bed and watching the Bachelorette. Crazy, I know.

California 2018 089
Mama’s on Washington Square

Once I finally got up and ready, I was off to load up on carbs and sugar enjoy a proper breakfast. Mama’s is a popular local breakfast/brunch spot a few blocks from my hotel. It probably goes without saying that I spend a lot of time researching breakfast spots before every trip I take. Sometimes, there are only a couple of places I really want to try; other times, like this, I could easily spend a couple of weeks hitting all the local breakfast places that sound appealing. But I managed to narrow down my list before I left home, and Mama’s did not disappoint. There was already a line out front when I arrived shortly before 8 o’clock. They let just a few people in at a time and you order at a counter before they seat you. I had hot chocolate topped with a mountain of whipped cream and apple pan dore (sourdough French toast topped with apples and lemon butter sauce)…. amazing! I counted just 13 small tables, so it’s not surprising they stagger people coming in.

California 2018 153
California Street Cable Car

How can you come to San Francisco and not take at least one cable car ride? I bought a 3 day transport pass, which includes cable cars, so I hopped on one and headed for Market Street on the Powell-Mason line. Once there, I meandered my way up through Chinatown. I stopped at the Tin How Temple, a Buddhist temple on the fourth floor of a tall, narrow building. No pictures allowed inside, but it was a really neat place. Next up was the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, tucked into a tiny shop on Ross Alley. Along with free samples, you can watch the cookies being made (and fork over $0.50 for a picture!).

California 2018 102
Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

I hopped back on the cable car after that and stayed on to the top of Lombard Street (the so-called “crooked street”). I snapped a few pictures at the top before walking down the hill. It was quite chilly – only about 55 degrees and windy – so I’m glad I made a last-minute decision yesterday to bring a jacket. From there, I trudged uphill to tiny Macondray Lane. I thought I might have the wrong spot because what was supposed to be a tree-lined cobblestone street was nothing more than a plain old road. I stuck with it, though, and found a small sidewalk at the end of the road leading to the lower part, which is indeed a tree-lined brick walkway lined with homes and gardens. A pretty escape from the bustle of the city. By then I was hungry again. I’m not normally a lunch person, but I sought out another Boudin cafe for a sourdough grilled cheese with brie, havarti, sliced apples, and fig jam. I wish I could say it was more memorable than it was.

California 2018 153a
upcider

Next up: the theater. I saw that School of Rock was playing at the Orpheum Theatre while I’m here, and having never seen it, decided it would be a fun afternoon. And it was. It was definitely not my favorite musical (save that for Les Mis), but it was good and I enjoyed the music. My last stop of the day was at upcider, a bar that specializes in ciders from around the world. I ordered a flight – yes, an entire flight – of cider and two sliders. It probably goes without saying that after that, I was done for the night. One last cable car ride brought me within a couple of blocks of my hotel and now I’m settled in for the night.

Advertisements