I spent most of the day today at Golden Gate Park. It is larger than Central Park in New York City, and is dotted with museums, gardens, and other attractions. Of course, that wasn’t my first stop of the day. I first feasted on deep fried French toast and “Millionaire’s Bacon” (thick-cut bacon caramelized with brown sugar and hot pepper flakes) at Sweet Maple. It felt like a must-try, but the French toast far outshined the bacon. It should probably be noted, though, that I’m not much of a bacon person in general. Then it was off to the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park, followed by Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill, the Rose Garden, and the Conservatory of Flowers. My favorite by far was the rose garden, where hundreds of varieties of roses were all in beautiful bloom.
I took a bus from the east end of the park all the way to Ocean Beach at the western end. I didn’t feel like lunch today, but saw a Safeway across from the bus stop and decided a soda and yogurt would make for a good midday snack. Lo and behold, I found a “Share a Diet Coke with Laura” bottle and had to buy it. Along with Tillamook marionberry Greek yogurt. I brought it across the street to the beach and enjoyed my “lunch” watching the waves crash onto the sand.
After lunch, it was a quick stop at the Dutch Windmill, then a bus ride up to Land’s End. I have seen plenty of pictures from Land’s End, but getting to the lookout was a bit more complicated that I expected. I think I took the wrong path. Anyway, I asked a couple of guys how to get to the labyrinth, and they sent me across the golf course and down a “hidden” trail covered in sand to the top of the stairs down. In hindsight, there was a paved path that most other people seemed to arrive on. Anyway, I made it safely down and the lookout was just as impressive as I’d hoped. In one direction was the Golden Gate Bridge, while the other direction had rocks and sea stacks with a small beach and thunderous waves. Getting back up from the lookout involved taking a path that I assumed would bring me back to my starting point. After about 25 minutes of trail walking along the cliffs above the water, I eventually arrived at a road. Looking at the map, I discovered I didn’t need to go back to my starting point after all. Just a couple of blocks away was a bus that would carry me right back to my hotel!
I could have fallen asleep when I got to my hotel. That’s how tired I am. Instead, I decided some food would likely give me a second wind, so I headed up the street to Il Casaro in the Italian North Beach section of town. There I ate a quattro formaggi pizza with prosciutto that was amazing and reminded me of the pizza I had in Italy a couple of months ago. The second wind didn’t really materialize, but I had enough energy to keep going for a couple more hours. I went back to Fisherman’s Wharf after dinner to look around the souvenir shops and was hoping for one last cable car ride, but the wait to get on was much too long. I ended up taking a bus back to my hotel instead. I’ve enjoyed San Francisco, but I am ready to leave the city and head to wine country for the next few days!