San Francisco Day 3
This is the final post in the series about our recent adventures in Napa and San Francisco. If you missed anything you can find all of the related posts here.
Our third and final day in San Francisco was a short one. My flight was scheduled to depart just after lunch, so we had but a few brief hours left to enjoy the city. It was only 8AM on a Sunday. The sky was a cool early morning blue promising another day of California sunshine and the streets were empty save for a few pigeons still cleaning up from the night before. With coffee and camera in hand, Mr. B and I set out to find the Powell-Hyde trolley. Friends familiar with the city told us to wait for the Powell-Hyde line, as it provides the best views of San Francisco and the Bay. After watching several cars come and go we began to wonder if we were in the right spot and fret about wasting our limited time in the wrong location. Just as we were about to head off looking for a map, a trolley car marked Powell-Hyde pulled up. We hopped on, managing to score the prime front right seat without anyone in front of us to block the camera.
The driver clanged the trolley bell and we began our slow chug up the first hill. I had never been on a trolley before and the slow pace provided a wonderful way to see the city while conjuring up feelings of both romance and nostalgia. Perhaps it was the fresh morning air or the warm sunshine, but as we traveled along the route through stately tree lined neighborhoods with views of the Golden Gate bridge and the San Francisco Bay, I fell in love. That easy-cheesey song really had it right. And even though I know this will cause you to cringe, I think I left a bit of my heart in San Francisco. Ahem. Sorry. (The management would like to ensure you that such outrageous cliches will not be found on this site again. Well, at least not this week.) I turned to Mr. B and told him for the 200th time, “I don’t think I’m ever going home.” He pretended not to hear me.
After riding up and down the hills for an hour, we found ourselves along the marina just in time for brunch. Earlier in the week I made brunch reservations at Boulette’s Larder, a small eatery located in the Ferry Building (also the location of the Farmer’s Market). The Ferry Building is heaven on earth- a large indoor sky-lit mall devoted exclusively to artisanal foods, beverages and restaurants. Every form of transportation in San Francisco moves through or near this building, making it a central point for all local traffic. (I knew I loved this city!)
Boulette’s Larder sources almost all of the ingredients for their superb menu from the purveyors at the Farmer’s Market and in the Ferry Building. As a result, our breakfast was incredibly fresh, expertly prepared, and quite memorable. To start off the meal, our waiter brought out a plate of just made beignets which literally dissolved into a poof of mouthwatering air and sugar crystals the moment they entered your mouth. They were the best beignets we’ve encountered, and of course we ordered a second plate right away!
I enjoyed a simple breakfast of eggs and really delicious sausage. Mr. B ordered a beautiful dish of poached eggs in a bed of unusual kale. We ate outside near the pier, while the sun shone down on the Bay Bridge and locals walked by with their dogs enjoying the beautiful morning. It was a delightful and relaxing last meal in San Francisco.
After brunch I only had a short time left but knew that there was at least one stop inside the Ferry Building that I couldn’t miss: The Cowgirl Creamery. Though I usually manage to keep my obsession with delicious cheeses under wraps, you might have picked up here and there that I’m a girl who would always choose cheese over chocolate. Cowgirl Creamery is a place I have dreamed of visiting. The shop was just opening up at 11am, and despite a big crowd of people all standing in line to buy cheese, I dragged Mr. B into the small space to stand next to me while I oggled all the beautiful cheeses. In a way it was almost masochistic since there was no way I could take cheese home with me and I was very full from Breakfast (bad planning!). However, now I can look at the pictures and think, “Wow. Those lucky people actually live close enough to buy artisanal cheese all the time!” (I wonder if they really know how lucky they are.)
Our last stop in the Ferry Building was Blue Bottle coffee to pick up an espresso for the road. With a cup full of divine coffee and the euphoria of finally seeing Cowgirl Creamery, I headed back to our hotel to pick up my suitcase. Mr. B had business meetings for a few more days in San Francisco, but unfortunately I needed to get back to work. So I kissed him goodbye and boarded the subway bound for the airport. As I sat on the subway bench, listening to the rhythmic “whump whump” of the rails, it felt like I was just starting to awake from a fantastic dream- that state where you want to hold on to the dream and make it last just a little bit longer yet your mind is pulling you quickly towards consciousness and reality. It was an epic trip. Thank you for letting me share it with all of you!