San Francisco Redemption Tour

Monday, October 1, 2018

Quick trip to San Francisco for a little personal redemption. I was going to be in Portland for work the following Monday so I thought, “Hey. Why not pit stop in SF the weekend prior then go straight to Portland?” After all, it was the last regular season series. Dodgers were in town taking on the Giants. A lot was on the line… had to win these three to have a chance at winning the division. (Which, spoiler alert. We did. Only took a 163rd game. But we won the division for the 6th season in a row!)

Anyways, back to San Francisco. I tried to get all touristy and hit up everything I wanted to see that we didn’t have time for back in April. There’s just so much in San Francisco. I got to my hotel and my room wasn’t ready yet so I had to leave my bag there and just hit the ground running. My list of things to do started at a brewery… obviously. 21st Amendment brewery was where I ended up upon landing around noon. The game was on in the brewery but I didn’t realize I stayed as long as I did until I noticed it was already the 8th inning. Welp. So much for all the touristy stuff I wanted to hit up. 

The one thing I’ve been dying to see is Alcatraz. And I can happily say, I can check that off my list. I did the night tour. We departed Pier 33 at 5:55pm sharp. Cruised to the island while watching the sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Absolutely peaceful. But once we got to the rock, we were guided up the steep, uneven, hill and given headsets so we can listen to the audio tour while walking through the infamous prison that once held the most notorious criminals. While walking through, it was so neat to see inside the prison. I’m a sucker for gangster and mafia history. So I loved this tour. I feel like I was just in awe walking through the cell blocks.

Total round trip time from Pier 33 to Alcatraz and back was three hours. So plan accordingly if you plan to visit the rock. Which I highly recommend (as well as many others probably).

The second thing I just wanted to do was get clam chowder from Boudin’s. I did this last time I was in SF, but I feel like it's a must EVERYTIME in SF. So I looked it up, and the place said they closed at 10. Which I thought was perfect. Hop off the boat at Pier 33 and head over to get some clam chowder in Fisherman’s Wharf. So I make the walk down toward the Wharf only to get there and the takeout area of Boudin’s is closed. The restaurant was open, but I didn’t want to sit down and eat at a restaurant. But luckily there is no shortage of clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf.

So I stumbled upon a little place. And no, I didn’t stumble because of the beers I’ve been drinking throughout the day. I’m using the word “stumbled” in a figurative sense… not literal. Anyways, if walking through Fisherman’s Wharf and venturing to The Buena Vista at 9:30 at night while eating clam chowder in a bread bowl doesn’t say “peaking at life”, then I don’t know what does. But it was delicious and I’m not even mad about it. 

Then it was The Buena Vista. And another bar. And then it was the Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar (fun place, but just get a beer here. Sorry, but the tiki drink was not great. This is definitely not a “when in Rome” situation. Just go for a beer but hang out for the fun music).

And then back to my hotel I go where I literally only stayed in for about 6 hours (5 hours of sleep and one hour to get ready for the Giants/Dodgers game). 

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