I inwardly cringe at those kinds of questions. Yes, I lived in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area for a little over 15 years. But that was 18 years ago. Times change. Plus, I lived as a working girl…you know, an Administrative Assistant. My idea of a good restaurant was a nice long Happy Hour with free appetizers. And sight seeing? I did my best to go to places where you couldn’t find a tourist. Although, I did enjoy seeing Alcatraz, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard (Crookedest Street in the World), Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Park, etc…but only once, right? When you’re living in San Francisco, you’re living there. You’re doing your laundry or getting groceries or trying to find a place to park when its Street Cleaner Tuesday. True, you’ve got your favorite little bistro and your shortcuts to get from the officet to home without taking the bus. But when someone asks me what to do in San Francisco, I draw a blank.
I went back to San Francisco for two days as, yes, a tourist! My high school friend was visiting so the two of us took off and played. We stayed a lovely boutique hotel called the Orchard (on the corner of Powell and Bush Streets) with a nice Bell Hop who was so adorable and had to show us his amazing tattooed arm that was tattooed with all the San Francisco sights. It was an incredible work of art and he was so proud, but he wouldn’t let us take a picture because he didn’t want to get into trouble.
If we’d taken that picture, however, I very much doubt we would have had our sightseeing Hop on Hop Off Bus experience. It was a great way to experience the city and get your bearings. Mind you, the top of the bus is exposed to the elements. It’s a tad windy crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge. So windy, that one tends to cringe when one realizes that one must cross the bloody bridge yet again. In fact, we got off after crossing number two, and wandered Union Street, had a coffee to warm up and windowed shopped at a leisurely pace before girding up our loins to Hop back on the bus. Back on the bus, we discovered that during rush hour, some of the usual stops are by-passed. In fact, the stop closest to tour hotel was one of those. The stop came. The stop went. Narry a pause. When it finally did stop, we are at Pier 39 . My friend was treated to a “Memory Lane Walk With Cammy” as we made our way through the Financial District via Jackson Square and a lot of side streets and short cuts. We got our workout and were nice and hungry for our most excellent dinner at Bouche, a French Restaurant with very flirty waiters who made you feel you were the hottest thing since sliced bread. Or would that be French Toast?
The morning took us back to Union Street to indulge again in a bistro breakfast before we headed back North to Humboldt County, stopping off in Healdsburg for lunch and a wander about the square.