Saturday, April 12, 2008

Under The California Sun

Day 1 - The Ferry Building Marketplace and Sausalito

After a 30-minute cab ride from the airport to our hotel, we quickly dropped off our bags and started our walk to the Ferry Building Marketplace. I really liked this gourmet marketplace in the Ferry Building. The best way, in my opinion, to see this place is to snack your way through it. Specialty shops included Cowgirl's Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop, Acme Breads, Golden Gate Meat Company, and a lot more.

Being a silly tourist, pointing to our current location on a map right outside of the Ferry Building.

The exterior of the Ferry Building. Right near the entrance (inside) were a few storyboards on the history of the building and ferryboats.

Inside the Ferry Building is all kinds of specialty food stores. Almost everything is organic and extremely pricey! I love looking at food; so this place was heaven for me.

Before the trip, I had done some research on cupcakes. Miette Patisserie is rated as one of the most popular bakeries in the city. The storefront is decorated in pink with lots of desserts in pretty packages. We got lucky and snatched the LAST two cupcakes! However, that also meant that we didn't have option to flavors. We had the Old-Fashioned cupcake — a chocolate cupcake with Italian meringue topped with a candy coated peanut.

At $3 a pop, it wasn't cheap, but it was delicious! Not overly sweet and the marshmallow-like frosting was nothing like I've tasted before. One word: yummo. Worth. Every. Penny. These pictures were taken outside of the Ferry Building. There are plenty of benches all around for people to sit and enjoy the view of the bay.

We went back inside for more food. This time we got mango sorbetto from Ciao Bella. The nice ladies behind the counter let us sample quite a few flavors, but we ended up sticking with our favorite. Two scoops were a little bit more than $4, if I remember it correctly. Again, we took it outside and enjoyed it under the sunny weather. Ciao Bella uses the finest ingredients around the world and the quality shows. Or maybe it is all psychological. At any rate, it was also very good. A++, will visit again.

Our purpose to visit the Ferry Building wasn't just for the food. Before we left for the trip, Luke's sister suggested visiting Sausalito as a side trip. Sausalito is off the northeastern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a picturesque little town with a mix of specialty shops, offbeat art galleries, and some of the freshest seafood restaurants with amazing views. Since we didn't have a car, we had to take a ferry and the Golden Gate Ferry happens to operate between the Ferry Building and downtown Sausalito.

San Francisco Bay area is abundant with sea birds! While waiting for the ferry, we took several pictures. Here is one of the Bay Bridge and a sea bird.

We boarded on the ferry and started our journey to Sausalito! San Francisco has one of the best public transportation systems I have ever seen. It is so easy to understand and convenient. Although Sausalito is easily reachable by car (just go across the Gold Gate Bridge), I think the best way to get there is by ferry. This way, you get to soak in the view and smell the salty sea water.

This picture was taken before we departed, when my hair was still nicely combed.

The ferry has 3 levels. Most people go to the very top level for photo opportunities. The ferry fare was $7.50 per person one way.

As the ferry started to move, we got pictures of the downtown from afar. The ferry was a bit rocky and the heavy wind was almost a bit unbearable. Good thing it was less than a 30-minute ride. After a while, we sat under the cover for wind protection.

Another Bay Bridge shot, this time with a sail boat.

We docked at downtown Sausalito and before we got off the ferry, a lady offered to take a picture for us. Luke and I rely on joby for most of our together shots, but it's nice when people offer to take pictures for us. This way, we are centered and the angle is much better.

Sausalito's main strip is Bridgeway (pictures below), which runs along the water. From there, the views of San Francisco far across the bay are spectacular. However, what was more spectacular for me was the houses on the steep hills. Wouldn't it be nice to have one of those? I have never been to the French Rivera, but I imagine Sausalito is very much like it, minus the beach.

My typical running/skipping shot!

On the way to find a restaurant to have dinner, we passed by a set of steps. Our curiosity got to us so we took a hike up. Along the steps were nice, rich-looking houses. Wouldn't it be nice to have one of those houses? ;)

Some people are lucky enough to wake up to this every morning. But we get to wake up to Pargo every morning so we have it just as good! :)

Sausalito boasts a numerous dining options, from sandwiches to-go to fancy waterfront restaurants. We picked to have our dinner at The Spinnaker once we saw sea bass on the menu. The Spinnaker has floor to ceiling glass walls that offer scenery from every angle in the dining room. In fact, the dining room is built on the pier, directly over the water.

I was sitting right where the picture was taken and Luke was on my left. He was holding the menu. This was our view during dinner. Awesome.

We had calamari as appetizer (so fresh). For entrees, I had sea bass with risotto and Luke had some sort of seafood tomato soup filled with clams, shrimps, and fish. We both enjoyed the meal very much. On top of the scenery, this dining experience was exceptional!

The last ferry from Sausalito leaving for the Ferry Building was at 6:30pm so we didn't have time to walk around more after dinner. We did manage to visit Caledonia Street, which runs parallel to Bridgeway, where more non-touristy shops are located. However, by the time we got there, all the stores had closed for the day. Too bad.

As we rode on the ferry back, Luke took this picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, just as the sun was about to set. He's especially proud of the little bird flying in the picture.

So our first day in San Francisco came to an end. So far so good!

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2 comments:

  1. Can't believe we fit so many things in on the first day. It was great being out of the DC area and I really couldn't think of a better place than SF. Tho I was there for work, fitting in some fun time made everything better. Plus, having Joyce there with me was great!

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  2. hi!
    on what hotel did you stay inSF?
    Any tips on hotels?

    thanks =)

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