After venturing to Northern California twice last summer, I made my fall appearance last weekend – this time with the in-laws, Bill and Sue. And Patrick, too, of course.
As a huge fan of all things bread, particularly in the sourdough realm, I could not turn down another opportunity to go to Boudin Bakery for breakfast.
I did, however, miss my second opportunity to buy that turtle bread. And this time there was a Teddy Bear with a bowtie to go along with it. Ah, next time…
After breakfast, we took a quick stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf. We passed a kite store with this particular kite disseminating deep philosophical truths.
Next, we headed to Pier 39 to see some sea lions, which Patrick and I somehow missed on our last trip here.
The place was crawling with sea lions. They were piled on top of each other like sandbags, basking in the sun.
These two below were engaged in a heated fight, trying to knock the other off the platform. Not sure why one had a number on its back, but it kind of made him more intimidating. Like he’s been around the corner and back.
I had fun testing out the limits of our new zoom lens, getting up close and personal with these guys unbeknownst to them.
On our way back, Patrick zoned in on these mini donuts.
Next we popped into the Musee Mechanique, which was one of our favorite stops last time.
Along with funding all of the execution machines (this time including the Tower of London version), we also “played” this Opium Den machine, which is not racist or offensive in the slightest. Also, Patrick informed me that the Chinese symbols aren’t real.. just a bunch of scratches made to look like Chinese characters, haha.
When you put the coin in, the box opens, the dragon pops out, and the skeleton swings from the door.
In addition, we played several old-school music boxes, which sounded more or less like music.
And Patrick and Sue engaged in a fierce bicycle spinning battle. I don’t recall who won, so I’m just going to say it was Sue 🙂
After spending all of the quarters we had between us (and then some), we took a driving tour of the city and ended up in Golden Gate Park.
Sue had the genius idea of doing some perspective shots. I made Patrick pose for this one which, admittedly, is not very impressive. But the fun continues later on…
We stopped for a quick lunch at Beach Chalet, which had delicious clam chowder and a lovely view of the beach.
Then it was time for our nighttime tour of Alcatraz. I made this photo black and white to make it look older and historic and to put you in the mood.
While in line, we tested out some more perspective shots.
Once on the island, I invented my “Thinker pose” – because, despite the fact that it makes no sense, just standing there for a photo can be kind of boring sometimes.
We took the same audio tour, but this time we were greeted with beautiful nighttime views of San Francisco, starting with dusk.
Let’s be honest, we all look kind of awkward in this photo… (it was extremely windy).
Here is a view of the beautiful sunset over the Golden Gate bridge obscured behind the gated walls of the prison (kind of symbolic if you think about it…)
And, almost instantaneously, dusk gave way to darkness.
Inside, it was a bit more eerie now that it was nighttime.
At the solitary confinement rooms, I pulled out my Thinker pose again.
But then decided it required a more solemn representation.
Patrick also got in on some Thinker pose action.
All in all, a good time.
After riding the ferry back to the mainland, we headed to Little Italy for dinner. While waiting for a table, we stopped at a cute Italian cafe for a drink. Patrick and Bill both ordered this beer called La Rossa.
After a very patient (and starving) 2 hour wait, we finally made our return to Tony’s Pizza Napoletana aka the Best Pizza in the entire world (literally, considering the chef is an 11x world champion!)
I say it was worth the wait. Their menu features different styles of pizza from all over the US and Italy. Last time Patrick and I tried Jersey’s Original Tomato Pie, which was outstanding. This time we ordered the New Yorker, which was cooked in a 1000 degree coal oven and was a gold medal winner in Las Vegas this year. Also outstanding in its own right.
Can’t wait to return to this place and try their other unique, award winning pizzas!
Stay tuned for Day Two…