Our mini getaway to San Francisco was a blast, but flew by too fast. We crammed so much in yesterday that this post is a photo overload … sorry. We took off from the hotel fairly early yesterday morning to explore the city on foot and shop.
Starbucks was our first stop and it turns out large coffees and walking around an area with limited public restrooms isn’t a good idea. My morning got much better when we did find a restroom, a one-staller I had to wait 10 minutes for, then we made it to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Would you believe I’ve never been? What an amazing event with an overwhelming number of vendors selling crafts and fresh foods. I wanted to load up on produce, but couldn’t since we were taking the city on foot and carrying around a large watermelon for the rest of the day just didn’t seem like a great idea. We did decide to try and find lunch at the market, but all the food venders and restaurants in the area had crazy long lines. Good thing because we walked along the piers looking for other options and found The Plant Cafe Organic.
And they were able to get us a table right away – score! The menu seemed to be the best of both worlds for my non-vegan hubby and myself offering plenty of options for each.
The decor is fresh, bright, and modern mixed with a little SF old pier style.
We started with the flavored special kombucha on tap, a tart berry flavor that was fabulous and seemed more crisp than the bottled stuff.
After having problems deciding, I finally picked the Wasabi Plant Burger over the BBQ Tempeh Panini. And the plate was a colorful work of art when it arrived.
The vegan burger patty is made of lentils, cashews, bulgar wheat, mushrooms, and beets giving it a gorgeous pink color. It was also layered with fresh sauerkraut and piled with veggies between a sourdough bun. I adored the tangy, sweet, and savory flavors while hubby thought it tasted a lot like a traditional Reuben sandwich, interesting!
Stuffed, we headed towards Pier 39, a place full of fun childhood memories for me of playing in the arcade, taking in shows, shopping, and eating out with family. Even today I still love browsing the shops and taking in the sights and sounds there.
And I never get tired of watching the sea lions who claimed the pricey marina area in 1990 after the huge earthquake. And because San Francisco is awesome, they got to stay instead of being relocated to make room for yachts.
We didn’t stay too long because we had to make our way to another pier to board a boat to Alcatraz.
I did the Alcatraz tour once as a kid, but do not remember a lot from it and things have changed since and hubby has never been. So this was new for both of us.
The history and ruins on this small island is just amazing to me from being a military fort, military prison, federal prison, then occupied by Indians before becoming a recreation park and landmark. I just adore exploring old structures with a lot of history and Alcatraz is creepy, gorgeous, fascinating, heavenly, and miserable in some sections of the island with crazy cold winds.
The old, run-down buildings have seem so much over the last 150 years.
Some have not weathered so well, but made beautiful ruins.
There are so many breath taking views from the buildings.
The cell house was probably the best part of the tour because of the audio portion included, everyone gets a mini audio player to wear with headphones to listen to as they explore. It directs visitors to various areas of the cell house such as specific cells and gives the history of events with clips of prisoner interviews, sound effects, and well done narration having visitors re-live traumatic events and escape attempts.
Time flew by as we explored the island snapping pics.
It’s hard not to stare at views like this in awe even in 50 MPH freezing winds.
We got to see the evening fog start to roll in over the Golden Gate bridge before boarding the boat back to San Francisco.
When we finally got back to the city, we were starved again and found a little vegetarian gem after hiking a few blocks uphill into the city, Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant.
With a cute sticker on the door.
It’s a family style Chinese restaurant that uses soy and other vegan substitutes for the meats for an interesting vegan\vegetarian take on traditional Chinese food. We started with the tofu hot and sour soup that was good.
And the steamed dumplings since I haven’t had these in ages.
For my main course, I ordered the veggie won ton noodle soup with plenty of greens and mushrooms.
And hubby got the chow mein which was a bit scary looking at first, the soy “meat” looked a lot like pork to me and I had hubby confirm it was soy.
For the price and vegan options, I was very impressed with the place. And it was obviously very popular being packed when we left around 7:30 PM.
On the walk back to the hotel, we got a great view of the incoming evening fog.
I did snap a few cool fog pics from our room on the 21st floor before we crashed.
It was a long and wonderful day, but also exhausting being on our feet most of it walking steep hills. Next time I think we’ll try the bike tours!