Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 4, part ii: Dinner Date on Pier 39

Welcome to my 2011 CA Vacation mini-series. ...Jon & I spent a week in San Francisco & Wine Country during September, and slowly but surely it is my pleasure to relive the memories & share our stories with you, one post at a time!

Once we left Muir Woods, we stopped for a quick bagel sandwich at a little deli in Strawberry, CA and we were on our way to San Francisco!

Having learned an important "marriage lesson" on our way to wine country, I was driving & Jon was navigating :) .... And, apparently, goo*gle maps was cooperating. ...When we were trying to get from the airport to Santa Rosa, we were taken on a scenic tour of the city... which was very nice, but rather wind-y and confusing. (Read: NOT what we needed after 12+ hours of travel and no sleep...) Conversely, our trip back into the city was a piece of cake. ...*Thank You, thank You, thank You*... We returned our rental car, gathered our wine baggage, and hopped in a taxi for a short ride to our hotel.

Then once we were situated, we headed out to explore :)

The first night, we stayed relatively close to 'home base' (a Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf), winding our way to the water through a grid of vendors. We paused briefly to watch ships in the harbor, and then headed on to Pier 39.

Now, let me be honest: crowds aren't usually our thing. I loathe shopping during the holidays (often you will find me buying milk & eggs at 7 am to avoid the crowds, hehe), and I kind of dislike mall shopping for the same reason. I would much rather be somewhere quiet, where I feel like I have room to breathe .

But Pier 39 was vibrant. ... And the multitude of people milling around was part of that :)

There was so much to see: stores containing pretty much anything you could imagine (i.e.: "Lefty's", a left-handed store for those "right brained people in your life", an NFL store, "The Spice & Tea Exchange" ... etc.); street performers & live music; a gorgeous fresh fruit stand (a bit pricey to partake, but I loved looking!); and, of course, the views were lovely ♥

Jon and I wandered for a while, and then ended up at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for dinner. Shrimp & veggie skewers for me, "Shrimper's Heaven" (a mix of favorite shrimp dishes) for Jon. We both enjoyed the strawberry/lemonade/rum drink. Divine.

After dinner, we strolled around the pier a bit more, pausing to watch (& listen to!) the sea lions, coming home to rest on large barges in the bay.

...The weather was absolutely delicious. It was about 70* at 4pm when we started exploring, and dropped into the low 60's when the sun set. ... Truth be told, I was a bit chilly, but Jon held my hand to keep me warm :)

We ended our night with a stop at Trish's Mini-donut stand, purchasing a small bag of donuts and hot coffees to warm our hands. When we returned to our hotel, we sipped coffee and reminisced about our day and our vacation so far... eating hot donuts and smiling as we licked the sugar off our fingers.

♥It was, all in all, a truly fantastic day ♥

Your Turn: Tell me about the best food you've ever tried on vacation! For me, all the dinners we had in CA were exceptional! Fantastic steak in Santa Rosa, and to-die-for sea food in SF. ... these mini-donuts pretty much stole my heart, too :)