No day of city exploring can begin without coffee, so, to the 'spro we go! On my list of shops to visit was the ever famous Blue Bottle. They have a lot of locations, but we chose the one closest to where we were staying, in Palo Alto. Palo Alto is also the home of , Google (!!), Stanford University and where Steve Jobs used to live! The woman we are staying with met Steve Jobs a couple times, how crazy is that?! Anyways, B and I settled into Blue bottle with our cappuccinos and some breakfast. We worked on photos and blogging before planning a little bit of the day ahead.
As we left Blue Bottle, we drove around the campus of Stanford. It was pretty empty because school is over for the summer, but I prefer that to driving around a crazy busy college campus. It certainly lessens the risk of hitting some techie or future doctor in training. B and I then headed in towards the center of the city, with Lombard Street on our to-see list. The roads leading there were so steep, it looked like cars were ramping off one intersection and to the next! If I lived here, I would probably have killer calves from climbing the hills and terrible knees from going down them.
Lombard street is apparently a 'must see' when coming to San Francisco. It is known as the 'most crooked street in the world' and boasts 8 hairpin turns down just 1 city block. When we got there, there were people everywhere; standing in the middle of the street, selfie sticks proudly waving, cars honking, and even traffic guards directing, or trying to direct, the tourists and cars. We drove down the street, giggling at how silly it was, but also how crazy steep it was! We parked at the bottom and threw ourselves into the hoard of tourists. I tried to take a couple photos, but nothing can really capture the steepness, it's so steep you can't even see the road past the hedges that line it. There are a couple really good shots that are taken from the houses that line the street though, I'll include one below.
Soon after that adventure, it was just about lunch time. B wanted to explore Chinatown, so we went there for lunch. The San Francisco Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America, and the second biggest, behind Manhattan. According to the interwebs, more people visit this Chinatown than the Golden Gate Bridge! We ate lunch at Hong Kong Clay Pot. They serve traditional Chinese food in clay pots that have been soaked in water, filled with food, and then heated to create a steam. Our lunch order was the chicken & mushroom clay pot and an order of shrimp chow mien. The food arrived and we knew from the get go we weren't going to be able to finish it. We did our best, and ended the meal with two cups of hot tea. The official entrance to Chinatown was just down the street, so we wandered down there to see the gate. All the little markets and shops were really fun to glance into, mainly filled with interesting fruits and veggies you don't often encounter and fun trinkets in the windows. We saw the gate, and sadly, weren't impressed. The one in Philadelphia is much more grand and beautiful! On our way back to the car, we stopped for some matcha boba tea at Steap Tea Bar. For those of you that don't know, boba are large black chewy tapioca pearls. They go into tea and milk drinks. They don't really have a flavor, I guess you can say they're kind of sweet, but mainly they're just fun to eat.
With hopes that the fog was going to burn off by the late afternoon, we drove to Chrissy Park to get a better view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The fog still remained, but it was really neat looking! While we walked along the pier, passing men and women fishing, a ginormous cargo ship. B guessed it was 2 football fields wide and at least 5 football fields long, based on how many shipping containers wide and long it was. It made the bridge look kind of small while it was going underneath. This ship was MASSIVE.
We ended our day with a short drive around Golden Gate Park, an evening cappuccino at Four Barrel, and dessert at Cream. I got a mini ice cream sandwich. Chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter ice cream was my choice, and I think it may have been the best combo. When we got home, we were completely exhausted after a long day of sight seeing, but we had to plan tomorrow, so we hunkered down and made a plan before getting some shut eye.