Sunday, July 5, 2009

San Francisco - Day Three

Sunday dawned bright and early and beautiful. The bf and his co-worker (I'm still deciding on a nickname for her) had to be to the convention center bright and early, which meant I was on my own for the morning. I did wander up to the bf's room when our wake up call came since I knew it was before his. I wanted to wake him up (I had a key to his room) Unfortunately he spoiled my plans by being up when I walked in! He made up for it though by climbing right back under the covers to cuddle a bit before his actual wake up call came though. The bf walked me back to my room on his way down to the lobby and I promptly fell back to sleep. When I finally woke up I had a nice leisurely morning getting ready and grabbing breakfast from downstairs before heading out to explore Union Square.
There were SO many people out around Union Square. I used some of my alone time to give my grandparents a quick call to say hello and tell them how my trip was going. They were definitely happy to hear from me. :) I lounged in the warm sun on a park bench in the dead center of Union Square.The statue on the left was in the center of the square. The heart was a statue that was by the entrance to the square closest to our hotel. They had all sorts of tables and whatnot scattered around the center of the square, people were out and about drinking coffee, chatting and reading newspapers. Isn't the heart so beautiful? They had several scattered around with different images, but this was my favorite. (I also managed to not get pictures of the others...but trust me, this was the prettiest)
I wandered around the shops, peering in windows and just generally enjoying the unusually beautiful weather. (the locals told us it was unusually beautiful, so sunny with just a slight breeze) I went into Williams and Sonoma. My goodness but that store is incredible!! They have the best product displays and totally made me want to start cooking things. Their prices leave a little something to be desired at times, but you can find expensive cookware lots of places. They definitely had quality merchandise. I think my favorite was all the baking products and sprinkles. Their lemonade mixed looked pretty good too. (they apparently sell several pantry products there as well, I had no idea!) I wandered into several other stores like Victoria's Secret and H&M, just browsing around. I didn't realize I was so close to Market Street until I saw the crowds gathered for the PRIDE celebration parade. There were thousands of people. I didn't venture all the way down to Market because I was by myself and don't like such dense crowds of people, not to mention that there were also quite a few protesters with overly large signs down there too. (seriously, can someone please explain to me how homosexuality is a threat to national security?) There was an incredible turn out though and I could hear all the cheering. I definitely thought of a wonderful blogger friend and wished he could have been there to see it. I heard that the mayor of the city was in the parade, pretty cool.

The bf got done around noon and met me back at the hotel. We walked up to Grace Cathedral up on Nob Hill. I have a thing for cathedrals, particularly any kind of gothic architecture. The cathedral was only about 5 blocks away from our hotel, but the hills, oh the hills. They got steeper as we walked. I swear the last one was nearly straight up. It definitely was steeper than 45 degrees, no joke. (incidentally, I saw women pushing strollers up similar hills...I don't know how they did it!) I knew from Google maps that it was steep, but wow. It was steep! It was worth it though. The cathedral was gorgeous. We spent over an hour photographing the interior. I have to edit some of those photos to lighten the details and such, but they'll be up soon. There is just something magnificent about cathedrals like this one. I absolutely love them. It's just this innate kind of passion, I could get lost in these types of structures for days. The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. is one of my favorites. I'm sure Notre Dame will join the ranks when I finally get over the pond to see it in person! I also have a thing for castles both Medieval and Renaissance...Versailles here I come!
After getting ourselves lost in the beauty of the Cathedral we wandered around Nob Hill a bit before walking down into Little Italy to find a place for a late lunch/early dinner. We looked at menus as we wandered along. The owner of this one little place was outside and asked if we were looking for a place to eat. It was a special day at his restaurant so the ladies got a rose and a complimentary glass of wine. The menu looked good, so we headed in. The owner was such a nice man, I really liked him. He definitely sold us on his restaurant. It was a cute little place on the corner across from the St. Peter & Paul Church on what I believe was Washington Square Park (if I remember the guide book correctly) I chose a Cabernet as my glass of wine, it was surprisingly delicious. I don't always like Cabernet's right off the bat but this one was tasty. I couldn't decide between two dishes, so the bf and I got both to share. One was a salmon over a bed of sauteed spinach, it was perfectly cooked and absolutely mouthwatering. The other was a cheese ravioli with some kind of mushrooms (don't remember the name) in a creamy sauce. OMG that was divine! The flavors were heavenly. All of the food there, right down to the bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar was absolutely divine. It was my favorite meal of the entire trip and in such a beautiful setting. We were in the corner window of the restaurant that looked right out onto the sidewalk and the park across the street. It was such a quaint little place. I loved the way the owner was personally inviting people in. He also poured and brought my glass of wine, and of course the beautiful pink rose when we walked in. You can see how beautiful the rose is in the picture with the food...I draped it over the bread basket for the shot. :)
After our late lunch/early dinner at Michaelangelo's the bf and I headed stopped in for a few minutes in the beautiful church across the park to see the inside. Just like Grace, it was absolutely breathtaking. We didn't stay too long though before heading back towards the hotel. We hopped off the cable car to check out the Cable Car Museum. It was so neat seeing all of the old cars and machinery. I think the neatest part was seeing the working cables that pulled the cars all across the city. The cable cars don't move on their own power. Rather, they grab onto the cable running under the street, it's pretty cool to see. There was this place where you could go downstairs and see the actual wheels as they run under the streets. It's incredible to imagine that these are scattered under the pavement throughout various parts of the city. It's really a rather ingenious system really. I love that they still run the cable cars exactly as before when they began. As a history student I particularly enjoyed the history. The Cable Car Museum had lots of great historical information and photos. I was really glad we decided to jump off to check it out as we passed. We didn't stay too long as the museum wasn't that big and it was awfully hot and sticky inside. It had a bit of a funny scent, but I think that was just from all of the machinery and whatnot running and spinning. It's really a neat thing to see if you're there.
After the museum we went back to the hotel to enjoy the evening Club Level cocktail hour. They've got a nice little lounge for the Club level guests where each evening they serve wine, champagne, mixed drinks and sodas. They also have cheese and crackers and the host serves slices of artisan type pizzas. Really a great little set up and very classy. We spent some time there each evening I was there, it was a lot of fun. The bf and I weren't too starving and neither was his co-worker, so we got a recommendation for dessert from our doorman. He definitely knew the best places to eat. We went to a little place next door to the hotel. The bf and his coworker got crab cakes, she got bread pudding, and I got creme brulee. Creme brulee is absolutely one of my favorite desserts in the world and I get it very very rarely, so I definitely enjoy it when it is available. I've made it before too, but haven't in quite some time. I want to make it again this summer sometime. It was a great little place and the food was delicious. When we finished the three of us walked over to the drugstore to get some candy to snack on later. I got a pack of airhead sour belt licorice stuff. We wandered back to the hotel to have a relaxed evening. I hung out with the bf in his room watching the food channel and proceeded to eat my sour belts. (the bf had maybe 2 of them) We were having a nice layed back evening which was well deserved after all those hills and walking we'd been doing. Evidentally my body had a little too much of the sour sugar to handle, because a couple hours later I was throwing it all back up. Definitely NOT fun. I felt a lot better after though. The bf was such a sweetheart taking care of me though. He definitely made me feel better, making sure I had everything I needed and rubbing my back to relax me. I have to say, I'm not a fan of being sick, especially on vacation, but the bf made it so much better and was such an absolute sweetheart. All in all it was a fantastic day, and I slept really well that night too. And seriously. If you get up to San Francisco anytime soon and like Italian food, you HAVE to try Michaelangelo's (it's at 579 Columbus Ave). It's SO delicious. Your taste buds will thank you. :)


Gramma Ann said...

Sounds like you had a really fun week-end, except for the sickness. I hope you are feeling fine by now.

Gramma Ann said...
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Jaina said...

Gramma Ann-I definitely did. I'll have one more post to finish up the recap of my mini-vacation. Things have just gotten unexpectedly busy this week. I'm definitely all was just my stomach telling me not to have so much sour sugar next time. Hope your week is going well!

Anonymous said...

Except for the puking your day sounds absolutely wonderful! Wow you packed a lot into the day!

My boss has the margaritaville machine from williams and sonoma, did you see that? Incredible. And I love their orange line of pots and pans. Wish I could afford it!

Doesn't it amaze you when you go to squares and see people just chilling out drinking coffee like they must do that every day? When we visit NYC I always see those people and think, wow, this is their life every day, how cool! But then I realize I could never live in a big city because I would get so claustrophobic with all the crowds.

April said...

Ooh, what a great day! I love San Fran! I've only been once (and very briefly) but I would LOVE to go back again!

Jaina said...

Yaya-It was a beautiful and fun packed day for sure. That margaritaville machine was crazy cool! Beautiful store, but pretty much out of my price range. I love seeing people chilling like that, I totally want to do that sometime too. I would love to live in NYC for maybe a year or something. Not long term by any means, but for a bit it would be amazing!

April-I love it too, it's a fabulous place to visit. I hope you get to go back sometime soon. Maybe introduce Hunter to the beauty of the city when he's a little older, let him ride on the 2-story carousel on Pier 39 :)