8 July 2008

We left the hotel around 9:30 a.m. and headed to Ghirardelli Square.  The large buildings are under renovation, but there were other smaller shops and restaurants around the square that were open.  We stopped in one of the chocolate shops and picked up some Ghirardelli squares.

We returned to the hotel to drop off our purchases, then we headed to the F-line train stop to go to the Ferry Building (Pier 1).  In front of the building there is a farmer’s market.  Many of the kiosks offered samples of their food, so we got to try several different fruits and some chocolate peanut butter brittle.  The fruit was great.  We bought some plums, peaches, and plum/apricot hybrids.

We walked through the Ferry Building to see the shops inside.  We stopped at a cheese shop to see the different cheeses.  Of all the cheese they had there, we only recognized a few.  Most seemed to be from small farms that made specialty cheeses.  There was quite a variety.

We went out the back to watch a ferry leaving.  Then we returned to the F-line stop to continue on to Union Square.

After we walked around Union Square, we went to Macy’s stop across the street.  It had seven levels, so we just looked at a few.  We picked up a to-go lunch at the Boudin Sourdough Bakery in the basement of Macy’s and took it back across the street to eat on Union Square.

The temperature was unusually warm for San Francisco.  It was actually a little hot sitting in the sun on the square.

Next, we headed to the Westfield Center, which is a new mall on Market Street.  It has nine floors and over 400 stores.  The Nordstrom area has curved escalators in a seven-story atrium.  We looked around the mall for about an hour, checking out various stores.  Then we headed back to the Macy’s area.

We used a free ticket we got from Expedia to ride an open double-decker bus back to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Then we returned to the hotel to drop off the fruit and plan our next outing.

We decided to check out the Maritime Park across the street on the Hyde St. Pier.  There are several ships anchored there in various states of refurbishment.  We walked to the end of the pier and looked at the ships, but didn’t board them.

After the pier, we headed west along the bay, through Fort Mason, and on to Crissy Field.  There was a really strong wind from the west impeding our progress.  We watched sail boarders and wind surfers off Crissy Field for a few minutes.  Then we headed to the Palace of Fine Arts.

The rotunda was shrouded with scaffolding and was blocked off to pedestrains, so we couldn’t see much of the Palace.  Only the peripheral structures viewable.  We walked through as much as we could, then went to the lake and viewed the construction from there.

Then we headed to a bus stop to go toward Russian Hill.  We ate at Zarzuela, a Spanish topa restaurant.  We ordered five different topas: pisto manchego (vegetable stew), rollitos de berenjena (grilled eggplant with goat cheese), scallops, fried potatoes, and ham and chicken croquettes.  Teagan got rice pudding for dessert.  The food was excellent.  So our first topa experience turned out quite well.

We walked back to the hotel from the restaurant around 7:30 p.m.  The cool breeze from the bay caused us to put our jackets on for the first time today.

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