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Trip Report San Francisco and Wine Country on a Budget

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Warning: I haven't done a trip report in forever. :)

My daughter had an interview in San Francisco so my two sisters and I tagged along to make a long weekend trip -one night in the city and two nights in wine country. However, we had to do so on a small budget since I had just tagged along with DD on another interview in NYC and this would be two trips in one month.

The first night was in San Francisco at a Travelodge. Pretty dire, I must say.

The only good thing about this place was its proximity to the SF Veteran's Hospital, where DD had her interview. The other good thing was, we were only staying in SF for the one night. It is very old and run down. However, it is also cheap for San Francisco, which is why we chose it. However, I am very happy we did not have plans to stay in the city longer than overnight.

After a very late arrival, DD and I rose early so I could take her to the hospital where she would be having interviews till early afternoon. Back at the motel, we checked out, left our car in their parking lot and my sisters and I walked the mile or so to Fisherman's Wharf, beginning at Hyde Street Pier. They have lots of old boats, many of which offer tours. Very interesting and we had not been to that part of the pier before.

It was typical January weather: Cool and foggy, but beautiful. Vendors were just setting up the outdoor stands and cooking crab. Yum! We roamed around the wharf area, stopping at Boudin Bakery for freshly baked sourdough bread which we munched on since we had not had breakfast. Walked to Pier 39 to visit the sea lions and take pictures of Alcatraz in the distance.

By this time, we were hungry but did not want to eat too much as we would have a late lunch/early dinner with DD after her interview. There are many great places to choose from (an understatement), but we chose Alioto's. Bloody Mary for me and shared appetizers of crab cakes and sauteed calimari and shrimp, Sicilian style. We were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food (and the Bloody Mary :) ) Even by San Francisco standards, this was exceptional. I will definitely go there for dinner on another trip.

Lot's more walking, including up and over Lombard Street. For some reason, even though we have been to San Francisco a number of times, none of us had ever seen the crooked part of Lombard Street. Well, we did this trip, walking up it as most people were walking down. My sisters and I often go against the grain. :D

The Travelodge was on the downside of Lombard Street, and my daughter's interviews were finished just in time for us to retrieve our car and her and head to North Beach for lunch. First stop was Vesuvio for a drink, which is a must on every trip. We then went to lunch at a little Italian cafe on Columbus Ave. Sorry to say, I have forgotten the name of the place, but the food was also not so memorable. OK, but not memorable.

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