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Solo in San Francisco...a mini trip report of a mini trip

Solo in San Francisco...a mini trip report of a mini trip

Old May 8th, 2010, 09:36 PM
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Solo in San Francisco...a mini trip report of a mini trip

and I had the best time!

It all started when my aunt from NY expressed her desire to see San Francisco for the first time. San Francisco??? One of my very favorite cities in the world!!! I'm in! Well, unfortunately, she wasn't. Something about dates...time...schedules. I thought about going anyway, but didn't want to spend the money, yada, yada, yada. Then, JetBlue had a 1 day sale: Long Beach to the bay area for $9.00. Decision made. It was meant to be!

I stayed at the Orchard Hotel, 665 Bush St. at Powell. www.theorchardhotel.com. It's a small boutique property in a great location, close to Union Square, Nob Hill and Chinatown. I walked everywhere, day and night, and always felt safe. They were offering a "Spring into Summer" special for $97/night, prepaid. I think that's a great deal.

At 250 sq. ft., the standard rooms are quite large by SF standards. Very clean, bright and contemporary, with nice comfortable bedding and a very large bathroom. Free wifi in the rooms. I'd stay here again in a red hot minute.

I arrived into SFO late afternoon on Wednesday and took a 40 min. BART ride into the city (for $8.10, nearly the same amount as my o/w flight!) Check in, a quick shower, and it was time to meet some bay area Fodorites for a GTG!

Dayenu was kind enough to "pick me up" at a pre-arranged bus stop, and we went together to Burma Superstar, 309 Clement St., between 4th and 5th. www.burmasuperstar.com. There, we met abranz, cat, artsnletters, thereyet, LindaL, Giovanna, and Mr. Gio. The food was truly amazing and the company was even better! I enjoyed myself thoroughly and look forward to seeing them again.

On returning to "my" neighborhood, I was still too excited to sleep, so I went for a short walk to the Top of the Mark for some coffee and live jazz. http://www.intercontinentalmarkhopki...p_of_the_mark/. Beautiful view of the city, but quite expensive when you factor in the $10 cover, and the jazz was a bit slow for my tastes. I did get asked to dance twice, so I was happy A short walk to the hotel and I turned in for the night.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 09:39 PM
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Oh yeah, here are some photos of our GTG!

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Old May 8th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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Thursday was a fantastic day! The weather was bright, sunny, and warm, in the low 70's. Perfect walking weather!

I started with breakfast at Sears on Powell, then took a bus across town to the Legion of Honor/Fine Arts Museum. In addition to their permanent collection, they have an awesome Cartier exhibit! I have never seen so many gorgeous jewels in one place! It was great. I recommend it highly.

After that, I walked along the coastal trail to see the view from the Cliff House. Very beautiful! I knew I shouldn't but I was hungry and stayed for lunch. $27 for a crab salad sandwich! Oh well...the view was worth it. A beautiful evening walk and I called it a day.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 09:56 PM
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I forgot! Since I had such a late lunch at the Cliff House, I decided to skip dinner. Instead, I walked to North Beach, through still bustling Chinatown, for coffee...and cannoli! No problem. I worked it off walking back to the hotel.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 10:35 PM
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Friday morning brought perfect weather again, and I spent the whole day on foot. I walked to the Ferry building to browse and shop. I really love it here. Lots of interesting and unique foods (coffee, chocolates, cheeses, meats, olive oils, mushrooms, baked goods, wines...) shops and restaurants. The people, too, are all so nice.

I then walked along the water to the wharf area, and then on to Ghiradelli for posterity and some chocolate gifts.

It was then time to make my way back to the financial district to have lunch with fodorite Dayenu. For those of you who haven't met her, she is a warm, kind, intelligent ambassador of San Francisco!

We met at Restaurant Palio, 640 Sacramento St., between Montgomery and Kearney. www.paliodasti.com. It's a very nice Italian restaurant, and we had a lovely table by the window. I indulged in a carbonara dish (what the hell, I'm on vacation), but the best part of lunch was the company.

Once again, I needed to walk off lunch! I browsed the shops at Union Square, then the shops on Union Street in Cow Hollow, and then onto Chestnut Street in the Marina. San Francisco has no shortage of good shopping, or good people watching!

Though I didn't think I could eat anymore, I managed to consume half a pizza at Tommaso's in North Beach, 1042 Kearney Street between Pacific and Broadway. There are usually lines out the door and a really long wait, so I arrived early. Good pizza, not great, but really friendly, attentive service. I walked off this meal on my way back to the hotel, where yes, I finished off the pizza!
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Old May 8th, 2010, 10:45 PM
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Awoke this morning well rested, to another beautiful day in paradise. Filled with energy, I walked around the theatre district and Union Square. The highlight of my day was the Taiwanese Cultural Festival in Union Square. There were food stalls, art stalls, and lots of colorful entertainment, including music and dance. It was a lovely way to end my trip, before I took the hour long BART and bus trip to OAK ($3.80 for BART, $3 for the bus).

How I love this city. There is something for everyone. I think it's impossible NOT to enjoy yourself here.

Thanks for listening.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 11:40 PM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip Iregeo, all the better for meeting some of the Fodors gang.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 04:19 AM
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Half a pizza? Sounds like something I would do. Enjoyed reading your enthusiastic report of San Francisco--one of my favorite cities, too. I will be there end of month.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 05:52 AM
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Great report and I know you had a maaahvelous time!

I San Francisco!
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Old May 9th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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AnnMarie, did you miss the part of how I FINISHED the pizza when I returned to my room?
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Old May 9th, 2010, 10:07 AM
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Your trip brought back great memories of traveling solo in the old days before marriage. Thanks!
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Old May 9th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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Iregeo - nice report and good eating! I stayed at the Orchard Garden (same owners) last year and had a great experience too. Unfortunately the Cartier exhibit is leaving before my next trip in July - you're lucky to have seen it!
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Old May 9th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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Oh, I live here, and haven't been to that exhibit yet. I'll have to check out when it ends. Glad you had a great trip.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 01:14 PM
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iamq, we are having the same experience, in reverse. I never travelled solo before marriage. I've done it several times (mostly to Paris and Yosemite) since being married. I started to do it because I needed to get away, and one of us had to stay with our child. I continued doing it, however, because I fell in love with solo travel! I love travelling with DH and DS, too, but solo travel remains my ultimate indulgence.

Centralparkgirl, while walking past the Orchard Garden one day, I recognized the concierge from the Orchard standing outside. We got to talking, and he sent me up to see the rooftop terrace at the Orchard Garden. It was so pleasant! I had no idea it was there.

sf7307, you should have joined our GTG. We had a lot of fun! I've been to SF many times before, but have never been to the Legion of Honor. The Cartier exhibit was the icing on the cake! I remember loving a jewel exhibit at the Louvre many years ago. This is even better. It occupies nearly the entire lower level. That's a lot of jewels!
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Old May 9th, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Honestly, I forgot about the GTG because we were away until late Monday night. Next time!!
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Old May 9th, 2010, 05:03 PM
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Nice to read your report. I also like hearing about your solo travels. I have only done it once, a hiking trip to Zion in 2007, and I had a blast!
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Old May 9th, 2010, 06:03 PM
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I loved reading your trip report, Irego. I thought I was great about walking around SF but you have me beat! I imagine the Cartier jewels exhibit was so fantastic. I so wish I could have been at the GTG but there will be the next time I am sure.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 07:18 PM
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elnap, there's something exhilerating about solo travel, don't you think?
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Old May 9th, 2010, 10:38 PM
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It was a pleasure meeting you Iregeo and we too really enjoyed the GTG! The rest of your time in SF sounds wonderful. So glad you got to see the Cartier exhibit. We went about a month ago and oohed and aahed. Really amazing how the "other half" live!

I'm so glad you had a good visit and did so many fun things. You described Dayenu beautifully. She truly is a very special person. Glad you and she had a nice lunch date.

Look forward to seeing you again soon!
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Old May 10th, 2010, 04:19 PM
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OMG, the whole pizza? Those hills help you work out an appetite, huh?

We'll have an impressionism exhibit in DeYoung, May 22 till September, and post-impr. Sept through I think January, so you have to come here 2 more times this year!
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