Trip Report - San Francisco in 1.5 days

Old Feb 21st, 2006, 09:17 PM
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Trip Report - San Francisco in 1.5 days

Hi all!

Thank you for all your great advice about our trip to San Fran. Here's how it turned out:

On Friday afternoon, we drove into San Fran (from San Jose, where we were on business). We were going to take the highway, but we impulsively got off and took route 1 for part of the trip, which was beautiful - mountains & ocean all at the same time, I'd never seen that before. When we got into the city we took a cable car to Frascati where we had dinner. The cable car was fun! Frascati.. oh my gosh. DELICIOUS. It was the best chicken I've ever had in my life. I told my husband it was so good it didn't even taste like chicken. He had the short ribs and really enjoyed them, and the bread pudding is to die for. Service was great. I chose Frascati's largely on Stu Dudley's recommendation (thanks Stu!) After dinner, we got back on the cable car and just rode around looking at the city. There was this very charismatic fellow on the cable car announcing the sites & making jokes. We went home after this to sleep for our "big day".
Saturday morning we woke up and were distracted by the weather forecast. The woman on the tv was saying thunderstorms & hail, so we got discouraged and slowed down and didn't get out of the hotel as fast as we'd intended. Turns out the weather was basically cold & rainy and otherwise noneventful. We very briefly saw Muir Woods & Sausalito in the morning. I wish we'd had more time to spend at both. We grabbed a sandwich at a deli in Sausalito, got back in the car and drove back into San Fran. We got to our Gray Line tour 30 minutes before departure and that was good because we lined up and got great seats on the double decker (on the top, at the front, so there was just a window right in front of us). On the pro side, the Gray Line got us to a lot of sights in a short amount of time. On the con side, there was not enough time at the two best stops (Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate) and too much time at the first stop (some type of Mission, I forget the name). We also stopped at Twin Peaks, and I don't remember feeling rushed there. Another con of the tour is that the weather was cold and rainy and the windows kept fogging up on the bus. Bring paper towels! Luckily my husband had some napkins. We spent most of the tour wiping off the windows. One last thought on Gray Line - they didn't manage the crowd/lining up for the tour very well, and as a result people who were lined up in the wrong spot (not us) were very upset they didn't get better seats. If we'd had more than 1.5 days in San Fran, I don't think the tour would have been necessary or the best way to see the sights.
After the tour, we went back to Sausalito to have dinner at the Spinnaker. This was not so much for the food as it was for the view. It seemed like a nice way to say goodbye to San Fran (and we were sad to say goodbye!) The food at Spinnaker is above average, but not necessarily memorable (like Frascati). The view is great (I used opentable.com, requested a table with a view and got one - basically every table has a view, but we were right by the window). Service was a little slow/below average.

Two last thoughts - We loved dinner at 71 St. Peter in San Jose.

Driving in San Fran was not as hard as we thought it would be (but we're from the DC area).

I hope that's a good trip report! I think I covered it all...

Laura
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:12 AM
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Sorry about the non-perfect weather on Sat. Sunday was beautiful, and it's been that way since.

Glad you enjoyed Frascati.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Thanks for posting, Is2006. We love hearing back from those who decide to gamble on our advice!. That was Mission Dolores you stopped at. Huge historical significance, but I agree, not such an interesting stop. It may have been gloomy weather, but you might be happy to know that's the "worst" we ever experience in winter, on average.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Thank you for your report IS, good you made the best out of the bad weather. Now you know not to take the TV forecast too seriously

I'm surprised by your take on Spinnaker... gotta love fish I guess.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Hey guys!

Yep, we heard the weather reports as we were leaving San Fran and knew y'all were getting beautiful weather right after we left! NO FAIR!
Still, what a beautiful city - so much to see & do, certainly too much for 1.5 days. I hope we get to go back someday.

Laura
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 07:56 AM
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What a great report! It's always fun to see familiar places through new eyes!

The food at Spinnaker is not uniform - just depends on which dish you order - some great, some not so great. The view, however, is superb.

Come back again soon, Is2006!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Coming back to add - for anyone planning a San Fran trip - if you've never seen redwoods, I think Muir Woods IS worth it. It's very beautiful there and the trees are very impressive.

And Sausalito is really beautiful. I took many pictures of the houses on the hill by the water. So pretty. We didn't shop in Sausalito, but a couple of the shops did look interesting.
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