Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 11) – San Francisco – Monterey, California

Leaving San Francisco for a 125-mile /200-kilometer drive to Monterey. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 11) – San Francisco – Monterey, California”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 10) – San Francisco, California

Day 3 in San Francisco: Exploring Point Lobos and the Golden Gate Park

Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 10) – San Francisco, California”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 9) – San Francisco, California

Day 2: Quite a walk in San Francisco

route 7 san francisco

After an early rise and delicious breakfast at Le Boulangerie de San Francisco (222 Sutter Street), we walked towards the piers. We encountered the Mechanics Monument on Market Street, which prompted the kids to ask us whether or not metalworking is dangerous while being buck naked… 😀


After a short stop at The Embarcadero and the San Francisco Ferry Building, we went on to the Exploratorium. The last time we visited in 2001, at its previous location in the Palace of Fine Arts at Piers 15 and 17, it was already great, but its new site at Pier 39 is even bigger and chockfull of great hands-on exhibits that will entertain young and old alike.

You can easily keep yourself occupied for several hours with the abundance of physics, biology, or sensory exhibits and experiments, which we did… Consequently, we had a late lunch at Hillstone. An excellent restaurant just across Pier 33 (1800 Montgomery Street). Definitely one of the pricier ones we have been too, but high quality and tasty food and friendly service!

  • Hillstone Cheeseburger: freshly ground beef, with tomato, onion, lettuce and melted cheddar
  • Texas Burger: freshly ground beef, topped with chili, red onion, and shredded cheddar served with a tangy BBQ sauce and quinoa salad
  • Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna salad with mango, avocado, mixed greens, and a cilantro ginger vinaigrette

What a difference a couple of hours makes!

As we bought City Passes at the Exploratorium, we needed to get bang for our buck (we are Dutch, right… 🤑), so we took the historic tram to Fisherman’s Wharf (touristy to the second degree) and also visited the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39. The animals had plenty of room, but some reason they still stayed really close together…

Much to the dismay of the kids, we afterward set out on foot to Lombard Street, one of the steepest streets open for traffic in San Francisco, which obviously turned to quite a hike. As expected, there were hordes of tourists, selfie-sticks, and cars that just had to go down the street with a genuinely spectacular decline. All I can say: don’t mess with SF traffic wardens if they instruct you to drive on…

We took one of the historic cable cars down Hyde Street to Ghiradelli Square – with a great view over the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz – and then took a historic tramcar to Embarcadero before heading back to the hotel.

After a trial of “the best donuts in town” at Happy Donuts (145 Columbus Avenue) – okay, but otherwise not very special – the kids insisted that we had dinner at Chipotle. We still don’t have a clue how they knew this chain as we don’t have any in The Netherlands, but they found an outlet on the block next to the hotel (211 Sutter Street) where we squeezed in just before their 8pm closing time.

I didn’t think of ever having to quote Ozzy Osborne from the MTV reality soap The Osbornes, but his “Ohhh, this burrito is fucking killing me…” describes pretty accurately how I felt after eating just one third of the delicious calorie-bomb that was a chorizo, pinto beans and cilantro-lime brown rice filled and fresh tomato salsa and guacamole topped burrito. The upside was that I also had a breakfast burrito 😉

Around the World – Hillside Supperclub, San Francisco (Aug 2017)

Food connects people all over the world. Our visit to Hillside Supperclub in San Francisco was a prime example of that as it was only a couple of months earlier that I met Tony and Austin Ferrari at the communal table of Oaxen Krog** in Stockholm while on a business trip.   Continue reading “Around the World – Hillside Supperclub, San Francisco (Aug 2017)”

Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 8) – Fort Bragg to San Francisco, California

Heading to San Francisco today. A 170-mile / 275-kilometer trip via Highway 20 and back on the US-101. As we were meeting up in SF and would be staying in Napa Valley for a couple of days as well, we didn’t have anything planned along the way.

route 6 fort bragg san francisco

Pomo Bluffs Park
Chantal’s early run around Pomo Bluffs Park was mainly a misty episode.

We skipped breakfast at the hotel and we headed to The Harvest Market across the street to stock up on some fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, snacks, sushi (and wines).

As soon as we hit Highway 20 the mist disappeared and luckily the 30 miles of road to the US-101 was a lot less windy than the first part of Highway 1 the day before. The road to San Francisco was sunny but changed dramatically in just a couple of miles when approaching the city from Sausalito. We had zero visibility near and on Golden Gate Bridge but luckily it was back to beautiful weather at the Presidio.

After checking in into our hotel, The Galleria Park on 191 Sutter St, and lunch – the sushi and some slices of leftover pizza – we did a short walk in the neighborhood: Chinatown, Jackson Square, and the Financial District. We mainly heard French and Italian tourists, but for the first time in a week and a half, we also heard other people speaking Dutch again. After a week of encountering relative few people, let alone tourists, this was a bit of a readjustment for us 😉

We also did a short stop on Maiden Lane to see the peculiar Frank Lloyd Wright’s V.C. Morris Gift Shop building. Back in San Francisco after 16 years and it took only a few moments to fall in love with this city again!

The next post will be about that night’s dinner!