Sunday, November 29, 2015

San Francisco, Oakland and Sausalito

In September, I was fortunate enough to travel to California with work to do a best practise review and educational visit with San Francisco's famous Chinatown and other BRZ / BID / CBD's in the area.

With Chrissy at the end of her 2nd trimester it was still safe for her to travel so she accompanied me on the trip as our 'last honeymoon'.

The work meetings were excellent and I got a lot of benefit from them all but as the 'last honeymoon' this blog will feature more of the fun stuff.

San Francisco

Chrissy and I were just in San Francisco a couple of years ago and had hit a lot of the tourist hotspots. This time we went back and visited a couple favorites and tried to see what we missed last time.

As the reason for the trip was Chinatown, we spent quite a bit of our time touring through that area and in the various shops and restaurants.






Golden Gate Park is freaking massive. We were lucky enough to have fantastic weather and walked / waddled around as much as Chrissy could take.





Ocean Beach is a 3.5-mile stretch of white beach on the westernmost border of San Francisco.
It was a perfect day and we walked nearly the full length enjoying a respite from the big city.




We were surprised to see people fishing along the shore in between sunbathers and dog walkers.


After casting out their line, the fisherman tether their rods into posts along the surf. It just so happened that while we were walking by, one of the rods took a deep bend indicating a bite.




Tons of kids (and myself) flocked to see the fish come out of the water, I still get excited when someone lands a fish....especially a nice sized fish. 

Oakland

Work took me to Oakland to visit their Chinatown as a comparable to the world renowned San Francisco Chinatown. We learned many valuable lessons on zoning, land economics, community acceptance and migration patterns but really one of the big take aways is just character. If it feels like Chinatown it`s Chinatown...



Oakland's Chinatown while not bad, is a little underwhelming. Probably the most prevalent visual aspect of the area is the graffiti. It is everywhere. 



After the tour of Chinatown I ventured out to explore a bit more of Oakland of which I had no real knowledge of. I just started wandering around to see what I could see. About 8.5km`s later I ended up seeing quite a bit.




Lake Merritt, a large tidal lagoon and the United States first official wildlife refuge, is situated in the middle of Oakland and was a pleasant surprise that I spent a long time walking around.



Eventually I found myself passing by Everett and Jones. They were actually cooking their ribs right on the sidewalk. Going in for a sample was the easiest decision I ever made.



The ribs were fantastic and made all the better by washing it down with some Saucy Sistah! 


Eventually I found myself at Jack London Square along the waterfront.



Getting fatigued I headed back towards the BART station and San Francisco when I came across The Warehouse Bar and Grill. It looked both safe enough and divey enough for me to take a load off in. I walked into what appeared to be a cop bar and asked for a Pabst Blue Ribbon and was elated when I got a super-can for $3 instead of the exaggerated prices in San Fran.



My kind of bar and a good summation of Oakland. A little rough around the edges but many pleasant surprises. 

Sausalito

When we were last in San Francisco, Chrissy made it apparent that she really wanted to goto Sausalito....and we didn`t. It was a sore point for Chrissy and I have been paying for it since. So, when we went back to the area Sausalito was a must do.

I was up for it this time, mostly just for the boat ride.



Alcatraz from the boat

Sausalito was alright. Obviously it is a nice looking place offering cool views back to San Francisco, but there is nothing really to do other than shop or eat. You can do very well doing those two things in Sausalito but it wasn`t really what I was looking to do. 



That being said I am glad we visited as I am less in the doghouse from the last trip and Chrissy's curiosity has been satisfied.

Other Highlights Playing Tourist









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