It was a beautiful, summer day in San Francisco! Brian and I arrived in the city via BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and went directly to Fisherman's Wharf where we felt very much at home among the boats along the oceanside. Here we had planned to meet our friends, Paul and Emily, for a fun day on the town before we all departed California.
That morning, Paul and Emily had gone on a whale watching excursion. They'd actually asked us along and we'd briefly considered until realizing that it would be silly for two cruisers to go onto a hired boat in search of whales. We'd hoped, however, that the wales would give Paul and Emily a good showing. We had some time to meander along Fisherman's Wharf before their return from the sea...and it didn't take much to keep us occupied. At Ripley's Believe It Or Not I was thrilled to find a life-size donkey sculptured completely from wine corks. And Brian made a chum with an old sailor.
The whale watchers had returned! Smile for the camera, your photo will be available at the end of the docks for just $25.
It had been a disappointing day for whale watching. Paul and Emily's boat traveled 38nm out to sea and spent an additional hour searching for whales. All they saw was fog! All that searching had made them HUNGRY! This called for a warm, bread bowl full of chowda' at the Boudin Sourdough Bread Co.
After lunch we took a walk from Fisherman's Wharf to visit a popular tourist site, Lombard Street. This street ziz-zags down a very steep San Francisco hill; eight hairpin turns in one block. Lombard Street was beautifully landscaped. Walkers and drivers all seemed enthused to traverse this windy road.
Lots of walking, talking, people-watching, and window shopping incurred on our way from Lombard Street back toward the night's main attraction. Of course, we detoured through the Ghirardelli Square to pick up a sample of chocolate at the factory. We admired the waterfront at the base of Fort Mason Center. The waterfront was bustling with walkers, rollerbladers (those never seem to go out of style), and cyclers. Fort Mason Center was abuzz with picnickers and frolicking dogs. It was Friday, a busy night at Fort Mason Center because on this night through summer months this is the host location of Off the Grid.
Off the Grid was the main event for our evening in San Francisco; an event that Christy and Steve had boasted about since their move to California. Now we could experience this ourselves and share the experience with Paul and Emily. Self-described as, "your roaming mobile food extravaganza,"
Off the Grid is precisely that! A conglomeration of mobile food vendors featuring culturally authentic, gourmet, and comfort foods. This was a delight! We walked the grounds of Off the Grid reading each menu carefully to see what struck our fancies for dinner that night. There were over 30 options from which to choose! We had a group pow-wow, made an attack plan, and split to retrieve our choices.
Our selections included: one Korean fried-chicken waffle sandwich, one dish of sexy fries (sweet potato waffle fries topped with the works), one Indian samosa party (topped with tasty curry, chicpeas,and yogurt), one gourmet grilled cheese with apples, brie, almonds, and honey, and finally one order of the crispiest tater-tots topped with garlic and rosemary. Mmmm-GOOD!
It had been a great day in the city! As we hugged Paul and Emily goodbye, we all wondered in which state or in which country for that matter we would visit one another again.