After all the walking and taco binging that happened on Thursday, Friday we figured would be a little more structured. Not by much however. The one big change was the use of a rental car. Wishing for some road trip freedom, we didn’t realize we’d have to get our Nissan Versa so early in the morning. This left us with little time to wander, but you gotta go with the flow right; we soon found ourselves bombing down the busy California highway.
With semi trucks and police cars everywhere, we found ourselves just enjoying the drive south. The shear volume of turnoffs meant if we missed something important, it was easy to backtrack. As we pulled off here and there, we found ourselves just a hop and skip from San Jose without even realizing we’d gone so far. After backtracking for lunch at The Fish Market, we popped in and out of neighbourhoods at a snails pace.
Eventually we started to hear our tummies grumble again. Stopping by the local Whole Foods, I introduced Sarah to this eat-local, go organic style grocery chain. As I snapped a couple of pictures inside, we were quickly confronted by a security employee who at first approached me with an almost interrogation style attitude. Taking a few minutes to explain we are from Canada, and just documenting our trip seemed to ease the staff and convince them we weren’t from a competing store. We quickly grabbed some local cottage cheese, grapes, water, and maybe the two best mango’s we’ve ever encountered. OMG, Yummer Summer!
After our snack, we spent an hour or so bombing around the Google grounds. Always hearing great things about the googleplex, we were saddened to find little information about the massive layout or even a small tour, or even a gift shop for that matter; you’d think they’d have some cool knickknacks. We really loved that there was google coloured bikes laying around the complex. We’d watch employees pick up one, bike to their destination, and leave it there. If someone took the bike while you were in a building..well, you just took another or walked. Ingenious!
Finally the time came for John Mayer, and unfortunately I couldn’t smuggle in my DSLR. My fourth show of the year, and I have to say it was fantastic. If there is something I can wish for in Edmonton, it’s a proper professional style amphitheater. Half seats, half open grass, the Shoreline complex is a prefect venue and one that has seen some amazing artists come through.
After our greasy spoon breakfast on Saturday, we headed back to the Ferry Building Marketplace. Having our first crack at the farmer’s market on Thursday, I was excited to see what the big day had going on. The number of stalls was impressive. Where Thursday saw vendors on the street side, the Saturday market surrounds the building and includes a heavier focus on proteins, meals, cooking products.
With so many options, I now see why local chefs could easily construct their entire menu on what grows in and around the bay area. Amazing!
One thing we really liked about San Francisco was their dedication to recycling. It’s not just as simple as buy and toss. All over the city we found this great stations that allow you to divide and rid yourself of ‘garbage’ in the best way. I think it’s great as well, that the information and pictures above each container showed clear examples of the most common items around their area – plates, plastic lids etc.. Nice work San Francisco!
After the market, we headed down to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exterior was not as striking as our own Art Gallery of Alberta, but the inside held a fantastic collection of art. I don’t know enough about the subject, nor do I have a preference for a specific genre, but I can tell you I was excited by 90-95 percent of what we saw. I’m very glad we went.
After spending plenty of time in the very cool museum gift shop, Sarah and I caught a cable car down to the water. With the sun back in full swing, and no available tours to Alcatraz, we walked the long pier and took photos from a distance.
Even thought we sampled our way through the market, we were starting to get hungry again and headed over to Bistro Boudin. As we sat and watched the traffic go by, Sarah and I decided to spent what we had left scooting around on a GoCar. Small and not very quick, these three wheel self guided tour go-karts seemed like a great way to see the sights.
In all honesty, the GoCar was probably better than anything we could have imagined. Famous and not so famous destinations alike, are programmed into the GoCar’s GPS. So as we drove around the city, a friendly female voice would come over the two speaker system and tell us a little something. Like “Up on your left is Galileo High School. This is where OJ Simpson caught his first football.” Simple and fun, we loved what we learned.
The evening finished with a visit back to Ghirardelli Square and an ice cream extravaganza at their shop. Unfortunately, both sundae creations we had were pretty much liquid by the time the staff member found the number on our table. Not surprising because the place stay jammed to the rafter during our entire visit. Maybe we should have gone to Swensen’s instead. 😦
Sunday was short and too the point. We grabbed a quick, light breakfast from Starbucks across the street before heading to the airport. As we filled out postcards, it hit us like a ton of bricks. We accomplished a lot. Ate a lot. But still, there is so much to see in San Francisco. I dare say we left our hearts there…..