For my 21st birthday, my two closest friends and I traveled to San Francisco, California! This is the second post in my three-day series, so if you haven’t read Day 1 — go check it out here and stay tuned for Day 3, coming soon!
Day 2 took us to San Fran’s iconic Fisherman’s Warf, but not before breakfast at Lori’s Diner. Lori’s Diner is a 1960’s old-school American styled restaurant. They had pretty decent food for breakfast but it was super busy so it was a struggle to even get coffee creamer.
We took an Uber to Fisherman’s Warf after breakfast with plans of spending the day there. Our first stop was the submarine USS Pampanito and ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien, where we found Alcatraz, an island located in the San Fran bay that houses the notorious and retired Alcatraz prison. The Musée Mécanique is right next to the USS Pampanito and is an “old fashion spot featuring antique coin-operated mechanical instruments and vintage arcade games” (as Google describes it). If you ever travel to Fisherman’s Warf, I highly recommend stopping at this museum! We spent an hour or two in here, just walking around and occasionally turning on the games and instruments. The games and instruments range from 5 to 50 cents ($0.05-.50) — I didn’t see a machine that was even $1. The prices are cheap, the machines are pretty well-kept, and it was fascinating to see all of the antique machines!
After the vintage museum, we meandered over to Pier 39. On the walk to the pier, there are street performers and artists. Some sang, some danced, and another painted pictures.
Our first stop at Pier 39 was, of course, the sea lions! Pier 39 is notoriously known for the sea lions and they did not disappoint. They do, however, stink (a lot) and their barks are very loud. My friend and I got pooped on by a sea gull while watching them sooo… watch out for the gulls. It’s said to be good luck, but I’m not sure if I believe that.
At Pier 39, there is a giant double-level merry-go-round (which we unfortunately didn’t ride) and plenty of shops to buy “San Francisco” memorabilia. There are also plenty of restaurants to buy clam chowder and an assortment of seafood (including a Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co.!). Being a vegetarian, I had to settle for a slice of cheese pizza. Oh well.
Leaving Pier 39, we made the 20-minute walk to Ghirardelli Square. When we finally arrived to the original ice cream and chocolate shop, there was a line out the door for customers waiting to buy ice cream and an assortment sweets. We joined in their insanity and waited in line for our own sweets and oh my goodness! I got a brownie sundae and it was so sweet I could not finish it all. It was delicious — but it was also the sweetest thing I’ve ever had in my life.
One of my friends wanted to walk off the ice cream and so we decided to walk back to our hotel. It was the Worst. Decision. Ever. If you’ve seen pictures of San Fran or watched The Princess Diaries, you’ll know that San Fran is extremely hilly. We had to hike up Russian Hill, and I do quite literally mean hike. It was such a struggle, especially after eating the ice cream, and my two travel-mates felt nauseous afterwards and sore from the walk the next day.
After hiking up Russian Hill and arriving to our hotel, I was sweaty again and we decided to rest for a bit to get our energy back up. We got lucky with the weather during our trip because it wasn’t too foggy and it was quite warm, even at night.
For dinner we went to Chinatown! The Chinatown in San Francisco is the first location in North America and is therefore the “original” Chinatown. I got a vegetable lo mein that was quite yummy, but the plate was so large that I couldn’t finish it all. We met two Scotsmen sitting at a neighboring table and somehow my travel-mates roped me into going out to a bar with them. I will admit that they were pretty cute and their accents were dreamy. They had been traveling to major cities in the United States and San Fran was just a stop on their expedition.
Our group went to a series of bars that night, with varying levels of drinking alcohol. I, personally, don’t enjoy drinking very much and find it challenging to go to bars, but I went for my friends.
At this point, it was 3am, so my girls and I went back to the hotel and promptly went to sleep.
Check back in soon for Day 3 of my San Francisco adventures!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever traveled to San Francisco, California? Do you like Chinese food? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!