07 April 2014

Travel tales: my last day in San Francisco - Pier 39, [he]artwork in Union Square and Grand Cafe

My last day in San Francisco was spent as a true tourist. I spent an hour at the laundromat reading tour brochures, and was scared by gunshots and a growling chihuahua. TheTenderloin District was an eye opener. Ted was lying face down in the gutter outside my hotel. He's really gotta kerb his habits.

Carolyn picked me up from my hotel mid morning and asked what I wanted to do. "It's your day", she said. My choice was to go to Fisherman's Wharf. I loved the Ferry Building and wanted to see more. It started off as a clear day - but turned very cold and windy. Gosh San Francisco reminds me of Melbourne.

First stop was Pier 39 on Fisherman's Wharf. It's like Santa Monica Pier - with rides, performers, really touristy shops and restaurants. It was bitterly cold. Nice view though!

I stumbled across Passenger performing at the start of Pier 39.

I wish I had a better photo. The crowd circling around him was huge and he was brilliant. I have friends who see Passenger regularly in Australia and I have seen their pictures of his street performances. He said the performance that day was not a PR stunt, it's because he genuinely loves doing these shows, bringing music to the people.

Carolyn, her mum and I were hungry. I suggested Bubba Gump Shrimp Co - I knew it was kitsch and American. It had a strong Forrest Gump theme, which I delighted in! I posed for some cute photos on Forrest's bench.

His shoes make my legs look so thin!

There were cute trinkets as a nod to the film - these licence plates signalled waiters to stop at our table or keep moving. There was a menu sandwiched between table tennis bats too.

I had a shrimp mac and cheese - warming for the cold day. Relax - it was an appetiser size and I had a green smoothie that morning.

After lunch, we went to the dock to view the sea lions. So fun! They barked and sunned themselves and some just did their own thing - playing around on the rafts.

And then Carolyn drove to Union Square where I wanted to see these giant hearts. I'm a sucker for street art and these made me happy to see.

This one is called Bloodlines by Emma Webster.

The hearts were a project to raise money for the San Francisco General Hospital Medical Centre in 2004. There are 100 of them through the city.
This one above was painted by Tony Bennett, renowned for 'I left my heart in San Francisco'. Isn't it wonderful?!

I wish I'd seen more hearts - that scavenger hunt can be for next visit!

We also had dinner at the Grand Cafe in Geary Street - it was a stumble upon - and we were so glad we found it! It was an upmarket cafe in a downmarket area. I had trout and an interesting dessert of crispy custard and berries.

It was such a fun day, despite the cold. I really enjoyed my time in San Francisco and am so thankful for all the wonderful people I met and made the time to show me around.

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