Sunday, May 23, 2021

San Francisco Walking Tour

I love that for the girls' friend's birthday celebration, he asked to do a walking tour with us.  What fun!  I poured over new ideas and came up with lots of ideas for next time, but in the end made this more of a basic tour, covering ground I thought the teens would especially like.

We started at the Ferry Building (and found great street parking nearby and free - a bonus!)  The Ferry Building is such a beautiful building, from the gorgeous light inside to the beautiful mosaics on the walls.  We stopped at two chocolate shops that were highly recommended as being among San Francisco's best (and ones that were closed when we attempted a New Year's Day walking tour).  First, Recchuiti, which had been recommended by our friend and next door neighbor, a chef.  Everything was packaged very elegantly and we tried a "dark milk" bar and a fudge brownie, both of which were very good.  

Next stop, still in the Ferry Building, was Dandelion Small-Batch Chocolate.  We need to visit their factory next time in the Mission!  The chocolate was diverse and wonderful; we tried one from Honduras with a "key lime" flavor and one from Tanzania with a pineapple flavor.  Frankly, flavored chocolate didn't sound great, but we were there to try new things... and so glad that we did.  Tiny nibbles were enough to wow our taste buds.

Next stop was a bit different (at least in theory).  In researching ideas for unique walking tours, I'd stumbled across a website about POPOS:  Privately Owned Public Open Spaces.  I found a nice article from SPUR about their history and a website that lists all of them.  Cool!  I'd been to the lovely redwood grove at the Transamerica Redwood Park (we actually did a guided walking tour when we were studying SF history years ago that ended there).  Unfortunately, the one I attempted to find on this tour was closed (despite my advance prep and a website that said that they were open on weekends.  Oh well!)  I proposed to the kids that this could be a future idea for a walking tour or even a scavenger hunt, but all three of them poo-pooed that idea, saying it sounded too complex.  (The Giants weren't doing well during our tour and so not everyone was in a good mood all day.)

Fun at the Embarcadero, where they seem to be dying the water blue

Next stop was one some of us had been to before, but not the birthday kid:  the Fortune Cookie Factory.  You'd expect it to be huge, but it is just two small machines that are hand-guided.  It was a hit and we all nibbled on warm fortune cookies.

Walking through Chinatown is energizing; I love the diversity of architecture and spectacular views both immediate and at a distance.  Our next stop was off the tourist route at a favorite dim sum bakery.  The kids love the scallion rolls and were glad to wait in a long line for the best ones.

A happy break in Chinatown

Next we wandered through North Beach, sharing a cannoli at Stella's pastries and then circling around to make sure we didn't miss XOX Truffles, truly the most spectacular taste bud sensation imaginable.  I tried tequila cayenne truffles and was definitely wowed.  The owner/chef is a friend of our friend Tim and Tim says that he is a "wonderful human being" in addition to being a spectacular creator of truffles.

From there, we walked toward Ghirardelli Square and the Aquatic Park and then followed the wharf back to the Ferry Building.  A quick tour so that we could get to baseball, but marvelous to celebrate a good friend's birthday.  

Gorgeous day at the wharf

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