I booked my SF trip in October, thinking that I can’t possibly be this suay to meet with a winter storm in mid-December which could get my flight cancelled, and yet this was precisely what happened on the day I was supposed to fly out of Chicago.
Chicago was hit with a few days of snow storm and that last day of snow landed exactly on the day I was supposed to fly out. And dear Virgin America did not bother to notify me. I only knew of it when I tried to do online check in the night before.
Which led to me having to rebook my flight for another day, change my dates for my accommodation and upcoming cruise in SF. Thankfully I did not incur any monetary loss. Very thankful to AirBnB for refunding me my first night of stay although I only informed them half a day in advance!
Due to the last minute rebooking, I could only get a late afternoon flight, meaning I arrived SF at about 6pm. My whole day wasted -__-
Took the BART train from the airport to my accommodation in Union Square, and the train was spoilt halfway. Mega -__-
But I finally reached!
Dinner in Kin Khao – Michelin star restaurant in Union Square
And quickly proceeded for dinner at 1-star Michelin Thai restaurant Kin Khao. Based on my elementary Thai knowledge, I know it means ‘eat rice’ haha.
Given that I read rave reviews about it on Yelp, I expected it to be mind-blowing. Well, it was pretty good, but it didn’t make me extremely satisfied or eager to go back.
All I ordered was beef cheeks in massaman curry (great reviews online, made it sound like it is the best food on earth) and veggies, and it cost about 50 USD already! Sobs.
They definitely tasted good, but I guess the problem with me that I like to compare food I find in the US, to food I ate in their country of origin. Hence I couldn’t help thinking that I could eat food of equal standard or of even higher quality at 10% of the price in Thailand.
And then after that, all I did was walk around in Union Square and a nearby shopping mall called Westfield Plaza.
Another problem with living in the US for too long is that, I seem to have lost my sense of wonder here. I remember that I was very excited about Union Square when I visited 6 years ago. But now, because I visit Macy’s, Uniqlo and Nordstrom Rack etc all the time in Chicago, naturally I don’t feel excited about seeing such stores in SF.
Chinatown in SF
But my second day was considerably better. Woke up early in the morning and walked to Chinatown for breakfast.
Randomly popped into a store and the breakfast there was pretty cheap. The congee was just about 2 USD!
Not super-duper fantastic or anything, but cheap and decent and gave me energy to start my day!
I originally intended to head straight to Pier 33 to board my ferry to Alcatraz right after breakfast, but I realised that I still had about 1.5 hours after my breakfast.
And hence I walked to Lombard Street next to check off another must-do activity off my list!
I just followed google map and passed by North Beach before walking up a slope ( nearly died) and finally seeing the famous crooked street. Well, actually I’ve seen it before, but it was my first time there with my husband. No harm seeing it together again!
Glad that I went in the morning so there weren’t many tourists around and I could snap pics of Lombard Street without random people inside.
And then, I continued walking to Pier 33, which took about 30 minutes! What an active morning I had! So much walking all before 10am!
Alcatraz – High security prison
It was my first time visiting Alcatraz and I originally thought that it might be kind of boring. But I was wrong! My 2 hours there was spent rather fruitfully since I did manage to digest the information ( quite surprising given that I space out easily during ‘educational tours’) about the prisoners, the condition they lived in, how a few of them tried to escape etc.
The audio tour was pretty well-done and was quite an immersive experience since we got to hear soundbites from the ex-prisoners themselves. And if you hear their voices when you are stepping into the cell, it really offers an added dimension to the experience.
And even after all these activities I did, it was just only lunchtime! So I spent the rest of my day just exploring Fisherman’s Wharf as it was quite close to where we landed from the ferry.