About a week ago, my friend Eva invited me to spend a day with her in San Francisco. Other than having a tremendous heart, she is a great friend. The history behind our friendship goes way back to when we worked together (she was once my manager). We’ve actually known each other a lot longer than that because her mother’s younger sister is married to my father’s younger brother. Although we live in the same town, we don’t always get to see or talk to each other every day or every week.
On Saturday, Eva picked me up around 10:30 a.m. and as we drove in to San Francisco, it dawned on me that she wasn’t using the map on her cell phone. I asked her about it and was told she wouldn’t have any problem finding her way around the city because she was familiar with the area.
Eva proceeded to drive to an area of San Francisco where I probably last visited about 10 years ago. We pulled into a motel’s somewhat small, cramped parking garage just about a block north of Chinatown. Note to self: the next time I know I’m going to be walking non-stop along several, narrow and somewhat uneven blocks, please do some stretching before I start walking! 🚶♀️😏
I forgot just how many tourists visit here during the weekend and summer! Various crowds of people flocked along the narrow streets of Chinatown, walking in and out of different businesses and soaking in the beautiful, sunny San Francisco skyline. A smell that often resonated with me during our time in Chinatown was of fish, which we smelled as we walked by some of the shops. 🐟 We walked in to some different shops and found items, like a Bruce Lee t-shirt for Eva’s brother, a doll for her granddaughter and personalized keychains for her two sons.
We must have walked for about two and a half hours around Chinatown. By now it was 1:15 p.m. and we were both in search of a bathroom and food! We walked around hoping we’d remember our way back to Eva’s car. At that point, I turned on my phone’s map, which was taking forever to load. Finally, as we got closer to North Beach, she pulled out her parking ticket and looked at the address. We walked in the opposite direction of where we were and within a matter of eight minutes, we were reunited with her car! 🚗
Next, Eva drove to our next destination, Pier 39. Thankfully we found parking in the garage located across the pier. Another note to self: if we can make it happen next time, go to San Francisco during the week–NOT during the weekend! Let’s just say there were LOTS of tourists there! I found it more bearable to walk around here than Chinatown because there was ample space–except for when someone stood right, smack in the middle of where we wanted to walk through. 🙄
We had discussed eating lunch at the Hard Rock Café. As we got in line outside of the cafe’s entrance, we overheard the woman in front of us say it would take an hour to be seated and an additional 25 minutes to wait for your order’s arrival. 🙄 Yeah, we weren’t going to wait that long, so we walked around some more until we came across Luigi’s Pizzeria, which Eva had initially suggested. We were seated within five minutes; I then ordered a small, pesto pizza, while Eva ordered a small, mushroom pizza. 🍕 The pizza here was very tasty (it somewhat reminded me of La Vera’s Pizza in Santa Rosa, which I just discovered closed its doors last month). After we finished lunch, we walked towards The Candy Baron, which is a candy store filled with nostalgic candy, as well as candy you can normally find at your local Safeway or Rite Aid. I found one of my favorite chocolate bars there, the Curly Wurly. The deliciousness of milk chocolate and caramel together is what I love! 🍫
About 30 minutes later, we left Pier 39 and walked across the street to check out some of the other shops. I had been craving some ice cream since we first arrived, so the search was on! We walked in to The San Francisco Chocolate Store, which sells chocolates of different variations and Eva wondered if maybe they sold ice cream. Sure enough, as we were almost out the door, we noticed the ice cream, as well as custard. Eva ordered Rocky Road and Mexican Vanilla Custard, while I ordered the Mexican Vanilla and Chocolate Custard. OMG!! The custard was so delicious!! 😋 🍮🍨
After dessert, we decided it was finally time to wrap up our visit and head back home, where the weather was still hot. ☀️ We had a great day playing tourists in the city! I’m so grateful to Eva for her kind gesture and friendship. ❤️😃