California 2016: Day 3 (San Francisco)
The third day of our trip was a Monday and we had decided to do another tour through City Guides. This time, we opted for a tour of Chinatown, because we figured we wouldn’t know much about what we were looking at without a guide. We ate a quick breakfast at the hotel and then took the bus to the meeting spot.
This area of town was much more crowded and very different from the Haight-Ashbury area. During the tour, we even got to go into a Taoist temple and the guide told us a little about how all of that works…very interesting stuff that I didn’t know.
Once the tour ended, we ate lunch at the Hong Kong Clay Pot House. We had honey walnut prawns, a chicken and mushroom clay pot, spring rolls, and tea. It was delicious and the best part was that the kids actually ate the food because they wanted to try to eat with chopsticks. We shopped for a bit and Eric let the kids by play swords, despite my protests.
Next, we headed to the pier to go to Alcatraz. If you ever visit San Francisco, you must include Alcatraz as part of your visit, and you must schedule it beforehand or you won’t get in. I think the sign said that the next available tour was about a month later. Oh, and just in case you were wondering…play swords are not allowed on the ship to Alcatraz, just like I told everyone! Luckily, they held them for us and we picked them up when we got back.
When you visit Alcatraz, you meet at the pier at your scheduled time and you go through minimal security measures to get on the boat, and the boat takes you to the island where you get an audio guide that takes you through the prison. When we were there, there was an exhibit about aging in prison. The visit really makes you think about incarceration in the United States and how messed up some of the sentencing is just because of the way some of the laws are written. There are definite needs for reform. When you’re done on the island, you catch another boat back…simple as that!
When we got back, we walked down by the water to Fisherman’s Wharf and saw the sea lions, but there weren’t that many at the time. Ghiradelli Square was our next stop and we decided to ride the streetcar on the way. Did you know they give you a free sample when you walk in? Definitely check it out if you ever go. We had ice cream, hot chocolate, and amazing coffee while there. We walked around a bit as well and found some paintings to purchase. We like to buy paintings of the places we visit and hang them around our home.
We got back to the hotel later than we intended but we covered a lot of ground that day. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant named Delarosa that got great reviews and then crashed for the evening at the hotel.
See what else we did on our trip….