Watching dreamy sequences of the city in movies, San Francisco had definitely stirred my whims and fancies beyond realism. My visit to the city confirmed its grandiosity, though far from the fantasy laden land I’d imagined it to be. It was the perfect blend of the coarse, industrial feel of New York and the smooth, suave air of SoCal.
Summer strolling through the city in the month of June, it felt like anything but summer! The ice cold wind seemed to threaten us with frost bites as it rampaged across our bodies. San Francisco's weather is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean on the west, and the San Francisco Bay to the north and east. This causes little temperature variations, the climate remaining pretty much the same all year round. My ‘summer’ visit to the city wasn’t very different from the time I’d visited during the ‘winter’, in terms of the weather. So make sure to carry your trench, mittens and beanies along to keep you warm. I got my fix of vitamin D all of once during my short summer trip – sunshine does evade this city! But that hardly takes away from its magnificence! Still loving our walk through the sloping streets, we headed straight to the most popular tourist attraction – Fisherman’s Wharf.
A neighborhood encompassing the waterfront area of San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf is the sea food lover’s haven. It serves any and all kinds of sea food, fresh and delectable. Some of the popular restaurants include Forbes Island, Fishermen's Grotto, Joe's Crab Shack and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Forbes Island is the only ‘floating island’ restaurant in the Bay Area! It serves fresh seafood like Dungeness crab and clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Even the bread baked at restaurants in is in the shape of lobsters and crabs! Unfortunately, the area didn’t cater to the sensibilities of my vegetarian mother, so we had to quickly move past it – but onto paradise – Ghirardelli.
Chocolate lovers times a billion, my sister and I felt like Charlie having been transported to Willi Wonka’s chocolate factory! The orgasmic chocolate aroma came gushing towards us, filling us with delectable desire. Our taste buds seeking gratification, we immediately had a quick look at the menu and ordered a Midnight Reverie Sundae. And my, were we beyond satisfied? The chocolate kicked in, and as we began fooling around the spouting water fountain outside the store, the mystical qualities of the chocolate were on display for all to see!
Ghirardelli Square offers a great view of the pristine beauty of San Francisco Bay, along with Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. The small island of Alcatraz was developed for a federal prison and housed some of America’s most difficult and dangerous felons. Today, it is a popular tourist destination. So off we went to get a closer look at the Alcatraz, on what was my most fun ferry ride ever! We jumped straight onto the deck, each of us with a beer bottle in hand, in what felt like subzero temperatures! The icy breeze high-fiving our faces as we gulped down our ice-cold beers, had chill run down our spines, quite literally. Who wouldn’t agree with guilty pleasures being some of life's most jubilant experiences? Surrounded by the ocean, with the view of the Alcatraz getting more vivid by the second, our picturesque backdrop was as idyllic as it could get.
San Francisco’s frequent portrayal in popular culture had not only made its landmarks recognizable worldwide, but had also created a starry-eyed imagery in my head that was replaced by a rather hands-on, engineered experience. And an absolutely stellar one at that!