If you had asked me when I was between the ages of 16 and 20 what the perfect life would be, mine would have involved living in the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco. I was a total Deadhead (still love them!) and thought that living the hippie lifestyle in San Francisco would be the coolest thing ever. Saturday was devoted to exploring San Francisco on foot, and the Haight was a central part of the plan.
We started the day early once again, but got off to a rocky start. I woke up hungry, and by the time we headed out to the Ferry building for the market, I was HANGRY. But not any hangry, I was shaky and dizzy. The crowds and the hot sun did not help, and in a short time it got scary. My dear husband rushed around grabbing things for me to cram into my face- a Naked pomegranate juice for the sugar that helped to stabilize the shakiness, a Stonyfield yogurt to help me sustain an even blood sugar, and the farm fresh strawberries that helped me to return to my normal self. These moments don’t happen that often, but they come on quickly and do scare me. I need to have good, healthy snacks on me at all times, and I need to eat when I first feel hungry. Waiting is just not possible.
After some time in the shade, we wandered around this incredible indoor and outdoor market.
There was every food imaginable, from fresh produce to cheese to cakes and doughnuts. The Cowgirl Creamery is located in the Ferry building, and because the line was long and I wasn’t feeling up to standing in it, we didn’t end up getting cheese. . . but I will next time.
I knew that I was in need of a solid meal before we did any walking around, and we found the Fog City Diner not far from Pier 39. The diner was kind of kitschy, but I love a good diner, and it was brunch time.
Huevos rancheros were the obvious choice:
Two sunnyside up eggs with beans, pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, sour cream, onions, and a char grilled jalapeno. So delicious, especially the jalapeno. All of the flavors of course went perfectly together, and this was not your typical diner dish. It also filled me up and kept me that way for hours. Thank you eggs!
Before we headed inland and for the hills, we did some more walking by the harbor to visit my sea lion friends.
Then to Ghirardelli Square. Free samples are given out upon entering the store, but I have to admit I do not care for their chocolate. It is too sugary and cloying to me, but the hubs happily ate my piece.
Then we walked. . . (that’s me with my bad hip/back running up the hill)
and walked. . . for a very long time up many many hills.
We found the Haight and the Grateful Dead house. This area has some absolutely lovely homes. But it was not what my teenage self would have expected.
Rather than being the free living happy music-filled place I expected, it was filled with homeless people, run down shops, and was in general really depressing. We were tired from walking and stopped for a beer at People’s Cafe. While the inside seemed great and was full of people, I saw the restroom and wanted to leave immediately. We did end up ordering and enjoyed a few sips of our beers. . . until a MOUSE was seen walking down the ledge behind two of the diners’ heads! Not even running, this mouse seemed comfortable and at home in broad daylight hanging out in this restaurant. Disgusted, we left, and I honestly could not get out of this part of the city fast enough. I guess what I may have thought cool at 16 (or maybe not!) isn’t really my thing at 29. . .
We checked on a map when we got back to the hotel and figured we walked around 12 miles. Rather than going out for a nice dinner, we decided to stay put in our hotel room. We picked up some takeout from Alexandria Cafe a block away from our hotel. I ordered the veggie platter which came with Greek salad, falafel, hummus, and tabouli.
Consumed picnic-style on our hotel room floor with a bottle of Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi, it was the perfect ending to an exhausting day!
Question: Have you had an experience where you expected/imagined one thing and were faced with something completely different?