Spending time in San Francisco is always fun and always an adventure. I visit the Bay area once a year with the kids, but Max and I had last visited San Francisco together when I was pregnant with Malina seven years ago. What a long time ago!!
We made our way into the city through overcast skies and hopped on a cable car that started on Taylor and Bay Streets. There usually is a shorter line here than the other stop (Hyde & Beach). All cable cars from the Fisherman Wharf area head towards downtown. The cable car operator was extremely nice to me and did not charge for Malina saying that she was younger than her actual age of 6 years old! Arriving to the last stop we made our way to Blondie’s Pizza across from the cable car turnaround for a few slices of yummy pizza. I loved Blondie’s Pizza when I lived on the East Bay of San Francisco in the 1990’s so I always make time to stop for a slice in the city.
We continued walking down Market Street ending up at the Ferry Building which has a marketplace on the ground floor. There was a farmer’s market going on outside and I saw the coolest rotisserie chicken food truck ever; we need one of those in Los Angeles if there isn’t already one.
Eventually we took another mode of transportation, a historic street car, and zoomed back to the wharf area where our hotel was located. One cool place we visited returning to the other side of town was the Musee Mecanique which is an arcade with lots of old games. I had visited here once when it used to be under The Cliff House Restaurant, but re-visiting it with Max and the kids was even more fun.
The next afternoon we met up with my friend Michelle who I met during my tour guiding days. We really connected back then because we were both California girls who lived in the Bay Area and worked for a company based on the East Coast. Neither of us are tour guides now, but we have kept the friendship up for more than 12 years since the days when we worked together. The afternoon started out with mega-calories at Ghiradelli Square. After checking out the chocolate shop we went next door to the ice cream and chocolate shop for ice cream and hot cocoa. We quickly walked off those calories making our way to North Beach by foot.
Having a few free hours before dinner time we started off visiting the North Beach Public Library with the kids. I had been here once before with Malina and Matteo and knew there was a big kids section. Malina and Kayla read books with Michelle and I in chairs while Max played with the younger two on the ground. We continued on to Joe DiMaggio Playground for some adult conversations while all the kids played.
The night ended with a great Italian meal at Mona Lisa, also in North Beach. A friend of Max’s recommended this particular restaurant to him so we ate here that evening. I have eaten here before years ago, but this trip we were treated to an incredible antipasto (appetizer) “on the house” (free) because of his connections. Dinner was delicious, the company was excellent, and the kids only spilled one drink. Walking back to the hotel after dinner was enjoyable as well with the night lights and bustle of San Francisco around us.