LML!

November 17, 2013
It's less than than two weeks until Thanksgiving!?! How'd that happen? For a while it seemed like November would never come, because I was itching for vacation. Months ago, we booked our annual trip to San Francisco over Veteran's Day weekend. We haven't gotten away since UT in August. It felt like eternity. Yes, I recognize I'm a bit spoiled when it comes to travels. But we were in desperate need to escape our day to day and reconnect. Work has been a bit of a drag for me and Frank's been so busy I'm not sure how he keeps it all straight. We were most grateful when our four night getaway finally arrived. We've been home a week tomorrow. So, where have my updates been, you ask? Well, for the second year in a row, I came back with the worst souvenir, the sickness. Sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever and pure exhaustion. It knocked me on my ass. Literally, I didn't leave the bed for days. I watched more crap TV than I'd like to admit. Last night was the first night in a week that I slept through the night. I was so thankful. I finally feel like I'm on my way to feeling better. Word of advice, douse yourself in antibacterial lotion, soaps, etc. when riding public transit. I'm a bit of a germaphobe so this is normal practice for me, but San Francisco must have super germs. From now on, I think I'll load up on Vitamin C, Zicam and whatever it takes to boost my immune system.

Enough about that, let's talk San Francisco.

Our flight was delayed; because we were late getting in, we would not be making dinner at Crab House like I initially planned. We checked into the Holiday Inn in the Wharf (thank you, Hotwire) and then, Plan B was Golden Boy Pizza, there's nothing wrong with a cold beer and a warm slice. It hit the spot! There's isn't a whole lot happening at 11 o'clock on a Thursday night and frankly, we were pretty beat so we crashed back at the hotel so we could be fresh for Friday. Our day began like many do (while in San Francisco) at the Ferry Building. We decided to eat light so we could visit Young at Petite Deli before the lunch rush. We had a picnic on the pier with our favorite treats from Acme Bread, Boccalone, Cowgirl Creamery and Stonehouse Olive Oil. Stonehouse now has their dipping oil in small jars that are carry-on friendly. I was so overjoyed. The cashier thought I was a bit nuts.

We walked down to the end of the pier to admire the Bay Bridge engulfed in fog. Finally, I witnessed "Fog City" you might recall it was on my life list! I was most excited. When I came across the massive spider web dripping with moisture, I was impressed at the engineering. It was quite the sight to see.

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While there, we scoped out the Oakland ferry since we'd be taking it later to Jack London Square. It turns out it boards at the next pier over. Not by the Sausalito and Larkspur ferries. I'm not sure how you purchase tickets in advance. We had preloaded our clipper cards with Bart Fare and just used that. We did learn you can buy tickets aboard. It was at the pier that I snapped a pretty sharp photo of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island blanketed in fog.

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We made it to Petite Deli just before the rush. Everyone loves those sandwiches! The secret ingredient is love, but the basil and mix of dijon and honey mustard might have something to do with it. I know it's what makes Young's potato and pasta salad so special.



Um... yum!

We had time to kill before we took the ferry over to Oakland so we grabbed a drink at the Wine Merchant inside the Ferry Building. They didn't have much choice for local wines so we opted to enjoy beers from Belgium and Germany instead. They make the best beers, after all.

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It wasted just enough time for us to board the ferry. It was a quick scenic ride and the weather was simply gorgeous.

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We were meeting a friend for dinner at Everett & Jones BBQ at four. We had a little more than an hour to kill so we sat near the bay, relaxed and soaked up the sunshine. Dinner was good, not Texas BBQ good, but enjoyable. We sampled the brisket, ribs, links, greens, mac-n-cheese and corn bread. We washed it down with their Saucey Sistah Ale. We said our goodbyes and walked over to a Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon. I love historic bars, I just had to see it.

The quaint bar is located on the waterfront and it opened in 1883. Oakland Author Jack London frequented the pub and met all sorts of characters that influenced his writing. Jack London's Rendezvous later became a nickname. In 1906, the earthquake caused the floor to slant severely. The uneven floor, original mahogany bar, potbelly stove and gas lighting remain. Its character has remained intact all these years. The photo I took hardly does its crookedness justice, but it gives you the idea. If you're ever in the area, do check it out.

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The return ferry was even faster. Which caused Frank to feel a bit seasick. For me, it was wild to think about all the commuters that use it as a mode of transportation daily. Coming from the desert, it's sort of hard to wrap your mind around.

The next few days are a blur of loving life. We started our days at Saigon Sandwich. Which never disappoints. We stuffed ourselves silly on crab. We took in the city at Washington Square Park and discussed how much we love our lives. You see FML so often, for us, LML or love my life is far more fitting. We played games like hipster or homeless and bluetooth or crazy? It's fun, give it a try. I swear if Austin keeps it weird, San Francisco keeps it crazy! You gotta love it.

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Saturday night we had reservations at Albona Ristorante. It the only Istrian restaurant on the west coast. Puzzled? Well, it's Croatian, with an Italian influence. It gets rave reviews so we figured why not give it a try. It's a quaint space located in the North Beach neighborhood. We had to wait a bit to be seated, with only 40 seats I assume it's to be expected. We made friends with others waiting to be seated. Sam, the chef, warmly greeted us and picked up on Frank's last name. From then on, he was treated like a celebrity; like Bruno, the owner, Frank is Croatian and Italian.

We had fabulous meal with wine from the Amalfi Coast, mushroom soup, gnocchi, lamb chops and mushroom risotto. The gnocchi had little resemblance to the Italian version. It was more like tater tots in gravy. That's not to say it wasn't delicious. Everything was! There was a delay with bringing our check so they brought over apple strudel to thank us for our patience. We were much too full, but we took a few bites. It wasn't too sweet just like those that were sold at the Croatian picnics in Chicago that I attended with Frank and his family when we dated.

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Sunday was filled with football. We found a Bears' Bar named Dirty Trix. Let me tell you it's an interesting phrase to google in San Francisco. Thankfully, the bar, I chose was indeed a Chicago Bear's bar. There was a large crowd to root them on to victory, however, the Lions came ahead for the win.

After the game we found ourselves at Tony's Pizza Napoletana. We couldn't resist the meatballs. I don't think I've had better. We also tried the New Haven Lou. It is by far the best white pizza to ever pass my lips. Needless to say, we stuffed ourselves silly. Our server at the bar was awesome! I think her name was Stephanie. She was on top of everything. We were impressed.

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For the night game, we planned to go to a Saint's Bar, but the entire city of NOLA was inside. We opted for the Brick Yard instead. Seating was plentiful. Drinks were cold. Service could have been better, but you can't always have it all. Frank won his fantasy league so we went to Leopold's to celebrate.



They have massive steins and scrumptious sausage. I didn't love the schnitzel, though.





Lastly, there was talk of renting a car to visit Napa, but it never happened. There's always next time...

Albona Ristorante Istriano on Urbanspoon Leopold's on Urbanspoon Petite Deli on Urbanspoon Everett & Jones Barbeque on Urbanspoon Heinold's First and Last Chance on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

christine said...

Word of advice, douse yourself in antibacterial lotion, soaps, etc. when riding public transit.

will do!

all the photos made me hungry.

Andie said...

Love that you guys got to go back and have some tasty eats! I'm jealous!!!

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