About a week ago, we decided to switch things up and check out San Francisco during the summer. Typically, we wait until winter to take advantage of crab season. The White Sox were playing in Oakland and Spirit had flights dirt cheap so we figured why the heck not? We convinced our friend Chris (also originally from Chicago) to join us. There was little arm twisting, for the record. I snagged a good deal on Hotwire for Intercontinental one of our favorite hotels in San Francisco.
Even if there is that old quote, "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" (Mark Twain often gets credited with it, but I believe the author is unknown). Let's go! The forecast looked promising highs mid to upper 60s and lows in the 50s. I can deal.
I cannot deal. It is stinking cold. I went to Burlington Coat Factory immediately upon it opening so I could buy a warmer jacket than the one I packed. I have experienced the micro-climates before, but never with swings like these. Depending on your location it felt like a a sunny summer day but then a 5 minute uber ride could teleport you to a bleak wintry day. If not Mark Twain, whoever said it, got it right!
Fortunately it was warm and sunny in Oakland. So, the weather was beautiful for the baseball game. Unfortunately, it was a horrible showing for the Chicago White Sox. I've been to the coliseum for Raiders football, but this was a first for the A's. It's definitely in need of improvements, but the staff is very friendly. They have a huge area for family fun and I particularly enjoyed the Tree House. It was a good time despite our huge loss.
With the game out of the way we got down to business. The business of eating, of course. We filled up on favorites like the Crabhouse, Golden Boy Pizza, Hot Cookie, Saigon Sandwich and Salt & Straw. We also checked out Tony Gemignani's Chicago style pizza joint, Capo's. I mean where else would we go after a CWS game?
Don't let the giant Old Style mural fool you. They have a great booze selection and the food menu will have you salivating. It was hard to narrow down the options because it all sounded amazing. We did finally settle on the stuffed Old Chicago and a small order of spaghetti and meatballs to share. It was fantastic. Tony delivered yet again.
We were feeling a bit burned out on the crowds; summer brings hoards of visitors. Homelessness has always been predominant but it never posed concern before. It seems drug use was wider spread this visit and it was complete zombieland in parts of the city. We were harassed a good amount, we encountered many that were unpredictable and aggressive. Rather than spend another day in the city, we made the last minute decision to rent a car and visit Napa and Sonoma. It's been a few years since Frank and I have been and Chris had not been before.
The Golden Gate Bridge is usually hard to miss, but even when crossing it this time it could barely be seen. We made a pitstop at the viewpoint across the bridge. You'd never know that perspective often provides a stunning view of the skyline and the bridge. It was a complete white out.
Shortly after crossing into Sausalito the fog lifted and we had sunny blue skies the rest of the day.
Breakfast was at Sonoma's Sunflower Caffe. Eggs with farm fresh veggies was served up and they have lovely patio dining. Lunch was Palisades Saloon in Napa. The lamb burger and cheese curds are mighty tasty. The trip did not disappoint.
I learned summertime is not the best time in San Francisco. I'll stick to visiting during crab season. The weather is warmer and the crowds are thinner. Which is much more my speed. On the hand, summer is a beautiful time to visit Napa and Sonoma. The weather was perfect!