Tuesday was the 4th of July and we were super excited! Neither of us had ever been in a big city for fireworks so this was quite the change of pace.
The morning started out pretty casually with Andrew doing some work stuff for an hour or so. After that was done we were headed to Mama’s on Washington Square to meet up with our friends for brunch.
We decided to take the bus to get there and all was going fine until we got to a bus stop in Chinatown. At this point 2 transportation officers boarded the bus asking to see everyone’s proof of fare. I showed them my Visitor Passport on my phone and they asked to see the QR code. As fate would have it, my phone chose this moment to then take a million years to generate the code.
In the meantime, one of the officers commented that my Passport had been activated on July 1st and was making it seem that I didn’t have appropriate fare. I pointed to the top of the phone where it clearly said that the Passport expires on the 7th.
It felt like years but the code finally popped up and they told me I was good to go. They then pulled a mom and her two small kids off the bus. I think she had fare but her kids didn’t. I understand they were doing their job, but it still made me sad to watch them walk off the bus.
We finally made it to Mama’s – one of the best brunch places in SF we had read. It had over 3,000 Yelp reviews so we figured it could be trusted. It was no surprise then that there was a long line out the door when we arrived.
We hopped in line with our friends and after about 20 minutes we started debating whether or not we should go elsewhere. After a fruitless search for another restaurant on Yelp, we decided to stay put.
Remember in an earlier post where I questioned who would ever want to wait 2 hours in a line?? Well, I became that person. We waited for 2 hours, but we kept our spirits up and it actually went pretty fast.
Once inside we made it to the counter to order! I got the delicious french toast sampler (orange cranberry, lemon berry, and one other I can’t remember) and Andrew got their Monte Cristo which they are famous for. They were both sooo good!! I highly recommend eating at this place if you’re in San Francisco, but get there early so you don’t have to wait as long as we did.
After that, we decided it was a good day to explore Golden Gate Park so we hopped in an Uber and headed that way. We walked through the park for a bit which was great since the weather was a bit warmer and we felt like we were away from the crowds.
We headed towards the water so that we could see the Dutch Windmill in the park. It was certainly a site to behold!
See what I mean? I know, I know, it’s just a windmill. But we really liked it!
From there we walked down to the beach and then on up around by the Sutro Baths and Lands End.
People. If you go to San Francisco, I cannot recommend walking around Lands End enough. It is technically a hike, but I had on TOMS and was fine. The views are amazing AND we got to see 10-12 whales out in the water. We enjoyed it so much we sat down on a bench at one of the overlooks and just watched them for about 30 minutes.
Whales were an awesome bonus and we also got to see the bridge too:
This was probably my favorite afternoon that we spent in the city. It was laid back and we felt more like locals than tourists. Except, you know, when we started taking photos of the bridge.
After that we stopped by a local coffee shop and then headed back to our hotel to hang out for a bit before dinner and fireworks. I will admit though that on the way back I made Andrew go in a gas station with me so I could buy an It’s-It. It’s-It is an ice cream sandwich with two oatmeal cookies and ice cream (vanilla, cappuccino, strawberry, mint, etc.) sandwiched in between and then covered in chocolate. It’s a SF tradition so I had to get one. And you guys! It was so delicious!! I tried to find one later in the week at two separate gas stations to no avail. They aren’t sold anywhere near me either, so now I’m questioning if I should have them shipped to my house?!
Anyways, after that we really did hang out at the hotel for a while. Then we took an Uber to a place called Nick’s Crispy Tacos for dinner. They were having a special that night- $2 street tacos, $2 nachos with salsa and guac, AND $2 margaritas! That’s a deal wherever you are!!
This place was bumping too. And I don’t necessarily mean with people (although there were quite a few of them). There was a DJ set up in the back and he was cranking out the tunes at quite the loud level. The lighting consisted of chandeliers and the seating was mostly these huge semi-circular booths. It was quite the set up and we had to show our ID’s before heading in.
Regardless, the food was good and I really enjoyed the guac. I would eat there again for sure. Especially with such cheap prices!
After that was done we headed down by Ghiradelli so we could watch the fireworks. We were so excited at first and then we were so disappointed. As you know, SF is on the bay. The bay brings in a lot of fog. The 4th was a very foggy evening. So, the fireworks were shot into the fog and then not much was visible. Sure, there were some fireworks that we could see and they were nice. But overall, this was a disappointing end to our time in the city.
After that, we walked about 1.5 miles back toward the hotel, called an Uber, and went to sleep shortly thereafter. All in all, it was a great day!
BUT, the fun isn’t over! On day 5 we rent a car and head out for some national park action. Stay tuned!
P.S. If you have questions about transportation, food, things to do, etc. let me know! I am by no means an expert, but I am more than happy to answer any questions you have.