Oh, we had fun this Labor Day, our last day here in the Bay area. On the advice of a couple we met here at the Napa Elks on the first day of our stay, we drove 20 miles to the Vallejo ferry terminal and hopped on a high-speed ferry to San Francisco.
An hour later, we got off at the Ferry Terminal in San Francisco, on the Embarcadero. When I lived in San Francisco in 1980, a freeway ran above the Embarcadero, a real blight on the neighborhood. After the Loma Prieta earthquake twenty years ago (!), the freeway was no longer safe – and ultimately was torn down. The area was transformed. The ferry building was renovated into an urban marketplace in 2003, and it is a great place to disembark and begin a San Francisco adventure.
Before we set off walking, we dropped into Mijita Cocina Mexicana for a taco apiece to sustain us (carnitas for Odel, pollo for me), then we were off. So much to see: people, birds, flowers and parks, palm trees, Coit Tower, and every imaginable type of transporation – cable cars, double-decker tour busses, bicycles, roller blades, Segways, a hummer limo, even a “Computer Guided Talking Car” (GPS navigation, big enough for 2 people)!
We walked, and walked, and walked – past Pier 39, through Fisherman’s Wharf, to Aquatic Park and Ghirardelli Square. The day couldn’t have been prettier, blue sky with a hint of a breeze, shirtsleeve temperatures.
On our walk outbound, we eyeballed every restaurant we passed, discussing the most appetizing offerings for a later lunch. On the edge of the mind-bogglingly touristy Pier 39, we passed Salty’s Famous Fishwich stand. We stood at the window and watched the cook assemble a Fishwich: a soft bread roll sliced in half, mounded with cole slaw dressed in olive oil, topped with a huge piece of deep-fried haddock and more slaw. We were sold, and made our way back for lunch, eaten at a picnic table overlooking boats on the water. The Fishwich was every bit as good as it looked, and large enough for two. Perfect!
We wandered back to the Ferry Building, bought a newspaper for the ride home, and boarded the ferry. An excellent Labor Day adventure.