Monday, May 29, 2017

Three Days in San Francisco - Final Day

Link to Day 1
Link to Day 2

Our last day in San Francisco was Easter Sunday. We started the rainy morning off with breakfast and realized our room was on the wrong side of the hotel when we took the staircase (instead of the elevator) and saw the north views out the window. Darn it!

Our morning routine of walking to the Embarcadero was still in-place. This morning we visited the Aquarium by the Bay located near Pier 39. We were mostly interested in the otter exhibit. This is not a very large aquarium because its focus is mainly on the SF Bay area so there weren't any dolphins or whales like we have in Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. The exhibits focused on the local fish with a very long walkthrough tunnel. In the "touch zone" we petted a shark of some sort. We spent the rest of our time watching two of their five otters on display and hung out for "Otter Talk" to learn some more about them. They lighting was horrible so pictures turned out awful.

We were done at the aquarium around noon and walked back towards our hotel for lunch. Dave was very interested in having a dim sum experience. Dim sum is an Asian tapas bar of sorts where the food is brought around to tables on carts and you pick your items. In this restaurant, City View, they marked a card left on your table noting what you ordered. The place was packed with many people waiting. Luckily as a party of two we were seated right away. We've never been to a dim sum place before and found the experience very manic. As soon as we were seated a cart arrived. The lady rambled off what the items were but who the heck could tell what she was saying over the crowd noise. We grabbed something, and she marked our card with some Chinese writing in a certain column. How much was this? We spent our time eyeing trays and carts from a distance and started to get aggressive in drawing their attention our way. We had to flag down the lettuce wraps lady. It was so chaotic we didn't even think to order beers. In the end we sampled a lot of good dishes, we were full, and the bill was under $40.

We went back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and our car. We headed over to The Presidio for the Walt Disney Family Museum. This museum opened a few years ago and is dedicated Walt Disney as a person vs. Walt Disney the company. The displays were well done and presented information on Walt's parents and how they met, the different places they lived, Walt's inspirations as a child, early career "failures", etc. There was a lot of reading. A lot. We were burned out by the late 1930's. Fortunately by that point the exhibits started to focus on technical achievements - which we have seen in special exhibits in Chicago. Some of the show-stopper exhibits were the Griffith Park bench where Walt came up with the idea of Disneyland, the large model of Disneyland, and the tribute room for Walt's passing.

It was now 4:00 and our flight leaves at midnight. The weather wasn't as cooperative as it was the last two days and it was still drizzly and hazy. We discussed checking out Golden Gate Park but thought it might be too yucky. We opted to see if we could make the 5pm tour of the Anchor Steam Brewery. The price was a bit stiff at $25/each but we figured another museum would cost as much. There were about 2 dozen people on the tour (and this is 5pm Easter Sunday). Our guide started us off with a sample of beer, discussed the company's history and importance in America's beer culture, then gave us a quick walking tour of the copper brew kettles, open fermentation vessels, and storage tanks. We were surprised to learn this was Anchor's only brewing facility. The tour ended with a generous sampling of several products.
We needed to make one more stop before our flight home. We drove over to Ghirardelli Square for an ice cream sundae. We had one last beer at a nearby restaurant then got into the car for the trip to the airport. Red-eye flights are not fun but this time it helped us to have three full days in a very fun city.

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