Thursday, December 10, 2009

San Francisco - Day One

Our trip began wonderfully. We witnessed some of the best of San Francisco on the day of arrival!

Public Transportation
We took the very convenient AirTrain to the also very convenient BART, which stopped three blocks from our awesome hotel. I followed the walking directions to the hotel that I printed out from the BART website. So easy. The location of our hotel was amazing! Just across the street from the Chinatown gates, a few blocks from Union Square. This was a wonderful hotel and we HIGHLY recommend it!

Our Hotel
Hotel Triton. Our hotel served complimentary tea and coffee in the morning. Hot chocolate and fresh cookies by the toasty fireplace every afternoon. Wine and hot toddy every evening. There was even a tarot card reader on hand for those so inclined. The service was stellar and what set this place apart. I called down to ask if the stationary store was open next door. The guy who answered the phone addressed me by name and actually went outside to check for me. I forgot my toothbrush and we had to throw away our toothpaste at the airport, the front desk supplied the items to me for free. They always smiled and said hello. It felt like they did everything they could to make our stay special.

For example: We had just missed the wine hour on our last day after a day of avoiding raindrops via shopping.
As we walked past the front desk to the elevators, I peered over to the usual service area, saw it was empty and said to Sergio, "Aw...we missed it!"
Hotel guy: "Yeah, I'm sorry, you just missed it. But it's every day."
Me: "Oh, we're leaving tomorrow. That's ok."
Hotel guy came around and caught the elevator door before it closed. "What did you want to drink? The wine hour is over but I have some in the back."
Sergio and I were amazed and delighted. We sat by the fire and each had a glass. Then, hotel guy came around to us and two other patrons chatting on the comfy couch, "Would you like another glass?"
Anyway, back to how great the city was, just on the first day alone.

Getting Lost
We purposely wandered with no plan or map. We discovered plenty of architecture, cultural landmarks and public art!

Language of the Birds

Yummy food!! (Of course!)
We ended up in North Beach, SF's "Little Italy." We were in time for Happy Hour and the manager gave us a bruschetta on the house! We had calamari, homemade gnocchi, chianti and delicious limoncello. Best part: Sergio got to speak Italian with our Italian waiter who was really from Italy.

Funky bars!
On the stroll back to our hotel, we stopped in at the Li-Po, a dive-y Chinatown bar we passed on the way up. It was empty when we sat down. But a couple of rowdy groups came in shortly thereafter. Lots of happy chatting and there was even a gong rung. I asked the bartender for her best recommendation for dim sum. Subsequent research tells me it was a former opium den!


  1. You are so making me miss going to AGU this year! SF is such a great city to hang out in!

  2. Me too. I even miss the garlic wine they serve at the stinking rose restaurant...

  3. we walked right by that garlic place. but garlic wine! ugh... :) I'm not brave enough for that.