My favorite way to experience a city is to eat and drink my way through it. That’s essentially how we spent our last weekend in California. We passed our days in San Francisco like a mini family reunion, catching up with my dad and his cousin who flew out to meet up with me and Anthony. On our first night, we stumbled upon what must be Little Italy’s best restaurant. Capo’s, you had me at homemade pasta! The baked wood-fired seafood conchiglie was hands down the best meal we had. With fantastic food and great service, we highly recommend dinner here and suggest making a reservation in advance as it’s a small, popular restaurant.
Dad, Anthony and I visited the country’s most infamous federal prison on a nighttime tour. The ferry to Alcatraz transported us to a cold and lifeless bird filled island. Once you set foot here, it’s not hard to see how this institution earned its nickname “The Rock” where the inmates felt a unique sense of isolation. Because of the island’s harsh abrasiveness, it surprised me to find beautiful views with blooming flowers and a whimsical sunset over the San Francisco skyline. During our self-guided audio tour, I remember this standing out the most to me. The inmates would lose all track of time except on New Year’s Eve when they could hear civilians celebrating in the city only 1.25 miles away. Contradictory to the 312 inmate capacity, a visit to Alcatraz today does not come without the masses. As Dad pointed out, it is just a jail. While I enjoyed the novelty of wandering the same cell blocks as Scarface and Birdman, I would have preferred a docent lead tour for a more intimate experience and the opportunity to ask questions.
We commenced a craft beer inspired bar hop through the hippie district of Haight Ashbury. If there is one thing I miss the most about living in The States, it’s cheap beer, and we were four bellies full of it by the time we found ourselves at the Painted Ladies. The Victorian architecture throughout San Francisco brings so much character to the city and I love the eclectic mix between the old and modern styles. The Painted Ladies, or Postcard Row, presents the iconic San Francisco scene as seen in the credits of Full House. After frolicking in the park across the street like the Tanners, we caught an Uber to detour us down Lombart Street. Our Asian driver did not speak one word of English, but he could understand our mimes of wanting to drive down the crookedest street in the world. The slow moving downhill traffic had us in hysterics at every turn, but I certainly feel sorry for the wealthy residents who must have the patience of a God to deal with the constant incoming tourists.
Anthony and I battled less than ideal weather conditions during our road trip, so it shocked us to arrive to a warm and sunny San Francisco. I’ve visited before when the fog hangs so thick you cannot even see the Golden Gate Bridge. Considering the ease of flying to the West Coast from Melbourne, we hope to see more of the city and the rest of California in the future. We could travel the same route on a different trip and not see the same destinations twice with the amount of finds in the short distance between Las Vegas and San Francisco. Next time, I would love to explore the eastern side of the Sierra mountains and hopefully visit during warmer, drier weather.
Stay tuned for a full itinerary of our 2018 California road trip