One of the things I love most about the running/blogging world if that you have friends that are interested in the same things all over the world. It makes the world feel small..in a good way.
I met up with Amanda from Shapin Up for a run around SF on Wednesday morning at 6.30am and ran the mile to meet her along the Embercado. From there we turned back around and ran back along the waterfront through Fishermans Wharf. From there we decided to do a little sightseeing and climbed up to the Coit Tower – it was definitely more walking than running up those stairs but the view across the bay was incredible, despite the cloudy morning.
Back at the hotel I took advantage of the free coffee, water and fruit at Hotel Griffon to stave off hanger while I quickly showered and headed off in search of breakfast with Tom. (Our hotel was perfect for everything we wanted; food and coffee freebies in the lobby, friendly staff and the quiet yet convenient waterfront location. We loved it.)
Having overheated during our trip to Alcatraz, I opted for shorts and jumper (which turned out to be a mistake!!)
Now, Tom and I have different requirements when it comes to restaurants – I want healthy, trendy, good quality and well reviewed. Tom wants Classic American – big breakfasts, pizza, hot dogs and burgers. I tried to find a combination of both with varying success- knowing that in Hawaii the odds would be swinging back in my favour (I actually didn’t feel that well and was really bloated from eating more crap than usual despite choosing salads, eggs, chicken etc- it’s scary what they pump into the food over here!)
Breakfast day 2 was at Home Plate – a very understated cafe in the Marina District that had came recommended by someone on Instagram and on TripAdvisor. It was friendly, good value and certainly a popular spot – the Huevos Rancheros were good and certainly filling.
Our activity for the day; cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge- a must for any visitor to San Francisco.
We were invited to join a group tour at Blazing Saddles for the ride whilst you can just hire bikes for a solo trip, (which I’d do next time) it was fun to find out some SF history along the way…and have a tour guide take jump photos! The guided tour was $55 per adult or you can hire the standard hybrid bikes for $8 an hour, and we probably had the bikes for about 7 hours, so it worked out about the same price.
The route is pretty flat with only two short climbs making it an easy route for all levels (a coupe of people in our group just pushed their bikes up the hills while a few others had opted for electric bikes). We covered around 9 miles total with quite a few stops. Sadly the weather wasn’t playing ball however I’ve heard that the SF fog can cover the entire bridge at times so I’m counting ourselves lucky that we had any view at all.
It’s definitely a do-able activity for pretty much all fitness levels, we found ourselves near the front of the group but we were happy to wait for everyone to catch up as it provided great photo opportunities.
By the time we were on the bridge the rain was coming down and we were drenched. Happily we weren’t far from Sausilito and a warm lunch. Tip for next time…bring an anorak just in case!
The Napa Valley Burger Co does a great chicken and kale burger! Tom especially enjoyed the recommendation to visit Lapperts for ice cream although he wasn’t so thrilled when I made him cycle the 3 miles to the San Francisco Running Company shop where I stocked up on run fuel and of course bought some stash! Apparently it’s a must visit for any keen runners in the area. Thanks Cathryn for the tips!
Unfortunately this detour to the running shop meant we missed our planned ferry back and had to sit outside Starbucks with my first pumpkin spice of the season (yes, I’m that basic!) waiting for the ferry. The ferries run pretty regularly though, and take you back to various points in SF – we took one back to the Ferry Building Marketplace and cycled back along the Embercado to Blazin’ Saddles. They actually have a couple of different rental locations around the city, and for an extra couple of dollars you can leave your bike at any of them.
We decided to save the $$ and take it back to our starting point, which did mean tackling one big hill, but was worth it. After dropping our bikes back we took a Lyft (like Uber) via the Mrs Doubtfire house for Tom to get a picture (call me crazy but I do not like the Mrs Doubtfire film so wasn’t bothered about this stop off!) before quickly showering and heading to dinner.
Months ago I’d booked us a table at the Michelin starred Al’s Place thanks to a recommendation from my old boss. It was voted best new restaurant in the US in 2015 and it didn’t disappoint. The menu is a series of small plates based around vegetables and seafood. Our fave was the goats cheese grits and the cucumber noodles with ouzo. It was definitely not cheap but it was a fantastic meal with local wine and a beautiful setting. Highly recommended!
Mrs Doubtfire – love/hate/indifferent?
Do you like to take guided tours when you travel or do you prefer to self-guide?