These days, my idea of Christmas is spent traveling. Last year, my family and I went to the Grand Canyon for our first ever family trip. The year before that, I joined Joseph and his mom for a road trip to Utah where we ultimately stayed in Zion for a few days. This year, it was only me and my beloved fiance spending a couple of nights over Christmas together as we took a car ride to beautiful San Fransokyo … I wish! But you know what, San Francisco is just as beautiful.
The last time we came to this lovely city, we stayed all the way in Daly City – so basically, in the middle of nowhere, but at least hotel was cheap – and we took the BART over to Fisherman’s Wharf. That was our playing ground. This time, I thought it’d be fun to stay in a different part of town and experience a new side of SF. So we stayed in Intercontinental San Francisco that’s located only a couple of blocks away (literally, five minute walk or less) from Union Square. I absolutely loved the proximity, as it meant that Boxing Day shopping (aka After Christmas shopping) will be easier on morale.
We stayed in a lovely corner room with a great view of the city skyline, though Joseph thinks that we were placed in the wrong direction of the city. But seriously, how can you complain about a corner view, especially with floor to ceiling windows that faces two directions?! O_O”
When we arrived on the 24th, an attendant came by our room to drop off this lovely cake.
“Oh, thanks! But my fiance’s birthday is on the 25th,” Joseph said in passing.
The next day, they gave us ANOTHER cake! Customer service or what!? I definitely felt the birthday love, haha.
We wandered around Union Square on Christmas Eve, fully knowing that most of the stores would close early. But that didn’t stop the festivities. There were still loads of people on the streets, musicians rocking out some holiday music, folks ice skating, and us, trying to weave and bob around the crowds while experiencing the famous shopping center.
The next morning, on Christmas Day, we headed out towards Fisherman’s Wharf because most of the businesses will continue to operate whereas other areas of the city will be closed. Oh, the irony! We tried to pick a spot that wasn’t Fisherman’s Wharf, and it ended up being the best option, haha. C’est la vie.
Luckily, the trolley that was operating in Union Square takes you straight to Fisherman’s Wharf. So for $7 a ticket, we waited in a long line and hopped on SF’s very adorable cable car.
While on the trolley, we came upon the Lombard Street stop unknowingly and made a quick dart to exit the cable car.
Lombard street is a well-known landmark of San Fran for being the windiest street in the US, and possibly the world. Tourists would come with their cars, drive down the windy street, make their car passenger get out of the car to take a photo of themselves driving the car on said street.
It makes me wonder whether locals drive down this street.
It wasn’t a far walk from Lombard Street to Fisherman’s Wharf afterwards. But first, to Ghiradhelli Squarehttp://www.ghirardellisq.com/ where the Ghiradhelli factory used to be. Now, there is a storefront that sells their chocolate as well as some delicious sundaes, which we just had to have before brunch.
Oh. So. Good.
We also ordered their hot chocolate, but it was WAY too rich and thick for my taste.
And on we go, trying to make our way to Boudin Bakery for lunch, when all of a sudden this guy starts yelling “1 hour boat ride for $15! Leaving soon!!!” catches Joseph’s attention.
Next thing I know, we’re hobbling down a narrow ladder and sitting down in plastic chairs, getting ready to cruise around San Francisco.
It was actually a very nice boat ride! Because it was a small boat, I didn’t have to fight to get a good view of the attractions. We went under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. I took loads of videos, and ended up draining my fully-charged camera battery, haha. Can’t wait to put together the video for this trip!
And finally, lunch at the famous Boudin Bakery! This is a bakery / restaurant that is known especially for their sourdough break, so I made sure to get something that pertained this bread. I had the petite Crab and Corn soup and it was sooo good. Seriously wishing I had some right now!
*tip: if you decide to go to their sit-down restaurant instead of their bread shop downstairs, you can visit the Boudin museum for free while waiting for your table.
Dinner choices were limited because it was Christmas, but our hotel concierge was able to point us towards Aveline, located at the Warwick hotel in Union Square. It was such a charming restaurant, though I was surprised there weren’t many dining that night.
I ordered their seared trout dish and it was absolutely delicious! Great way to end the night.
I left my heart in San Francisco the next day, but only after we did some boxing day shopping that morning.