Anniversary Day

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We knew from the get-go that today was going to be a busy day. We got out of bed at an early (but not insane) hour to get a jumpstart on it all.

But before leaving the hotel, we had to take care of business. That is, we had to get our celebratory anniversary champagne (purchased at Mumm the other day) on ice. No fridge? No cooler? No problem!

From there, we rode a trolley down to the bottom of Powell, then caught a bus to go check out the Painted Ladies. We got off the bus at Steiner Street and had to walk a few more blocks to get to Alamo Square. We thought that once we arrived, the Painted Ladies would be pretty easy to spot.

We were wrong.

I'd be lying if I said we didn't walk around the entire park without spotting the Painted Ladies. Finally, after some Googling on my BlackBerry, I was able to get the actual addresses, and we were able to find the famous ladies.

Is it wrong if I say we weren't entirely impressed? Still, we took pictures, because it was kind of a pain in the ass to get there. After all that effort, we weren't going to walk away without at least some photos.

They're pretty and all, but we wouldn't really say they were worth the trouble of getting there. That's just our $0.02.

From there, we rode a few more buses to get us to Crissy Field in Presidio Park. Our concierge had told us that this was her favorite place to view the Golden Gate Bridge.

And for good reason. It was beautiful.

We had pretty perfect San Francisco weather today. It was sunny, clear, and for the most part, comfortable.

Except right down by the water. There, it was kinda freezing. I was shocked to see people swimming in the bay. Meanwhile, I had to put on my fleece, and wished I had brought gloves. (Kidding. Sorta.)

Before hitting the beach (fully clothed, of course), we stopped at a little nearby cafe to grab a little something to eat. We shared a sandwich, and a muffin for something sweet.

We spent quite a bit of time down on the beach, just enjoying the scenery and taking photos. There were a ton of dogs running down there, so we did some dog and people watching.

Eventually, we decided we should start to make our way back toward our hotel, since we wanted to stop in there to rest up for a little while to refresh ourselves for the evening ahead.

We walked down the beach for a bit, then made our way back to the streets and out of Presidio Park. We eventually made our way back to a bus route and caught a bus back to Fisherman's Wharf before riding a trolley back up to our hotel.

After several days of so.much.walking, and especially on all these hills, we are not ashamed to admit that we are pretty tired! My legs are starting to scream at me. We rested for a while in our hotel room before making our way back down to Fisherman's Wharf and over to Pier 39.

On our agenda for our anniversary evening? A sunset cruise, then dinner.

We booked our sunset cruise through Adventure Cat. They offer both daytime and sunset cruises. We opted to pay a little more for the sunset cruise, and in the end, we were glad we did. It was pretty romantic, and the scenery was even more beautiful under the gorgeous orange glow of the sunset. Plus, we got to enjoy a couple of drinks (two apiece), and some light snacks while we sailed the San Francisco Bay.

Here are some photos from our cruise:

Since Adventure Cat is located right down on Pier 39, we were right next to the famous "Pier 39 Sea Lions." When we walked down the dock to board our boat, we saw this guy taking a snooze. Apparently, he needed some quiet time away from all his buddies, because he was all alone over there.

Michael on the boat, ready to get the show on the road.

As we were pulling away from the dock, I was able to take a few photos of all the sea lions.

With the city behind me.

Our captain, Hans. Our crew was pretty awesome, too. Since it's a relatively small boat, there were only two crew members, but we really liked them. They were great multi-taskers, helping out the captain when needed, and also serving drinks and talking to all of the passengers. Unfortunately, I've already forgotten her name, but one of the crew members even offered to give us a bunch of restaurant recommendations. We told her what kind of food we liked, and she spent some time putting together a list for us while we concentrated on enjoying the view.

From Pier 39, we set sail straight out toward Alcatraz, and sailed right around it. It was interesting to get to see it up close. After hearing a few opinions, we've decided we're not going to tour Alcatraz while we're out here. We just don't think we want to devote 4+ hours of time to tour an old prison! So it was nice to just be able to see a little more of it.

More Alcatraz.

From there, we started sailing out toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Everything was gorgeous. The water was sparkling, and we just could not have asked for a better evening.

If you do decide to do a cruise like this, I recommend wearing layers, and bringing warmer clothes than you might think you need. At first, I was wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt with a short-sleeve t-shirt over it, and a thin fleece with pants and sneakers. You'll want to be wearing shoes with rubber soles, because it can be challenging to walk across the deck when the boat is in motion.

Once the sun really started to go down, it immediately felt 10x cooler than before, so I was glad that I had brought yet another layer, which was a thick, cozy hoodie sweatshirt. Ultimately, I was happy to have so many layers!

While I was standing up at the front of the boat here, we had a minute or two of rough water. At one point, we heard shrieks from over to our left, and when I turned to look, I saw that two girls, who were standing where Michael and I had been standing not long before, had gotten absolutely soaked! I guess we had hit a wave just the right way and it had sent water shooting up over the side of the boat. Whoops! I felt sorry for them, as it was cold to be walking around with wet pants, but they seemed to be good sports about it.

As we got closer and closer to the bridge, the view was more and more spectacular. Plus, the setting sun was making the bridge's color stand out even more than usual.

We sailed right underneath the bridge, which was a unique way to get a good look at it. Pretty cool.

And then we popped out on the other side so we could see the bridge from yet another angle. Shortly after going under the bridge, we turned around to start heading back to Pier 39.

At one point, I looked back behind us to see this. It was simply breathtaking.

Back at Pier 39, the sea lions were still hanging out. Some snoozing, some making lots of noise.

Remember our friend that was napping on the dock before we left? He was still there, and still out like a light.

Once we got off the boat, we decided to walk over to the area of the pier that is best for viewing the sea lions. We couldn't help but watch them for a while. It's so funny to see them all.

This guy was particularly vocal, and rowdy, too. He jumped off the dock to take a swim for a little bit, and kept popping his head above water to continue to make noise. Eventually, he jumped back up on the dock, which was cool to watch. It's amazing how easily they can jump right up out of the water, even though they are so huge.

At this point, it was 9:00 p.m. and we still hadn't eaten our anniversary dinner. We decided to stick close by, and walked around Pier 39. We settled on going to Pier Market. Michael enjoyed some seafood, and I enjoyed some chicken. We were in particularly good spirits after our awesome sunset cruise, so we took the opportunity to relax, eat slowly, and just enjoy each other's company.

Then, we did something we hardly ever do at restaurants. We ordered dessert!

After some debate between the chocolate lava cake and the apple crisp, we went for the apple crisp. The warm apples, crusty oatmeal topping, the ice cream, the whipped cream! Who can resist?! And lord, let me tell you... so. amazing. Four enthusiastic thumbs up on this one.

Soon, we wandered out of the restaurant and easily caught a trolley back up to the hotel.

Our champagne was waiting. Normally, when I open champagne, I keep the flying cork under control by holding it in my hand and simply working it out of the bottle, or by covering it with a towel so it can't go far. This is usually to avoid injury or breaking anything in our house.

This time, since we are in a hotel room, I decided to let it fly. That thing came off with a lot of force. It was quite funny. But thankfully, even though nothing belonged to us, we still managed not to break anything.

Now, we are sitting back and enjoying our champagne, after a long but wonderful anniversary day.

Happy 1st Anniversary to my husband! <3


Katie July 6, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

Congrats and happy anniversary!!! I love your Road to the Aisle blog, will be using it for inspiration whenever I get hitched...congrats again! :)

Michelle July 6, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

I love that picture underneath the G.G. bridge. Incredible!!

Also, I have lived in Northern California all my life (minus 2.5 years spent in SoCal for college) and I have never taken a tour of Alcatraz.

I feel like a trip to The City is going to be in the works for me soon. I love S.F.

S July 6, 2009 at 2:55 PM  

Happy Anniversary! We did the sunset cruise on our honeymoon and love it. The pictures don't do it justice!

Laura July 15, 2009 at 1:11 PM  

I saw this post the day before my husband and I left on our vacation to San Francisco/Napa. I thought it sounded amazing, so I booked us on the sunset cruise and we absolutely loved it! Also, per your post, we decided to check out the view from Chrissy Field.

Thanks for the great recommendations!

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