Reminiscences of San Francisco

Recently I headed to the West Coast and spent a week in San Francisco. I’ve visited San Francisco quite a few times, and while I’ve never exactly left my heart there, there is something about the city that beckons me back.

San Francisco's goodwill ambassadors, the sea lions hanging out at Fisherman's Wharf.
San Francisco's goodwill ambassadors: the sea lions call Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf home.

When I revisit a place, I like to mix cherished old experiences–in this case, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, and yes, the requisite ride on the cable cars–with fun, offbeat new ones.

Part of my “new” on this trip was a pit-stop to The Buena Vista, a pub on the cusp of Fisherman’s Wharf credited with bringing the Irish coffee to America. Their Irish coffee packs a punch worthy of the Emerald Isle, and bonus, if you drink it while it’s still hot, the whipped cream won’t melt before you’ve finished. The Buena Vista serves upwards of 2,000 Irish coffees a day and if you try one, you’ll see why.

Fountain at Ghiradelli Square.
Mermaid fountain at Ghiradelli Square.

Another delightful new experience was a customized tour of wine country courtesy of Joe, owner of San Francisco Private Tours. I pretty much have a three winery limit, so at my request we stayed within Sonoma rather than press on to Napa. In the course of six lovely hours, I visited (and tasted at) three very different wineries: the long-established Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, the newly opened Anaba Winery, and Moon Mountain Vineyard. The latter boasts gorgeous vistas from the nearly 2,000 foot elevation of Mt. Vedeer, so it wasn’t only the vino making me dizzy! And bonus, in his “other life” Joe is an A-class crooner of standards, so I could drink California wine and be serenaded with Sinatra.

Hidden treasure. This angel carved from a felled tree found at foot of private drive near Twin Peaks.
Not so hidden treasure. I found this angel carved from a felled tree at the foot of a private driveway near Twin Peaks.

Of course the best part of any vacation is the wonderful appreciation for home that travel brings. When my plane touched down at JKF Airport, I felt the vibe of New York all but bubbling up from the tarmac. Waiting in the cab queue a short time later, I felt like I was home. Actually, I knew it.

Vive le voyage!


8 thoughts on “Reminiscences of San Francisco


  2. Thanks, Virginia. I’m not much of a photographer, unfortunately. I took these pics with my BB camera. Tour Guide Joe promised me the pics he took from our Sonoma jaunt but I’m still waiting.

    Joe, you out there? Come on buddy, a promise is a promise. What would Frank say to keeping a lady waiting, hmmm?

  3. I always wanted to ride the Cable Cars in san Francisco.Boy that sounds like a lot of wine to taste could you walk all right afterwords?

  4. Indeed, Stacey, riding the cable cars is one of those signature SF things, a must-do whenever I’m there.

    Re the wine tastings, well, the pours are small and under the law they have to have something like crackers or bread sticks available for you to munch. And in between, you have lunch, so it’s paced. I could walk just fine. I wouldn’t have driven, for sure, hence the tour guide.

  5. Sounds like you enjoyed your trip to San Francisco. It’s one of my favorite places to visit.

  6. Thanks, Jackie, I did. 🙂

    Next time out to CA, tho, I’d love to rent a car and drive along the coast, see Monterey and Carmel etc.

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