Travel: San Francisco – Day 1

Hey Everyone! My name is Ariana and I am Alaina’s twin sister. I like technology, photography, art, and travel. Alaina recently asked if I would be a guest contributor because I have been traveling and I took her up on her offer. So you will see me from time to time contributing to Alaina’s blog as I go on some last minute trips. Now that the intro is done, let’s get started…

Over the past two and a half years normal life ceased. People were forced to quarantine and stay home and the travel world suffered. Now, the world is reawakening and as vaccine mandates and forced quarantines absolve, people are now traveling to make up for lost time, including me. Recently, I was able to spend a few days in San Francisco, CA and I loved every minute of it. For the next few weeks I will be posting a few guest blog entries on my time in San Francisco.

China Town in San Francisco

Day 1 – San Francisco welcomed me with sunshine and a light breeze. I took an Uber from the airport to my hotel, Triton Hotel. Triton Hotel is conveniently located across from the Gate of China Town and has restaurants located on either side of it, one of which was a Clam Chowder Restaurant, I’ll talk about this in another post. Hotel staff were friendly, telling me where to go and the best places to visit for my first time in San Francisco. I was able to check in early to my room with a queen sized bed and drop off my things. Once I was settled, I went in search of food.

On the way to the hotel, I noticed a Mediterranean Restaurant, Oren’s Hummus and quickly wrote down the address. Armed with Google maps and the address of the restaurant, I went on a quick 15 minute trek. Upon arrival I was quickly seated and I  scoured the menu. There were so many yummy options, but in the end I opted for the Beef Kebab, which was a blend of beef and lamb mixed with herbs and garlic; I also selected two sides, an Israeli salad and smooth hummus with whole wheat pita bread. After about 15 minutes my food came out in all of its deliciousness. The beef kebabs were seasoned perfectly with the taste of the grill and salty goodness. The hummus was nice and smooth, the perfect compliment to the kebabs as I dipped my kebabs in the hummus before each bite. The Israeli salad was a mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, lemon juice and olive oil. The lemon juice brightened up the mix of vegetables. It was good by itself, but I ended up mixing the veggies with my hummus, which was phenomenal because it added some texture as I ate the hummus.

Oren’s Hummus beef kebab with hummus, Israeli salad, and whole wheat pita bread

Tummy full and content, I decided to go walk along the pier. It was sunny, with a slight breeze, and the pier wasn’t too crowded. Kids were running around, people  were riding bikes and electric scooters. While walking along the pier I came across the San Francisco Ferry Building, which had a clock tower on top of it. I decided to check it out and walked through it. It was actually pretty cool. They had a lot of little shops inside like an artisan chocolate shop, specialty coffee, and a few restaurants. If you are ever there and have the opportunity to check out the Ferry Building, you should. All along the walls they had photos of the building throughout the years. Once I was done exploring the building, I decided to head out and continue walking along the pier to get a little more sunshine and fresh air. I walked for about an hour and then thought it best to head back and rest. My skin hasn’t seen the bright sun since last summer and I was worried about becoming a little too crispy since I forgot to pack a hat and sunscreen. 

Ferry Building

I went back to the hotel and rested, watching a little tv and catching a little cat nap. Pretty soon it was almost 6 pm and I was ready for dinner. I did a quick search on my phone for seafood places and I came across Scoma’s Restaurant and reviewed the menu. All the options looked good so I was ready to go. I took an Uber over to the restaurant and was seated quickly at a table by the window with a beautiful view of the ocean. I promptly ordered an appetizer, the calamari fritti (fried calamari). The calamari fritti was perfectly fried with the right blend of salt and pepper. What really complimented the calamari was a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. For my main course I ordered the “Lazy Man’s” Cioppino which consisted of Dungeness crabmeat, scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels,  calamari, fish with a tomato broth and buttered crisp bread on top. Everything was delicious. This was my favorite meal while I was in San Francisco. I found it was a nice sample of all the seafood you could possibly want. The scallops were nice and tender, mussels fun to open. And the buttered bread they added on top of the dish was perfection. I dipped it into the tomato broth and it was like a perfect tomato soup. This dish was just divine. I was a little full, but the waiter gave me the dessert menu and I thought it would be a shame not to partake in dessert. I ordered the tiramisu with a decaf cappuccino. I was really happy I ordered it. Normally, I’m not a big fan of tiramisu, but this one was different. It was nice and light, with a nice coffee flavor that permeated every bite.

“Lazy Man’s” Cioppino which consisted of Dungeness crabmeat, scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels,  calamari, fish with a tomato broth and buttered crisp bread on top

With a happy heart and full tummy, I took a brief walk around the restaurant to get some movement in my legs and came across the Ghiradelli Square. Within Ghiradelli Square was  the Ghiradelli store. I took a quick stroll in the store and there was a huge line, so I didn’t get any chocolate or dessert (well, second dessert ;)). The building and the lights were amazing and the walk up was very nice because there were a lot of different stores along the way, ie candy shop (I may have stopped in to buy some Sour Patch Kids 😉 ). After walking around outside, it started to get really cold so I decided to end the night and go back to the hotel.

Ghirardelli Square

Once back, I took a quick shower, texted Alaina good night, and watched a little tv to unwind. Skin felt good, no sun burn and I was tuckered out from walking around San Francisco. Tired of watching tv, I turned it off and tried to get some shut eye, ready to begin day 2 of my trip. 

Trip to San Francisco to be continued…

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