Sunday, September 5, 2010

Foggy San Francisco Views from Sausalito

One delightfully cool foggy San Francisco morning my husband and I took a Golden Gate ferry ride over to Sausalito to spend a few hours there sightseeing.

We sailed away from the historic Ferry Building located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street. Opened in 1898, the Ferry Building's 245-foot-tall clock tower modeled after the 12th century bell tower in the Seville Cathedral in Spain, and it was once the highest building in San Francisco.  At its peak, as many as 50,000 people a day commuted by ferry.

The inside of the ferry building has been renovated to contain shops of all kinds, offering everything from artisan cheeses to the freshest of local fish. Restaurants and cafes serve cuisine representing the quality and cultural diversity of San Francisco’s best chefs.

I've been smiling at comments that I've been receiving lately that tell me that I am a good tour guide.  That is such a nice compliment but in reality I am just an enthusiastic traveler and I get very excited about seeing new things! Who else would practically hang off the back of a fast moving ferry to get a shot like this?  I love to learn more about places I visit, and blogging has given me a wonderful venue to read, research and transfer the information I find to each location photo in a travel journal. I'm learning along with all who read my posts!

I loved this photo of the foggy weather that seems to hang over San Francisco many mornings and evenings during the summer months.  The city is bordered on three sides by water, between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. Summer temperatures of the surrounding cities can have temperatures easily reaching into the low 90s to low 100s F. The heat produced by inland temperatures, combined with the cool water of the Bay and Pacific Ocean, causes the air near the ground to cool to dew point temperature, causing water in the air to condense, and this creates the fog seen lying over the city.

The ferry passes the Island of Alcatraz, also known as "The Rock" It is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and contains the site of the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast, the infamous federal penitentiary.  I took a tour of the Alcatraz Federal Prison on my last trip to San Francisco. It was functioning as a prison from 1934-1963, and was the subject of many Hollywood movies.  It is a fascinating place to visit, and a very popular tourist destination, so if you wish to see it order your ferry tickets ahead of time as they often sell out!

Our ferry is approaching the beautiful water front city of Sausalito, in Marin County, California. You can watch a nice video about Sausalito here.

Sausalito is also accessible from San Francisco by driving to it over the Golden Gate Bridge, which you can see in the distance in this photo.

There was still some lingering fog over Sausalito the morning we arrived but it soon dissipated.  The city is often compared to the Mediterranean.  What do you think?  We happened to be riding the ferry with a large group of Italian tourists.  When we approached Sausalito many of them exclaimed:" Che Bella!" which translates in English to "How beautiful!"

Another view of the fog blanketing San Francisco from the shoreline of Sausalito. Just a small part of the Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco to Oakland is visible on the left.

My husband and I spent  a few hours walking along the shoreline promenade in Sausalito, visiting the many boutique shops and art galleries along the way.

We sat by the marina for awhile and just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful day.........

..... as we watched the sailboats drift by.

On the return ferry ride to San Francisco we saw much more of the Golden Gate Bridge as the fog had almost lifted.

In the photo above you can see some of the steep hill streets of San Francisco

The Financial Center comes into view along with the tallest and most recognizable skyscraper, the pyramid Transamerica Building.  This web site has many interesting FAQ's about the building.

We can also see the 284-foot high Telegraph Hill which has the 210 foot the Coit Tower on top. Someday in the future I'll show you the view from the top of the tower and our walk down Telegraph Hill's Filbert Steps, perhaps one of the most famous of San Francisco's stairways. I feel a kinship with Telegraph Hill because it is also famous for the wild parrots that live there.  I'm sure many people would also be surprised to learn that wild parrots also live in Brooklyn, New York, where I live,  See my blog post about them here.

We are back to sunny skies over the Port of San Francisco's Ferry Building.  It was a wonderful day, but of course dinner was awaiting ....

......and we dined in this wonderful little restaurant, that came highly recommended, called Wexler's, located in the Financial District at 568 Sacramento Street, between Leidesdorff Street & Montgomery Street.

Cozy and intimate inside, it was filled with lots of young and hip diners....

...and it had a beautiful bar area.

We were very pleased with our dinner! Everything was outstanding! Wexler's is famous for their gourmet California barbeque and they have a menu full of wonderful choices which changes seasonally to reflect what is fresh in the markets. We could not chose between the delicious sounding appetizers so we shared three of them!  I'm sorry for the blurriness of the photographs but I did not have my camera lens set correctly for low light.
From top middle of the photo collage above there is "BBQ Scotch Eggs" served with house made hot sauce and sweet tea gastrique. Next was the "BBQ California Quail" served over baby mustard greens, with a warm shallot vinaigrette and smoked blueberry-tarragon jam. Second row left is the "Smokey Chicken Liver Mousse" served with smoked onion gelée, pearl onion marmalade, golden raisins, and knead patisserie brioche.  We actually dived into the liver mousse so quickly when it was served that we almost forgot to take a photo, so it is missing an edge.
Our entrees were (middle lower photo) "Smoked Short Ribs" with summer squash aigre-doux, mashed potatoes, and (lower right photo) "BBQ au jus Cornmeal Crusted Skate" with pulled pork stuffing, savoy cabbage, whole grain mustard, and crème fraîche.  Obviously we were too full for dessert, but there were many nice selections on the menu.  If you are visiting San Francisco I highly recommend that you make a reservation to dine for lunch or dinner at Wexler's, as I think you'll really enjoy their unique and delicious cuisine!

There is so much of the color blue in this post I've decided to add it to Smiling Sally's blog "Blue Monday" event!  I hope you'll visit her today and enjoy the funny cartoons she's posted, and to find the links of other blogs participating today.  Thanks Sally!

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Sue said...

It has been a delight to travel to Cali with you, Pat! How I would love to have you along as a traveling companion. I would see all the sights, for sure. San Francisco will be on my next trip- we didn't have time to visit when we were in the central part of the state near Yosemite. You ARE a wonderful tour guide with a yen for knowledge and adventure!

GailO said...

You packed so much into your time there! You must be exhausted!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

You are a great 'tour guide' Pat... I love it because you explain what things are.. That is so interesting! I loved your ferry ride --and seeing the hills of San Francisco from a distance AND seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. Sausalito looks like a fabulous place... Loved it all!!! Thanks so much!

Have a great day tomorrow.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I am always so impressed with your incredible photos. They are spectacular! I love visiting places with are the best tour guide! I have loved your journey in and around The City By The Bay. I always look forward to your next posts. Thank you so much!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

You are the greatest tour guide! That picture off the back of the ferry with the flag and the San Francisco skyline is gorgeous!!! And I never knew Sausalito was that beautiful. You are right, it does remind me of Europe. The picture of Alcatraz was awesome too. I'm so glad that you all had such a wonderful trip. Love & blessings from NC!

steviewren said...

I love the photo you got from the back of the ferry. It's perfection with the flag flying alongside. Another favorite of your photos is the one of the fog covering the whole city. That is a lot of fog! I noticed that I've missed a couple of other posts on your trip. I'm going to have to come back and catch up on everything I missed.

Gracie said...

It's been so nice to have this trip along with you, thanks so much....and I can understand you so well on taking pictures, it seems I'm living with a camera attached to my hand.....

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!

What great photos of San Fran & Sausalito! You had a quite a vacation out there. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge would be like seeing the Statue of Liberty... well kind of... Lady Liberty was a highlight of my life!!
Have a great Labor Day weekend and tell Vinny HI from Chris & me!!

Big hugs, SHerry

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of how like Simi a Greek island Sausalito was and then you wrote that it was very Meditteranian. :-)

Such an interesting place to visit it is only in the close up shots that you see how American the style of buildings are.

The steepness of those SF roads is amazing! In the UK the hills would've been tackled on the diagonal to make the roads easier for horses. They look like rollercoasters! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

What a great tour!!! I didn't realize that area was THAT gorgeous!! You can tell, I don't get out of the mid-west very often! :) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that shot out of the back of the boat with the flag on the left....the city in the distance. I wish your hubby had taken a shot of YOU getting that fabulous photo!! :)

Everything looked and sounded wonderful, Pat!! What a great trip!!!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!! It's so WINDY in KC today....grilling could be out of the question. :(

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, I loved this tour, especially when we got to Sausalito! It is indeed beautiful......and so different from the flat Jersey Shore. This must have been pretty exhausting...but so worth it. Your pictures are wonderful...thank you for taking us along with you.
♥, Susan

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

A few years ago we flew into San Francisco, rented a car and drove to Napa. Then a week later, we drove through it again to the airport. Now I wish we would have spent some time there. It looks like a wonderful place!

Pondside said...

By the time I'd watched the Sausalito video clip, visited the restaurant and checked the link to a couple of hotels, I had a hard time wending my way back here. What a beautiful part of your country - I'm now more determined than ever to take a trip south to the San Fransisco area.

Claudia said...

You make me so hungry for all - not just food but for the Pacific, for the most beautiful of cities, for ferry rides and for the charm of Sausalito - which has always been its own city and not a replica of anywhere else.

SmilingSally said...

You've brought back many happy memories for me today as our daughter was born in this area--actually at the Naval base. We loved living there.

We have wild parrots living in South Florida ever since Hurricane Andrew when they escaped from the commercial Parrot Jungle.

Happy Blue Monday, Pat! Check out my book giveaway.

aliceinparis said...

Pat, I've REALLY been enjoying all your posts about the trip. Some of the pictures are stunning!I love traveling and seeing new things too. Happy Labor Day!

Jenny said...

So the trick to not getting "fluffy" with amazing food like that is to walk for 42 miles each day.

Good to know!

What a lovely trip.

Fog is so fascinating. I love the way it feels on my skin.

Thanks for letting us tag along.

Rebecca said...

Beautiful skyline-wondeful pics

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Sausalito is a beautiful place and does bear some resemblance to some Italian towns - from afar at least. Your photos are just beautiful. Did you get to the Ferry building on a Saturday to see the great farmer's market?

Sarah said...

Pat, not only are you a terrific tour guide, but your photo sense is fabulous. You capture the perfect sights to share with all of us armchair travelers. Oh, how I love San Francisco and the Bay Area. It always fun to take the ferry to Sausalito for lunch and afternoon stroll among the shops. Perfect post for Blue Monday! ~ Sarah

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I confess that I had to race through the photos. I love San Francisco, and I want to savor this post. Your posts are that way to me... I want to sit and drink it all in at my leisure!

We leave in a few minutes to go to the hotel next to Mayo in Jacksonville. Mr. Magpie is having surgery in the morning, and I would like to request your prayers. The details are on my blog so I won't write them here.

Sending you big hugs. I am going to feed him black bean soup from my cookbook after he gets a little stronger. Can't wait to try it! I bought about ten cans of beans! LOL! His naturopath (from another state) says they are good for kidney problems.

Have missed you...


Sheila :-)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you for your comments, everyone!

No, Linda we arrived in SF on a Sunday and departed on a Friday to go to Sonoma, so unfortunately we did not get to see the bust farmers Market held at the Ferry Building.

Jenny ...we got very "fluffy" on this trip Now I'm back to dieting!

PAT said...

Beautiful images, all, Pat! I've enjoyed your SF posts!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love the way you describe yourself...'an enthusiastic traveler'! That's how I feel when I travel and see new things! I get so excited! You are an amazing should write books and illustrate them with your photos! ♥

Carol said...

Fabulous trip, Pat! I've enjoyed all the sights! I think I could spend hours at that Ferry market! You really did a lot of things on one great trip!

RNSANE said...

Pat, you did a wonderful job of showing off more of our city by the Bay. I just love the fog. It makes for such interesting shots, especially of the Golden Gate Bridge. Isn't Sausalito beautiful. It definitely reminds me of many Mediterranean ports, with its houses perched up on the hillside and flowering baskets
( and high prices ).

I've never eaten at Wexler's and probably won't now, what with the job loss. It sounds fabulous. This is a city of outstanding restaurants and I have certainly enjoyed more than my share. It has been a joy living in this area for 33 years.

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Oh my how grand...I can remember spending our Sundays in the city. We'd pack up the kids and take a lunch to Golden Gate Park and just have a grand time! It is a grand city! Cathy

Old Kitty said...

Wow again! What a brilliant ferry ride, thank you.

Alcatraz - now doesn't that send a shiver down one's spine?!?! It's the stuff of movies!!! :-) And there it is - amazing.

The fog really gives it some atmosphere.

And thank you for introducing me to Sausalito!! I want to live there!! How lovely!! I like how it's overshadowed very nicely by the these bridges that are forever SF! Golden Gate and Bay! And I so agree!! Surrounded by this beautiful sea, the hills, the greenery - I really think you've been transported to some Mediterranean isle! The promenade walk is very pretty - look at those lovely houses!

Awwww those lovely parrots!!!! I hope they are ok - the updates on the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill are up to 2007 - but I'm presuming this wonderful flock are still thriving. It's great to read that the two remaining cypress trees are being looked after for these birds.

Wexlers sounds like it was the perfect place to end your wonderful day!!!

Take care

Judy said...

Thanks for taking us along to Sausalito...another place we by-passed on our most recent trip to San Francisco. And yes...the photos do look like they might be from the Mediterranean. An enthusiastic traveler makes the best tour guide! (I can relate to the 'enthusiastic traveler' bit!)

Tara said...


Ah, my summer isn't over--I was just in San Fran!

Jennyff said...

During a stay in San Fran we took the ferry across to Sausalito, which we loved, and the bus back. Before we got to the bridge a passenger from the front came and found us towards the back of the bus. She offered to let us sit in her seat, right beside the driver, she said it would be awesome for us to cross the bridge, it was just brilliant, and equally brilliant was her kindness and pride in her city.

Annesphamily said...

I am getting the feeling I need to visit SF soon! You are making me want to go there Pat! You are such a wealth of information. I truly enjoy knowing you here. Anne