dayoneI was super excited to get out and explore San Francisco on my own for the first time. Looking forward to a day solo, I was a little nervous because I don’t have much experience traveling completely alone.

As a project manager, the day was completely mapped out so I could see everything there was to see in this wonderful city.

San Francisco

City Hall

The day started with a quick walk to the first stop on my tour of San Francisco, City Hall. What an absolutely incredible site and the architecture is amazing!  I didn’t tour the inside because I had a timeline I wanted to keep, but docent tours are available.

My Favorite Facts About City Hall:

Money: Construction started in 1913 and was completed in 1915. The building cost 4 million dollars during that time period. That’s $79 million dollars today according to Wikipedia – wow!

Romance: Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe at the San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954.

Film Location: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Dirty Harry, and The Towering Inferno all used San Francisco City Hall as a filming location

Gold: In 1989, the Mayor at that time didn’t want to hide away art pieces inside city hall, but instead he wanted to make the dome the art piece and so, it was painted entirely of gold leaf. The dome is also larger than the United States Capitol’s dome by 19 feet.

  • Cost: Free

San Francisco

Botanical Gardens Of San Francisco

The San Francisco Botanical Gardens was the second stop on my tour. I took an Uber to the Gardens for $4.00 and was there by 8:00a. It was such a cool, beautiful start to the day.

San Francisco

I really enjoyed exploring all the hidden, solitary places these gardens had to offer. This secret garden was made just for me.

  • Cost: $6.00

San Francisco

Japanese Tea Gardens

Just a short block away from the Botanical Gardens, I really wanted to spend time doing meditation in the Japanese Tea Gardens. So much about this place made me happy. From the beautiful coy ponds to the temples, the colors of the architecture are spectacular.

San Francisco

At the end of the tour, the little gift shop, and tea house is so fun. I sat there under the bright light of the sun and the cool morning breeze and had the most delicious chamomile tea and pudding.

Travel Tip: If you are into nature and would like to practice yoga, chi-gong or meditation, these two beautiful gardens are a must when visiting San Francisco. Arrive early and you will miss the crowds and be granted with a beautiful experience. What better way to start the day, then with peace and harmony?

Cost: $6.00

San Francisco

Haight-Ashbury

Feeling totally refreshed, for my fourth stop on the tour, I hopped on the GreyLine Tour Bus at the San Francisco Library across the street from the Tea Gardens. Haight-Ashbury is right up my hippie alley!!  I got off the bus at the beginning of the district so I could explore all the little shops and murals along the way! I added a few gems to my collection, a shirt for my son, and the most fabulous incense.

San Francisco

Painted Ladies

I hopped back on the GreyLine at the end of the Haight-Ashbury district to head towards my fourth and final stop and the Painted Ladies didn’t disappoint!

What was a disappointment was the observatory park across the street that was under construction.  Because of that, there really wasn’t any place to stop, rest, and just enjoy their beauty. I sure hope the City completes that project real soon.

Cost: Free

San Francisco

Dinner In China Town

Have you been to San Francisco, CA? Share your visit with me in the comments below!

Sotto Mare

Restaurant Review

I absolutely love seafood! One of the things I really wanted to do when traveling to San Francisco, was to go someplace that had the freshest fish available and that delectable sourdough bread. The first stop on my list of recommended restaurants by Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel was dinner at GiGi’s Sotto Mare.

Sotto Mare

Sotto Mare is a small but cozy, Italian restaurant. While famous for their Cioppino, they also have a number of other tasty options available. A reservation is recommended but not necessary.  However, be prepared to wait if you go during the height of dinner hour.

We came in around 4:30pm. By 6:30pm, the place was full and there was a line waiting out the door.  We ate at the bar, which overlooked the chefs preparing all the fresh made ingredients.   It was really fun watching them juggle up to 10 pans, at the highest temperatures possible and still remain fully in control of everything they were doing – amazing!

The amount of high-quality, mouth-watering dishes and customer service they provide in such a small place, gives them a top notch rating alone.

Sotto Mare

Let’s Eat

We started with a delightful glass of Chianti and a steaming, hot cup of Boston clam shower.  This rich, creamy goodness was the perfect consistency of baby clams, potatoes and tiny bits of real bacon.  It was served with a baguette of freshly baked, crusty sourdough bread, which complemented it perfectly. It was so good, you had to be careful not to fill up on the bread alone!

Sotto Mare

The Cioppino – what can I say but FANTASTIC!  It definitely lived up to all the hype & reviews I read. The bowl was HUGE and it was recommended for two, so we shared and thank goodness we did.  There was so much food we hated to leave the leftovers.

This dish was abundantly full of shrimp, mussels, crab, squid, & clams all cooked to perfection in a rich tomato broth, topped over penne pasta.

There was absolutely no room for dessert, but I can only assume whatever we chose would have been like the rest of the dinner – a 5 Star!

Service

  • Fast, Friendly & Efficient

If you’re looking for a GREAT Italian seafood restaurant with a laid-back, casual vibe to enjoy with a friend, this place is top notch and is definitely on my list of stops when visiting San Francisco again.

Have you eaten at Sotto Mare in San Francisco, CA? Share your visit with me in the comments below!

IT Industry

The IT Industry Is Gathers In San Francisco . . .

It was so exciting being in the city of IT Start-Ups. It brought me back to the old days of my corporate career.  I got to see the offices of TwitterAtlassian, and CloudFlare which was pretty cool.

The Oracle conference was also just starting. This brought internet geniuses from all over the world to San Francisco.  It was fun to talk with them to discover what giants in the industry they worked for. These intelligent minds do have a way about them, and you can spot a basement kid a mile away.

IT Industry

A New Dream

As an IT Project Manager running system operations for a worldwide company and an avid tech geek for the past 20 years,  I am going to take that knowledge of the internet, my highly skilled ability to organize extensive projects to completion, my passion for writing and my new-found love of travel and photography to organically build this website, social media accounts, and an email subscriber list.

Being with such smart people inspires me to continue on the path of building this blog.  I love sharing with the world amazing adventures that inspire you to take your own trips.

Have you been to San Francisco, CA? Share your visit with me in the comments below!

Thank You Uber . . .

I really wanted to take the time out to say how super impressed I was with the Uber drivers in San Francisco.  This was the first time I had ever used their service.  From downloading the app, to arranging a pick-up, their seamless process is very dependable.  It was nice to be able to watch the driver navigating his route on your phone.

Speedy Pick-Up

What really impressed me is how quickly the driver’s responded. We never waited for more than 3-5 minutes, which to me was priceless. Who wants to wait around for a cab when you are totally exhausted from the day and want to get back to the hotel as quickly as you can for a shower and cocktail?

I also liked the fact that no money exchanged hands.  Their drivers were super friendly, you received an email receipt confirmation, and their rating system for their drivers was easy.  This was truly a very inexpensive way to get around San Francisco for four days.

Service

The drivers are super friendly.  A lot of them say this is the best way to earn some extra cash in a big city like San Francisco.

Download The Free Uber App

What’s your favorite way to get around town when traveling? Share your story with me in the comments below!