California Road Trip: Day 5


Grabbed a coffee and a croissant at Cafe Capriccio on the way to the pier.

Took a ferry ride and toured Alcatraz Island.

Walked to North Beach/Little Italy for some pizza at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.

Returned to Fisherman’s Wharf where we saw the seals at Pier 39 and played some vintage arcade games at Musée Mécanique.

Stopped at the Cable Car Museum for some free knowledge/history.

Wandered through Chinatown and ate a tasty and very large dinner at Little Szechuan.

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I love history and birds, so our morning at Alcatraz – former prison and current bird haven – was very enjoyable. The island provides stunning views and a lot of beautiful vegetation growing on the ruins. I was unaware of its history with the Native American Civil Rights Movement, and love the irony of this expression of freedom on the water tank of a former federal prison. Also spotted: a ball of yarn and crochet hook staged in someone’s cell – apparently some of the inmates took up fiber arts during their stay.

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Once we got back to San Francisco, we walked inland to North Beach where we ate some delicious pizza and a calzone. We ate in Washington Square Park right across the street from the stunning Saints Peter and Paul Church. Fun fact: this the church where Joe DiMaggio married his first wife and had his funeral. Today, it’s populated by picnickers, dogs, and old ladies doing ta’i chi. We liked it so much that we returned at least three times during our stay.

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Fisherman’s Wharf was a lot of loudness and business and San Francisco sweatshirts after our lunch in the park, so we visited the seals at Pier 39, saw a few street performers, and headed over to the Musée Méchanique. I’d never been to this treasure on my previous trips to San Francisco; although I did recognize a few of the games from the classic of my childhood – The Princess Diaries. This is a real gem in the middle of the wharf.

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In all our meanderings, we also went into a beatnik bookstore/museum and City Lights Books. We ended the evening in Chinatown, and my feet felt like mu shu pancakes by that time. I was so happy to sit down and eat some pork dumplings and garlic sautéed eggplant.


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