Posted by: Grub | June 23, 2011

San Francisco Part One

On Tuesday, we decided to do some of the more standard stops in SF and did quite a lot of walking. It was a glorious day that got close to 90F, quite unusual for San Francisco I think, and, to varying degrees, we all regretted not wearing sunscreen (me more than anyone).  Sam was the only one that was well protected with both sunscreen and the sunshade and cover on his stroller!

Our first stop was one that has been on my list since the last time we were here – the Tuesday farmers’ market at the Ferry Building. The market was a bit smaller than I remembered last time – I suspect that since we are a week earlier this time around and since the weather has been crappy pretty much everywhere this spring, things are just a bit later arriving. We picked up some strawberries, cherries and peaches, and my Mom also grabbed a few fresh peas for us to sit and shell back at our hotel.  We also grabbed some light lunch at the tamale stand at the market – they have several varieties of vegan tamales and Sam and I both enjoyed the roasted butternut squash and black bean tamale that I selected.  Sam didn’t even flinch at the green salsa bits that made it into his share – TOTALLY MY KID!

Mom picking up some English peas from the friendly farmer

Yum, tamale!

I was surprised at the prices at the market – we pay less for most things at our own market back home – and interested to see that there was relatively very little difference between the prices for organic and conventional produce. In some ways, I think this is great if it means that organic produce is becoming more affordable, but also caught the cynic in me wondering if the conventional growers were just trying to catch people assuming that their stuff was organic without checking and thinking that they were getting a better deal than the organic fruit at the neighbouring stand.

After lunch, we wandered around inside the beautiful building and checked out some of the shops as well. It was pretty busy in there as it was lunchtime and it is a popular spot for downtown office workers to pick up a delicious and healthy lunch (so jealous! Vancouver, take a lesson!), but we spent some time perusing the books in the Book Passage, which has a great selection of kids’ books about San Francisco, and picked up some doughnuts for dessert at Pepple’s, a vegan doughnut stand at one end of the building.  I noticed the guy there using his iPad as a calculator and as a credit card machine – he had a little plug-in that swiped the card and an app to process the payment.  Such a great tool for the small business owner – I will be interested to see if this starts to pick up at the farmers’ markets at home where I think lots of people would love to be able to pay with credit cards.

Salted caramel doughnut. Yes, you read that correctly. Whoa. So good.

After the Ferry Building, we wandered all the way down to Fisherman’s Wharf.  On the way, we passed a bunch of the tour operators and overheard one of the guys saying that their Alcatraz tours were sold out until Saturday!  That is crazy!  (We had talked about going at one point but I personally wasn’t really into it – I did a prison tour in Ireland when I was there and actually found it quite depressing and upsetting, and didn’t think that Alcatraz would be much different.)  We didn’t actually stop to do much on the walk down to the wharf, but did do some people-watching and walked out onto the pier across from Pier 39 so that we could watch the sea lions for a while.  There weren’t as many as last time we were here and most were just sleeping and sunning themselves (it was pretty hot), but we did see a couple of feisty guys barking and mixing it up for a little bit.

Chillin' with Dad.

Once we got back to the car, we picked up a couple of freshly made strawberry lemonades at a local cafe that were the perfect end to our walk in the hot sun! We then headed over to the nearest Whole Foods market to pick up some supplies for the kitchen in our hotel room.  I like to try to hit a big market like Whole Foods (or preferably a big independent market) in most larger cities that we go to, just because I am curious to check out some of the cool local specialty ingredients. I had hoped to get to Rainbow Grocery on this trip, but it just wasn’t ever very convenient, and I wasn’t sure that any of the rest of my travelling party, including Sam, would be very excited.  Next time! I did manage to pick up a few more packs of peanut butter cups and some Field Roast apple sage sausages and sandwich slices that I am excited to use in Tahoe (the Field Roast stuff, not the peanut butter cups – they are already long gone).

We headed over to Berkeley at this point and did a little bit of wandering around over there.  It wasn’t as interesting as I remember it being last time, but we had a nice dinner at Herbivore and spent some timing looking around in Pegasus Books.  Then we headed back to our hotel and spent some time hanging around and letting Sam go crazy on the floor.  It is one thing that I have really noticed on this trip – when we spend all day out, he spends a lot of time unable to move freely, either seatbelted into the car, strapped into his stroller or snug in his carrier, or fastened into a highchair in a restaurant.  By the end of the day, he is a little stir crazy, and enjoys crawling and wiggling all over the place and banging his toys around once he has been liberated.

Sam the monkey. My Dad and I laughed so hard at Sam trying to climb all over his highchair.

All in all, a great first day in San Francisco!



  1. The expression on Sam the Monkey’s face just kills me……seriously grandpa, how am I supposed to keep climbing with you holding onto my leg lol!!! Your posts have been great Lana – quite a precedent you’re setting for once you return home:-)! Wish Chad good luck in his race for us – we’ll be looking forward to that post as well.

    • Ange, it was hilarious. It was more like he just kept ignoring that his leg was stuck – he just kept trying and trying – he was actually almost more like a snake that was hanging straight out in the air trying to wrap around the highchair. We were seriously laughing so hard.

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