If you’ve been following along, this is the third installment of my trip in San Francisco yesterday, March 8, 2015. There will actually be a fourth segment, but it won’t necessarily be tied to this particular trilogy of posts. I realized I took so many pictures, there’s another post in the works but will still take time to cultivate before I can share it with you.
So far, we’ve made it from celebrating Chinese New Year’s in Chinatown, we’ve driven toward the Wharf and found underground parking for $15 for the day and we’ve commenced walking and are almost upon Pier 39. Let’s continue the journey, shall we?
We visited the back of the Pier first, where we were able to get a better view of the seals. There aren’t quite as many pier seals as there used to be. They tend to hang out in the winter, some take off for a bit, and some linger. Over the years, there numbers have dropped quite a bit. The docks used to be completely full.
From this vantage point (picture on the left), you can see a the tourists across the way trying to see the seals. Please excuse my photography skills, Technology and I fight often. Between my Note 3 phone and my old point and click camera, we had some technical difficulties. Either way, I prefer viewing the seals without pretending to be a fish crammed into a tourist sardine can. The picture on the right is an upstairs view from Pier 39.
Then there are the seagulls. When I snapped this quick picture, my husband asked, “are you REALLY taking a picture of the bird? I had to laugh. Even the tourists laughed. Like I mentioned previously, what I won’t do for my writing. So, if you’ve never seen a seagull, say outside of watching “The Little Mermaid”, here you go.
What semi-guided tour would this be if I didn’t slip in a mention of Alcatraz Island?
Tours sell out quickly, so you’ll want to book well in advance of your visit. I actually worked a private catering gig on “The Rock” many years ago.
It was amazing, esp. for a history buff like me. What a memory!
Last picture before heading onto the Pier. This gives you a great glimpse into how San Francisco is “layered”. Love the American flag waiving in the breeze. Great shot of Coit Tower (center) and then the TransAmerica Pyramid, which is the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco.
Ok, we made it. We’re on the famous, Pier 39. This pier has a bit of everything. As one tourist remarked, “it smells like fish” (in a shocked voice). It took all my collective being not to embrace my NY-side and turn around to say “DUH!”. I mean really, you’re right on the water. The majority of restaurants surrounding the area, are ummmm, SEAFOOD restaurants. That’s like walking into Ghirardelli and saying you smell chocolate. Sorry, cracks me up what they say sometimes. Sorry..back to embracing my California side…back to the tour….
These three sights are pretty much what you would see as you headed onto Pier 39, from your left, center and right views. The Aquarium isn’t too bad. Much to the disappointment of most, you won’t see huge sharks in the Aquarium. Kids really seem to like it and there are two levels (I think). I know there are at least two. It’s been a few years since I went on the tour.
Note, if you have to go to the bathroom, there are restrooms to your right after you walk under the Bubba Gump Shrimp sign. Those are always PACKED! Walk upstairs and toward the back and there are more restrooms there. They too get busy, but not like the one in the very beginning.
I love this shop. Being Irish, it’s fun to indulge my Leprechaun belief but also see things that remind me of why I love being Irish. When we took my son here, he found his sister’s Celtic Zodiac sign. He actually turned that into a tattoo, which is in his bicep, so he can keep his little sister with him no matter where the Army sends him.
Just across the way from this shop is my all-time favorite shop on the Pier: Enlightenment. They have a lot of Asian art, clothing, sayings, signs, incense, trinkets; you name it. I am working on buying a couple paintings from them.
This is one of the paintings I am currently looking at.
Last stop on this “tour” is the carousel toward the end of the Pier. In all these years, I’ve never written it. Never fear, there are jewelry, fudge, clothing, chocolate, crepe, pet and fairy shops for your buying pleasure. There is a plethora of snack shacks and restaurants to provide a light snack to a satisfying meal. If you’re a people watcher, this is the place to be.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my seeing San Francisco, from the view of a non-native, who calls N. California her home.
Thank you for tagging along.
Until next time….