West.Coast.Road.Trip – San Francisco, CA – December 2009

Jay loves San Francisco (he once lived there for awhile) and whenever we have a chance to go back, he’ll always jump on it.  And this road trip was no exception.  He wanted to get to San Francisco and not want to waste any time, which resulted in a 10-hour drive down the I-5.  My parents had done a similar trip and suggested we drive along the coast and stop for a night to break it up a bit.  We said, “Nah, we’ll just go straight to San Fran.”  Big mistake.  It was boring enough that we started to count all the rest stops, Jay got carsick and we finally reached the city right at rush hour, with the overwhelming feeling of we’re-so-close!

our first sight of snow… and the only.

at least the drive made for some nice photos.


  • Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square.  335 Powell Street.  This hotel was great!  We stayed in the older section of it, which had more character.  However, the walls were thin so you could hear conversations in the hallway.  But it was beautiful!  And the location was so convenient, although it gets very crowded at Union Square during the holidays (ice skating on the square).

hotel front.


  • We pretty much did the typical sightseeing.  Of course we ended up at Fisherman’s Wharf again.  This time, however, there were no sea lions!  Isn’t that what Fisherman’s Wharf was known for?  We saw maybe two at the most, but they were all gone!  Reading up on it, the sea lions began leaving Pier 39 around a month prior to this visit and started returning again in February 2010.  They still don’t know the reason to their disappearance.

the empty docks and one lonely sea lion.

  • Walk around Chinatown.  I don’t know why we do this, but we usually visit Chinatown.  We never buy anything.  Actually, I know why.  Jay’s checking out the food and restaurants, always on the hunt for good Chinese food.  I don’t know why, we know where the best is – his parents’ house, which we fondly refer to as “Cafe 1101”.

i wonder what he’s inspecting?

  •  Feed the homeless on Christmas night.  This was our good deed.  We had eaten at a Shanghainese restaurant in Chinatown and Jay ordered too much food (he wanted to try EVERYTHING).  It was just the two of us and we couldn’t finish it.  So we packed it up and decided to give it to one of the many homeless people we kept seeing everywhere.  But, on our way back to the hotel, we couldn’t find any!  It was like they all had a Christmas party to attend.  Finally, we found a guy sitting in an alley and asked if he wanted food.  He thought about it for a second, and asked what it was.  We told him Chinese and he said, “Okay, leave it there.”  Sheesh, you’re welcome!


  • Bund Shanghai Restaurant.  640 Jackson Street.  This is the Shanghainese Restaurant we ate for our Christmas dinner.  Jay said it was pretty authentic and the xiao long bao was pretty close to the ones we had in Shanghai (China.Adventure – Shanghai – December 2007).


San Francisco always a great city to visit.  This is the first time I visited during the holidays.  If you get the chance to, check out the Macy’s window displays.  They partner with the Humane Society and showcase puppies up for adoption in their windows!  It’s so cute and I wanted to take one home.

puppies up for adoption in Macy’s window displays – what a great idea.


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