We were in no hurry to get up early today as the previous couple of days had been rather busy. We sauntered off in the morning sun for breakfast at Cafe de la Presse as we had so enjoyed our first visit there – the French Toast was delicious!
Having bought a few things during our stay we needed another bag so we headed back into Chinatown and I found the delightful Old St Mary’s Church on the way … as luck would have it, a quintet was playing in front of the altar -who would have thought?
With our large market bags in hand we returned to the hotel to freshen up then took an Uber to the massive Golden Gate Park. It is too big to cram into a couple of hours so we stayed at the town end and went in search of The Japanese Tea Garden. It is pristine, calm and rather beautiful and was the highlight of our visit to the Park.
The Shakespeare Garden, in complete contrast was a disappointment – it was sparsely planted, the lawns needed mowing, and the plants needed tending.
On leaving Mr Shakespeare we continued on to a large open space opposite the De Young Fine Arts Museum where the fountains were putting on a nice display.
We had to venture quite a bit further to get to the Conservatory of Flowers, which again was a little disappointing although the building housing the plants is stunning. The plants inside are mainly tropical and not too many were in bloom, so it was quite a quick visit and we were glad we had come on day when entry was free.
Uber took us back on to our next port of call – Mission Dolores and that was really worthwhile. The old Mission survived the 1906 earthquake, but the Basilica had to be rebuilt.
Back at the hotel we decided we needed to get a taste of Italy at North Beach, so off we went in an Uber again, starting first at City Lights Bookstore – what a great place that is – a bookstore founded by the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. It is rather a rabbit warren, which makes it fun to be in and the sense of history is real.
Beside the bookstore is Vesuvio Cafe, a favourite haunt of the Beat Generation – poets and musicians alike. We turned up at Happy Hour – a busy time but it was fun to people watch…
Next we set off to check out the plethora of Italian restaurants and settled on Calzone’s – a great choice. It was relaxed, colourful and the food was excellent.
Since we had been tempted to share a slice of Creme Brulee cheesecake, we decided to walk back to the hotel, via Chinatown… it was the close of another perfect day in San Francisco and our final night in this beautiful city – tomorrow we fly home….
And our next adventure? New York and Washington D.C. in December …..