Our friends Maggie and Chris were awesome enough to let us stay with them at their beautiful house in Oakland. Not only that, they also agreed to play tour guides and drive us around town to see some of the sights.
We started our tour by stopping by Blue Bottle Coffee for a quick caffeine fix. Apparently there are a couple of these throughout the Bay Area but I don't know if any of the other ones are in such an awesome location as the one we stopped at in Oakland. It is located in the historic W. C. Morse Building built in the 1920s. The building is beautiful. The huge open interior has the grand appearance of an old bank. If the architecture and design of this place doesn't suck you in then the coffee and food definitely will. We only got coffees to go and they were fantastic, but the food they had looked amazing. Especially the Eggs in a Basket. I'm pretty sure I'm coming back just to try them.
Coffee in hand, we got in the Jeep and headed to Sausalito for breakfast. We went through Berkley which looked awesome. I'm don't think we'll have time to explore it more thoroughly on this short trip so I'm glad we at least got a driving tour of it.
Eventually we made it to Sausolito which is just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. We had breakfast at a place right on the water called The Trident. The food was nothing to write home about but the view was simply spectacular and made the stop there worth it. We ate outside hoping to see some sea lions. We saw some black thing off in the distance bopping up and down with the waves and decided that it was most definitely a sea lion. Success!
Speaking of success, the houses (more like mansion really) along the cliffs there were awesome. We looked them up online real quick and saw that they go for somewhere around 10 million buckaroos. We all decided that Maggie and Chris needed to buy one of them before the next time we're back.
Following breakfast, as the fog started retreating, we drove up to Hawk Hill for some views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Fran skyline. Then we drove through it and got out for some more views of it from the other side. I'm gonna try and come back to photograph it closer to sunset one of the next couple of days we're here.
After getting our fill of Golden Gate Bridge views we headed over to see the Painted Ladies, otherwise known as the Full House houses. Interestingly enough, it turns out that they didn't supposedly live in any of them. They actually lived down the road at some other place. Everyone just thinks they lived at one of the Painted Ladies because they are hanging out on the park in front of them during the opening credits.
From there we went over to Lombard Street, which is one block on a steep hill of crazy zigzags. The street and houses on the block are really pretty with lots of flowers and greenery everywhere. I imagine living there must be a giant pain in the ass though. Not because of the crazy windy road but because it looks like it's constantly packed with tourist, both on foot and in cars.
For lunch we went to the Castro District for some sushi at Wasabi Bistro. Castro is a cool gay neighborhood. The crosswalks are painted in rainbow colors which makes them so much more fun than your standard zebra cross walk. And a lot of the shops are heavy on the innuendo, such as The Hand Job (manicures) and the Sausage Factory (Italian restaurant). We ended up at Hot Cookie for desserts, including a giant chocolate covered penis macaroon.
After napping hard, Chris and Maggie took us to Old Town Oakland where we went to District for dinner. We had great tapas style food (including a very interesting and delicious tempura avocado) and wine. After dinner we went around some of the bars before heading back to their place. We just sat in their living room drinking wine and talking for hours. We also established that none of us has a future as a didgeridoo player, although Chris can make some hilarious fart noises with it.