Although I was a little apprehensive at first, biking San Francisco was one of the best decisions we made on the trip. (On the other hand, not putting on sunscreen that day because it was cloudy was one of the worst decisions I made). I highly recommend biking the city for anyone who visits, especially if you want to see a lot in a little time but want to have independence.
After spending a few hours meandering across the city, we finally were reaching the climax of the ride — crossing the Golden Gate Bridge! I’m usually not a huge fan of bridges, but this one is a beauty. It was an awesome experience to ride across it, wind in your hair, red towers rising above, the bay on one side, the Pacific on the other. The pedestrians didn’t feel the need to stay in their designated lane, but it was still so much fun.
We were in town on a Friday and Saturday and I picked Friday to be our bike day, in hopes that the bridge would be a little less crowded than on a weekend. The first half of it was pretty dense with people, but once we got past that point, there was hardly anyone on it. Overall, it was much easier to manage than I expected.
We stopped in the middle for some pictures and to enjoy the amazing view.
The view from the bridge was fabulous, even though it was a bit hazy out still. Alcatraz was still visible though.
Once we got across, we stopped for a quick bathroom break and to take in the view from the other side. Right before we headed off, I heard someone yell “You made it!” We ran into our fellow biker that we saw earlier in the day, when we were all headed towards the bridge but not totally sure how to get there. Somehow we all managed to make it! We chatted for a minute before he took off back across, while we headed downhill into Sausalito.
I had read about what an adorable little town Sausalito is, so I had high expectations. As we descended into town (Joel flew in first, I followed a few minutes later with my hands tightly gripped on the brakes), I was not disappointed. It truly looks like a little Mediterranean town, with houses built up on the hill and gorgeous blue/green water below!
We hung out for a bit on the waterfront, grabbing a bite to eat and quick drink at the Venice Gourmet before catching the ferry back over to San Francisco.
Once we got back to the city, it was a race to make our dinner reservations on time. We hurried back to the bike rental shop and hotel. We cleaned up and ran up the hill to catch the California Street cable car (who am I kidding, the sidewalk has stairs in it, we could barely walk it). We took the cable car down to the Ferry Building and enjoyed one of the best meals I’ve EVER had at the Slanted Door. The place was amazing. I made our reservation more than a month in advance and between Friday and Saturday nights, the only reservation I could get was Friday at 5:30 pm (when they open). It was so worth the rush to get there.
We started off with a half dozen oysters and the crispy imperial rolls. I tried oysters for the first time (too fishy for me). The rolls were mouth-watering though. Joel said he wasn’t going to eat many, but after a few bites it was practically a fight to make sure we each got our fair share. For the entrees, we shared the shaking beef and caramelized wild gulf shrimp. I still think about this meal, weeks later. We also tried out about half of the cocktail menu between the two of us (hey, we earned it, biking nearly 20 miles up and down hills and across bridges!) and were not disappointed. We capped off the evening with a glass of whiskey and some sorbet before heading outside to enjoy the view (did I mention the fabulous view of the Bay Bridge that we had from our table? Can’t beat that!). By that point we were ready to head back to our hotel to call it a night.