San Francisco, CA – Valentine’s Day 2009

january08-050Windy, rainy and cold does not offer a romantic getaway. We departed for San Francisco using Midwest Airlines on a mid morning flight from KCI. After a semi-long three and half hour flight we arrived to our destination. San Francisco’s International Airport was not too busy, but their baggage claim set up was horrible. After wandering around we finally found our bag carousel and got our belongings and headed to the BART station. To get to our lodging we used public transportation. We took the BART train to Union Square and from there we took a trolley down to our destination.

january08-085We booked a room at the Suites at Fisherman’s Wharf. This complex is a former apartment unit and is very spacious. We were able to check in early and arrived in our room that was gorgeous. We had four huge windows overlooking the city and a full kitchen, living room and bedroom. The suites offered a very nice and clean place for a family to stay. Once you step outside your door you are within blocks of the Fisherman’s Wharf and the trolley picks up and drops off right out front.

Pier 39

Pier 39

After a long flight we decided to dine in and get some lunch. Weather was partly cloudy and mid 50’s when we went in to eat. We choose Tiernan’s an Irish Pub to get a burger. The food was very good, the only down side was service. Our waitress was very friendly, but they were short staffed and it took nearly 20 minutes to place our order and another 30 minutes to receive it. It was a little frustrating as we wanted to explore the city and the pub was not very busy at the time we were there. I would recommend Tiernan’s based on food and affordability, but the extreme wait turned me off to it. Unfortunately due to our long lunch by the time we got out to explore we only walked the pier for 10 minutes until it started pouring rain and we became drenched as we left our umbrella in the room. We returned to our room and changed out of our wet clothes, picked up our umbrella and headed back out.

january08-089This time we headed down to Pier 39 stopping at all the unique shops along the way. We found tons of souvenir, designer and local shops along the way to the bay. When finally at the Pier we had a great view of the famous Alcatraz. Once at Pier 39 we could hear the sea lions. We found the dock where all the sea lions were located at and surveyed the adorable mammals. They were quite talkative and playful while we were there. As sunset came we snapped some great photos and headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We decided to dine at Knuckles, a Hyatt owned restaurant. The staff was very friendly when seating us and took our orders very quickly. We decided to dine on two appetizers. My personal favorite was the nachos with mojito steak. This was quite possibly the most flavorful steak I have ever had. The presentation of the food was very appealing to the eye and with a delicious meal at an affordable price this would be my place to eat on a second visit.

Crooked Street

Crooked Street

On Saturday Valentine’s Day we spent the afternoon shopping at Union Square. Before setting out for the Square we enjoyed breakfast at Joanie’s a little diner. I enjoyed my classic favorite chocolate chip pancakes with eggs & bacon. A great start to the morning. They were quick and efficient with the order and the pancakes were wonderful. Just as good as the ones back home. When we arrived at the Square we found every store from ALDO, Old Navy, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, DSW and unique specialty shops. We took a trolley ride up to Union and on our way back to our hotel we stopped off at China Town and checked out some great market items and picked up a few memorabilia’s to take home. Back for the evening we got dressed up for our Valentine’s Day dinner. Before heading to the restaurant we went to San Francisco’s Crookedest Street. A four block uphill walk from our hotel with a wonderful view of the Golden Gate Bridge and finally reaching the amazing crooked street. After walking down the crooked street we headed to dinner. A short walk later we arrived at Joey & Eddies an Italian restaurant, we were seated quickly as I had made reservations online two weeks prior. All meals are served family style. For $40 per person you received a three course meal. We decided on the Joey & Eddie salad, Calamari, Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Scampi and a desert duo. The dinner was flavorful and very filling, however a little overpriced. The shrimp scampi was served with only FOUR shrimps and no free refills on fountain drinks, pretty much unheard of these days. We received our bill with a red rose to complete the Valentine’s Day meal, still not worth the price.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Sunday morning we headed to the airport after our weekend getaway. Midwest Airlines let us down on our return flight. After checking the airlines website to ensure flight was on time before heading out, we discovered at check-in our flight was going to be two hours late. Not even the departure listings were updated to display this information and with no one at the Midwest Airlines gate we were left guessing when we would finally be departing. After a long wait we finally did return home from a long rainy weekend. My main tip would be to make sure you have your umbrella and know your routes as you will be walking a lot of the time. San Francisco would probably more enjoyable in spring and summer.

My final review would be:

Suites at Fisherman’s Wharf – very friendly and clean resort with great location
Tiernan’s Irish Pub- lacking service & menu choices, but what they have to choose from is pretty tasty
Union Square- must visit; plenty of shops, dining and nightlife activities
Knuckles Sports Bar- greatest nachos with mojito steak
Joanie’s- great breakfast stop; very affordable and quick
Joey & Eddie’s- average dining experience; way overpriced and borderline stuffy
Pier 39- go see the sea lions play and make it a day for exploring; offers great views of Alcatraz
Midwest Airlines- lacking in customer relations
Weather – cloudy, windy and scattered showers, temperatures in low 50’s

TIERNAN’S Tiernan's on Urbanspoon

KNUCKLES Knuckles Historic Sports Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

JOANIES Joanie's Happy Days Diner on Urbanspoon

JOEY & EDDIES Joey & Eddie's on Urbanspoon

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