Day 2: San Francisco

The next morning arrived uneventfully; neither one of us had been murdered in our face.  At our friend’s recommendation, we had breakfast at Left Coast Depot in Novato.  We began planning our day as we plowed through a most unladylike quantity of food.  We tapped into dear Douglas’ local knowledge and followed his advice on everything: ‘Take the Ferry to Alcatraz, eat dinner at Farralon, and stay at the Hotel Triton.’  

View of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island.

Our touristic diversion for the day was a trip to Alcatraz Island, the infamous decommissioned federal prison. The views of San Francisco from the island were spectacular; a perspective on the city unique to this excursion.  The audio tour of the prison, particularly the portrayal of the 3-day “Battle of Alcatraz” in 1946, was gripping. For all its history and notoriety, it’s surprising that the prison was only in operation for 29 years.  

The stylish Hotel Triton in San Francisco

Upon return from our voyage, we made our way to the Hotel Triton, a boutique hotel near Union Square.  The décor of our room, designed by Nicole Hollis, was playful, with turquoise wainscoting and the first draft of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” printed on the wallpaper. The Frette linens on the bed were exceptionally comfortable for sleeping, though their slippery smoothness made for exceptionally awkward lovemaking.  Other attractions include the “Haagen-Dazs Sweet Suite,” the “J. Garcia Suite,” and the “Kathy Griffin D-List Suite.”

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Before dinner, we tarted ourself up with new duds from Banana Republic’s flagship store, which was having a 40% off sale, storewide. Cha-ching.  It was a sale big enough to offset the dismal US-Canadian exchange rate, so we went big.  Americans, if you didn’t know it: the shitty exchange rate means that the entire country is 30% off.  Visit Canada!

Glass jellyfish pendants at Farralon

Sufficiently spruced up, we walked to Farralon, the iconic San Francisco seafood restaurant. We started with Paddlefish Caviar, and a Dungeoness Crab Risotto which was essentially the delicious, unholy union between a crab cake and a risotto dish.  Dave, in his capacity as a professional marine biologist, assured me that American Paddlefish Caviar is sustainable, like driving a Prius, whereas Russian Osetra Caviar is environmentally reckless, like driving a 1993 Range Rover Classic across the continent. You can’t be good all the time.

We tickled and giggled our way across the evening, waxing self-congratulatory about our undying love for each other.  I thought he might propose to me, but he did not.  I must have had some tender, pan-roasted Norwegian Cod stuck in my teeth.