The Winery SF
Thursday evening I went to the opening party of The Winery SF on Treasure Island. If you’ve never been to Treasure Island, the view that you get of the San Francisco skyline is worth the drive alone (about 10 – 15 minutes from the SOMA area). Hubby had some friends visiting from Holland so we took them over to the event to check it out as well. The Winery SF is an operating winery, tasting room, and event venue in one. They had music, wineries pouring tastings, and food. I quite liked the wines from Vie Winery although they were a bit too dry for Hubby’s tastes. If you can’t make it up to Napa or Sonoma during your visit to the area, then I highly suggest The Winery SF, along with Cellar 360 in Ghirardelli Square for wine tasting. I foresee a lot of company events happening at The Winery SF.
Thursday Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences
After we finished with the winery, we went to the California Academy of Sciences for Thursday Nightlife. I love Thursday NightLife and have been about 5 times. Visitors we take there always have a fun time and are quite impressed. The Cal Academy of Sciences is a natural history museum that features a planetarium, rainforest, a living roof, and aquarium, alongside many exhibits showcasing the world’s creatures and habitats. Thursday Nightlife is a 21 and over event meant to draw in the young crowd. It’s certainly worked as it’s usually packed every Thursday. There is a DJ rocking beats, which sometimes gets a crowd dancing, and alcohol and food is sold throughout. Mostly attended by twenty and thirty-somethings, a lot of whom are stylishly dressed, it’s about one of the coolest and unique things you can do while in San Francisco. Plus, the entrance ticket is half off the regular price! Make sure to get tickets to a planetarium show first and go into the rain forest as those close early.
Hubby’s friends said that they have never seen anything like it in Holland. Here’s a ringing endorsement from one of them: “If I told my parents I went to a museum at night and had fun, they would ask me if I was on drugs or drunk.”
We then went to nearby Marnee Thai for some dinner. I eat Thai food in San Francisco quite a bit and can say that Marnee Thai is so far my favorite. We got pot stickers, hot cakes, pad thai, crab fried rice, yellow chicken curry, and roast pork. I loved the pot stickers, which had hot green sauce drizzled over them, and the hot cakes, which were kind of like corn fritters. We all gobbled up the food.
Then we walked over to Yancy’s Saloon (sports bars are really not my scene) for some drinks before dropping the boys back at their hotel.
Here are some thoughts:
1 – Research and book your hotel beforehand, especially if you’re trying to find a place that is reasonably priced, clean, is not home to rats, and is run by a competent manager that doesn’t play cricket in the parking lot. Otherwise, you may end up with said place, where your room keys don’t work when you and your buddies stumble back at 3am, forcing your group to sit in the IHOP down the street for hours until the manager shows up.
2 – Remember to not make a general assumption based on your limited experience. Prior to coming to San Francisco, the boys had visited some National Parks (Bryce, Grand Canyon, Mammoth, Yosemite, etc.) and had a hard time finding a decent grocery store with fruits and vegetables in the local towns. Upon arriving at our home, Hubby took them to a supermarket here so that they can see that yes, indeed, Americans do eat fruits and vegetables. I explained that there is a reason why many people choose to not live in those remote rural areas despite the cheap price, access to good food being one of them! Their thinking that American food sucks certainly did rile Hubby and I up to make sure the food in this region doesn’t suck.
3 – Try to stay in San Francisco for more than a few days in order to see everything as the weather can be a bit unpredictable. The boys didn’t get to see the Golden Gate Bridge because of the heavy fog that rolled in the one day the could fit it into their schedule. We drove over the bridge and up the hill thinking that perhaps we would see the top of the bridge peaking from the fog but no such luck. Visibility was about 10 feet out. Hubby had taken them to The View two nights prior for great views of San Francisco but the fog blocked everything then too.
4 – It’s okay if you don’t end up doing the typical tourist things as long as you had fun. The boys didn’t go to Pier 39, Coit Tower, didn’t get a good view of the bridge, and never rode a cable car. But you know what? I think they still had a wonderful time exploring the city on their own time and going to places where locals were at, which leads to lesson #5.
5 – If you know a local, one that likes to go out that is, then hit him or her up! Even if it’s just an acquaintance, most people are more than happy to show visitors around the city and region that they live in. The boys got to see neighborhoods and go to bars and events that tourists usually skip, which gives a much truer representation of San Francisco than the typical tourist sites.