One of the reasons we chose Denton, is the proximity to DFW. I’ve managed to find some great fares since it is an American Airlines hub, and when I found $100 pp round trip tickets to San Francisco, it was a no brainer to book the flights!
Next was determining where to stay, and this I struggled with a bit. Go all out and stay at the Intercontinental? Or find a place that is reasonable so we could splurge a lot more on food and drink? I opted for the latter and we had really great accommodations at Hotel Vertigo. The location was central, the rooms clean and while not high end living, fit our needs perfectly.
We flew in late Wednesday night and since we both work remotely, logged in extra early on Thursday to keep east coast hours. Lunch was a really great meal at House of Thai and then we finished up our work day at Amsterdam Cafe.
Then it was time to finally ride the cable car! Our last visit here many years ago was in the high season and I detest waiting in long lines. So I skipped out on that experience but thanks to low season, we were able to hop right on with no lines in the lower nob district. The hills here are NO JOKE and they are especially scary hanging off the side of the cable car. Such a great experience and believe it or not, we weren’t charged, even as I offered cash to pay. To top off the totally great experience, we rode in car 42!
We kept on exploring by heading to the Tonga Room which has been on Keith’s to do list for awhile. It was a neat space in a beautiful hotel, but I’m not the fondest of umbrellas in my drinks.
Then a recommended dinner at Foreign Cinema. Honestly, while I loved the atmosphere, the food didn’t really knock me out. At any price point I expect good food, but at the higher price points my expectations increase. ‘Just ok’ doesn’t cut it. Because of that, we skipped dessert there and wandered over to Myriad Gastropub. We finished off another round of drinks and shared a tasty dessert and then it was time to crash.
The next day, we headed to a spot at lunch, only to find a note on the door they were closed. One of the best things I love about a city, is you just go another block and find another joint. We had a really impressive lunch at Pakwan Indian restaurant and then it was back to work. After we finished work, we decided to celebrate Friday by visiting a dive bar in the Tenderloin. Nite Cap was a perfect place to get some really delicious (and cheap for SF) old fashioneds. There was no food so we stumbled to a place a few blocks away a few hours later and landed in an empty eatery. Turns out, the place I was headed to was bought by someone else and the menu changed. While not spectacular, we soaked up some of the bourbon with food and had a great chat with the bartender. Then we went back to Nite Cap…. which means we don’t always make great decisions. ;)
On Saturday, it was forecasted to be amazing weather so we decided to rent a car and take a road trip out to Sonoma. Our last visit to San Francisco was almost twenty years ago so we were interested to see if our favorite winery back then, was still impressive to our more mature, ‘grown-up’ tastes. Viansa wine, even though they have gone through some interesting ownership changes, is still quite good. I can neither confirm, nor deny that we may or may not have a few cases headed to Texas.
After spending way too much time at Viansa, we visited the girl and the fig restaurant and had a seriously fabulous lunch. We then walked around the square some, before heading back into the city in enough time to drop the rental car off. A nice late dinner at Borobudur, and it was beyond time to crash.
Our last day in the city we realized our niece was working the Superbowl City – which means we had to take advantage of randomly being in the same place – so we met for breakfast, and then spent the day alternatively walking and riding around town. Alcatraz Island, check! Clam Chowder in a sourdough bowl, check! Alamo Square to see the infamous painted ladies with the SF skyline in the background, check!
We walked from Alamo Square all the way to the start of Golden Gate park before dipping into Cha Cha Cha in Height Ashbury. Keith had a early evening flight out to his next work site so we returned back to the hotel. I originally had designs on going back out and doing more exploring but I was just exhausted. I turned into to see most of Grease Live, then completely and totally crashed. It was an early morning alarm at 3am to make my flight.
All in all, it was an amazing return to a city we enjoyed so many years ago. Hopefully it won’t be another 20 before we return again. We got so many good recommendations on places from friends and co-workers and only managed to hit a few. They are on our list now!