We woke up this morning (my 29th birthday!) and grabbed breakfast at the local Burger King before checking out of our hotel (I did tip the valet this time). We then made our way north to Fisherman's Wharf, where we parked in an another expensive parking ramp and got out to walk around the area. We eventually wandered down to the Jeremiah O'Brien, a "Liberty Ship" from WWII, and the only remaining operational vessel from the Normandy invasion.
The self-guided tour was actually really interesting. We were there early in the morning, and one of only a handful of people on the whole ship. They basically just turn you loose to wander around the vessel, and after I posed on the 5-inch deck gun for a photo, we found our way down into the Engine Room. Down there, I could have sworn we were the only one on the ship, as we climbed down the three levels of ladders into the bowels of the ship. I would not want to be down there when the ship was under attack, as the odds of getting out before the ship sank seem rather remote.
After leaving the O'Brien, we hoofed it along the rest of the wharf, past the shops selling touristy crap and the barking sea lions. We didn't really find too much else down there that was interesting, so after a few hours of window shopping, we went and paid the ransom to get our car back, and headed towards the Golden Gate bridge.
We wound through the Presidio, and found the Warming House near Chrissy Field had a picnic area set up along the bay. We bought some sandwiches, and retrieved our bottled water and chips from the car, and had a nice lunch there on the water, watching all the people on rented bicycles go by.
After lunch, we drove through Golden Gate Park, to Baker Beach, where we walked along the beach, and tried to dodge the occasional wave that came in much farther than the others. The view was great, but it's not some place you'd want to go swimming.
Next we drove a little farther to the Palace of the Legion of Honor, which has a large art collection, including many works by Rodin. They also had some Monet, Van Gogh, and far too many renaissance pictures of fat ladies and suffering Jesuses for my taste.
Downstairs, they have a nice collection of ancient art, including Assyrian, Egyptian, and Greek artifacts.
By this time, our poor feet were about ready to fall off, so we decided to head back across San Francisco to tonight's hotel, the Hotel Rex. While it's run by the same folks as the Adagio, I preferred the Adagio, as it had free internet access, while they wanted $9.95 for it here. I've opted for using my cell phone data connection instead. They were extremely friendly at the desk though, and gave us a free upgrade to a King-sized room. The Honor Bar is not as reasonably priced here, but they obviously stock it from the Walgreens across the street (there's one about every other block) so we just eat what we want, then replace it when we venture outside the hotel. I'm not paying $2 for a can of coke, or $4.75 for a tube of Pringles.
The Rex is in a nicer neighborhood than the Adagio, there are several art galleries nearby that we're going to see tomorrow morning, and fewer panhandlers, as we're a bit farther away from the Tenderloin.
After a shower and a nap in our big soft bed, we declared that we were hungry for Pizza, and marched off in search of it. We eventually settled (after much walking) on Pizza Prada, a little hole-in-the-wall on Powell, just southwest of Union Square. The place doesn't look like much, but the pizza was divine. It had that perfect crust that's not thin and greasy, but not too thick either. It just hit the spot after a long day walking.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped into another Lori's Diner location, and I got a chocolate milkshake at the counter, as my birthday treat. We then returned to the Hotel, and decided to go to bed early, as we're beat after a long day of sightseeing.