California Bichons: San Francisco Cable Cars

After an afternoon connecting with nature in Muir Woods and appreciating the natural beauty of the Redwoods, on Thursday, Tom and I decided to embrace our inner tourist and head straight for Fisherman’s Wharf. This neighborhood is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the City. Home to everything from Ghiradelli Square to Cable Cars, and walking distance to Pier 39, it wasn’t hard to see why so many people are drawn to the area.

Our first stop was Boudin Bakery, which advertises itself as the original San Francisco sourdough bread company. They’ve been baking their famous bread since 1849, and serve quite a delicious sourdough bread bowl. The bakery also features a museum where you can learn about the bakery’s history. We opted to skip the museum this time and instead went straight for lunch. I ordered a half grilled cheese on sourdough served with a bowl of tomato soup, while Tom had the clam chowder soup in a sourdough bread bowl. They sold loaves of bread in a variety of shapes and sizes, and there was even a hanging basket on a conveyor belt that carried bread from one part of the bakery to the other.

Next, we walked to Pier 39, hoping to buy tickets for Alcatraz Island, but were told it was sold out until the end of October. You could see it from the pier, and I decided I definitely have to add this to my list of must do activities once we’re a bit more settled in the area. I was excited to learn that America’s Cup is currently taking place in San Francisco, and managed to get a shot of the bay with the Oracle sailboat in the background, in addition to the shot of me standing in front of Alcatraz Island.

Since we couldn’t visit Alcatraz, we opted for passes which gave us unlimited access to the Muni and Cable Cars and spent the afternoon riding a cable car from Fisherman’s Wharf to Market Street. Like the folks at Muir Woods, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) employees seemed to have a healthy sense of humor. The cable car operator kept referring to the back portion of the cable car as his “office” and the illustrations on the safety sign outside the boarding areas were, I thought, amusing.

Though dogs weren’t allowed on the cable cars, we saw some Bichon Frise themed souvenirs that were worthy of stopping to take a photograph, including the Beware! Bichon Frise On Duty bumper sticker.

Today we’ve been California residents for one week. This morning we leased a car from the Walnut Creek Honda dealership, and next week we’ll take the keys to our new apartment. I’m still waiting for that aha! moment where I suddenly realize I live in a new place and am not just a visitor. My guess is that it will be when I get my California driver’s license. More likely, I’ll finally feel at home when the Bichon Frises arrive.

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