San Francisco, Part 2: Double Deckers and Cable Cars

After checking out everything at Family Day, I hopped on the BART and made my way into the city. I had been into San Francisco exactly a year ago, but there was so much left that I had yet to see.


The Musée Mécanique

Before I did my night tour, I checked out the Musée Mécanique down by the wharf. Filled with antique, mechanical arcade games, it’s definitely worth visiting for an hour or so to check out the old relics of the past.

Entrance to Musée Mécanique

My favorite game was this old crane game, where you load kernels into a hopper and try to make the scale go up.

Crane game at Musée Mécanique


Night Tour with City Sightseeing 

I had done a little searching on Groupon and came across a good deal on a nighttime double decker bus tour of the city. Although I’d never done one before, it sounded quite interesting.

View of the TransAmerica Pyramid from atop the double decker bus

I was pleasantly surprised with the trip. We ended up heading past Chinatown, through the financial district, and then across the Bay Bridge for a stop at Treasure Island.

View of San Francisco from Treasure Island

After stretching our legs on the island and taking some photos, we made our way back to the city.

Riding back atop the Bay Bridge

I wouldn’t say I have a fear of heights more than the average person, but the ride across the bridge on top of a bus definitely wasn’t for the faint of heart!

Once back in the city, we followed the Embarcadero back to our starting point at Fisherman’s Wharf.


Ghirardelli Square

Before heading back to my hotel for the night, I had to make a stop at Ghirardelli Square to pick up a gift for my mother. It’s definitely worth a stop at the ice cream shop and chocolate store to pick up something sweet if you’re in the area.

All the assorted chocolates on display
Some sort of mechanical chocolate stirring device


Food tour with Sidewalk Food Tours

For lunch the next day, I decided to do a food tour and check out some of the local fare. I purchased my tour with Sidewalk Food Tours on Groupon for $39.20 with all discounts.

We all met up at the starting location and then proceeded to check out the six locations in the North Beach neighborhood.

Entrance to the Molinari Delicatessen

We started by sampling some delicious deli sandwiches at the Molinari Delicatessen, which proved to be absolutely fantastic.

Deli counter at the Molinari Delicatessen

We then proceeded to another excellent Italian restaurant to sample some pasta and meatballs.

Next, we visited Golden Boy Pizza to try some popular local pizza. I went with the clam topped pizza and I was not disappointed.

Sampling the clam pizza

We then checked out an interesting vegan place, followed by a truffle bakery and a cannoli place, all of which were amazing. The trip really gave me the opportunity to try a vast array if eateries that I would otherwise not have found.


Coit Tower

Another recommendation I got was to see Coit Tower. Overlooking the city from atop Telegraph Hill, the 210-foot tower was constructed in 1933.

After a lengthly wait, you take a tiny elevator to the observation deck for breathtaking views of the city.

Inside the tiny elevator

Once at the top, you can peek out several windows for a look at the city.

View of San Francisco from Coit Tower
View looking up from the observation deck


San Francisco Cable Car Museum

After checking out Coit Tower, I hopped aboard a cable car and made my way towards the Cable Car Museum. During my previous trip to the city, I somehow missed this popular attraction, so I certainly had to visit this time around,

Making my way to the Cable Car Museum

Once inside, you’re immediately greeted by the site of the massive machinery that moves the entire cable car system.

The powerhouse for the San Francisco cable car system

In addition to the machinery room, the museum showcases multiple exhibits on the history of the cable car system and you can take a stairway down to the massive underground sheave room that routes the cables throughout the city.

After checking out the museum, I headed over to grab dinner with a friend and then made my way to the airport to catch my flight home.

San Francisco to Norfolk

I made a quick stop at the United Club to grab a few drinks that would hopefully lull me to sleep on the ride home.


Buffet at the United Club
Sipping on a whiskey sour

United 995
SFO [San Francisco] to ORD [Chicago]
October 9, 2017
Depart: 11:19 PM
Arrive: 5:18 AM
Duration: 3hr59min
Aircraft: 777-200
Seat: 39L

The rearmost exit row on the 777-200

Our flight boarded on time, and after a long taxi, we were in the air. I tried to get some sleep, but I probably only was fortunate enough to get one or two hours during the entire flight.

I scored a confirmed upgrade the night before for the next flight due to my Premier status, so I was actually able to get a little rest on this one.

United 1952
ORD [Chicago] to ORF [Norfolk]
October 10, 2017
Depart: 6:00 AM
Arrive: 9:17 AM
Duration: 2hr17min
Aircraft: 737-900
Seat: 1A

Seat 1A on the 737

We made a timely departure from Chicago and I managed to grab a few more winks of sleep before arriving in Norfolk and heading back into work.

Hope you liked the trip report.

Happy travels,


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