Friday, April 28, 2017

Ahoy San Francisco!

For a period of about four years, I flew in and out of San Francisco almost every other month. The Union Square area, its restaurants, cafes and bars were as familiar to me as those in  my hometown of Pune. Then in mid-2015 I left my jet-setting corporate life to start my own thing ending my international travel.  Now after a gap of two years I was now flying back into SFO with my family.  As we drove down to our hotel, I felt like I had only momentarily been away. There were a few changes I noted immediately: a larger, fancier Apple Store at Union Square and a new steel and glass building on 2nd St., that houses LinkedIn. My favorite lunch destination Osho Thai on 2nd St. has morphed into a fancy Laotian restaurant (sadly), the La Boulange outlet at Metreon has moved out. But otherwise, much of this city seemed exactly as I had left it.

Our first day here was unusually warm. I had decided to take my family on a fun trip to Fisherman's Wharf by tram.  Given how popular this particular route is with the tourists, we had to stand in the warm sun for a while before we got our turn. We headed straight to one of the many crab and sea-food restaurants on Pier 39 before strolling around like the many tourists milling in and around the area.

In the evening we strolled down Market St. to the Ferry Building and stopped by La Mar for a dinner of Peruvian delicacies of ceviche, causa and other sea-food delights.  A welcome breeze made for a pleasant walk back to our hotel.  We were at the opulent The Palace Hotel in downtown SF, one of the few in the area that has a lot of history.

On our way back from New Orleans and Vegas we spent another day in this beautiful city before taking our long flight back home.  This time we were at the Grand Hyatt in Union Square, a hotel I have stayed many times before during my business trips to this area.  We spent some time walking up and down Chinatown and the Nob Hill area, stopping for sushi and miso soup at Sushi Toni and the  always amazing Super Duper for SF’s best burger-shake combo.

Singapore Airlines was as good as ever, their business class cabin and service top-notch like before.  For a change, it was good to have company during these long flights which I usually do all by myself.

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