Woof Trekking Dispatch #5: Blue Mermaid, Rainbow Sequin Man, and Ghirardelli Square, July 2012

Woof Trekking Dispatch #5: Blue Mermaid, Rainbow Sequin Man, and Ghirardelli Square, July 2012

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

The next stop on our very first Woof Trek was Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. This was another fun stop after our previous adventures at Angel’s Flight, the Pacific Coast Highway, Silicon Valley, and Japantown.

Dispatch 5 Fishermans Wharf - 1

 
The weather in San Francisco can be quite cool and wet, even in summer. Weather.com states that September is actually the warmest month. The day we visited Fisherman’s Wharf, the temperatures hovered around 60 degrees. It was a bit chilly for us desert dwellers.

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We had lunch at Blue Mermaid Restaurant, located in conjunction with the Argonaut Hotel. Yelp reviewers rank this seafood spot at 3 1/2 stars. We would tend to agree with this due to some fancy prices and fairly slow service. That being said, the food was delicious.

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Pictured above is the New England Clam Chowder. Pictured below is the Manhattan Clam Chowder. Both excellent choices if you decide to go.

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One of the most exciting things about this stop was the restroom. With a short jaunt into the Argonaut Hotel, you are in a natty and nautical Blue Mermaid-themed wonderland.

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A close-up of the wallpaper brings to mind the intro to a James Bond movie.

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After our delicious meal, we headed out to hang out with the doggies. Next, we ducked into Boudin Bakery’s flagship location at the Wharf for a little sourdough treat and some cans of Clam Chowder for home.


We didn’t get a chance to take a self-guided Bakery Museum Tour, but next time we will. It’s only $3. Boudin has locations all across California, so we’ll definitely have to stop there next time we are in LA.

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We returned to the Wharf and decided to stretch our legs. Not long into our walk we encountered this colorful character. Oh yeah.

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We tore our eyes away from Sequin Man and headed toward Ghirardelli Square. Ghi-rar-delli- that is a hard word to spell. It’s got two r’s, kind of like February, but we digress.

We arrived at the shopping center and popped into a little pet boutique, YAP, that featured clothes mostly for smaller dogs. A very cute store! Then we headed over to the main event: the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and Café!

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Izzy, happy to hang out in Ghirardelli Square!

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When we visited in 2012, the café was quite cramped. Thanks to Google Maps, we now know that the Shop and Cafe has relocated next door and has expanded a lot! The previous spot is now occupied by Jackson and Polk, a lifestyle boutique, and Vom Fass, offering oils, vinegars and liquors. What a difference 4 years makes.

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Woof Trekking at Fisherman's Wharf

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #4: Japantown and Lombard Street, July 2012

Woof Trekking Dispatch #4: Japantown and Lombard Street, July 2012

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our fourth dispatch from our very first Woof Trek is from San Francisco. You can check out our previous entries in this series here. You can check out our new book, Woof Trekking, on Amazon and Kobo.

We started off the day by going to Japantown, located in the Western Addition district of San Francisco. Prior to 1906, there were actually two Japantowns since San Francisco was the main port of entry of Japanese immigrants, but after the 1906 earthquake only one survived. According to Wikipedia, Japantown in San Francisco is the oldest enclave of Japanese residents in the United States.

The earthquake of 1906 is an important time in our own family history because both of our maternal great-grandfathers witnessed the destruction caused by the earthquake as they were arriving by boat from Japan (our grandma’s father) and from Hawaii (our grandpa’s father).
san francisco, japantown peace plaza, peace pagoda
We found a nice parking spot at the corner of Sutter Street and Buchanan Street and walked across Sutter to wander around.
san francisco, traffic light, street sign
Our first stop was the Japantown Peace Plaza. This Plaza holds several events throughout the year marking Japanese holidays. At the heart of this Plaza is the Peace Pagoda. The Pagoda was built in 1968, designed by Yoshiro Taniguchi and was a gift from the people of Osaka, San Francisco’s sister city in Japan.
san francisco, peace pagoda, japantown peace plaza
After walking around the Peace Plaza we ventured into the Japan Center East Mall. We went into a couple of shops, but our favorite was Daiso Japan. They had all sorts of household items but the most impressive section was these colorful containers, arranged in perfect order. It was quite the sight to see.
daiso japan, store, japanese, store, Japan Center East Mall
While walking around the mall, we stumbled across this fabulous mural of Japanese umbrellas.
Japan Center East Mall, mural


After doing some shopping, we hopped back into the car and set off to see Lombard Street.
san francisco, cars, road, hill,
This street is dubbed, “The most crooked street in the world.” It is located in the Russian Hill neighborhood. We took the slow, winding route down the hill. You can’t go too fast with all the switchbacks in the street. In the distance, you can see stately Coit Tower. You can also see Yerba Buena and Treasure Island further out into the bay, accessible via the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
san francisco, cars, road, hill,
The homes lining along this street seemed quaint. This the biggest and probably the oldest bougainvillea we have ever seen! Very beautiful in full bloom.
bougainvillea
san francisco, cars, road, hill,

Another shot, a few turns down the street.

san francisco, cars, road, hill,

You can take a virtual tour of Lombard Street on Google Maps.

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Woof Trekking Japantown and Lombard Street

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