We woke up early and walked down the wharf back to the amazing Boudin Bakery, we couldn’t resist going back. They have a big picture window where the bakers are making the dough and you can watch them in action and the smell is just intoxicating. Breakfast was so delicious! Angie and Suzy split 2 of the best dishes on the menu, a ham, egg and cheese english muffin sandwich and a giant waffle… oh my God sooo good! Ceci had the crab eggs benedict, also very tasty with fresh lump crab. The bakery has a very nice gift shop with gourmet style kitchen gadgets and very french themed aprons and things, super cute! We all said we would be back yet again to buy some souvenirs.
After breakfast we walked 2 blocks to Enterprise to pick up the rental car. Juanita drove us over to Golden Gate Park (which is huge!). As we were driving over, we were amazed by the view of the bridge, the fog was in a perfect line across the bridge and the sky was perfect and clear above and below. We parked in the lot and walked to the Japanese Tea Garden. The garden took our breath away, it was so lush and green and manicured so perfectly. We felt like we stepped into Japan, the ponds were filled with giant and very colorful Koi, there were birds everywhere and the sculptures and buildings were beautiful. Walking through the garden was so peaceful and quiet, it was a very special place. Before leaving, we visited the gift shop and Suzy bought us lucky fortune cookies! She also surprised Angie and got her a little cat charm!
We made it back to the car and Juanita drove us to San Jose which took about an hour and twenty minutes to the Winchester Mystery House. We checked in, and luckily this time Ceci was able to get a ticket, yay! We had a little bit of time before the tour started so we walked around the gardens. It was another perfect day, dry and sunny, not a cloud to be found. We started the Grand Estate Tour and our guide was a very funny man named Jeff who seemed just a little bit too obsessed with Sarah Winchester and her life. The house was very old and typical Victorian, the Tiffany stained Glass windows were unbelievably beautiful. The wallpaper was all original, very ornate with embossed detailing and there was a lot of built-in, functional furniture that was Sarah’s invention. She even had an Otis elevator in the mansion and an indoor greenhouse with its own sprinkler system. The behind the scenes tour was creepy! We went down into the basement and had to wear hardhats, the basement went on forever and it was at least 10 degrees colder down there and just plain scary! We stopped by the gift shop on the way out, they had a ton of stuff, including a photo they took of us at the start of the tour. Suzy surprised us all with getting each of us a 5×7…we told Angie she should take them home so Juan could make cool frames for them.
Before heading back to the hotel, Angie wanted to stop at Poquito, a restaurant on 3rd street that is owned by Richard Vila (Angie’s cousin). We were hoping he was there but he wasn’t, we told the bartender who we were and let him know to please let Richard know we stopped by. We took a look at the menu and decided to try it out and have a couple of small plates, OMG SO DELICIOUS!!!! We tried the empanadas de aire, empanadas de hongo, llapingachos and the ceviche, they really did it right! When we attempted to pay the bill, the bartender wouldn’t allow it. He said, “Richard would kill me if I let you pay!” Such a nice surprise! We did leave the bartender a really good tip, he was great! When we walked back to the car we found a really cool gallery store that sold functional art, the place was called “Workshop Residence” amazing stuff. We parked the car for the night and made it back to the hotel just in time for sunset, we sat and relaxed for a couple of hours, had so much fun chatting about everything and laughing nonstop. These moments were the best of the trip, the bonding time between the four of us, so special.
At dinner time we decided to go to Ghirardelli Square, it was just a few blocks away. It was a very chilly night, good thing we packed jackets! We decided to stop at Buena Vista on the way, we all wanted a quick wake up Irish Coffee and really wanted Ceci to see the place where it was invented. The place was packed and the coffee was STRONG and I’m not talking about the caffeine!
We got to Ghirardelli Square and walked around, there were a lot of very cute cafés and stores there, but we were mostly interested in buying chocolate for the 2 Davids and Juan. They had so many different flavors and a café of their own that included a Sundae Bar! After we finished shopping we were all hungry for some food, except Angie. We tried going to this cool looking diner but it was closed, we ended up going back to the hotel restaurant, The Blue Mermaid. We sat outside, they had really cool fire pits and heaters. Their outdoor seating was in a courtyard that had an ice cream parlor, “Norman’s” which claimed to be The Best ice cream in all of San Francisco. Angie couldn’t resist! She got herself a scoop of espresso and indeed it was delicious, she said it was better than Ben and Jerry’s! The rest of us had wine and appetizers, we went to bed full and happy!