Befitting? Perhaps. Slightly disappointing? For sure. We landed to rainy and foggy weather. We headed up to the roof of our hotel for a view before trekking out into the city, but all we were met with was this view:
We were only a mile or so from where all the action was...too bad we needed to head uphill. It was good to get our bearings and see a little of the city on foot.
First time on a cable car, heading to Chinatown.
It was bumpy!
Workin' the cable car
Markets were everywhere with their goods flowing out to the sidewalk.
Though we had a destination in mind, there were choices everywhere.
We finally found our lunch: Good Mang Kok Bakery. The food was great. Our only regret is that this place was carry-out instead of a sit-down place.
I'm thankful that Erin was the one to brave that intimidating menu. She got a few things so that we could try a bit of everything.
My sisters and I weren't the only ones with our noses pressed up to the windows.
We got steamed shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings (my personal favorite - delicious!)
and BBQ pork buns - one steamed and one baked. Milder than the BBQ we're used to, but still good. I preferred the baked.
Erin also got an egg tart. Yummy.
After lunch, more exploring!
I'll admit, I was tempted to go in to see if they could relieve the knots in my shoulders...
Then we came upon the Tin How Temple, the oldest Chinese Taoist temple in the US.
We walked up 4 flights of stairs to this amazing room with a beautiful altar, red Chinese lanterns, and the ceiling covered in prayers, enclosed in red tasseled envelopes. I thought it was beautiful. There were no pictures allowed inside, as it is an active temple - people were praying while we were there - but we were allowed to take pictures from the balcony. This view is to Coit Tower (which we never made it to during our travels).
There was incense burning (so much that you could smell it coming up the stairs), and oranges left as an offering.
We just had to do some shopping for the cute kiddos we left back at home!
We stopped for some more dim sum - dessert style! There is the strawberry custard tart, a winter melon pastry, and a lotus paste bun.
Grant Street was pretty cool with all the pretty lanterns and fancy street lights.
I was fascinated by the shops, especially those with distinctly Chinese products such as dried fish, roots of every kind, and the tea shops.
Portsmouth Square was a great place for people watching.
I loved seeing the older folks playing mahjong. There had to have been at least a dozen games going on.
Yet, it was still peaceful enough for some Tai Chi.
I don't know what this instrument is called, but it was cool to hear this man play it.
And finally, we found this sweet little place down a dark, pokey alley.
After we were done with Chinatown, we headed to the Embarcadero, walking down the all the piers to get to Fisherman's Wharf
If I'd known how long we'd be walking, I would've suggested one of those trolleys.
The Bay Bridge
Then we had a yummy crab dinner!
We caught the cable car one last time to as far as we could go - the top of Lombard Street.
It was a great first day!