To get to San Francisco from Pleasanton, CA we decided to take the BART or Bay Area Rapid Transit. There are two nearby BART stations and we chose to leave out of the West Dublin/Pleasanton station. The cost was $5.50 per person each way for a total of $22.00 for the two of us round-trip. Considering it is a thirty minute drive into town with no traffic (not likely) and the cost of parking in downtown is extremely exorbitant taking the BART was a no brainer.
The ride in takes about 35 minutes as the BART goes a lot faster than we thought and when it stops it only briefly at best… you had better not waste any time getting on or off. Our stop was to be the Embarcadero which put us right on the edge of downtown San Francisco. Since we both have been to San Fran before we wanted to spend more time visiting the heart of the town and our focus was to be in Chinatown.
We had a 6 mile loop planned that would take us through the center of town along the piers back to the Embarcadero BART station. The weather was very sunny with temperatures in the mid 60’s until we got nearer the water and then it was more like the upper 50’s and foggy. We took in many of the sights this big city has to offer as we walked amongst the skyscrapers and the people scurrying to and fro from either the lunch destination or their offices. Much more fun to be watching them than being them…
Chinatown in San Francisco is huge and most of the tourists stay close to the main drag for the shopping. If you get off the beaten path a bit there are some interesting finds such as the place where fortune cookies are assembled by 4 ladies in front of a conveyer belt. Or do as we did and dine in one of the local eateries. We simply chose a spot that had a long line and where most of the people eating there didn’t look like us ; )
The walk along the piers is where most of the tourists are found especially around pier 39. This is also where you will find the seals which are always a treat to watch. There is a lot of construction happening along the piers as San Francisco gears up for the 2013 version of the America’s Cup. I got to see a bit of this race in Auckland, New Zealand long ago but can only imagine how much fun it would be to watch some of it here.
Back at the Embarcadero we took our BART connection back to Dublin. Be careful when departing the BART by making sure you know which parking garage you are in. We always text ourselves where we are parked but we still managed to walk into the wrong parking garage. Who would have known they had one on each side of the freeway? We did find our garage and ultimately our car and made it back home safely where we have extended our stay through the weekend.