We recently spent 4 days in San Francisco. We chose San Francisco for a spring trip because we had never visited in the spring, the RT airfare from New Orleans was only $378, and hotel rates were reasonable. In addition to spending time in San Francisco, we visited Lake Tahoe, Carson City, NV, Virginia City, NV, Napa, and Point Reyes before returning to San Francisco (on the afternoon of the huge power outage ) to spend the night prior to our departure.
Our flight from New Orleans to Los Angeles was uneventful. We were upgraded to Comfort+ and the 3-hour+ flight just flew by (no pun intended). Unfortunately, our plane did not have an entertainment system, so I spent the time reading and Bikinchris listened to music. On the leg from Los Angeles to San Francisco we were upgraded to First Class and our time in the air flew by too fast. Our flight path took us up the coast and the view was beautiful.
We arrived in San Francisco mid-afternoon and took BART into the city. I had applied for a senior Clipper Card prior to the trip and I highly recommend that to travelers 65 and over. My fare from the airport to the Powell Street BART station was only a little over $3 while the regular fare was almost $10. The BART station is about a block from the entrance to the San Francisco Marriott Marquis where we stayed at reasonable rates for 4 nights. We were upgraded from a low floor to a high floor city view. Our room was very clean and comfortable.
Night view of the "dancing" Bay Bridge
When we checked in, we were given Ghirardelli Strawberries and Chocolate Squares which were delicious. I will explain more about these squares when I describe our trip to Ghirardelli Square later in the blog.
After getting settled in our room, we decided to visit the M Lounge for an afternoon snack. The M Lounge is open from 6:30 AM to 2:30 AM (or close to those hours) and is the best lounge we have ever had access to. In the afternoon, they have fruit, chips, and containers with different assortments of M&M's, chocolate-covered raisins, a gummy something, Chex Mix, and a spicy Chex Mix. Pepsi products are available. They do not have regular bottled water; however, you are welcome to fill your own water bottles or use the cups (made of corn, but look like plastic) available. There is a wine dispenser that you use your room key to access and I think it was also available in the afternoon. You can choose the size pour you want and what kind of wine you want.
After a quick snack, we headed to the Target store just across the street so Bikinchris could pick up the cords he needed for his electronics that he had forgotten. We also visited the Trader
Joe's, also across the street in the other direction, and looked around. We walked around the area just a bit to reacquaint ourselves where all the local transportation options were. After a brief rest (we had been up since about 1 AM West Coast time), we returned to the M Lounge. They had an amazing selection to choose from including dinner entrees, vegetables, salad, soup, fruit, and an assortment of crackers, cheese, bread, breadsticks and individual crudite cups with carrots/celery and a dip. The entrees, veggies, soup, and salads changed each night.
The lounge was a busy place because of all the guests staying at the hotel for Easter week-end, but the lounge attendants made sure food was replenished as needed, cleared the tables quickly, and made sure everyone had everything they needed. They also had duplicate dishes of all entree items and accompanying veggies on a huge serving table which was removed after the week-end rush. The hotel policy is guest+1 and there was an attendant at the door in the mornings and the evenings.
The breakfast offerings were always the same, but because there were so many choices, you never had to eat the same thing twice. Selections included scrambled eggs, scrambled egg whites, smoked bacon, oatmeal and toppings, dry cereal, pastries, fruit, muffins, English muffins, croissants, milk, juice, coffee, etc.
The strawberries were so big, you only needed 1 or 2! We can buy California strawberries in Louisiana, but they are not this big and pretty.
Stay tuned for the next installment which describes our Saturday visit to:
- Goatchella at the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building
- the sea lions at Pier 39
- the Maritime National Park
- enjoying dessert at Ghirardelli Square
- taking pictures of the Powell-Hyde Street Cable Car
- lunch at Boudin Bakery