Heading up to San Francisco to attend the Bay Area Travel Writers meeting, I decided I would be adventurous and take different transportation systems into the city and across the bay to Sausalito. The morning started off great when I was able to get on an earlier Southwest flight and arrived in San Francisco at 9:30 AM.  I chose to ride in Go Loring shuttle and the driver wasn’t too friendly and had a New York type attitude.  Come to think of it, he was wearing a NY Giants ball cap as he barked at me, get in the van to which I complied.  An hour later after landing I finally made it to my hotel near the Embarcadero.  Shuttle and taxi drivers never cease to amaze me how they dart in and out of traffic and barely miss getting into an accident while I hold my breath and wait for the damage to happen.

I met up with a travel writer friend and treated her to lunch since it was her birthday and she graciously gave me her time at the famous Slanted Door restaurant in the Ferry building on the Embarcadero.  Maybe the restaurant can be described as new age Asian fusion (its really Vietnamese), pricey but good with very fresh ingredients.  I’d say a notch up from PF Chang’s with a fabulous view of the the bay.  We dined on crab cellophane noodles, leeky beef with brown rice and an appetizer of daikon rice cake.   The server brought a birthday dessert of warmed bread pudding made with fresh peaches and a sweet sauce that made it over the top with the egg and bread filling.   Not the typical bread pudding and so delicious and smooth tasting.

The next day to attend my meeting, I decided to take the Golden Gate Ferry to Sausalito and after doing my research on their website walked to the Ferry building to catch the ferry.  It had been raining and I worried about swells and capsizing but the ferry did look big enough to handle the worst storm.  I easily bought my ticket through the machine that is very simple to figure out where I needed to go and how to pay for it.  I noticed the male employees working the ferry were a bit aged and crusty and it reminded of whaling ship images, they were in charge no doubt.   The boat ride took about 20 minutes and the Captain announced swells were ahead and to stay seated at which time I looked around for the life vests just in case. The rough waters didn’t last too long, the sun came out and soon we docked in Sausalito.

My meeting had a representative from Sausalito’s sister city Vina Del Mar, Chile and plenty of Chilean wines and empanadas were freely shared with the group.  It was time to return to San Francisco as I had a later flight and I boarded the ferry for the return trip. $9.25 each way and its a super way to beat the traffic across the bridge.

I gathered my carry on bag and talked myself into talking BART to San Francisco airport.  A shuttle is predictable and a taxi expensive so it was time to experiment with BART and it was a good thing I allowed plenty of time. Downstairs in the station I had a difficult time figuring out how to use the automatic machine and after failed attempts to use my ATM card, I dug for cash thinking that would take care of it.  But no, I had $2 owed me and finally some nice man helped me navigate the correct buttons to get my ticket and change for the $8.10 fare.  It was a busy Saturday afternoon and various protesters were headed home on BART and this same nice man told me if I took the train coming up, I’d have to switch trains in Daly City so wait for the one that goes directly to SFO.  Thank goodness for those who help others in need.

The train ride made several stops with many people getting on and off at all the locations.  Most people were well behaved and many had luggage also going to the airport so I stayed near them knowing we’d all get off at the same time and same stop.

San Francisco is always a lively city with many options to move about the city and outlying areas and enjoy fabulous food everywhere.