Monday, April 01, 2013

Runaway Weekend Returns

We finally gathered together time, money and energy to bring back our runway weekend idea. It has been four years since our last runaway! The plan is to surf the internet,  find a bargain on a hotel and steal away for a weekend adventure. This weekend we used Hotwire to find a $79++ rate at the three and a half star Club Quarters Hotel in the San Francisco financial district. It included free internet access, a fitness center and all the free purified water you can drink. We only packed only our backpacks,  left behind our big cameras, carrying only our point a shoot equipment. We like to hike in the city so whatever we bring we must haul. Packing light is the best option. We were off to the city on the Golden Gate Ferry.

Once in the city we hiked past the huge crowds at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and walked ten minutes to the hotel. The location is ideal for us. It is within blocks of Chinatown, North Beach and Embarcadero  Center. We decided on dim sum for lunch so we walked with a hunger to the Imperial Palace Restaurant.  The food was wonderful ! We ate more that our fill for under $20. I tried desperately to shoot photos but the light was horrible so I decided to take a picture of Avril at the entrance to document our presence. 
The Royal Avril

After lunch we strolled Chinatown and a part of North Beach looking for potential dinner ideas. We steered our way back to the hotel and checked out the amenities. The fitness center was really nice but after walking all morning I napped and Avril watched movies. Awake, refreshed and hungry again we considered activities and dinner. Just across the street there is the Embarcadero Center Cinema,  we walked over and checked it out. Nothing appealed so we wandered next door to Fuzio Universal Bistro for a glass of wine to aid in our decision process. We sat in the bar, sipped wine and decided to stay for dinner. The prices are gentle, portions are huge and the bartender friendly, my kind of place. I had the portabella mushroom, tomato and basil fire-grilled pizza and Avril, the Chinese chicken salad. We lingered and enjoyed watching  the crowds rushing to finish dinner and make their movie time. There was  no  time rush  for us, just fun company and good food. For dessert I had brandy and she had the decadent chocolate martini. It was a nice way to spend an evening, I recommend it.
Cocktails and Dinner Fuzio Universal Bistro San Francisco
The next morning we decided to have breakfast at the Elephant and Castle Pub located adjacent to the hotel. I opted for the " Great British Breakfast" which was more great food than I normally eat in a day!  It had bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, toast, baked beans, fruit and  banger!   Again a low light photo issue but this breakfast needed to be seen.
Elephant and Castle Pub San Francisco

 We had originally planned to go to the city for a day trip on Sunday to scope out the embarkation process of the Grand Princess. She had returned from Hawaii and was on the way to Mexico for a ten day cruise. We will be on the Grand Princess later this year. What a hub bub of activity with passengers arriving early for departure and those leaving scrambling for cabs and cars. I think we will plan on arriving later for our trip embarkation to avoid the crowds. The ship was gleaming at dock but only the top part was visible. I can't wait for our cruise!
The Grand Princess In San Francisco

Welcome to San Francisco Grand Princess. We will see you soon!


Chilebrown said...

We take the City fro granted sometimes because we live so close. Bully for you guys for taking advantage of a great time. I am even impressed that you left the big guns at home.

Greg said...

Chilebrown- The city has concentrated fun and we leave the driving to the GG Ferry. Lots of new places on the Embarcadero. The new Exploratorium opens soon.

Greg said...

Chilebrown- P.S. The point and shoot is a little less attention drawing in restaurants and such.

Zoomie said...

Sounds like great fun. Where are you going on your next cruise?

Greg said...

Zoomie- North to Alasaka!