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San Francisco Part 1, California Christmas 2021

Christmas Day in San Francisco

We woke up on Christmas morning to our less-than-traditional tree and gifts from Santa.

We were in San Francisco during an uncharacteristically rainy Christmas week, so we were especially happy to just enjoy the view of the city and Golden Gate Bridge as Karl (the affectionate name for the fog that appears often and seemingly out of nowhere) rolled through.

Union Square, Ghirardelli Square, & Chinatown

After arriving in the Russian Hill neighborhood we were almost immediately greeted by some of the most famous residents, part of the flock of parrots that are now wild in the city. This group was hovering around a third-story residential porch, so we felt a little voyeuristic taking videos.
The rain continued, so our walking descent down the iconic and windy Lombard Street was a bit precarious. From there, it was a just a 10 minute walk to the waterfront Aquatic Park. I had failed to research correctly, and we arrived to a closed-on-Christmas-Day Ghirardelli Square, which was a reminder to never promise ice cream sundaes to children on holidays. We activated our full-day MUNI passes to tour the city via Cable Cars (those on a track) and Streetcars (those attached to wires overhead). Near Aquatic Park is the start of the Powell/Hyde Cable Car line, so we used it to make our way back toward Union Square and to our lunch destination.

Hilton San Francisco Union Square, CA 2021

Chinatown was bustling on Christmas Day, and we spent a significant amount of time in the shops. Christmas day lunch was provided by Enjoy Vegetarian, where Alice had her first proper chopsticks introduction.

California on Christmas Night

That evening we reboarded the Cable Car near Union Square and returned to the waterfront. I don’t know what a normal night looks like at Fisherman’s Wharf, but Christmas was especially packed, so we made a beeline through the crowds for an obligatory stop to see the sea lions at Pier 39. From there, we took a very retro streetcar back to Union Square.

Union Square, San Francisco CA, 2021

We ended Christmas with a lovely dinner at Cesario’s restaurant, just off the beaten path of Union Square. The restaurant is small, and even with a reservation a wait may be common, but well worth it.

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco CA, 2021

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