During our four-night stay in San Francisco, we spent our first two nights in the city proper, at the Parc 55 Hotel. They totally screwed us over and put us in a smoking room, which reeked, making us feel like we reeked, too. No fun, especially for the price we were paying per night.
It’s a humongous hotel, fulllllllllll of foreign tourists and people visiting the city for conferences. Each trip up/down the elevator was crowded and stuffy. OK, so the location was handy, but that’s about where the charm ended.
For our last two nights, we rented a houseboat in Sausalito, California — just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Fran. (Via VRBO.com — a brilliant site for hotel haters, along with homeaway.com).
While the weather was less-than-ideal — it was always too chilly/rainy to sit on the patio — but the complete privacy, the full kitchen, the gorgeous marina views (both day and night), and the four-minute walk to downtown Sausalito made for a perfect mini-vacation. I spent a lot of time mentally patting myself on the back for coming up with this idea (or for marrying the person who came up with the idea — I can’t remember who between us originally suggested the idea).
Plus, the Redwoods (see previous post) were about a 20-minute drive from the houseboat, and Napa is allegedly only about an hour (we ran out of time for that, as much as I like wine.)
We also found a great dive bar — Smitty’s — which was a nice contrast to uber-wealthy Sausalito. We knew we had finally found “wacky California” when a guy started playing table shuffleboard with his feet. And wow, I love good California beers! (Food there is excellent, fresh, creative and always a bit overpriced, kinda like California in general.)