After walking in that dreadful rain all morning we wanted to be inside for a bit. Guido and I bought some new shoes, because our old ones had holes in the soles and our feet were soaked, and my mom bought some salt water taffy. We've never seen taffy in real life before, let alone tasted it, but all the barrels with all the pretty candy were very enticing, so a lot of taffy was bought. Then we tried some and decided we didn't like taffy much at all. So the bucket of taffy is going back to the Netherlands as one of many souvenirs.
When you're at Fishermans Wharf, clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl is kind of a must. So we headed over to Boudin's Bakery, the most famous sourdough bread bakery in town, to share some clam chowder in one of their sourdough bowls. The bread was very sour, which surprised me a bit, because I've eaten a lot of sourdough this last year, but none as sour as Boudin's. We all liked the chowder, but my mom didn't like the sour bread. The sourdough bread bowl I had last year wasn't sour at all, it just tasted like french bread. Just, so you know :).
And after lunch my mother finally got to see the sea lions at Pier 39. She had wanted to see them last time we were here, but for some reason we didn't or we forgot. And we were so close last time, we didn't even realize it. These sea lions don't do much, yet they're fascinating to watch. They sleep or rest all piled on top of each other, even though there is so much more space on the other floating docks. Others are climbing on top of the pile of sleeping sea lions trying to find themselves a spot too, and get loudly barked and sneezed at. Some more active sea lions are diving and swimming or are (play) fighting and pushing each other of the floating docks. We could have watched them forever, we might visit them again tomorrow.
The one bread bowl of soup, didn't fill up the Dutchies' stomachs completely so they bought themselves some yummy fried fish at Pier 39, while waiting for Yasu to finally join our sightseeing and rain-coat wearing party.
Next on the menu was a chocolate factory tour and tasting at TCHO. We're very happy that the tour was free, because it really wasn't worth it. We spent about an hour watching a PowerPoint presentation and trying to listen to the presenter. But it was almost impossible to understand him, because he didn't speak loud enough and when you did hear him he spoke way to monotonously and quickly. He wasn't very good at keeping his audience's attention. So we didn't really learn much, the factory itself wasn't in production that day and we were only in the factory for a few minutes, and didn't see anything too interesting. We tasted a few pieces of chocolate, but you can taste that for free in the shop too, so I wouldn't really recommend this tour, or rather presentation. We did however enjoy taking pictures with the hair nets we wore those few moments we were in the factory.
Our feet were getting pretty tired from all the walking and the Dutchies were feeling the jet lag. We were trying to find a nice place to have drink and sit, but we were walking down Market Street and nothing really suited our European desires. We finally opted for a frozen yogurt shop, because I've been wanting to try frozen yogurt for a very long time and because the Dutchies were really fed up with walking. I actually really liked the frozen yogurt's tartness, such a refreshing change from all the overly sweet ice cream they have here in the States.
After our little frozen yogurt dessert came dinner, a little backwards I know, but it's vacation so anything goes. We took the Dutchies to our favorite Japanese restaurant, Tokyo Express on Fourth and Mission. The food is very authentic, except for the American sushi rolls of course, and not too expensive. And they serve mugicha (barley tea)! Something I can't get enough of, and it's free!
Wow, day one of sightseeing is over, and our feet are killing us already! So naturally we're very happy about picking up a rental car tomorrow evening, but first we'll have to endure one more day of sightseeing on foot.