Summary:  This day consisted of several reunions for me, as friends I hadn't seen in a while all congregated in San Francisco!  In the morning, I met up with two friends from high school, and in the afternoon, my flatmate who I used to live with in Australia joined us.  We basically drove around and hit some relatively non-touristy sites in San Francisco (keyword - "some" and "relatively"), which included: Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, The Embarcadero, Lombard Street, Palace of Fine Arts, The Marina, Ocean Beach, Sutro Baths, Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery Store, Dolores Park with Bi-Rite Creamery, and The Painted Ladies.  

Time Spent Traveling: 12 hours
Mode of Transportation: Driving, would be difficult to do with public transport
Activity Level: Light to moderate, some hiking but minimal
Tour Operator: None

ITINERARY (times are very approximate and meant to only roughly illustrate the pace)
1.) Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and Ferry Building (9-10:45am)
This is an amazing farmer's market with strange hours - Tuesday and Thursday from 10am - 2pm and then Saturday from 8am - 2pm, open year round.  The outside of the Ferry Building is lined with food and produce stands, while the street in front of it holds artwork stands, where local artists sell hand-made jewelry, paintings, clothing, etc.  It was a Saturday and I arrived at 9am to meet Elizabeth, one of my best friends from high school.  When she texted me that she was going to be a bit late I decided to go take pictures for my blog (it's what diligent travel bloggers would do right?).  Below is a sampling of what the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market has to offer: 
For out-of-town tourists looking for San Francisco specific souvenirs, there are plenty of paintings and drawings that depict San Francisco icons, created by local artists.
Soon Elizabeth arrived and so did Shaon, another one of my high school friends who I hadn't seen in a while.  We perused the produce and food selection of the farmer's market, where several stands gave out free samples of fresh peach fruit, which I imagine is a seasonal occurrence.  I came across the Cremeux Ex Machina gelato stand, a vendor that makes gelato from ingredients grown on local farms.  I decided to get some avocado-flavored gelato made from California-grown avocados, as well as a salted caramel flavor...and Elizabeth decided to take several pictures of me doing so.  I was amused that the green avocado gelato matched my green top.  
2.) The Embarcadero (10:45am-12pm)
When we got tired of the Farmer's Market, we started walking up The Embarcadero where nice bay-side views cn be found.  We briefly wandered into the Exploratorium but didn't go inside, although there was a cool display right outside the ticketing area: Glasses filled with mineral oil that invert images.  The pictures below unfortunately have a terrible glare, but you can see how the word "Welcome" and the pictures of the stick figures are inverted in the glasses.  There was also a nice walkway across the water.
From the Exploratorium we continued walking along The Embarcadero and soon came upon the America's Cup, but the sailing race didn't seem to have started yet.  Still, it was exciting to see so many boats on San Francisco Bay.  We wanted to hang out in the lounge area, where there are bean mattresses on a patch of grass, but it was full.  
3.) Lombard Street (12:25pm)
After walking along the Embarcadero for a while, we started driving around as Elizabeth had a car.  Our first destination was Lombard Street,  the crookedest street in San Francisco, and always ALWAYS flanked with tourists.  I've walked down this street several times but this was my first time sitting in a car going down it.  Shaon was the designated photographer since Elizabeth was driving and he was sitting in the front, but I also took some pictures.  
4.) Palace of Fine Arts (1:05pm)
After Lombard Street we drove to the Marina District, intending to park somewhere and watch the America's Cup race.  We drove around for 30 minutes, probably more, before finding a parking space in front of the Palace of Fine Arts.  I did some yoga poses and Elizabeth snapped several pictures, while Shaon slept in the grass.  San Francisco is very hilly, and I must say doing yoga poses on an incline is challenging.  We ended up not watching the America's Cup, because none of us really knew anything about boats.  
5.) Home Plate for Lunch (1:30-2:30pm)
2274 Lombard Street  San Francisco, CA  94123     (415) 922-4663
When we got hungry Shaon took out his phone and found this diner on Yelp.  We walked there instead of driving, because finding parking would have been impossible, and passed some nice houses along the way.  The cute little trees in front of a garage (middle picture) caught my attention.
It was after 1:30pm when we ate but we all ordered breakfast/brunch-ish foods.  I ordered an oyster and bacon frittata, but since we shared our food, I also had some chicken omelette, waffle, and chicken sausage patty.  Our meals also came with  a scone, and the strawberry and mango jams that accompanied it were delicious.  My meal also came with potato and carrot pancakes, a tasty combination I'd never heard of before. 
6.) The Marina (2:45pm)
As we finished eating at Home Plate, Sian, who I used to live with in Australia, texted me to say that she'd arrived in San Francisco!  We went back to Elizabeth's car to pick her up at her hotel, and walked pass the marina on the way.  Due to the large number of expensive-looking boats, we discussed if we would buy nice boats if we ever got rich.  My vote was no, I'd rather buy a nice condo in Sydney, Australia first - anyone who sort of knows me will understand.  
7.) Ocean Beach (3:30-4pm)
Once we picked Sian up from her hotel, we drove over to Ocean Beach, where parking is actually not too difficult to find.  Both Sian and Elizabeth had never experienced a San Francisco beach before, so I gave a brief description:
Me: So this is a typical SF beach.  It's foggy and chilly.  Not like in Sydney at all.
Me: As you can see, no one is swimming.  The water never gets warm enough to swim in.
Me: We get the cold fronts from Alaska, that's why.
Me: Oh, but we're facing the Pacific Ocean.  The Bay's on the other side of SF.  Australia's over there!!
Sian: I want to walk in the water.
Elizabeth: Me too!
Me: It's going to be icy cold
(They walk into the water against my recommendations.)
Elizabeth: AAAAHHHH!!  That feels like water you'd drink, not swim in!!!!
Sian: AAAAHHHH!!!  It's freezing!!!!  How is it the middle of summer here?????
Me: Yes the middle of July would be the middle of summer.
8.) Sutro Baths at Land's End (4-4:30pm)
From Ocean Beach it was a short drive over to Land's End, where parking is also not too bad.  Land's End contains the ruins of Sutro Baths, private swimming pools from the 19th century.  
There was a tunnel that lead to a rocky area with a view of the ocean, with a sign that marked the end of the trail.  Shaon decided to go past the trail and I took a picture of him there.  After scolding him for going past the end of the trail, I...went past the end of the trail myself.  I took a picture of the rocks and ocean; quite majestic in fog actually.
9.) Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery Store (5:15-5:45pm)
5540 Geary Blvd  San Francisco, CA 94121     (415) 668-6959
After the Sutro Baths, Shaon wanted to go to a Russian bakery he'd been to before.  Sian and I shared a beef and cheese piroshki and cream horn - both delicious but I especially liked the piroshki.  Although clearly not a healthy combination, the deep-fried dough went well with the gooey cheese on the inside.  
10.) Dolores Park and Bi-Rite Creamery (6:30-7:30pm)
3692 18th St  San Francisco, CA 94110     (415) 626-5600
After our Russian treats we were all pretty full, and headed toward Dolores Park where it took a while to find parking.  Now, I understand that everyone was full from the Russian food, but...Bi-Rite Creamery is near Dolores Park.  The conversation, paraphrased, went something like this:

Context: Shaon lives in SF and has been to Bi-Rite Creamery.  Elizabeth just moved here, and Sian is visiting from Australia, and they have not heard of it before.
Me: Let's go to Bi-Rite Creamery!  They have delicious salted caramel ice cream!
Elizabeth: Are you serious?  We just ate.
Me: But it's Bi-Rite Creamery!  You HAVE to try it.  The salted caramel is delicious.
Shaon: You had ice-cream this morning, remember?  (see Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market story above)
(Everyone laughs at Shaon's comment)
Sian: I'm not that hungry either, but ice cream is good.
Shaon: Are you really going to get ice cream?
Me: Yes, let's go.  We have to stand in a long line.  And salted caramel ice cream!
Sian: There's a line for ice cream at 6:30pm?  
Me: YESSS!!!  They have the best salted caramel ice cream!
Elizabeth: Um, I guess I have to try the salted caramel thing.
Sian: Um, I guess so too.
Shaon: Um, I'll wait for you guys.  
I am happy to report that everyone found their ice cream delicious.  I'd like to say I was just "obligated" to tell people about Bi-Rite Creamery as a good tour guide, but it's not entirely truthful.  I never leave Dolores Park without going to Bi-Rite.  After we got our ice cream we sat in the grass at Dolores Park for a while, which was nice and relaxing.
The best photo angle for Dolores Park is not while lying in it though; it's from the the corner that's at the top of the hill. I showed Sian where this was, but didn't take any pictures myself because my phone was running low on battery.  Here are some pictures I took on two other days, one cloudy, one sunny.
11.) The Painted Ladies (8:05-8:15pm)
The temperature drops at night in San Francisco, so we left Dolores Park when it started to get a bit chilly.  We drove to Alamo Square Park to see The Painted Ladies, a row of Victorian-style houses famous for appearing in the television series Full House.  To be honest, I think the other houses around Alamo Square Park are much more beautiful than the the famous Painted Ladies, but I guess they never appeared in Full House.  Because it was getting late we didn't spend much time here, so I only got a picture of the famous ones.  I highly recommend exploring the other houses around Alamo Square Park though, especially if you're a photography enthusiast.

After taking the below photograph, Elizabeth kindly drove me and Sian back to Market Street, where she went back to her hotel and I took the BART home.  At this point, I was pretty exhausted after a 12 hour day and I hadn't even been driving - Elizabeth is a super-girl driver!  

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