Trevor was on spring break last week, so we took the opportunity to spend a beautiful Tuesday in San Francisco, visiting two of the spots on my 40 Things list. Our first destination was Golden Gate Park to visit the Conservatory of Flowers. I've spent a fair amount of time in Golden Gate Park over the years, but I've never been to the Conservatory of Flowers.
Not only were we able to find free street parking (very rare in SF!), but admission to the Conservatory is free on the first Tuesday of each month. Can't beat that!
The Conservatory of Flowers is a large greenhouse with 5 different rooms housing different types of plants from around the world. Four of the exhibits are permanent.
The fifth room houses a temporary special exhibit. The current one is "Playland at the Conservatory: A Garden Railway Celebrating San Francisco's West End." Trevor loved the trains and the interactive displays. Check out the ferris wheel made with a bicycle tire and 8 old-school pencil sharpeners. There's a button to push to make it go. The whole exhibit was totally awesome.
Goal 17 completed!
After enjoying a little more time in Golden Gate Park, we headed across town to the San Francisco Flower Mart. About 10 years ago, I took a series of four floral design classes through the local community college. One of our classes took a field trip to a wholesale floral market in Sacramento, which was amazing. Flowers are far as the eye could see, the air full of the most beautiful scent. Rows and rows and rows of every product you'd need for floral design and related crafts.
Yet, according to our instructor, this was nothing compared to the San Francisco Flower Mart. She assured us that it would totally and completely blow us away. Unlike the wholesaler in Sacramento, the SF Flower Mart is open to the public (10:00-3:00 Monday through Saturday), so she strongly encouraged each of us to make the time to visit someday.
For 10 years, I've been wanting to see the San Francisco Flower Mart, but I never made the time to do so. That's what I love about my 40 Things- I am finally making all these things a priority, planning days around them.
The San Francisco Flower Mart is a collection of huge, connected warehouses. Individual vendors have stalls within the warehouses. Some vendors specialize in one certain product (such as orchids or roses), while others offer a wide variety of items. The Mart opens at 2:00 AM for wholesale purchases, so by the time we got there at 11:00 AM, about half of the vendors had closed up shop for the day. No problem- there was still plenty to see.
Steve and I both felt uncomfortable taking photos, as it wasn't really a place for looky-loos. Here's a really quick snapshot I took when nobody was looking.
Because it was Easter week, we saw a large number of rabbit-shaped topiaries.
I'm not sure what this little guy is made from (coconut husks?), but for $7 we couldn't resist taking him home. On the topic of money, I should mention that there is no admission charge to visit the SF Flower Mart. There was a reasonable parking fee- I think we paid $2.25.
Goal 18 completed!
It wasn't flower-themed, nor one of my 40 Things, but I'd be skipping a fun part of our day if I didn't mention that we ate a late lunch at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. It's only a few blocks away from the Flower Mart, but no matter where you are in SF it is well worth the visit. Steve ordered the Piglet with a side of Smoky Tomato Soup.
I had a Mousetrap.
With drinks, it cost less than $20, which is a small miracle in SF. It was enough food to satisfy all three of us. Definitely a winner! What a fun day!