When you're in a strange city, things like finding a good place to eat dinner can turn into a hit or miss proposition.
But, during our last vacation, my husband and I found a way to beat the system.
Instead of just eating at large chain restaurants, following the recommendations in our guidebooks or even just heading into the first restaurant that caught our eye, we did something different.
The hotel we were staying at had internet access and my husband was smart enough to bring along his laptop. Whenever we had a question of where to eat or, more importantly, how to get from one place to another, we simply logged onto the internet.
It made things so easy.
As any husband and wife know, choosing a restaurant while on vacation can easily turn into an argument. But using the internet we were able to have that argument in the privacy of our hotel room.
Using the internet to choose our dining establishments was great. We just looked up restaurants in a certain part of the city and we were able to read reviews and even see full menus. Before we even got to the restaurant we had a good idea of what we would be ordering.
The internet is what led us to John's Grill in downtown San Francisco. It's a place we probably wouldn't have chosen otherwise, but once we saw the menu and took a look at the pictures on the website, we knew there was no way we could not go there.
We had a great experience, dining in an old-fashioned establishment that featured small tables situated close together and decorated with simple white table cloths. The dark wood-paneled walls made the whole place seem very intimate.
But eating wasn't the only thing for which the internet came in handy. We also used the internet to figure out how to work the city's mass transit system. It was great to be able to sit down at the computer, in your own hotel room and calmly figure out which bus would get you where and where to board that particular bus.
The only issue we ran into with using the internet to navigate the city was when we decided that the Asian history museum was close enough to our hotel that we could walk. One thing the internet forgot to tell us, is that in order to walk to the museum from our hotel we would have to go through one of the seedy parts of town.
We ended up walking through a section of town where gates were securely pulled on every storefront, and oddly enough, we seemed to be the only people brave enough to make the trek. We were the only tourists I saw walking down the street.
Needless to say, once we were done with the museum we opted to do things the old fashioned way. We called a cab.