Happy Sunday! Happy Star Wars Day! Happy birthday Audrey Hepburn!
It’s the final post of my San Francisco series (article #1 here, article #2 here), and it felt fitting to leave this recap for the last, as it provides some great opportunity for reminiscing! As mentioned in the first SF blog post, H and I went on a weekend getaway to San Francisco to celebrate my birthday. I’ve been to SF a few times before, so during the initial stages of planning this trip, I had shrugged dismissively and thought to myself, “3 days should be plenty of time!” Well, if there’s one lesson I took away from this whole experience, it’s that three days really isn’t enough for everything! Our schedule was relatively packed – packed enough that even though we had some luxury time to linger at certain stops, our feet were completely dead by the end of the day. And consequently, I had (and still have!) two particular things to be very grateful for:
- Uber driver service at the touch of a button (download the app and use the promo code UBERJAYEEAYCH for $10 off your first Uber ride, anytime, anywhere!)
- Lush bath bombs (it’s ridiculously amazing how rejuvenated – and yet so relaxed – you will feel after a bath with one of these magical bath bombs)
Naturally, since our time in SF was so short, we couldn’t fit everything we wanted into our jam-packed schedule. Below are some recommendations from friends that we really wanted to try but wasn’t able to (and now maybe YOU can!):
- DESSERT: Bi-Rite Creamery (apparently it’s one of the BEST ice cream places in town)
- DESSERT: B Patisserie (for French pastries)
- DESSERT: Chantal Guillon (supposedly has the BEST macarons in town)
- FOOD: State Birds Provision (VERY hard to get reservations)
- FOOD: Gary Danko
- FOOD: Hog Island Oyster Co
- FOOD: House of Prime Rib
- FOOD: Ike’s Place (I’ve been before, but I guess this is one of those places that never gets old!)
- SIGHTS: Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum
- SIGHTS: Japanese Tea Garden
So what DID we do?
- SATURDAY – Arrived late afternoon. Settled into Le Méridien hotel located in the Financial District (I highly recommend staying here! It’s affordably posh AND it has wifi!). Quickly toured around the Union Square area, heart sculptures and all. Had a lot of fun playing with the Uniqlo photobooth (and of course, purchasing some new additions for our respective closets). Took a spin inside Union Square Macy’s and dined at Burger Bar (I love that you can design your own burger, from the bun to the sauce!). Walked on over to Joy’s Place for some delicious green tea lattes.
- SUNDAY – Walked to the Ferry Building. Popped by Starbucks for some morning pick-me-up-get-ready-to-walk-a-mile drinks. Then began the mile-long stroll to Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf. I believe it was H’s first time seeing the sea lions lounging, and he was thoroughly amused. Trekked over to No 9 Fisherman’s Grotto for clam chowder bowl and lobster sandwich lunch (we decided to eat on the benches outside and had quite the experience dodging scavenging pigeons and sea gulls!). The Musée Mécanique (awesome antique arcade machines) was right next door, and since I’ve been there before, I took H around and showed him some of the games that were featured in the film Princess Diaries. Afterwards, we called Uber to take us to the Walt Disney Family Museum (a must-go if you’re a Disney lover). Since we were walking distance from the Palace of Fine Arts, we decided to man up and walk on over, despite our aching feet. Beautiful architecture. Lots of wedding photoshoot sessions. We even fell in love with the neighboring million-dollar houses. By this time, it was dinner time, so we called Uber again and dined at Vicoletto (the squid ink pasta was absolutely scrumptious! H got the lobster ravioli). Ended the night at Candybar with H’s friends (Lavender Honey Creme Fraiche Semifreddo dessert and Mango Tango bellini cocktail, ohmy!).
- MONDAY – Met up with H’s cousin and lunched (we are obviously not breakfast people) at The Slanted Door inside the Ferry Building Marketplace. Satisfied our ice cream craving at Humphry Slocome where I got one of the popular flavors – the Vietnamese Coffee (by the way, for you fellow Harry Potter fans, Butterbeer was a flavor option too!). Went back to Macy’s Union Square to check out Tout Sweet Patisserie and purchased some non-refrigerated dessert trinkets we could bring back for friends. Couldn’t resist a box of macarons and the Maui Verrine dessert cup so got those too. Uber’d to Philz Coffee for the famous mint mojito iced coffee, walked over to check out the Civic Center architecture, and called another car to transport us to Golden Gate Park (check out the Bison Paddock). Wanted to squeeze two more items onto our agenda before we departed for the airport, so we enlisted the help of Uber again to take us to Crissy Field (passed through Richmond neighborhood… where mouth-dropping gorgeous mansions are located) so we could have some iconic shots of the Golden Gate Bridge. Even during the drive, we got terrific views of the bay and the bridge. It was definitely a well-spent car ride, and our driver was super friendly and knowledgeable. Rounded out the last of our destinations with a cliche trip to see the winding Lombard Street, except this time, our driver didn’t exactly seem to know where he was going, and dropped us off a quarter mile away from where we were supposed to be! It was crazy… we ended up having to walk up three flights of stairs and dominate a crazy downward-sloping hill (those hills are killer!) before we arrived at our true destination. And then it was back to the hotel to collect our luggage and off to the airport! I like to think of the trip’s ending as viewing a gorgeous sunset while we were up in the sky rather than as a crazy trek to see Lombard Street (or, you know, ending up with the stomach flu courtesy of a contagious passenger on the flight)!
Even with all the downs that came with the upside, I wouldn’t have traded anything (maybe except for the stomach flu part), because it is these varying experiences that make a trip so worthwhile and memorable, and it definitely helps if you’re tackling all these adventures with a terrific travel companion. But in hindsight, if there was one thing we completely forgot to do, it was to check out the Bay Bridge at night when the LED lights illuminate the entire bridge. But hey, I guess now we have a solid excuse to return to the city at a later date! Next time, we’re definitely hitting up Monterey too.
Whew! Long post! Thank you for walking down memory lane with me! Enjoy the snapshots below!