Monday, May 13, 2013

San Fran/Napa Part II

One of my favorite parts of the trip to CA was the drive from Napa to San Fran. It was absolutely beautiful and driving over the Golden Gate Bridge was breathtaking.

San Fran Day #1
When we got to San Fran, we returned our rental car, checked into our hotel (the Hilton in Union Square) and then started our exploration of SF. We randomly found some City Passes at the airport when we took our car back and that turned out to be pretty awesome. You can ride all the public transportation for free. BUT, we didn't realize this until day #2 so we ended up walking from our hotel to Fisherman's Wharf. So dumb. I like to think I'm in shape, but those hills kicked my butt (and my calves which were so sore the next day). It was a cool way to see the city, but now I know why the trolleys are so cool.



We stopped to see the "crooked-est" street in SF called Lombard and then made our way down to the Piers and Ghiradelli Square.







After a fun afternoon of exploring we went back to the hotel to get dressed for dinner. We ate that night at A16, an awesome Italian place. Based on several people's recommendation, we got a burrata appetizer and it was AMAZING. It was sort of like a soft cheese dip with some toasted bread on the side. Definitely get it if you are in SF. We enjoyed some wine and brick oven pizza and spent a lot of our dinner listening to a narcissistic, California dude talk about how great he is. He mentioned that he is from Hollywood no less than 10 times and Jeremy and I laughed every time.

(best photo-bomb ever)


For dessert, we decided to head to another recommended place for ice cream. They make it right there in front of you and it was great.



After dessert we almost died. Okay, that might be dramatic, but seriously. We decided to walk back to the hotel and somehow ended up walking through the Tenderloin area of SF. This is a pretty rough area and since it was about 10:30pm, we saw some pretty rough stuff. Well, Jeremy saw some rough stuff...I had my head down with a death grip on Jeremy's arm the entire time. We made it out but even Jeremy admitted he felt uncomfortable for a while. Advice: don't go to that area when you are in SF...especially late at night.


San Fran Day #2
We love breakfast and apparently breakfast/brunch in SF is a thing. We went searching for a breakfast place and ended up down at the Fisherman's Wharf eating by the Bay. We both pigged out and then checked out the sea lions chilling on the docks before we went to catch our ferry to Alcatraz.





I'm glad we went to see Alcatraz. It has some interesting history and I love nerdy stuff like that. We took the audio tour (which I recommend) and got to step in some of the cells. It's crazy to think about some of the most dangerous people in the world being in that place. It was also really cold and depressing. Apparently, the reason they put the prison out there is because of the cold and choppy water conditions. There's a rule that the Coast Guard goes by that says you have a 50/50 chance of swimming 50 yards in water 50 degrees or colder. So, the inmates at Alcatraz knew they would die if they tried to escape.








After Alcatraz, we wandered around waiting for public transportation. Honestly, this was the only frustrating point in the trip. I was getting "hangry" and the stupid trolleys were taking forever. We eventually made it to the Painted Ladies houses and ate at a fun little bar/restaurant before heading back to the Union Square area.






That evening we went up to Chinatown to walk around and then made our way to Little Italy to have a drink. We were going to branch out and try some dim sum, but neither one of us was feeling adventurous so we went to an awesome Italian place and pigged out on bread and drank lots of wine.





After dinner, I was hell bent on getting more ice cream. I wanted to take full advantage of being on vacation and not counting calories! So, after doing some research, we took a trolley down to Ghiradelli Square to have a sundae at their ice cream shop. Over-priced sundae I should say. It was good, but I'd almost rather sit on the couch w/ some Blue Bell any day.


San Fran Day #3
My former roommate from my first year in Austin lives in San Fran and we got to spend the whole morning with her and her boyfriend. They were so sweet to chauffeur us around. They took us to one of their favorite local brunch places and it was yet another incredible meal. Ironically, I ran into a coworker at the same brunch spot! Not just a coworker, but a girl on my team that I literally sit right next to. Small world!


My coworker, Emily.

Miss Laura...miss her!

After we stuffed our bellies and caught up on life, Laura and J-Ro showed us some really cool stuff that we never would have seen if they hadn't toted us around. We saw the Palace of Fine Arts, the incredible view from the top of Laura's apartment building, Billionaire's Row (where I'm sure I'll live one day) and a few other local spots. We had such a fun morning and it made us more excited to visit the city again when we could focus less on touristy stuff and more on getting to know the local city life.






For this trip we decided to fly back on a Saturday so we would have Sunday to regroup and hang out with Quinn before another work week. I'm pretty sure we will do it like that from now on. It was so nice to have Sunday to relax and love on Quinn. I missed that girl while we were gone, but of course she was spoiled rotten! I was just glad to know she has a place to stay where we all feel comfy while mama and daddy are away.


The Houses

Wait a sec... why are you holding a Starbucks outside MyMyCoffee?? ;) I love San Fran and reading your blog makes me want to go back and pig out! Glad you had a great anniversary trip!