Wednesday, January 25, 2017

San Francisco

To celebrate our 15th Anniversary we went to California. 
(we were going to do this for our tenth but the trans went out on the minivan)

 San Francisco we loved you so much. 
The transit system was just so good. Maybe it just felt that way because we wanted to rent bikes to get around but some wise people talked us out of it. Whew! The hills would have been the end of us I am sure. So we got a 7 day MUNI pass instead which allowed us on the trains and the cable cars and the bus. 
 We felt like we were getting a deal every time we rode on the cable car as it is $7 a ride.
We were staying in Fisherman's Wharf and there was a stop very close to us so we took this a lot.

 They have a bunch of these restored street cars. So fun. 

 Met my cousin Sara for breakfast. 
Her son Oscar.
 Tartine - this was one of my favorite stops. 
You are looking at a Chocolate Croissant, Ham and Cheese Croissant, and a morning bun. 
We tried to stop in again later one evening and the line just was not moving. So it seems like morning is better. There was a line but it moved pretty good. 

 Nate ordered this Croque monsieur and sadly did not like it. This can be a theme with him.
It was the Gouda cheese and the sun dried tomatoes. I try to help him but... 

 Bernal Heights
We paid for the walk down from this vista for days. The front of our calves. Ouch

 A slice of cake from Tartine. We took it with us for later and on our way to the bridge we had to wait at one bus stop really long thanks to some bad advise anyhow... in the process of getting the box of cake out of the backpack Nate dropped my 50mm lens (very expensive) it was free falling towards the sidewalk and he caught it. There was not even time to gasp, he had it again. He was kind of proud. The cake was so good. Coconut and passion fruit.

 This was so fun to see. 

 The cable

 Fort Point

 Stopped here on our way back from the bridge. Just because it was on my list and we were close.
I was nervous because it might be a let down but there was a line waiting for it to open in 20 min and this was comforting. 
 They are known for this chicken. Nate read all the Yelp reviews while we waited and he ordered. 
This chicken was amazing.

 The black bean noodles, not so much. But Nate liked them.

 Boat ride to Alcatraz
I enjoyed the tour but because we had toured the State Penitentiary in Philly this was not really shocking. It was interesting to hear that the families that lived here loved it. The kids took a boat to the mainland for school every day. I kind of looked at the whole island from that perspective and it did look fun. Also, I am now very curious about the guys that escaped but were never recovered... did they make it out or did they drown? 


 Did you know that San Francisco is known for their sourdough bread? Nate was like, "It's more sour that I thought" which  made me laugh.

 Bi Rite Creamery
Ok these banana splits that we should have split, were amazing. They torched the bananas and we ordered them with coconut on top but the ice cream was... eh.  I mean... we are kind of from Lancaster Co you know? 

 Inside one of the restored street cars.

 In and Out Burgers. First time.

 There is a line every morning starting at 9 for these "cruffins"  We did score some.  I'm pretty sure that Nate could not believe that we stood in line for something like this but he didn't say it.... 

 Cable Car Museum
Nate was crazy about these cable cars.

This museum was free.

We rented a car and drove to Muir Woods to see the redwoods. Um... the parking situation was no joke. It is suggested that you arrive at 8 AM to get a spot. I'm wondering if that would even work. It could have been worse because this was Martin Luther King Jr Day. We drove around for a long time hoping to park, Nate even pulled off and took a nap at one point. Worth it though. Would do it again. 

 The drive to and from the woods, very scenic! Loved it.

 Since we had the car we drove down to the Fort for this shot. 

 Nate got hit by a big wave. I laughed. He's on the phone with his Mom.

 Drove down Lombard 

 Painted Ladies

 Dinner at Delfina
Pricy but we knew that and the food was amazing. 
We ordered and the waiter said, "You are going to win"
They served bread from Tartine which was almost next door.

 Took the car out to Land's End the next morning for a hike. 

 This should have been higher on our to do list. We almost missed it. Should have hiked to the Sutro Baths while we were here. Loved it so much.

The Mill 
I remember reading about California and their $4 toast places years ago so I kind of wanted to do this even though I can bake my own bread ya know? And I make my own jam.
I pictured us spending leisurely mornings at spots like this but there were always places to go and things to see!

 If you follow Nate on Instagram you all ready know how he felt about this place. Ha ha.
I was kind of dying that he sh-putted their prices before we even left the joint. AND he tagged them so... I was not begging to linger. 

 Nate had spotted this BBQ joint across the road so we had to go check it out after the toast ordeal. 

 Outside seating. But there were heaters. We saw a lot of this.

 Tuesday Street Tacos. Oh man...

 We walked through Chinatown
We bought the kids some cheap key chains here. 
I got a $5 t-shirt and Nate found something for Henry and Olive.

 Ferry Building Marketplace
We walked through and that was about it.

We totally went back to the BBQ place for supper. 

And the next morning we got another rental and headed down the coast along Highway 1. 

 My Yelp Bookmarks for San Fran
I used the yelp app a lot. I bookmarked everything in there and I could hit bookmarks, and then the map and then see where I was and what I was close to. Because we don't map our day out like some organized people.

My list of things to do and see in San Francisco
I kept this running list of things to do in notes on my phone. in no particular order. Towards the end of our time here I started putting pins beside the things we really wanted to hit. At the end of each day I'd go over the list and add check marks for the stuff we did.

We spent 4 days and there was still more to do and see however we agreed that we would have been happy had we only spent the first 3. 

✔️In and out burger

✔️Mr Holmes bakery

✔️The mill - toast

✔️Boudin bakery bowl of clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. At fisherman's wharf you can watch the famous sourdough be made. 

📍Philz coffee 

Blue bottle coffee - iced mint mojito coffee, ginger snap? They are known for their pour over coffee

Rich table? For nice dinner

Burns vista for Irish coffee

✔️Bi Rite for ice cream

Tadich - oldest restaurant in California has the best cioppini 

✔️Tartine bakery fluffy scones, almond croissants, or celebrated morning buns. Freshly baked sourdough sold starting at 4 PM
✔️Chinatown souvenirs and authentic food
✔️Delphina restaurant (takes reservations)
B Star Bar (casual dinner ) takes reservations 
Stable cafe
✔️Bernal hill
Taqueria El buen sabor good food open from 10 AM to 10:30 PM 
✔️Ferry building marketplace
Big daddy antiques
Sight glass coffee
✔️ Golden Gate Bridge 
Neighborhood tour. 
✔️Painted ladies
✔️Hike Lands end
Twin peaks
✔️Castro district
✔️Mission district 
✔️Muir Woods ?shuttle? 
✔️cable car museum 
✔️Cable car: headed to Mason and bay streets where lines are much shorter if you just want to ride for fun 
✔️get on the California line we're California street intersects Market near the ferry building and get off at the top of the hill in Chinatown the big hill on this route is a thrill and crowds are much smaller. 
Fort Mason market on Sunday
Alemany flea market on Sunday 
Cooking class? Williams and Sonoma at Union Square


  1. I loved seeing your photos on IG. San Francisco is on our bucket list.We drove through it almost 10 years ago. We were so disappointed that it was foggy at the Golden gate Bridge.The food looks and sounds amazing.

  2. Wow, you did a lot in a week's time! It is great to see more pictures. I can only imagine the griping about the toast. - Carla

  3. I love hearing of experiences in a city I've not been to yet. :) I've flown in and out of SF but never been there to visit. All the food pics have me drooling. Except for the burnt toast. The instagram posts had me laughing!!

  4. oh you guys are so fun!! Makes me want to go to SF now. I like your travel tips along the way, too.

  5. I love traveling to SF with your pictures. You make me want to go there just to eat the bread. Actually, I've wanted to eat real SF sourdough for a long time. I love your list. If I ever go to California (our 15th is this summer but we don't have any trip plans like this) I'll look this up again.