Wednesday, April 18, 2018

San Francisco photo diary

It's been about 2 weeks since our trip to California and it feels like just yesterday! I had been meaning to post this photo diary a while back, but kept putting it off as the post-vacation depression was very real and I didn't want to come to terms that it was over, and that we were back at home and work :( 

San Francisco was the top of my travel list for this year so I'm very happy we got to visit and it was my first time too! The city was filled with so much colour and happiness. We really lucked out with the weather too because every single day was very sunny and warm. We did lots of walking and exploring, but not nearly enough to cover all our bases in 3 days! I definitely want to make a point in revisiting again soon, but for now I wanted to share a little photo diary of our trip. 
Our first full day in SF was Saturday. We stayed at an airport hotel when arrived late in Friday night, and after waking up Saturday morning feeling rested, refreshed and excited, we took an Uber to our Air Bnb in the Sunset District. Our Air Bnb was awesome; a great location with nice amenities and our host was nothing short of amazing. I enjoyed staying in the Sunset District because it was a little removed from the hustle and bustle of the downtown core, but not far either. A quick and cheap Uber ride always took us where we wanted to go. The Sunset was also beautiful to walk around and take in all the neat, colourful homes. We had a rental car, but opted not to drive because we noticed that 1. drivers in SF are super aggressive! and 2. we weren't really accustomed to driving on so many steep hills! Uber's were everywhere so it was extremely accessible and usually pretty cheap too. Also, we heard that parking is crazy expensive, so another reason to leave it at home and not worry about it.

We didn't really have a strict itinerary planned, but our first order of business was usually FOOD! On Saturday for lunch we hit up Media Noche - a very cute little Cuban restaurant with great decor and delicious food. Afterwards we walked around the area; popping in and out of shops. Overall, Saturday was a pretty low key day as we were still tired from a busy travel day the night before and a little jet-lagged with the 3 hour time difference. After lots of walking around, we went back to our Air bnb for a bit to relax before heading out...but we both ended up falling asleep very early! 
Sunday morning we woke up decently early, feeling very rested and ready to take on a new day. Our first stop was Mr. Holmes Bakehouse for a little morning breakfast/snack. We got there at a great time as they were almost sold-out of their famous Cruffins (croissant muffins!). They were really tasty and definitely lived up to the hype. After that, we walked around and down to Union Square. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day to be out and about. 

We did some shopping (and by we, I mean me) before heading to the Presidio Picnic at Presidio Park! This was one of the main things on Ruben's list and I'm so glad we did because it was one of my favourite moments from the trip. It was an afternoon picnic at a park with an amazing view of the city, filled with food trucks and vendors, music and drinks. We luckily grabbed a seat (bring a towel or blanket if you plan to go!) and settled down for a few hours. We ate lots of great food (fried chicken, garlic fries and tacos to name a few) and tried some local beers and mixed drinks. The sun was shining but it was a little chilly and windy down by the water so dress appropriately. It was such a nice, relaxing time to people watch and really take in SF. After that we decided to walk to the Golden Gate Bridge and get our first real glimpse of it and she's a beauty! We sat and admired the view for a bit, taking lots of photos and soaking it all in. From there we decided to make our way back to the Air Bnb to unwind after all the food-eating and walking we had done that day. Later in the evening we mustered up the strength to get out of the house and have some dinner at A16, an Italian restaurant. The pizza was very good and so was the atmosphere. 
Our third, and final day - probably my favourite and most busy day too! We had a lot jam packed into our last full day in SF and we were lucky enough to again, have gorgeous weather to do it all and more! We started our morning with a walk around our hood, the Sunset District. Taking photos of all the colourful homes, day dreaming about what it would be like to live there and just enjoying it. Shortly after, we took a trip to Cafe Reveille for an extremely yummy brunch! This cafe was beautiful, dreamy and very "instagramworthy." We wanted to take full advantage of the weather so enjoyed our food outside and it was lovely. After our bellies were full, we hopped in an Uber and headed off to Chinatown!  
I really enjoyed walking through Chinatown; it was busy (not in a bad way), colourful, and everyone seemed to be so happy. I wish we had spent more time walking in and out of stores, but we were tight on time so we just passed through before heading the the famous Golden Gate Fortune Cookie factory down an alleyway for some fresh Fortune Cookies! Ruben and I both wrote each other's fortunes and the man making the cookies hid them inside. A cute little way to remember that special moment and enjoy fresh fortune cookies.

From Chinatown we walked to Coit Tower to get some amazing views of the city. Although we didn't go up the tower (the wait was too long and we were tight for time), it was cool to still experience the views it had to offer. Once finished, we took an Uber to another very famous/touristy spot - Lombard Street! You can't visit SF and not see Lombard Street in all it's craziness first hand. It was filled with people and tourists alike but was fun to see and embrace. 
Luckily for me, one of my favourite beauty brands (Glossier) was having a pop up in SF while we were visiting! Of course it was as beautiful as you'd expect - lots of florals, pinks and Glossier products everywhere. It was neat because it's a little cafe they transferred into the pop up, so you could order food and drinks before or after shopping. Unfortunately we were 5 minutes too late to try the famous fried chicken, so instead we opted for beers on the patio. 
After our Glossier adventure, we walked down to get a bite to eat at Gracias Madre. We sipped on sangria and devoured vegan nachos (which to my surprise, were amazing!) We walked the food off afterwards before hopping in an Uber and making our way to Haight-Ashbury. What I really liked about SF was how different and diverse each neighbourhood was. The Haight is known to hold onto it's "hippie" roots and you can definitely see that  (and smell it) while walking around. Since I had my field day at Glossier, it was only fair Ruben could get his fix at Amoeba. We had visited the one in LA before so it was neat to check out this location too. It's crazy to see a record store on such a large scale, not something we're used to. Ruben was wide-eyed the entire time and was like a kid in a candy store! It was hard to get him out of there, but eventually we did (and a couple hundred dollars later!). We continued to walk around the neighbourhood as the sun was slowly setting before making our journey home. 
The sunsets were always so beautiful and we had a great view from our rooftop Air Bnb (I see why they call in the Sunset District!)

The whole time we were there Ruben kept saying how he wanted to go down to the beach, so finally on Tuesday morning before leaving SF, we drove down to see the sunrise around 7:00 a.m. It was a very serene and beautiful moment to have these views of the water, the Golden Gate Bridge and the hazed sunrise. I would definitely say we left a bit of our heart in San Francisco and hope we can revisit again in the coming years. 

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