Get ready for a long post, folks! I have a lot to say about this trip!! Don’t worry, lots of photos are at the bottom of the post 🙂
A few weeks ago, Stefon, myself and a couple of our friends travelled to San Francisco for the week. We loved SF so much when we went in 2015, and it was calling us back! So we had made the plan back in July and before we knew it – it was September 9th and we were ready to go!
Our flight was at 6AM. In true fashion…. me and Stefon arrived at the airport at 3:45AM. Needless to say, when Stacy and Nathaniel showed up, we were snoozing on the extremely uncomfortable airport seats. Not ideal. Lucky for us, we slept the entire plane ride to California (turbulence free)!
After a quick Uber ride to our Airbnb – we dropped off our stuff and headed to brunch. A few blocks (and hills!!!!!) away, we picked one of the best brunch spots in SF – Zazie! This tiny, eclectic restaurant was packed full and we got the best seat in the house – our own little nook at the front window (to watch all the people waiting). We felt like we were in Friends!
The rest of the day we spent exploring Golden Gate Park, the Palace of Fine Arts and ended the day with a quick trip to see the Golden Gate Bridge. It didn’t exactly go as planned. We arrived on one of the foggiest days of the season…. the bridge was practically invisible even though it was right in front of us. Stefon managed to take some amazing photos though, regardless of the fog.
WELL! The fog didn’t last long let me tell you – because the heat wave was in full force. I brought all long sleeve shirts and sweaters (in BLACK) and there was a massive heat wave! Day 2 we ventured out to Ocean Beach and I’ve never wanted to jump in the ocean more in my life! It was fun to watch all the surfers and kids splashing and playing.
Our stroll down the beach lead to one of my favourite spots in the city – Land’s End & the Sutro Baths. The area used to be an old bath house that is now in ruins. It’s a stunning area that is now filled with hiking trails, tiny ponds and huge boulders just off the shoreline. We took one of the hiking trails to get another view of the GGB, and about every 25 steps there were people painting the different scenes around us. It was nice and peaceful – I could have watched them all day.
That night it was still scorching hot – but we had a nice breezy boat ride to Alcatraz to look forward to. Yep, we were heading to Alcatraz at night! The boat left before sunset so we were able to view the sunset over downtown SF. Once our tour was done it was pitch black outside, and one of the tour guides told us the story of Al Capone’s entire life. The grounds itself were kind of spooky – if you’ve ever been there you know theres a long windy hill you have to walk up to get to the prison (it’s the same as walking up a 13 story building). The buildings surrounding the pathway are kind of run down which makes them way cooler & creepier at night.
On our way back to our Airbnb we caught a streetcar and to our surprise it had the TTC logo on it! It was a streetcar straight from Toronto – how funny is that? What a small world.
The next few days were filled with so many adventures. We spent one day is Sausalito eating lunch on the water overlooking the city, eating salt water taffy and shopping. We went to the Walt Disney Family Museum, explored Chinatown, saw the Painted Ladies (and the Full House House!), went to some sweet restaurants (I’m looking at you Super Duper), ventured over to Berkeley, and took a cable car down some VERY STEEP HILLS! Stacy had a seat, but Stefon, Nathaniel and myself were hanging off the side! So fun. We even stopped by Lombard street but they were filming a movie so we couldn’t get a photo (my 3rd time in SF and I still have yet to see Lombard).
One day we planned to go to Twin Peaks to see that gorgeous view of the city. After a very queasy, twisty, turny, windy bus ride up to the top… it was too foggy to see ANYTHING. Of course it was.
The second last day we had all decided to venture out to the south of SF to Palo Alto to see some tech stuff! We took the Caltrain down and our first stop was the new Apple Campus (they had JUST released the iPhone 8 & X the day before). Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t open to the public… so much so that you could barely see the giant building. It was almost completely covered in trees. After doing a little more research, we found out Facebook, Instagram and the old Apple Campus are pretty much all the same. You can only have access if you know someone who works there. So we had some lunch in downtown Palo Alto and explore Stanford instead.
Sorry Berkeley, Stanford wins my favourite US campus so far. What a stunning place – and it’s so easy to get lost! Everywhere we turned there were towers and fountains and statues. We even stopped at the university store and Stacy picked up some cute gifts for her niece and nephew! We watched the sunset over campus and headed back to the city.
We saved our most special day for the very end. Our last day in SF we planned a wine tour in Napa and Sonoma. We got up early, went downtown and hopped on the tour bus. By 10AM, we had arrived at the first winery and I was already feeling it. Cline Cellars hosted us in their back gardens and gave us 5 glasses to taste. We sipped wine, took photos, explored the vineyards and laughed a lot! The second winery was our favourite out of the three – Andretti Winery (Mario Andretti’s own)! We’re pretty sure the host was tipsy himself and poured us pretty generous glasses (multiple times). We chatted with a few of the other people on the tour and took photos in the gorgeous courtyard.
We stopped in Yountsville for lunch, which was just as dreamy as you could imagine. We sat in a courtyard with fountains and old buildings covered in vines. Then we were off to our third (and least favourite) winery. I don’t even remember it’s name. It didn’t even have a vineyard – the vineyard was “somewhere else”. So strange. Maybe we were tired from lunch but the host just wasn’t as friendly or engaging as the one from Andretti’s. So we sipped and sipped and before we knew it – it was time to drive home. I fell asleep on the bus. I’m sure you can imagine why….
The next morning we left at 4AM to catch our early flight back to Toronto.
Thank you SF for being such a wonderful place. Next time we come, we’re coming to live forever. We love you!!!!
P.S. One thing Stacy and I were DYING to do (but unfortunately couldn’t find tickets anywhere on the Internet) was the Museum of Ice Cream. I beg of you – if you are travelling of LA or SF…. book tickets and go!
Ocean Beach (Photo: Stacy)
Original Mickey Mouse drawings!
Stacy’s photoshoot 😛
Me! Photo by: Stefon