If You're Going to San Francisco

28.11.10 Ali Moore 3 Comments

Take Adam and Emily.

They are a blast to travel with.  Emily was so diligent about learning a lot about our destinations so we could make the most out of our trip.  And did we ever.

We all flew into San Francisco on Saturday morning.  Adam and Emily's flight arriving from Denver was delayed so Andrew and I made ourselves familiar with the barkeep at T.G.I.Friday's near their terminal and several other travelers wanting updates on college football scores.  Maybe not the best outcome for the Cats that day, but we'll let it slide.  We're on vacation.

Quick reunion at the airport, grabbed a cab and we're off. 

We stayed downtown in the Financial District at Le Meridien and enjoyed great accommodations, quick access to The Ferry Building, several rounds of drinks at Elephant and Castle across the street, and fancy schmancy scripty canvases as our hotel room backdrop...?

After early check-in, we walked over to the Ferry Building to enjoy some local flavor.

Gott's had amazing gourmet fast food.  My tuna melt was amazing, and it took everything I had not to order one of their milkshakes.  The burgers delivered to our table looked pretty awesome, too.

San Francisco has such a chill vibe.  Maybe it was our 75 and sunny weather, maybe it was the location, or maybe it was just that I had vacation head, but I was loving everything about the city.  There's great people watching and for a first-timer, so much to see.

On Saturdays, there's a farmer's market at the Ferry Building so we spent a bit of time just strolling through the crowd, checking out the different booths and pinching ourselves to see if our good fortune of being with good friends on vacation was really happening.

It was.

Next stop, China Town, again just a few blocks walk from our hotel.

Oh man, everything here is interesting to look at.  There's so much color.

I could have taken hundreds of pictures.  We breezed through pretty quickly.  Well, after Adam picked up some tea.

Verdict:  he says it was good.  :)

You could really spend quite a few hours here, jumping in and out of shops, especially if you get off the main drag.  Next time. Please, let there be a next time.

After a quick nap (after all, Andrew and I got up at 4:45 that morning) and freshening up, we walked to Belden Place, this super cute alley filled with restaurants of all types of cuisine, and most importantly, lots of outdoor seating.

The wine was good, the food was good and the company was even better.

After drinks (or maybe a few) at Elephant and Castle, we headed back to the hotel to crash and get ready for the next day.  After all, we were planning on not only seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, but biking the Golden Gate Bridge.

And, we did.  We had heard it was eight miles round trip from the bike rental shop to Sausalito.  I thought, okay, I can handle eight miles, as long as it's not super hilly.  After all, we are in San Francisco.

Cabbed it to the bike shop and got our bikes...the route is eight miles one way.  Okay, no biggie, I can do this, they say it's almost entirely flat.  But I think I realized as I barely managed to get up the first hill that hilly to natives of the city is definitely different than my hilly, native of the flat Midwest.  I do think dealing with a lot of congestion in my chest had something to do with it, but all whining aside, I would say 90+% of the bike ride was absolutely 100% enjoyable.  We biked along the bay and hit a strip where it appeared a lot of the locals show up to run, bike, picnic and let their dogs run into the water.  For a split second, I forgot about my real life and pretended like I lived there, too, and was just out for a Sunday ride.  It. was. amazing.

We had great views of the city, the bay, the bridge as we got closer and closer and Alcatraz looming in the background.

We really only hit a handful of hills, but even those were killers.  No wonder everyone we saw in San Francisco was in tip top shape.  Regardless, we made it to the bridge!  It's really an experience biking across as cars fly by on one side and the water ripples below on the other.

Once you cross the bridge, almost the entire rest of the ride into Sausalito is downhill.  Which is great coming in, but I distinctly remember thinking I can't do this heading home.  Coasting downhill is great, but I knew I would spend most of the time walking my bike up those hills on the way back.  What can I say - I'M OUT OF SHAPE!

Regardless, we made it, and it was worth it.  Biking was a great way to see the city and the bridge, plus we were so ready for breakfast in Sausalito once we arrived.  It's such a cute town; so much charm and there were a ton of little cafes and restaurants to choose from.  Again, great people watching.  (And maybe it's creepy taking pictures of strangers, but this couple was so cute I couldn't resist...and the door is pretty sweet, too.)

Hey guys.

After getting our grub on and walking around town, we decided it was time to head back.  Except none of us, were super excited about the ride home (well...maybe Adam).  Lucky for us, one of Adam and Emily's good buddies from high school and their Denver days met us for breakfast (pictured above).  And he had a bike rack.  Who cares if this isn't how a bike rack is meant to be used, we made it work.

Plus, Adam M. suggested we take a trip to the Pacific.  Why didn't I think of that?  We parked at Ocean Beach, and it was full of families, surfers and lovers lying on top of each other.  Seriously.  Doesn't matter, we enjoyed it anyways.  And the Adams enjoyed it first hand.

I don't know how they did it.  I could barely leave my feet in the water it was so cold.  Cold and beautiful.

We love you Cats.

Love everything about this.  Love the reflections, the haziness, my hubs, my friend, etc.  Love.

We returned our bikes and let them think we biked both ways.  Our little secret.  Instead of taking a cab back to the hotel, we decided to walk instead.  It was only about 30 minutes away and such a great way to see more neighborhoods and the "real" San Francisco.  We stopped and got ice cream at Swensen's, which BTW was so, so good.  And, found Crooked Street!

I still can't decide what I was more excited about.  The street or the hydrangeas.  It's a toss up.

Topped the night off with dinner at Mexico DF...

...and a short walk back to the hotel, completed with some brews to prepare for all of the vino we were about to consume.  Life is good.

Monday morning we packed up and headed to NAPA!  Only after Emily made her way to Oakland (long story) and the boys and I picked up breakfast at Noah's New York Bagels.  Mmmm...I ate way too well on this trip.

See you in Napa.  Miss you San Fran.


  1. I've been waiting for this post for awhile love love the photography! Next time you guys go without question I'm coming with, plane tickets are super cheap from la! Can't wait for Napa post and pics!

  2. love this! Can't wait to see more! :)

  3. You did such an amazing job of blogging about our trip!!! Ahh! I am obsessed with this. Lets go back!