Sunday, January 21, 2018

San Francisco and Napa Valley 2018

Last week on a off-stretch from work we decided to spend the weekend in San Francisco. It's only a 3.5 hour drive from our home...and it's a pretty scenic drive going over the Sierra Nevada to get to the Bay area.

Here's a little glimpse of our incredibly fun weekend :)

Day 1
On Friday, we drove into the city and got settled into our hotel room. We stayed in the SoMa neighborhood near Market Street. We decided to walk to dinner and found a delicious restaurant using OpenTable called Oola. I had chicken and waffles, and Landon had the best ribs I've ever tasted! Even better than ribs in Memphis.

We walked back to our room and went to bed because we wanted to pack a lot into the next few days...

Day 2
On Saturday morning, we used the public transit (you should see us trying to navigate the subway and cable car system)...and started the day off at Pier 33.

Pier 33 is a very touristy area with lots of fun shops and restaurants. My personal favorite store we went in was Lefty's. :)


Everything is always made for right-handed people...so all the items in this store made this lefty happy. Especially the notebooks and scissors!

We walked around and stopped to see the famous sea lions on the pier before making our way over to Fisherman's Wharf, a San Fran classic.


We stopped at Boudin for the must-have clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. SO GOOD! I mean if you haven't had this before, you're missing out...and you must try it when you go to San Francisco.

And then we made our way over to Ghirardelli Square.



A must-stop for two chocolate lovers like us. :) We both had a serving of Ghirardelli chocolate ice cream and enjoyed every bite.

Lest we start feeling bad over our chocolate ice cream consumption, we spent the rest of our afternoon exercising it off by biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.

This was such an experience!



The wind was crazy intense and I spent the entire trek over the bridge thinking I was going to blow over any second.

After biking the almost 2 miles across the bridge, we biked through the cozy yet luxurious and picturesque town of Sausalito. Then we boarded the ferry back to San Francisco.

We went back to our hotel for the night and ordered in pizza from a SoMa pizzeria.

Day 3
On Sunday morning, we went for a walk from our hotel and headed towards Chinatown.


We walked through the Dragon Gate, about a half mile up Grant Avenue, and then headed back the way we came.

This is the oldest Chinatown in the United States, and I'm pretty sure it's the biggest one outside of the continent of Asia. I liked this one better than I did the one in NYC.

I enjoyed our walk and really tried to take in the sights and sounds around me (maybe not the smells)...one of my favorite things to do is experience different cultures.

But my favorite place that we went in Chinatown was City Lights Bookstore. I love visiting independent bookstores! This one specializes in world lit, the arts, and progressive politics. According to the store's website, the store is known for its expert selection of books and commitment to free intellectual inquiry.


I bought the book "When Breath Becomes Air" which is the memoir of a neurosurgeon that dies with cancer. It's a very insightful book that's worth the read. I'll say more about it in my book review later this month.

One of Landon's co-workers from home is travel nursing and working in California. He came into the city for the day, and drove us around to see some other parts of San Fran.


We went to Alamo Square which is most famous for the "Painted Ladies" from the opening scenes of Full House.


And we also went to see the actual house from Full House. I didn't even care that I was being a straight-up tourist. ;) (Along the same line, we also saw the houses from Mrs. Doubtfire and from the Princess Diaries this trip.)

We then drove up to Twin Peaks...which is an incredible view of the city!



And we ended this day in Little Italy at The Stinking Rose. Because what better Italian restaurant to eat at than one where everything is garlic? Good thing they bring breath mints with your check ;)

Day 4
On Monday morning, we woke up early to check out of our hotel and make our way to our boarding pier on time. Because we were headed to Alcatraz!


We boarded our ferry at 8:15 and spent a couple of hours on the island. Included in your ticket price is a self-guided audio tour...which was pretty interesting. The speakers along the tour include former prison guards and inmates.


History fascinates me, so I enjoyed learning about the island especially its prison years.


After the tour, we took the ferry back to San Francisco, made our way back to our car that we left parked all weekend, and got out of the city!


We detoured through Napa Valley on our way back home. We made a stop at a winery and then grabbed a late lunch before we hit the road.


That wraps up our weekend in San Francisco!

Even though we were glad to get back to Nevada, we had the best little weekend!! We made so many great memories and really enjoyed our time together.

Coming up next, I'll write about our day hike this past week in South Lake Tahoe. We had the best day exploring with some of our new friends.

After seeing our weekend getaway, my challenge to you is this- make plans to do something different this coming up weekend or soon. Go somewhere new that you haven't been. I promise it will be worth it! ;)

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