A Weekend Away: SF Style
Last Friday I headed out to San Francisco for a little weekend getaway. I’ve been there three times, but haven’t been for a few years- not to mention that I’ve only ever visited my friend who lives there and so I’ve seen the city from a local’s perspective. This time I took my boyfriend and got to plan everything from where we stayed to what we ate. I would like to call it planning for the unplanned and enjoying a city you’ve seen from a tourist perspective.
I had some recommendations of hotels from friends and decided on the Fairmont, which is in a great central location to everything. We weren’t allowed to check in until 3 and considering it was 2, we decided to hit Top of the Mark for a drink overlooking the city. Unfortunately it wasn’t open yet so we walked down to Embarcadero and grabbed lunch at an amazing healthy place called Plant Cafe, which overlooked the water.
Finally checking in, the view from our room was spectacular. So far, so good!
That night I got all dolled up and we headed to Top of the Mark yet again, after being told by many friends that we should go there. I can definitely say this: if you are not staying in a hotel with a nice view then it’s worth it. You can see all around which is pretty cool. However, if you want to go for a drink, you have to be seated at a table which can be a long wait and you can’t really walk around the whole space to look out everywhere as everyone is seated next to the windows. The service was also alright, nothing special. But the view is pretty.
After that is was walking around and randomly finding this amazing dinner spot. I really wish I could remember the name of it because it was such good food and wine. We ordered a bottle of red, chickpea fries, salad and other nibbles.
The following day was the Pride celebration, which was even bigger this year because same-sex marriage made legal in all states on Friday. When I was booking SF I had no idea that Pride was this weekend, so it turned out to be great timing. We headed to the center of it downtown and joined the festivities. There was so much energy, love, and happiness from everyone. I couldn’t help but bust out some yoga moves around the place… because hey, that’s what I do!
I honestly loved this whole day. It was just so fun to be around so many people celebrating life and enjoying themselves. We grabbed beers, sat on the lawn and just talked for hours. I managed to get a pretty bad burn on my back which turned into tan lines that won’t be going away all summer!
It was after this moment that I had a slightly crazy woman trying to partake in some yoga with me, she was joking of course (or I think??) and while filming this for snapchat a man came in and video-bombed us then walked away. I wish I saved the video because it was so funny!
After a few hours of being at the festival (not sure if that’s what the proper name is), we decided to walk to Union Square. Along the way I found a wig shop and decided to try on a brunette one, as I’ve been debating on coloring my hair brown. It took a bit of getting used to but I loved it! I ended up posting this photo (right below) on Facebook saying “I woke up like this” and people went crazy. They loved it and the comments were all fantastic. I am seriously debating on coloring my hair now!
After Union Square, which I was slightly disappointed with because there was a lot of construction going on, I took my boyfriend to this cool bar called Bourbon & Branch where you have to have a reservation prior and tell them the password at the door. You walk in to an almost completely dark bar, which is reminscent of Prohibition in America. This is not your type of bar that makes cosmos, rather there was only one vodka drink on the menu and lots and lots of whiskeys and bourbons (I mean, I guess it makes sense with the name of the place, right?).
Following a drink there, we jumped in a cab and headed out to the Castro, which was cuh-razy. This is where the REAL party was at for Pride weekend and yes, it was busy. We went when things were winding down though and I cannot imagine how busy it was during the day. Fun area though. I yelped a few restaurants and decided on this super cute one a few blocks away called Frances. It was a bit of a wait, as we didn’t have a reservation, but we got a bottle of wine, stood and chatted. The food was amazing and we ended up ordering two rounds of a few items (that was after order most everything on the menu).
The following day we decided to head down to Fisherman’s Wharf, where I thought we could find a cute local breakfast joint that would serve me a French-style pastry and a coffee where I could sit like Audrey Hepburn and be classy. Unfortunately this didn’t happen the way I planned. After waiting for the tram, which took 40 freakin’ minutes (!!!), we jumped off at Lombard street to take some photos, then walk to the wharf. This place is what I would equate to Times Square in NYC or Oxford Street in London. It was touristy, ugly, and no nice restaurants. Not really my scene. But we made the most of it and went to the famous bread shop, getting a (not very nice) croissant and coffee then renting road bikes to cycle the bridge.
This was actually one of my favorite parts of the weekend as I’ve never been across the bridge. It was really nice to get some exercise and fresh air, even if it was quite cloudy. We kept going out to Sausalito, which was this beautiful quaint town that reminded me and my guy of Europe. We stopped outside this beautiful blue and white restaurant and had a glass of rose wine as it was now sunny and we celebrated our ride.
Once back, we got all dressy and headed to a very nice joint called Bix. There, we listened to live music, had more lovely food and talked. It was definitely more of a romantic spot, which is always nice. Personally though, I love the other places we went because they were great food, good atmosphere and you could go being dressed up or more casual.
On Monday we headed back to Plant Cafe at the Embarcadero for a healthier meal before going back to LA. I ordered the Full Belly salad and we shared the hummus plate (I have a slight obsession with hummus!) along with juices and water. Nom Nom Nom.
Overall, San Fransisco was amazing. I was able to walk a lot to see the city (the best way really!), go for a 20 mile bike ride, taste ah-mahzing food (seriously, SF has insane good restaurants) and lots of wine. One of the things I always try to share with you all is that when you are traveling it’s OKAY to not eat as healthy as you normally would. It’s all about balance. So if you eat a not-as-healthy dinner, then eat a cleaner breakfast and lunch… easy! Try to enjoy the places you go, appreciate the people you are with, and try new things you wouldn’t normally do!
Where would you like me to review next?
With Love, N