I hope everyone had an amazing week! I’ve been fighting the flu all week so have had plenty of one on one time with my laptop as I’ve laid glued to my bed.
With everything that’s been going on since our trip to Mammoth, you can imagine that things have been a little crazy over here. We’re definitely still healing and trying to move past the whole ordeal. Something we both thought would help, was getting back to what we love to do and start planning a road trip!
SO, that’s exactly what we did. Over Labor Day Weekend we planned a little San Francisco getaway and it was absolutely perfect and everything we both needed.
We planned the trip little by little throughout the week before heading out, and Joey’s mom actually recommended we get a rental car to avoid putting miles on our own cars, so Joey went and picked up a rental on Friday night- ready to be packed and loaded!
Saturday morning at 7 am (we planned on leaving at 5 am but slept through our alarm, oops), we got up, jumped in the car, drove straight to Starbucks and then began our trek up to San Fran!
We drove straight there, only stopping for gas and food along the way. We wanted to get to SF as quickly as possible to spend some time exploring the city before it was dark out. We made it to SF around 3 pm and went straight to The Painted Ladies!
I’d seen sooo many pictures of these cute little houses and was really excited to see them in person. Especially since I grew up on Full House and absolutely adore that show to this day. I think it’s so cool that all the locals (travelers as well), have picnics all along the park that sits right in front of the Painted Ladies famed street. Everyone brings blankets, food, wine, and just sits and enjoys the view. I loved it!
After walking around for a bit, we decided to hop back in the car and drive the route we planned for ourselves for Sunday (which was our full day of exploring). Luckily, while we were driving around, we realized that down by the piers and Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s free parking on Sunday’s, which was such a relief!
I’d read good things about the Japanese Tea Garden located in SF so that’s where we headed next. It was such a beautiful, serene place to be. We took our time walking around and enjoying the beauty of the place- I sipped some matcha green tea along the way. When we’d finished touring the grounds, we both left talking about how relaxing and peaceful just being there was. They encourage silence, so even though there are quite a bit of people walking around, no-one is talking, little kids aren’t jumping around- everyone totally buys in to the serenity of the place which makes the experience completely worth while.
Next, we found some parking along the city streets and walked to Ghiradelli Square, where we had dinner at the cutest little brewery, which we followed with the most delicious sundaes ever from Ghiradelli! (Now, I am still working on my wedding diet, but when you’re in San Fran- you’re not NOT going to get a sundae from the famous square, right?)
The entire square was giving me majooorrrrr Christmas time vibes. There were lights everywhere and music playing, it was so fun and relaxing. After enjoying our desserts, we walked back up to the car and drove straight to our hotel. We stayed at The Hyatt near the San Francisco Airport, we decided we didn’t want to stay too close to the city for a couple reasons. 1. All the hotels we looked at in the city charged an extra $20-$30 a day just for parking. 2. I was reading a lot about safety and all that (I’m always paranoid about visiting big cities) and I read that downtown, there’s a tendency for a lot of car burglaries and people who had their windows broken while leaving their car parked, especially in hotel parking lots. Now I know this could potentially happen anywhere- hell, even here in my apartment complex, but anytime there’s a publicly known reputation about something….I’m going to assume it happens all the time and try to avoid that situation at all costs. 3. It was a hell of a lot cheaper to stay in a nice hotel that was outside the city rather than one that was in the city.
The Hyatt was absolutely beautiful and we felt so safe and comfortable there! It was worth the 20 min drive into/out of the city for us.
Day 2 was the BIG day! We had all our points of interest plotted and our day planned out. We got up at 5 am, went down to the hotel lobby for breakfast and then went straight to The Ferry Building, where we knew we could park all day for free. When we got there, it was about 6:45 am/7:00 am and aside from a few joggers, there was NO ONE in sight! It was AMAZING! We parked, threw anything we had in the car in the trunk (which wasn’t much since it was a rental car), and started our day.
**Disclaimer: I do not recommend doing what I’m about to tell you we did.
We walked from The Ferry Building ALL THE WAY TO THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, which was about 5 miles- stopping for some coffee at one of the parks (which was so cute), AND THEN PRECEDED TO WALK THE 1.7 MILE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE AND THE 1.7 MILES BACK. By the end of all that, it’s pretty safe to say we were exhausted. When we planned everything out, and decided to walk everywhere, we were a little naive with how much walking that really was lol. It was a really peaceful and beautiful walk though, I will add that! And what an experience it was to walk the Golden Gate Bridge! It was definitely foggy and kinda chilly, but we absolutely loved it.
After getting back off the bridge, we walked a little less than a mile to the Walt Disney Family Museum. If you know me, you know I wasn’t going to miss a chance to visit the museum and read up on all things Walt Disney. It was so much fun learning about him and his life and the troubles and tribulations that led him to building my all time favorite place, Disneyland 🙂 (a separate post on that coming soon!)
Once we finished with the museum, we walked into an outdoor festival with tons food trucks. It was super cool. Literally every free grass area we saw was full of people out on blankets, reading, playing music, and just hanging out. It was super fun to see!
When we were walking our never ending mile walk to the bridge, we noticed these orange bikes were everywhere just propped up agains street signs so, being as tired as we were, and running a little behind schedule for our timeline, Joey decided to look up what the bikes were and how we could use them. They’re called JUMP bikes and basically, you use your Uber app to access them and can use them throughout the city. Once we found out how easy it was to use, we were sold and that’s how we got around the entire rest of the day! We jumped on the bikes and rode straight to the Boudin Factory for their world famous clam chowder bread bowls!
I love clam chowder and let me tell you, if you haven’t tried the Boudin sourdough bread, you’re missing out! It was so so so so good. Joey’s a pretty picky eater so he got the grilled cheese and can vouch for how good that was- if you’re not a fan of clam chowder either!
After Boudin, we found some other bikes and went straight to The Exploratorium- an interactive science museum located right on the pier. It was super fun exploring and going through their exhibits- which you’ll see soon when I edit our video!
Once we finished at The Exploratorium, we really wanted to try some good Italian food, so we looked up some reviews and decided on The Stinking Rose. A restaurant famous for drenching their food in garlic. It was really, really good and I’d definitely recommend, but be ready for the price tag, it’s definitely a little more expensive then we’re used too. But hey, date night in SF, right?
After dinner, it was about 8 pm and we decided to head back to the hotel to rest up since we had such a long day.
Monday morning, we didn’t set an alarm or anything and woke up around 8 am. We got up, dressed, and all packed up for the road trip home. Joey found a new little cafe located in downtown San Fran called “The New Spot on Polk” where we had the absolute best breakfast! I love biscuits and gravy and theirs was delicious (although, my mom will always make the best, best, best biscuits and gravy in my book).
After breakfast, we drove back down to see the Golden Gate Bridge one more time and then went to walk around the Palace of Fine Arts, which is a free exhibit and absolutely breath-taking!
Next, we stopped at the cutest little coffee shop for coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for Joey). The entire drive back we just laughed and talked about how much fun the trip was. I’m already wanting to go back!
Going through the photos now makes me miss it so much! Hope you enjoyed a little bit about our trip!