Tuesday, July 9, 2013

San Francisco

Remember that time I went to San Francisco almost a month ago and forget to tell y'all about it? My bad.

I'm finally getting around to the last leg of our trip out west (see Part 1 & Part 2 here)!

We checked into our hotel, the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins and took a quick nap. This is the second time we've stayed in this hotel and I'd highly recommend it to anyone visiting SF! It's very centrally located but you're going to have to hike extremely steep hills no matter which direction you're walking when you're walking back to the hotel!
For our first night in the city, we went to a Giants game! The SF Giants were playing the Oakland A's, so the entire bay area had to pick a side for the "Battle of the Bay"! And no trip to a baseball game is complete without first stopping at a brewery, right?
My parents and I stopped into 21st Amendment Brewery for drinks and a light dinner before the game. The food wasn't anything to write home about (I honestly can't even remember what I ate), but man is their "Hell or High Watermelon" beer delicious! Unfortunately, I can't even buy it in the state of SC so if anyone feels the urge to ship some to me, it'd be much appreciated!
It was a chilly night at the stadium but we bundled up and cheered every time either team scored. I guess we just couldn't decide which team to cheer for! The A's ended up winning, though, so about half the stadium/bay area went home happy and the other half was, well, pissed.
Thursday morning, we headed to Honey Honey Cafe & Crepery for breakfast before heading to Napa for the day. One of the main things I love about the city is the endless selection of breakfast spots. While I think southerners can cook a damn good breakfast, we just haven't quite figured out how to do breakfast/brunch restaurants around here. But we're working on it and bottomless mimosas are a good place to start.
We were back in the city in time for dinner with Katie and her roommate, Alice. We had dinner at Marlowe, which was completely fantastic. All of the restaurants in SF have such cool atmospheres, and Marlowe was no different.
My favorite part about the restaurant was the outdoor windows were covered in quotes from famous actors, actresses, and foodies. I can definitely appreciate a well-written quote about my favorite thing of all time (hint: food). The baked oysters and deviled eggs were amazing for appetizers, and almost the whole table ordered the pork chop, which was easily the best I've had. This restaurant can't be missed if you're ever in the area!

We woke up to gorgeous weather on Friday so we decided to make the best of it by driving out to Crissy Field to take in the sights of the bridge. But we couldn't take off exploring without a stop at Blue Bottle Coffee first. Y'all, I know people love Starbucks and all, but Blue Bottle blows Starbucks out of the water. Yeah, I said it. I had the New Orleans style iced coffee and nothing I've had before or since can compare. It's that good.
After everyone was caffeinted and well-fed (sourdough toast for me!), we made our way across the city. It's very rare that you get to see crystal blue sky in San Francisco, but we sure lucked out.
I took about 15 pictures of the same view, but this one was my favorite!
We drove across the bridge to wander around the cute little town of Sausalito. This is another must if you're in town for more than a weekend! The views of the city across the water are gorgeous and Sausalito has plenty of little shops and cafes to wander into.
 We had lunch at Scoma's, which hit the spot for my craving for fish tacos!
Once we were back in the city, we made a stop at the Ferry Building.
Again, this is another absolute must if you're in San Francisco. I could've spent hours wandering into all the little shops and markets. Otherwise, I never would've discovered the most adorable biscuit shop, Biscuit Bender!
After we wasted away the afternoon shopping, it was time to get ready for my parent's last dinner in San Francisco. They were flying home on Saturday while I got to stay an extra day!

Before dinner, we went to the 38th floor of our hotel for cocktails at Top of the Mark, which has the best view of the city!
For dinner, my sister chose a popular Peruvian restaurant, La Mar, known for their ceviche and Pisco sours!
The food was incredibly fresh and innovative. I felt like I was eating on a tropical island with the vibe of the restaurant and the view of the water. Another great pick!

Even though we were stuffed, Katie insisted on stopping for the best ice cream in the city, from Bi-Rite Creamery. The shop was already closed but the line was wrapped around the building!
Salted caramel and honey lavender ice cream for the win!

Saturday, after we said goodbye to our parents, I made Katie escort me across the bay so I could get my hands on the greatest chicken sandwich that ever existed from Bakesale Betty in Oakland. I wish I were exaggerating, but really, I'm not. I wouldn't be surprised if I started dreaming about their perfectly crunchy chicken and jalapeno coleslaw.
After we gorged ourselves on sandwiches, it was time for a hike!

Although it was my 4th time to San Francisco, I had never managed to visit the redwood forest or Muir Woods. Katie had told me awhile back about this secret treehouse/bar in the middle of the forest that you can hike to, take a picnic, drink beer, and play board games. I was so excited to finally get to see this place for myself, and it definitely didn't disappoint!
It doesn't really get much cooler than a treehouse that has draft beer in the middle of the woods, kids.

We finally hiked our way out of the forest (which was much easier after a pitcher or two of Hefeweisen) and headed back to Emeryville. We had a pretty low-key night with dinner at Comal in Berkeley and some late night shuffleboard at Katie's local bar, the Prizefighter. And come Sunday morning, I was back on a plane to the East Coast!

I think I waited so long to do this recap so I could still pretend I'm on vacation. Oh California, you're always so good to me...

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