San Francisco: Travel Diary

San Francisco: Travel Diary

I finally got on the SF bandwagon!! After hearing countless stories about the cute hilly streets, the mouth watering food, & the beautiful tourist spots… I had to see what all the hype was about. Let me note–it most definitely lived  up to the hype! I am so ecstatic to share my experience in the Golden City, because there is nothing better than traveling to a new city & making memories with your best girlfriends.

img_6780

Have I ever mentioned that I am terrified of flying? Yes, strange I know that I’m the girl who loves to travel, but is also scared to death of planes. It has always been a struggle for me– especially since traveling & airplanes are a package deal. However, the flight to SF was surprisingly pleasant given I only had to suffer for 45 minutes & my friends Katerina, Emily, & I passed the time by playing hangman on scraps of paper (when in desperate need for distraction, hangman saves the day).

We were staying with one of my best friends Mallory & her boyfriend Mark. They had offered to hosts us for the weekend, which we couldn’t pass up since it would be a complete money saver & a perfect excuse for a girls weekend after finals! Mark has been living in SF for a few months for work and Mallory visits him often. Mark lives on Polk street, north of market in the Civic Center with a rooftop view of the Capitol building (not too shabby of location ). Here are a few pics of his rooftop views.

img_6159img_6158

I have been friends with Mallory for 7 or 8 years now & I have grown to know the type of host/ person she is. You can expect everything to be clean, prepared, & organized- basically the epitome of a perfect host. However, I had NO idea that her & Mark would be the most gracious & sweetest hosts I have ever had! We weren’t expecting anything when staying at their place, since letting us stay for free was courteous enough.

To our surprise, as we opened the door (hauling in all our suitcases) there where orange post-its on the floor in the shape of an arrow. Following the arrows, we were led into the kitchen were Mark was standing there, in a Santa costume no less! Lets be honest, he’s a little bit too tan to be a Santa (lol), but the effort was definitely appreciated.

Mark and Mallory had spent half of their day setting up food & snacks when we arrived and even went as far as creating Cranberry Moscow Mules. Yes, I’m serious. This really put me to shame because literally the most I offer my guests when they come over is some pretzels or a cup of tea. Mark and Mallory were literally rolling out the red carpet for us!

img_6813img_6135

It didn’t stop there. As we walked out of the apartment complex, we were greeted with Mark  sitting in a convertible, waving for us to hop in. Imagine being buzzed, in a new city, cruising around in a convertible, & with all your bestfriends. Life couldn’t have gotten better at that moment. What a remarkable way to greet someone to San Francisco for the first time!

img_6143

We cruised all the way up to Twin Peaks (the best city view of SF) while blasting Christmas songs. Yes, we are that lame! Twin Peaks offers a panoramic view of San Francisco. At night, it is insanely romantic–and cold– but mostly romantic. To end the night, Mark had all of his friends come over. We spent the rest of the night taking shots & mingling. A memorable first night to say the least!

Given the exploding amount of activities & fun we had the night before, we didn’t end up getting our day started until 1. Granted, I was up at 8am (cursed with always waking up early), but everyone else decided not to function until the early afternoon. Given that I have never been to SF before, we decided that visiting the Golden Gate Bridge would be at the top of our list of things to do that weekend. We rented the convertible again and made our way across the bay. As cliché as it sounds, the bridge looks just as majestic and beautiful as seen in movies. It is such a timeless piece of art & I was so overwhelmed by the grandness & surrealness of driving on it.

img_6196

After crossing the bridge we went to the left of the highway, towards the Marin headlands. Here, you get an insane view of the Golden Gate Bridge with the city skyline behind it. By the time we got there we were just about to hit golden hour which gave us an ideal backdrop for photos.

img_0287img_6485img_6812img_8487img_6435

What wasn’t ideal… was the lovely ticket we got on our travel up to the bridge. Mind you, we did deserve it since we decided that driving 5 people in a 4 person seated car was a good idea. I don’t understand my luck lately, but I have been collecting tickets like a person collects coupons. Only difference is, I keep losing money instead of saving  it -_-

img_6235

The next day, we decided to make it a jam-pack day full of touristy things. But first, we started by eating the best breakfast tacos I HAVE EVER HAD. As I have said before, I may be skinny, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love food. The restaurant we went to was called Sweet Maple . It was typical  breakfast café equipped with a busy morning crowd, plenty of options on the menu, & cute homey décor. Mark had suggested getting the morning tacos because he said that they 1) always fill him up & 2) they are delicious. Let me tell you- these tacos sure did not disappoint! They were so amazingly delicious that I actually finished my whole plate before Mark, who is twice my size & a guy might I add. The Morning Tacos consist of avocado, chicken mango sausage, scrambled egg, pico de gallo, bacon, cilantro, cheddar, & parmesan. Legit, MOUTHWATERING.

img_6808

I definitely recommend this restaurant for the breakfast. Not only was mine delicious, but if you are an eggs benedict lover….. well, imma just leave this one here.

img_6809

After an insane & satisfying breakfast, we headed over to the trolley at Union Square because hello, how do you not take the iconic trolley in SF?! A few things to know about the trolley before you take it: first, it is $7 each way, which isn’t bad but just be prepared to have cash & second, expect to wait 40 minutes in line or more to actually get on the trolley. Don’t let the wait deter you because honestly, it is such an enjoyable experience  riding the trolley and seeing all the intricate and gorgeous architecture  while traveling up and down the hilly neighborhoods.

img_6801

img_6805

img_6806

img_6807

We took the trolley to Ghirardelli Square and Fishermans Warf. These are common tourist spots for those that have never been to SF.. It is a cute little waterfront community fully stocked with cute shops and seaside restaurants. To be honest, as nice as these places are, I probably wouldn’t make the time to visit them again unless I was finally going to make myself try clam chowder (supposedly it’s the best place to get it). I just feel that once you’ve seen one warf, you’ve kind have seen them all.

img_6800

img_6799

img_6802

img_6796

img_6795

img_6804

However, my favorite part of that visit was my friends and I making fools of ourselves on the boardwalk. We were quite the “crowd pleaser” with our outlandish dance moves to the Macarena lol. Honestly, if you can’t loosen up and make fun of yourself once in a while then you aren’t living! As you can tell by the pictures, Katerina really got into it lol.

img_6797img_6803

Given our trip landed on the week before Christmas, doing something holiday-ish was an obvious must do! Mallory & Mark suggested we go to Union Square and go ice skating. Even though the thought of falling on the ice & some kid sliding their sharp blades across my fingers petrifies me… I am still always game for a little ice skating (of course, with a First Aid kit hopefully not far behind).

I have never been to New York before (another place to put on the list), but Union Square definitely gave me all those feels! Towering buildings overhead, a glamorous Macys decked out in wreaths & holiday décor, and a grand Christmas tree right in the center. It was absolutely stunning and reminded me of why I love the city life so much.

img_6484

That about wraps up our SF weekend getaway!  I can guarantee that I will be back for more SF vibes because I now finally understand why everyone says it is such a magical city. Every street corner has something to do or something to see (or a hobo to run away from, but I won’t get into that lol).

img_6433

xx Shay

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply