The Last Day | SF 2017

Last time on SF 2017, I visited Yelp HQ and saw one of my oldest friends in her new home city before being reminded that I am not immune to jet lag and I cannot party as hard as I used to. But here’s to the weekend!


A few weeks before our trip, I booked a brunch reservation for Saturday and kept it late so that Ben and I could sleep in a bit, knowing that we were going to be suffering from jet lag and late nights especially since Ben had been working so hard on his presentation just a few days prior.

After really enjoying those thick black-out curtains and abundant pillows that make hotel sleep so satisfying, we got up, got washed, and got ready to head out for brunch. I wanted us to leave a bit early so we could see the famous Painted Ladies and then walk over, so I called us a Lyft and waited.

… and waited and waited. The car never showed up, so I cancelled it and called a new one, because now we were unable to take a small walk to brunch and make our reservation. But then that car didn’t show up either, and it got stuck at the same place as the last car. Ben and I walked out of the hotel and discovered that Market Street was blocked off for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. GO FIGURE. There was hella traffic (some Cali lingo for you West Coasters!) and we had no choice but to start walking in the direction of brunch (over 3 miles away) and try to catch a Lyft after we got away from traffic so that our table wouldn’t be given away. I called the restaurant and then began to power-walk/casually run westwards, gawking at how many cars were stuck downtown trying to get past this parade. After a fair bit of drama trying to figure out how to optimize getting into a Lyft and onwards to the right direction, and with the great driving instincts of our driver, we finally made it to nopa, a little sweaty and very hungry.

DSC03388DSC03389The restaurant was actually not that full when we arrived after 1pm, but it filled up pretty soon after we ordered our food. We weren’t sure what to get and weren’t really vibin’ the menu (still too sweaty), but I went for some yummy sounding items and hoped for the best.

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Custard French toast
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Butter-basted eggs

We didn’t really love the food, so we opted not to order more and just munch more later somewhere else. But off to see the Painted Ladies from Alamo Park!

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… so the park was closed and we were only able to see these Victorian houses from real up close it was pretty disappointing, because I really wanted to lay out on the grass and relax a bit while humming the theme from Full House. (🎶Whatever happened to predictability…🎶)

Walking up this ridiculous hill took quite a bit out of us, so we got a ride over to the Palace of Fine Arts so that I could take Ben for the walk that Christine showed me last time I was here.

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They were actually setting up for a wedding here that day!

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Of course, I brought Ben to Crissy Field as well, and it was strange and different but not bad to share my personal, peaceful place with him. I was really glad to have been able to share this special place.

We started walking towards Pier 39 to check out the sea lions, since it was a really beautiful day and we didn’t mind walking pasts the piers. Since that is a 3-mile journey, we walked about halfway and then got a little ride so we wouldn’t be exhausted and late by the time we arrived.

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I started to feel really hungry, since we never managed to find food after an only-okay brunch, but I didn’t want to spoil my appetite for dinner. Then I saw a place that advertised beignets and I had to eat SOMETHING. (But I didn’t let myself have beignets, in an attempt to exercise some semblance of willpower.) So I shared some fried seafood and oysters with Ben so as not to be drooling when I showed up for dinner.

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After a super quick Daiso run (why don’t we have these on the East Coast, can someone please tell me), it was off to fulfill 3 big goals of this SF trip:

  1. Be reunited with Christine
  2. Evaluate Meet her new boyfriend
  3. Eat cioppino!

The last one was another goal that was something I regretted not doing my last trip, similar to my trip to the Walt Disney Family Museum. I didn’t have specific ideas about what I wanted to eat in San Francisco last fall, and when I saw a sign for “Cioppino’s” at Fisherman’s Wharf, I remembered this delicious seafood stew that I first tasted in Alaska, strangely enough, and was invented here in the City by the Bay! I kicked myself for not seeking it out then and made sure to get some this time around. After some searching, many people mentioned Sotto Mare as the place to go; even when they found a new go-to, it was compared to Sotto Mare. Since Christine had been meaning to try their famous cioppino as well, it was an easy decision where we should eat and what we should get.

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As you can see, I really had a hankering for oysters…

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This was so tasty and we probably only needed one to share between the 4 of us but man, I still think about this yummy stew with pasta and seafood and that crab meat!! “Best Damn Crab Cioppino” indeed.

It was a lot of fun hanging with Christine and Phil, and I was so happy to meet Phil because he was really cool and seems to make Christine happy. Plus he was so easy to like!

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With that, Ben and I walked back to our hotel to get packed and get going, as our flight was at 7AM the next morning. Which happened to be Daylight Saving Time, so really… we did not get very much sleep before our flight. (I actually, bizarrely, woke up about 2 hours after I fell asleep and just stayed awake until I got on the plane, so… that was a thing.)

We had a really lovely time in San Francisco, and I still can’t believe that I got to visit again so soon after my last visit, especially given how long it had been since the visit before that one!

I’ll be back again someday soon.

Where should I visit the next time I’m in San Francisco?
And where do you think I can pass on?

What city should I visit next? There are still a lot of American cities I haven’t seen, even on the East Coast!

 

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Hog Island + After Dark | SF 2017

Last time on SF 2017, I spent a lovely day exploring the California Academy of Sciences at my own leisurely pace after an evening and morning of being very hangry. With a day of museum-ing behind me, the hanger was beginning to settle in yet again…


Before I set out for San Francisco, I asked for recommendations for food, knowing that I would be overwhelmed by options in one of the great food cities in this country. While my friends kept their recommendations for me unique, the only place multiple people urged me to visit was Hog Island Oyster Company over in the Ferry Building. In fact, about 5 people recommended that, despite that lines, despite the hype, despite how it had become a tourist trap, I must visit Hog Island and eat oysters.

Yes, there were lines, but I have to give a shout-out to the hostess who seated me at the bar and kept a seat next to me open so that my boyfriend could join me (over an hour later!). She is the real MVP. (So is Ben, who put up with me [h]angrily miscommunicating with him over the phone about when he would show up. Thank you for being so patient with me!)

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Yes, $14 for a bowl of clam chowder is a little nuts, but it was the best clam chowder I’ve ever tasted. I ordered this when I sat down and tried so so hard to leave some for Ben to try when he was able to join me after his work obligations let him go. The little itty bitty bit of soup I left for him was long-cold but still really tasty.

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The oysters were good. I don’t think I was actually as wow-ed by them as I was by the chowder, but they were really good and definitely hit the spot as I had been craving them for some time. I can never keep track of what each type is when the server describes them to me, but I slurped down every single one happily.

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From the Ferry Building, Ben and I wandered along a few of the nearby piers and stopped at Pier 9 for a little impromptu photoshoot. Comment below with your guess for how many takes it took for me to get my Gene Kelly moment, because it was a LOT. (The lamppost had no place for me to put my foot, so I was engaging my whole body just trying to stay up there…)

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We parted ways so that I could meet up with one of my friends from high school, David, who I haven’t actually seen since he showed up at my high school graduation. “Catching up” was funny because when he asked “Wow, how long has it been, what do we need to catch up on?” I said, “Well… everything.” While we hung out plenty in high school, it was always in a group setting and never in a particularly personal one. This was the first time we got to talk one-on-one and the first time we were talking about our own lives rather than something [high] school-related. It was really nice and if I wasn’t already happy that David reached out to me out of the blue, I ended the evening feeling so grateful to have him as a friend because he’s really fantastic. In fact, I was a little sad that I was learning this so late and knowing that we wouldn’t hang out for a long time. (Hopefully not as long as the gap between now and high school.)

Fun fact: David makes these awesome build videos where he DIYs really cool stuff. Highly recommend checking them out!

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David and I hung out at the Exploratorium: After Dark, which is another weekly, Thursday evening adults-only museum event. I don’t have many photos because I spent most of the time taking video (which I will hopefully be able to show you all sometime soon?) but it really is so much fun as an adult to visit a museum without a lot of children running around. Especially for a place like the Exploratorium, which is made up of mostly interactive exhibits, it’s nice to not feel like you are taking away from some kid’s fun day in order to play with the toys available. The science at the Exploratorium is actually really interesting and very solid. Christine‘s Yelp review of this place was right: it’s a really good date spot, so I realized afterwards that it was funny to be here with a guy friend who I was getting to know on a personal level for the first time. (It felt a little bit like a first date, especially with the walk around the Embarcadero after!) But the Exploratorium was really awesome, and I can’t wait to share the footage I got during my time there.

Exploratorium: After Dark
Every Thursday, 6-10pm
$15 general admission; $10 additional for tactile dome admission
Pier 15 (Embarcadero Green Street)
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 528-4444
https://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/calendar/after-dark

Must be 18+ to enter

When After Dark ended, David and I walked to the bar where Ben and his co-workers were sampling whiskeys before calling it a night. I went to bed grateful for the delicious seafood in my belly, for the fun hands-on science I got to play with, and for reconnecting with a really amazing old friend.


Do you like adults-only days/hours at the museum? I know that the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Sciences both have one every Thursday in San Francisco, but I’d like to learn about similar events at other museums in other cities!

Where is the best seafood you’ve had? I attempted to go vegetarian when I was in middle school, but if I were to try again I could not give up seafood for sure. Tell me where you love to eat seafood! Especially where I can compare clam chowder and oysters. (My favorite are $1 oysters!)