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.
The 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.
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!
… 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.
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.
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.
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:
- Be reunited with Christine
EvaluateMeet her new boyfriend
- 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.
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!
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!