“Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV…” That was my initial thought when my boyfriend asked me to travel to San Francisco with his family! And, of course, I couldn’t say no… So, all six of us took an amazing trip to San Francisco (& Monterey!), and let me just say: it was everything I thought it to be and more.
We had an early morning Thursday flight and arrived in San Francisco around 1pm. Even though we all felt a bit tired from waking up at 5am, we had a full day of activities planned and, honestly, I couldn’t wait to see the city! Right off the bat, we went to lunch at Brenda’s Meat and Three, a local cafe with biscuit and fried chicken galore. It was truly a Southern comfort restaurant: the food was nothing short of incredible and the staff was so wonderful. After a quick bite to eat, we hit up the Painted Ladies (aka, the Full House houses)! I grew up watching Full House, and when I say that I mean it was always on the TV. My sister and I constantly watched it! So, it’s safe to say that it was very, very cool to see it in person. Our last excursion of the day was a Segway tour. Yes, you read that right… a Segway tour! I’m not going to lie, I was kind of terrified at first. But, after a 30-minute training session (thanks, Kevin!), we all had the hang of it. We segwayed (drove? I’m not sure!) around Fisherman’s Wharf, Little Italy, and Coit Tower. It was an hour and a half of riding around, so we saw a ton of the city! We also stopped at Hole in the Wall Coffee, where we ordered Pookies (cold brew concentrate + chai)! Needless to say, we had a great first day in San Fran.
We began our day at an infamous donut shop: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. I’ve heard rave reviews, and they were all spot on! I definitely recommend hitting up this bakehouse next time your in SF. After brunch, we had a tour of Alcatraz. So, we hopped on the ferry and made our way over to the island. I’m not sure what I envisioned for Alcatraz, but I couldn’t have imagined what it was. Seriously, the island is beautiful. While going on the audio tour of the cells was insanely creepy, it was also charming in an odd way. After the incredible tour, we made our way over to a Lousiana styled restaurant, which was my first time trying beignets! They were delicious, to say the least. Next stop: the Golden Gate Bridge. This is the stuff you see in movies, y’all. It was so magical, and honestly my favorite part of the trip. After about 100 pictures, we made our way to China Town for dinner. And, I’m not going to lie, we definitely had a hard time finding China Town. But, once we made our way, we found a delicious (& authentic??) Chinese restaurant! As I was trying to teach everyone to use chopsticks, our server came around and told me I was doing it correctly! Therefore, he dubbed me the “teacher,” and I had to make sure everyone at our table could correctly use chopsticks. It was a great ending to a perfect day.
Because this wasn’t only a trip to SF, we drove down the coast to the quaint city of Monterey! This beach town was absolutely adorable! It was about a 3-hour drive (including stopping to look at the beautiful Pacific!), so we arrived around 1-2pm. First, we went to lunch at Islands Restaurant, which had delicious burgers! Afterward, we made our way to Adventures By the Sea where we went kayaking in the ocean… kayaking… in the ocean… Quite honestly, I was a little nervous! However, it turned out to be absolutely amazing. We got up close and personal with so many creatures, including sea otters and sea lions (they are adorable!). They supplied us with incredibly warm and “stylish” clothes, so freezing my booty off was no longer a concern. We ended the day by ordering several pizzas from none other than everyone’s favorite… Dominos.
Waking up bright in early isn’t what most people expect to do on a vacation… However, we all awoke to the sounds of owls, horses, chickens, dogs, and cats because we stayed at a VRBO that was on a farm! It was incredibly fun and a nice scenery change from the beach. On our fourth day, we went to the Monterey Crepe Company and had delicious crepes and a bit of coffee. After waking up a bit more, we strolled around the boardwalk-ish area and stopped in a few stores. I picked up a super cute Monterey Bay long sleeve! Next stop was a mini private tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium! We got to see the behind the scenes of the jellies, which was unbelievable! We also saw an octopus, a few sharks, lots of fish, sea otters and plenty of other marine life! On our last day, we had fresh surf and turf at the Big Fish Grill.
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, please give yourself a pat on the back! Overall, it’s safe to say that California was ah-mazing! I had a great time discovering the west coast and bonding with everyone. I’ll definitely be visiting the golden state again.
Thanks so much for reading,