I am obsessed with San Francisco. I have been ever since the first time I stepped foot off the plane in 10th grade on our way to a family vacation in Hawaii. (I think we had a stop there in the 6th grade when I went to Hawaii with a friend’s family, but I don’t remember it, so therefore it’s not a part of this nostalgic walk-through.) I have since been back three times for week-long vacations, and I soak up every little bit of the Northern Cali feel that’s so specific to San Fran and the wine country. Honestly, there’s no place like it on earth, and I have been dreaming about living there for at least some small portion of my life. I know it’s hella expensive, so spare me the “It’s so costly/you can’t afford rent/OMG you have to be rich to live there” talk because hey, I make such little money, everything is really expensive to me. Plus, I’m super thrifty (nice way to say cheap as hell) so I make fun happen all the time, any way I can.
Timmy and I took our first real proper vacation together in December 2012 to San Francisco so I could show him my 3rd love in this world and so that he could truly understand my obsession with that city. We’ve been to NY (such a freaking fast trip, it could hardly be called a vacation). He had never been to NY so I showed him around one of my first big city loves and college town. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but now it was time to slow down a bit and really take in the sights of a ginormous city like San Fran. It was Timmy’s 2nd intro ever to Cali. We had gone to California a few months before for, shocker!, a wedding! It was Jenny and Joe’s wedding, which seriously, was one of the most gorgeous events ever.
They are two of my really good friends from NYU and you’ll never meet more incredibly genuine, kind, and thoughtful people anywhere. Before that wedding, Timmy had never been to Cali, so we did our best in those three days to drink as much wine at wineries as we could, drive along the Pacific Coast Hwy from LA to Solvang, and eat at In-N-Out.
We stayed with the two Js for this trip, who have the MOST AMAZING PLACE EVER at such a freaking steal, and it was perfect. From start to finish, it was a perfect trip. And bonus, we didn’t have a wedding to go to!! It was just traveling, sight seeing, eating amazing food, and hanging with incredible people. It reset our minds, energy, and motivation for the future. Perfection, I tell you, perfection.
I’m writing about this trip now for a few reasons: 1) I haven’t mustered up the energy to write about the last two weeks here because I’m sick and we haven’t come up for air; 2) I never really posted the magnificent pictures we took from that week anywhere; 3) this vacation took place in the middle of a huge moving and job change kerfluffle and I was in no way motivated to recap the week when I could barely keep my head on straight; and 4) I just miss it. I miss the air quality, I miss the temperature (because we’re dying here in 103 degree heat in June), I miss the food (Lakeland sucks), I miss the culture (Lakeland sucks), and I miss my friends. So follow along, will you, as I recap our San Francisco vacation last year and how I wish we were doing a repeat right about now.
We spent the first day touring wineries and it was awesome (duh)! Our tour guide was unique, let me tell you. Unique in that he made everything plural for absolutely no reason whatsoever, but used singular verbs. “Thems is 4 miles long.” “Theys has ten wines.” If you know me, you know about my grammar obsession, and I could not get drunk enough to drown out this horrible habit of his. It was AWFUL. He also just made up random trivia, like the Presidio area of San Fran is named after the Spanish word for prison. Actually, no. No, it’s not. That’s carcel or prisión in Spanish, and that does not sound or look like presidio. Try again.
But the wines were incredible (except our last stop – white zin in a def no. Sorry Barbara!). We stopped at Nicholson Ranch, Madonna Estates, lunch in Yountville which was gorgeous but MIGHTY expensive (it’s where the famous restaurant French Laundry is located), and Sutter Home (blech, disgusting, no, no, just no). I think I’m missing one, but hey, at least I remember this much.
That night we met up with Taamy, another amazing friend from NYU who lives in Oakland with her now-fiance Dave. They brew their own beer, they are amazingly dressed, and are always at some exotic locale. Seriously, I love them/hate them. Their lives, ugh their lives!! So awesome!
We ate at Limon with her and Joe, and it was delish. Yummy Peruvian rotisserie because their chickens are different or something. They all had some disgusting drink at the end that was vodka or something that had jalapenos soaking in it for weeks. Nasty. I enjoyed watching and making fun of them.
Our second day, we toured the city. We used the best touring company, in one of those smaller van/buses, not the double deckers. You get to make more stops, the tour guide knows a TON of information, and it’s just really fun and personal. We took all the tourist shots, and again, just had an incredible day. The end of the day, we walked from the Embarcadero (which Timmy always give me the side eye because I pronounce it in Spanish because IT’S A SPANISH WORD) to Fisherman’s Wharf. We had the most incredible food that day, and again, just perfection from start to finish.
We went to the Buena Vista Cafe for its famous Irish coffees, which no thanks, I’ll stop at one. Yikes that was strong. I also managed to drop my debit card outside of the restaurant while fishing out my phone for an Uber car. Didn’t even realized it until we were back at our friends’ place and the guy who found it TWEETED me. Isn’t that nuts?!?! Here’s the proof that the world is a teeny tiny place still filled with decent people.
The next day, we went to Oakland to visit the famous Taamy and Dave and then back to the city for amazing sushi (god I miss good food) and duh, karaoke. Jenny and Joe I think live at a karaoke bar for a portion of the week then return home. I love me some karaoke, but these two are dead serious about it. We went to some mall that had this super tucked-away Japanese karaoke bar in it that you would’ve never found on your own. I can’t remember the name of it, but like I would be able to remember after the week we had there. We found the back room (that sounds dirty) where it was only us, microphones, and a stage. I think we were there for like 4 hours, which of course is crazy, but felt like college. Good times. It’s all about the memories, folks.
I think you can tell by now that it was an amazing trip, and definitely one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. We are counting the days till we can head back. Soon, San Francisco, soon.