Hey Guys long time no chat!
Sorry about that… the past few weeks have been a bit crazy and honestly this little blog got pushed to the way-side. But I’m back now and here to share our trip to San Fran!
Since Brent & I opted out of a big extravagant honeymoon right after we got married and made our way to Mackinac Island for a little R&R we decided to take a trip in the fall. Our amazing friend, Gwen, lives in SF and invited us to her home while she vacationed in Mexico with her sisters. It was the perfect opportunity to get away and spend some quality time together!
We got to San Fran late Friday night for a full week of exploring & while we had ideas and things we would like to do/see in mind we had almost ZERO agenda which was nice!
If you followed me on SnapChat (mywellnessland) or Instagram you have a pretty good idea what we were up to during our trip, I tried to stay off social media through the trip except to capture memories by posting on snapchat. For those of you who don’t follow me, grab a cup of coffee this could take a while 🙂
Day 1: Napa
On Saturday we spent the day with Gwen before she left town, it was so nice to catch up with here and go up to Napa together!
We headed to a neighborhood resturant Just For You Cafe for a filling breakfast. The cafe was cute & busy on a gorgeous Saturday morning. We waited for our table and then enjoyed a great breakfast.
Once we were fueled for the day we headed back to the house got our stuff together for the trip up to Napa & got on the road.
Our first winery was Bell Wine Cellars which was a complete coincidence and Brent & I were beyond excited to enjoy OUR winery! We probably took so many pictures of this winery because everything was branded “Bell” and we were obsessed! Plus they had amazing wine, a bit pricey but absolutely delicious. We went home with a bottle of their reserve wine & two wine glasses… Because BELL, duh!
After Bell we headed to B Cellars which was just down the road & a winery which Gwen belonged to. We took a tour of the grounds where they not only grow the grapes but they have bees for honey, a gorgeous herb garden & fresh vegetables to use in their kitchen. The vineyard was build on a hill so they had tunnels and caves which we toured as well, they had a wine barrel on tap which was pretty awesome!
Once our tour was completed we sat down for a food & wine paring, and I decided I wanted a personal chef! The food was divine and the wine was pretty dang good too. We took home a bottle of their Syrah.
Later that night we headed out to Plouf for a Halloween seafood dinner. Brent & I decided to split a bucket of Coconut Milk Mussels & the Sea Bass special. The sea bass was pretty good, I had never ate sea bass before and really enjoyed the texture and flavor. BUT for me the star was the Mussels. I could’ve ate the whole bowl, the sauce was so flavorful and rich it was a totally new take on mussels for me & I loved it!
Day 2: Brew Tour
Sunday started early when we took Gwen to the airport & then relaxed a bit taking our time to get up and going. After a homemade omelet breakfast we decided to seek out the different breweries in the city.
We started out walking from the house and just hit different breweries as we went along. We ended up walking to 5 different breweries, almost 7miles round trip. It was fun to go to some of the smaller places and chat with the bartenders about the area and local brewery scene. At our last stop we had a bit of a hike back home which took us up some serious San Fran hills and in some not so great neighborhoods, by the time we got back to the house it was 8+ hours later and we were exhausted.
Here’s where we went & my humble opinions 😉
1. Triple VooDoo – I loved the vibe of this bar, it was very industrial, which went great with the neighborhood, and had huge selection of beers. Including some that I enjoyed since I am a picky beer drinker! I could definitely see hanging out here or going here for happy hours and enjoying the environment.
2. 21st Amendment – They also had a large selection of beers & were more of a “brew-restaurant” rather than a hard core microbrewery. We split a sandwich here which was mighty delicious! The beer was tasty and if you’re looking for a brewery with a sports-bar feel the upstairs here is just what you want!
3. Black Hammer Brewing – the environment here was super chill, family friendly and really cute. It had big open windows, community style tables and while its a pretty little place it was super comfortable & dog friendly! I was not a big fan of the beer here, but again I’m picky, but Brent enjoyed the flight that we had and the sour I got wasn’t bad!
4. Local Brewing Co. – We spent the longest time here because we sat at the bar and visited with the bar tender. Local is a relatively new brewery and the bar had a very industrial feel, Brent kept saying it reminded him of Five Guys because of the Red & Black. They had a nice selection of beers & the bartender was very well versed in their beer along with other local breweries. We enjoyed a flight of their beers & I actually liked quite a few!
5. Southern Pacific Brewery – Our last stop was Southern Pacific which was again more of a sports bar/restaurant than just a brewery. It was rather spacious and had a nice big patio which would be a fun place for a night out with friends. They also had a good beer list with house beer & otherwise which was nice to see some other local beers on the menu. We ate dinner here and the sandwiches were delicious.
So there you have it! I would go back to all of these breweries & there were a few we didn’t make it to (Magnolia, Harmonic, Speakeasy & Cellarmaker) but heres a start for your next trip to San Fran!
Day 3: Trolley Ride, Lombard St & Painted Ladies
After the wine tastings and brew tour all the alcohol had Brent not feeling the best. I woke up at 5:45am, thank you DLS, and read while Brent caught some extra sleep. Again we had a slow start to the day but it’s vacation and I was enjoying relaxing!
It took a while but we eventually got up and moving but once we did we decided to walk down to Union Square and do a trolley ride up to Lombard Street.
The trolley ride was more entertaining than I had expected. Watching the driver conduct the trolley, working the brakes and turning was pretty impressive, I guess I thought they just went along the track without any work! Also the hills were extreme I felt like I was on a tame rollercoaster.
Once we hopped off the trolley at the end of the line we walked back up Russian Hill to Lombard St to take pictures and be tourists!
Painted Ladies – As seen in the opening credits of Full House
After a million pictures we started walking towards the Painted Ladies. It was a bit of a treck but we were up for the task and had plenty of time! Drying our walk we got to see a lot of neighborhoods, stopped for a coffee break, witnessed a fight & avoided it, walked through a couple pretty parks, and finally got to the Painted Ladies as the sun started to set.
Both of our legs were pretty tired from the walk so we grabbed a Lyft and relaxed the rest of the night with some delicious take out Pizza from Long Bridge Pizza down the street from where we were staying.
Day 4: Alcatraz Island, Ferry Building, Fishermans Warf, Pier 39 & Ghiradelli Square
Alcatraz Island was the ONLY thing we planned ahead of time. I had been told by basically everyone that we had to do Alcatraz & to order in advance. We did both, plus per online recommendations we booked the first ferry to the island. Since we aren’t traveling during the big tourist season the island wasn’t super busy but it was nice to get there right away and not have a ton of crowds.
The island tour was completely worth it, I learned so much about the history of Alcatraz and was so impressed with the audio tour.
We took the boat back to San Fran and were both STARVING!!! So in search of food we headed toward the Ferry Building Marketplace go find something to eat. We settled on burgers from American Eatery which were the BOMB!! I don’t think I’ve ever ate a burger from a “fast food” place which was so good.
Cute Shops & The Ferry Building
Cute Shops & The Ferry Building
We then stopped at Pier 39 and watched the sea lions for such a long time, they are really entertaining & we loved standing and watching them adding our own commentary when they would make their different noises.
After we had our share of the sea lions we walked down to Fishermans Warf and up to the Ghiradelli Square to split a sundae!
We enjoyed some down time just relaxing, people watching and recharging our phones so we would have enough juice to make it home 😁 that evening we just relaxed and let our legs rest from all the walking!!
Easy Quinoa Pasta Dinner after a long day of walking!
Day 5: Muir Woods
We got up Wednesday and after some breakfast we headed out to Muir Woods to see the California Redwoods! We wee both pretty excited to see the big trees but I was prepared to be underwhelmed because all the reading I did said “these are NOT the ones you drive through or see on TV.”
After some tight turns and winding roads we made it to the park and started our walk through the red woods!
I must admit I was seriously impressed with the massive size and presence the trees took on, they were seriously gorgeous & if they aren’t as BIG or impressive as the ones you see on TV than I can’t even imagine how big those would be.
Pacific Ocean @ Muir Beach
Pacific Ocean @ Muir Beach
Once we got back to the city we got sandwiches from an awesome little southern restaurant down the way from us and then hit the grocery store for more breakfast & snack food for the remainder of the week.
Ice Cream with Granola a perfect end to a day!
Oh and some ice cream too! 😍
Day 6: Anchor Brew Tour
On Thursday we headed to Anchor Brewery to get our Beer Nerd on. It was so interesting to hear about all the history of the brewery, the fires & challenges that they had to overcome over the years. Also hearing about what STEAM beer was & getting to taste some was pretty cool too!
After the tour we enjoyed a hearty tasting… Well Brent enjoyed the tasting the most, while I liked a few of the beers they had I wasn’t the biggest fan so Brent did the drinking & I walked us home at the end.
After a trip to Whole Foods because I had a SERIOUS craving for a big salad!
And let me tell you that salad hit the spot! We literally lounged the rest of the day, we both got colds while out there so a day of rest and relaxation was completely necessary.
Day 7: Chinatown, Union Square & Financial District
On Friday we had plans to rent bikes & bike around the city however since we were both a bit under the weather we slept in and got a late start so we deferred biking to Saturday & went to walk around Chinatown.
It was fun to walk through the city on a busy Friday around lunch time, the city was buzzing and alive which was awesome to see. We walked through the financial district, around Chinatown & though Union Square for a few hours which was such a fun easy afternoon!
A HUGE chopped salad definitely satisfied our hunger at the end of the day!
We both were feeling a little under the weather so we headed back home for an evening of just relaxing and taking it easy which was perfect!
Day 8: Bike the Bridge & The Blarney Stone
Saturday was our last day in San Fran and we got up bright and early to head downtown to rent bikes for the day. Once we got fitted for our bikes we headed out along the trail by the bay up to the Golden Gate Bridge.
We stopped a few times to take pictures, once to grab a warm drink & then up to the big bridge! It was quite a ride to the bridge and so once we were up there I was shocked how tough it was biking across it. We made it 3/4 across the bridge & decided due to time we would turn back and go to our next destination.
I was kinda bummed because I had heard so much about Sausalito but I didn’t want to ride over just to FLY through and not enjoy it, plus we would’ve had to ride back across the bridge before getting to the bar which sounded hard on my already tired legs (& congested lungs). Now we just have something to do the next time we go to San Fran 😉
The BEST Bartenders in Town!
Once we turned back we headed towards The Blarney Stone which is a Michigan Alumni bar & our destination for the afternoon. We made the 5 mile ride to the bar and once we got there settled into our seats at the bar to watch the game and enjoy the atmosphere! The bar tenders and environment was amazing and a great place to watch the game. I would highly recommend going to Blarney Stone if you’re looking for a cute neighborhood bar!
Street food never tasted so good!
Once we dropped off our bikes we walked through the Warf and picked up a bowl of clam chowder soup and a crab roll from a street vendor for dinner before walking home. The soup & sandwich were AMAZING and definitely a delicious way to end our San Francisco adventure!
Day 9: A sad flight home to chilly Chicago!
PHEW so there you have it! 8 days in San Fran and a ton of stuff! We didn’t spend a lot of time eating out at the wonderful restaurants in the city, because we had a kitchen at our disposal and often just grabbed something when we were hungry rather than making plans for dinner and feeling stressed about it.
I already can’t wait for our next vacation! 😉