Our big vacation this year was to San Francisco and California Wine Country. It was wonderful!
It’s going to be a long post so here is a Golden Gate Bridge photo to hold you over.
It’s such a fine bridge.
We flew into San Francisco on Saturday evening and took a taxi to our very nice hotel, the Galleria Park Hotel. They didn’t have the room we reserved back in March and, for once, it worked out in our favor. They upgraded us to the nicest suite in the hotel for free!
A fireplace, a dining table ,and TV #2!
A living room!
Despite Charlotte airport nachos and a mid-flight cheese plate, we needed dinner. We walked through the outskirts of Chinatown to Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant on Kearney, a totally vegan Chinese restaurant. We had steamed vegetable dumplings for our appetizer, which was my favorite of the three things we ordered. I got basil soy chicken and vegetables and Robbie got BBQ pork and veggie ham fried rice. The food was good but not on par with similar dishes from similar restaurants we’ve tried in other cities. (Shout out to Chinese Buddha in Atlanta!)
Steamed vegetable dumplings and fear personified as Robbie realized there were no forks on the table.
Basil soy chicken, napa cabbage, etc.
The house special fried rice with fake BBQ pork and ham.
After getting dressed up in our swanky suite, we walked to The View, one of the bars/restaurants inside the Marriott on Mission Street. It really lives up to its name, however, my photos don’t. We could see so much of the city and all the way to the bay. The bar is worth visiting for the View alone but the drinks were really good too. We both loved our drinks: Robbie got an old-fashioned and I had an awesome sparkling wine/St. Germaine,/fresh berries concoction. And keeping with the free theme, our second round was on the house!
Imagine a breathtaking view of the city, the bridge, and the bay. Or go see it on their website.
We were up pretty early (5:00 am early) the next day. And everyday. We never adjusted to the time change. So after being hungry for a few hours, Robbie went next door to Bread and Cocoa and picked up some breakfast for us. We ate it at our dining table in our big suite watching CNN on the second TV. I don’t usually drink any kind of coffee but I fell in love with that latte.
Bread and Cocoa next door to Galleria Park Hotel
Here is a photo of a trolley I saw while I was waiting for the rental car company outside of our hotel.
We drove north out of the city in our rented Toyota Corolla. Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge was quite impressive.
Driving north on the Golden Gate Bridge
This bridge really is spectacular. We stopped on the other side at the Vista Point and took photos with all of the other tourists. 10/10 would photograph again.
A kind, fellow tourist took our photo for us.
Our outdoor adventure for this trip was a walk through the Muir Woods National Monument. I really really wanted to see redwoods and I was not disappointed! We even saw a bonus chipmunk! The park is beautiful and serene. Despite the overflowing parking lot, it was quiet and didn’t feel crowded at all. The trees are huge and stately, if a tree can be stately. We had a great time walking through, enjoying the trees and the quiet, and taking photos. The shuttle there and back was a little scary on the twirling mountain roads but I’m glad the shuttle was an option because it was better than wasting our vacation looking for a parking spot.
Robbie at the entrance to the Muir Woods National Monument
Robgeleen with redwoods!
After the shuttle ride back to our rental car, we drove to a cute little town called Mill Valley to eat at Joe’s Taco Lounge. I will forever be glad that we chose to eat there. I think their tofu tostada is the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in my life. We had the amazing nachos too. I’m sad that this adorable and authentic restaurant is so far from my house because I want to eat every vegetarian thing on that menu.
Phenomenal tofu tostada
The Virgin Mary and hot sauces at Joe’s Taco Lounge
We spent the rest of the day and the next two nights in Sonoma and Napa counties, which you should check out in my next post.
On Tuesday afternoon, it was time to drive back to San Francisco and drop off our car. I drove back and it was so scary! There was one street near our hotel that was so steep I couldn’t visually confirm that there was land on the other side of the hill. After dropping our bags off at the hotel and returning our car, we checked out some bars on foot.
We started at Mikkeller Bar, went on to Rickhouse, then finished the night at Local Edition. I got zero usable photos from these bars. I do recall that my drink at Rickhouse was really amazing and Robbie was impressed with his old-fashioned at Local Edition. It became clear that we needed fuel in the form of immediately available Mexican food for our walk back to the hotel. We stopped at a Chipotle on our way and were pleasantly surprised to be able to order the tofu sofritas at that location. I got a huge bowl of sofritas, black beans, grilled veggies, two salsas, cheese, and guacamole. It was quite special for emergency fast food.
Yes, I’m blogging Chipotle.
For the last night of our trip we stayed at the Hotel Boheme on Columbus Avenue. It wasn’t our first choice – our first choice was sold to another company after we made our reservation and the new company didn’t honor our reservation. The Hotel Boheme’s location is really good. The hotel itself was just okay.
Because we were still waking up at 5:00 am we had plenty of time to pack, arrange for a shuttle to the airport, and head towards the Fisherman’s Wharf for breakfast. We ate at the Beach Street Grill which was quite good. We walked the short distance to Pier 39 afterwards to see the sea lions. They are such characters! Stinky, funny characters.
We saw a rainbow and Alcatraz on our way.
That beautiful bridge again.
Sea lions! I love them so much.
Our final semi-noteworthy activity in San Francisco was eating surprisingly good airport food. If you are ever flying out of SFO, go to Andale. They have delicious tofu!