Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

We decided to take a trip to Northern California for my birthday this year. I was excited to get out of town with my sweetie and see more of the state I love. Our first stop was San Francisco. We arrived late on a Tuesday night and stayed through Thursday afternoon. Just enough time to fall in love with the city by the bay. Thank goodness we tacked on an extra day in SF at the end of our trip because I was not ready to say goodbye just yet.

The following day was my 30th birthday and by far one of the best I have had. We woke up early (me very early b/c I was still on East Coast time) and went downstairs for breakfast. I'm not a huge breakfast person but, oh my god was this something. Definitely the way to start your birthday. Markus had the buffet which looked pretty amazing but I couldn't pass up the lemon meyer and ricotta pancakes with crème fraîche. To die for. I would have taken a picture but I had already licked my plate and people were starting to stare.

The next several hours we spent wandering the streets of San Francisco. Falling more and more in love with each turn we took. The vistas were amazing. Everywhere you turn their is a view of the bay, rows and rows of beautiful houses, and hidden stairs. We loved the stairs because they usually led to somewhere even more fantastic than where you were just standing.

We stopped by the Ferry Building for lunch, another must do in San Francisco. It's a very cool sustainable indoor market with local shops and restaurants. We did a little shopping/sight seeing and then decided on Hog Island Oyster Co. for lunch. Most of the restaurants overlook the Bay and the Bay Bridge, another reason this place is so cool.

That night we had dinner reservations at Yabbies but the night was young so we headed to Top of the Mark for a champagne toast while watching the sun set. It has 360 degree view of the city, but about 5 minutes after we got there the fog rolled in. We couldn't see the building in front of us, much less the sun setting. But it was still cool, another must do in SF.

After dinner we decided to check out the Tonga Room, which is located in the basement lower level of our hotel. It was...interesting. A few people had told me they had gone so we thought why not? Every birthday girl deserves a birthday drink. Markus and I paid the $5/per person cover, got leid, and took our seats at a tiki covered table. Next to a swimming pool, with a floating stage, that had a "rainmaker" and a 40 something cover band. Uh huh, like I said, interesting.

The next day we were leaving San Francisco and heading to wine country but there were still a few things we needed to see (hello, the Golden Gate Bridge!). So on the way out of town we drove by the Painted Ladies, through Golden Gate Park, and down to see that bridge. I was in awe and couldn't believe I was standing next to the Golden Gate. Stunning! I wish we had had more time, and who knows, I might have even gotten the courage to walk across it. Maybe next time!

Directly across from San Francisco (over the bridge) are the quaint little towns of Sausolito and Tiburon. Who knew they aren't just a cookie and a Hyundai! And, If I didn't know better I would have thought we were somewhere in southern Europe. Colorful houses are nestled in the hills and beautiful boats sit in the crystal blue water of the bay. Markus and I joked that this would be where we would keep our sailboat if we lived in San Francisco. You know, when we weren't jet setting the world.

A trip to California wouldn't be complete without visiting our favorite residents. Markus' best friend Chris and his girlfriend, Alexa have helped us immensely with the planning of both of our trips out west, and it just so happens Alexa lives in SF. So our last night in town we met her for a drink at The Thirsty Pig and then tried out A16 for dinner. A recommendation of Chris', who was in LA that weekend. He was missed but I'm glad he shared his girlfriend with us because we had a great time out with a local.

I know I say this about a lot of places we visit in the U.S. but San Francisco is hands down my favorite city. But, don't tell New York that!

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