vacation recap: san francisco part 2

I really tried to cram our full two days in San Francisco into one blog post, but I just take too many photos. So here's the second part - our second day and a few minutes from our third day during our drive over the bridge. We had already seen quite a bit on our first day in the Bay Area, but the second day is what really won me over. Great meals, a look into several different neighborhoods, and some great meandering. Take a look...

After a very full first day (and a very big meal to end it), we headed to bed early and woke up bright and early on our second day. Again, I just love the jet lag when you travel West. I feel invincible at 6am every morning. We had quite a walk ahead of us, as I wanted to hit up Bar Tartine for brunch. We walked through Union Square and headed to the Mission District. We took our time getting there, checking out the shops and restaurants in the area. Two fun things from our morning walk: 

First, a dog park! Seems silly to take a photo of it, but I like seeing how the local pooches live. Lily would love that park. It is way cleaner than any NYC dog park I've visited. All the owners seemed engaged with their dogs and other humans. A good sign of well-loved dogs. Although, no way could Lil live in San Fran. She would give up on those hills in about two seconds.

And the second fun find on our walk, a street sign with my mom's maiden name!  Who knew The Goughs were famous in SF? Although, it wasn't in the best part of town, so maybe I shouldn't brag.

After a good 40 minute walk, we reached the incredible Bar Tartine just in time for our stomachs to growl loudly. So we ordered some food. And then some more. And then we ate it all. Every last bit. And oh my gosh was it all so good. I've never eaten so many carbs in one meal (totally untrue statement). I couldn't stop with the bread and butter. And the pickles ohh the pickles. And the pound cake. And the eggs! Just look...
^^ Kefir pound cake with honey butter and bee pollen

^^ Scrambled eggs with lobster mushrooms and spinach. And a big tangy dollop of goat cheese. YUM.

^^ I had to try their dill brined pickles with pimento lard (pimento lard!)

^^ The bread and butter there. ohhhmygosh the bread and butter.

^^ Crushed it.

Okay, yes I used five photos to describe our brunch. But it was some of the most flavorful and heartwarming food I've had in a long time. And it's freaking Bar Tartine so it deserved as many pictures as I wanted. 

After brunch we walked off all that food to see the Painted Ladies. Or, as better known to me, the houses from the opening shots of Full House and Family Matters. The girls were pretty alright. But one of the ladies was in a mood and had shawled herself in construction netting. Apparently getting a face lift. I get it ladies, gotta maintain your girlish appearances. We sat in that park for awhile just people watching, and most importantly digesting our brunch. It was a good second stop.

^^ ♫ ♪ Everywhere you look / Everywhere you go / There's a place / Of somebody who needs you... ♪♫

After time with the ladies, we decided to stroll over to Haight-Ashbury (aka the birthplace of the hippie counter-culture).  We did see one hippie rolling around in some dandelions and shouting into the sky. Drugs are bad kids.  But other than that, the main street was pretty doctored up for the tourists. Oh! And I stepped in dog poop on Ashbury street. Not our finest moment. 

^^ There's actually a store in my hometown that looks just like this. #Lawrence

We took a bus from Haight-Ashbury (a real, live city bus! I've never even been on a New York City bus) and headed north to the Presidio area to saunter our way for some views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a delightful area to walk around. Some really beautiful homes and the massively beautiful Palace of the Fine Arts where we saw a wedding party. Would be a lovely spot for a wedding. 

^^ The painted ladies' cousins once removed; the painted stucos.

^^ I love a house with a face.

^^ Three claps for bright blue shutters. So happy.

And we made it for some (cloudy) views of the Golden Gate Bridge! We chose not to bike/walk across it as it was already quite blustery and we knew we'd be driving across it the next day. I think we chose wisely. Wind + bridge + pedestrians next to cars = death trap.
^^ Cloudy

^^ Little less cloudy

^^ I can almost see the tops! Get outta the way clouds!

^^ Rat tail blowing in the wind. That's my windy bridge look. Chic, no?

^^ P.S. Alcatraz. Al made several references to some movie called The Rock.

From there, we had basically seen all we wanted to see that day. And we still had the entire afternoon to spare. So we decided to stroll around through the Marina neighborhood, which it appears is where the normal locals live. Cute houses on quiet streets with driveways. And it was pretty flat. That's where I'd live. Wandered along the four blocks of Cow Hollow where we had a snack and popped in and out of the stores. Love Cow Hollow. Charming, cute, and good shopping. I was le tired at this point and apparently stopped taking photos. But trust me, Cow Hollow and the Marina are worth visiting. 
^^ Not my photo. But you can get a glimpse of Cow Hollow. And La Boulange (the patisserie that Starbucks uses now)

Back at our hotel, we napped, showered and then popped next door to the Top of the Mark. A friend had recommended it to us for great views of the city. And seeing as how it was next door we couldn't pass it up. We met Al's friend from law school and it was great to get a local's perspective on living and working in San Francisco after we had seen so much of the city. Again, with the clouds though. Not very good views that day. But Top of the Mark had an old-school, swanky vibe and good martinis so I won't dock it any points.

We ended our time in San Francisco with a delicious meal at Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern. I'm a big Tyler Florence fan and his food didn't disappoint. Deviled Eggs, FRIED CHICKEN, and a pretty banging burger. We were happy. And full. And had to walk back up a huge hill to get home. :) 

A Note on Restaurants:  We planned our meals on the later side for this trip. Other places we looked in to vising that were booked were: Delfina, Nico, Foreign Cinema, Tosca Cafe, Commonwealth, Zuni Cafe, The Slanted Door, Cotogna, Flour & Water, State Bird Provisions (my top pick - they seem to book up within seconds 30 days in advance), and Sons & Daughters. Next time, San Fran. Next time. Oh, and another note for future visitors, people out West tend to eat earlier. So aim for a 7:30 or 8:00 reservation not a 9:30 or 10:00 like we do here in Crazy Town.

And just like that our time in San Francisco came to an end. The next morning we ate a quick bite at the hotel, picked up our rental car, and headed across the Golden Gate bridge to a much warmer, much sunnier Napa Valley. 

^^ See what I mean, those people next to the cars on a windy bridge? Death trap.

^^ Bye bye cloudy, hilly, friendly, yummy city!

^^ New rule, one must dance whilst driving on le bridge.

Stay tuned for our Napa recap! Oh man was it splendid!

Be sure to check out the rest of our summer vacation posts: 

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