Happy (late) Throwback Thursday!
One of my absolute favorite things about living in California is my ability to shoot up the coast for a multifaceted road trip.
Every year we head up North for my birthday to stay at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo – ya know, the one with all of the crazy-themed rooms like caves, pink glitter walls, etc. – but we usually stop there. So when we realized last minute that we had a couple extra days in May for Memorial Day, we bit the bullet and headed for San Francisco.
We spent one night in Santa Barbara first, giggling and watching Law and Order in bed, one afternoon in San Jose wine tasting and ghost hunting at the Winchester Mystery House, and several cups of coffee later we arrived in beautiful, windy San Francisco.
Tyler has a knack for picking the best restaurants and hotels. I don’t know how he does it but I could spend hours searching the web for an “okay” location, while he could spend five minutes finding a wonderland. I like to joke that everything he works on is an “experience,” not just a task, whether it be taking a photo or booking a hotel room.
Well, he nailed it again this time choosing the Clift Hotel in Union Square. This place is luxurious to the max with the best kind of sexy/cool vibe.
We Googled our desired location after settling in and it was only 1.2 miles away. I personally think Google lied. Google doesn’t let you know when you have 13 mountains to climb and hurricane-esque winds blowing your coat up into a parachute.
These streets in SF are no joke! We took a few turns here and there to avoid the steeper declines, and each corner that we reached revealed a beautiful new way to view the city.
Next up, we hit Fisherman’s Wharf for some food. We chose Pompei’s Grotto, a great little Italian restaurant that played Rod Stewart singing “The Great American Songbook” all night. Haha. I actually loved that just as much as the steamed clams and spaghetti.
You can’t go to San Francisco and not take a trolley ride. We were excited to rest our feet a bit after our ridiculous walk to the Wharf, and it just so happens that we were right by the famous Powell-Hyde Cable Car turnaround.
Dessert was at The Buena Vista, the cafe famous for first bringing the Irish coffee over to the United States. Tyler had been raving about this place ever since he saw it on Zane Lamprey’s Drinking Made Easy and it was certainly entertaining to watch the bartender make the drink the same way his coworker had on the television show.
Pier 39 offered a wide variety of activities. We ate crepes, wine tasted, viewed the sea lions, and had authentic sourdough bread bowls filled with clam chowder at Boudin Bakery.
We took a boat to Alcatraz Island and toured the old jail. The view of the city from the boat was my absolute favorite part.
Before we left we stopped by the Painted Ladies and Haight-Ashbury.
Next time I’m looking forward to checking off some off-the-beaten-path things instead of all the typical spots.
Do you have any suggestions of places to see that I did not list?
P.S. The video is by my husband, Tyler McElhaney. More of his work can be found at the Vimeo attached to the video above. Thanks for watching!