Destination: San Francisco

This trip to San Francisco was one of redemption. My last experience was less than satisfactory. I didn’t care to come back. Seeing as my roommate is from Oakland, you can imagine that he found my indifference unacceptable. He wanted to show me his favorite places and revise my opinion. He had family to see, and I had been meaning to catch up with friends who live there. Why not give it another shot?

San Francisco – the land of smartly dressed and gorgeous people. At least, that was my impression once I stepped off the plane. Everywhere I turned, someone was sporting their latest street-chic or dressed-to-the-nines look. The ebb and flow of people going about their lives was infectious. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Dr. Seuss’ book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! The city reminded me so much of Budapest, Hungary that it almost felt like home. Speaking of “home”…

We stayed in an apartment in Glen Park, a suburb 30 minutes north of downtown. Our first day began with lunch at Burma Superstar in the Richmond District. Their tea leaf salad was out of this world! To walk off the delicious Burmese food, we strolled down Clement Street to Green Apple Books. My friends understand the challenges of extracting me from a bookstore once I waltz in. Surprise, surprise, we spent several hours there. I love Green Apple Books because they pride themselves on community and supporting local business.

Upon leaving Green Apple, I confessed to my roommate that I had never seen the Golden Gate Bridge. We embraced our flexible itinerary and made an impromptu trek to Golden Gate Park. My excitement quickly deflated when I found the Golden Gate Bridge completely surrounded by fog. Despite my disappointment, I took a photo to remember the moment. To lift our spirits, we grabbed a beer at The Beer Hall in downtown. Their cheese plate and stouts are amazing! Later, a few friends and I indulged in a classy French dinner at Le P’tit Laurent.

Our Sunday began with a stop in to Higher Grounds Coffee House in Glen Park. The quaint café is conveniently situated next door to Le P’tit; I walked clear past it. Their crepes, pastries, and savory breakfast items are decadent. With a latte and croissant in hand, my roommate and I headed to the California Academy of Sciences. Some highlights included their planetarium, indoor rainforest, and aquarium. It was a lot of fun being nerdy for a day!

We spent the second half of our day exploring Japantown. The Japanese curry at On the Bridge restaurant is the best that I’ve ever had. Hands down. End of story. Do not pass go. Bonus tip: you can’t miss the restaurant with their wall-to-wall anime collection. After dinner, I caught up with a friend at the Lucky Horseshoe. Aptly named for its horseshoe-shaped counter, the bar carries an extensive drink menu. Their watermelon mojito was pleasantly refreshing.

My roommate and I were blessed with sunshine on the last day of our trip. We started the day by riding the cable cars up to North Beach. I finally saw the Golden Gate Bridge! To celebrate our accomplishment, we went tea tasting in Chinatown. It was entertaining to watch the shopkeeper converse with his clients. Who knew that there was so much to learn about tea? In the afternoon, we swapped stories with a mutual friend at Philz Coffee. That was the perfect way to end our vacation.

Thank you, San Francisco, for redeeming my faith in your wonders.

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