Tuesday, June 25, 2013

San Francisco, you beauty!

Do you guys often have lofty ambitions for keeping on top of work and blogging and what not while you travel? I totally did, but totally did not anticipate how generally busy I would be day-to-day in the States! Our days have literally been 10 hour marathons, combine that with morning flights (which mean early wake up calls to get to the airport) and we're both a wee bit flat out!

However, we're taking a break from the airport and instead are currently sitting on a train that's taking us from Portland to Seattle. It's a much nicer process of getting on the train, than it is to take a flight, and we get wifi the whole trip! Total win. 

Plus I now get to update you all on the delicious yummies I got to have in San Francisco. Hang tight for another photo spam...San Francisco had a lot to offer. 

It was both Brad and my first time to San Francisco, although I had heard a lot about the city and many, many, many people telling me that I would love the city, because it was very 'Ashley' (although I don't know what that encompasses really). 

Oddly enough though, I didn't really have any expectations going in (probably because I was so busy getting LA sorted out), and just fell in love with the sunshine, cool weather and abundance of rainbow flags that was San Francisco. 

 photo DSC_4178_zpsb41b464f.jpg

 photo IMG_9004_zpsb57f9725.jpg

After 6 hours of not eating (due to early flight), The Melt in SoMa greeted us with cheap and delicious grilled cheese goodness sandwiched between sourdough. Mine had an egg in it. It was brilliant.

A chocolate milkshake was devoured too.

 photo DSC_4181_zpsd611eab7.jpg

 photo DSC_4187_zpsff424e3f.jpg

We visited Union Square, which meant we also visited Macy's, which meant we also went to level three of Macy's to visit Yigit Pura's patisserie and dessert shop, Tout Sweet. For those of you who dont know, I'm a massive Top Chef fan and Yigit Pura won the first season of Top Chef: Just Desserts. So the geekery began. 

 photo DSC_4214_zps8427fbf6.jpg

 photo DSC_4218_zpsd6cf508f.jpg

I suffered a meltdown after we returned from Union Square, as we tried to figure out what we wanted to do for dinner. So many recommendations, so little time.

 photo DSC_4224_zps610f5b99.jpg

But after collecting my wits and deciding that I needed rice, we visited R and G Lounge for some serious salt and pepper crab.

All the win. All the win!

 photo DSC_4240_zps145becfb.jpg

Punch is a delicious affair at Novela, which felt like a super chic library. Mine had gin in it.

 photo DSC_4278_zpse5f4b742.jpg

Alcatraz was visited, at 8:45am in the morning. 

 photo DSC_4318_zpsbdaecb58.jpg

It was a totally fascinating and worthwhile trip, I loved that the audio tour in the jail itself was narrated by ex-guards and ex-inmates who all still had that gangster drawl, that made you feel like you were listening to a period film or something. Completely brilliant!

 photo DSC_4362_zps97f84fde.jpg

 photo DSC_4373_zpsea845d5b.jpg

And you get stunning views of San Francisco. Such a photogenic city!

 photo DSC_4438_zps476f027e.jpg

We visited the sea lions on Pier 39 who were barking away happily or lounging about in the sun, so cute!

 photo DSC_4464_zpsec4c3e61.jpg

We waited two hours for brunch at Mama's.

 photo DSC_4509_zps47cd796f.jpg

 photo DSC_4498_zps754de453.jpg

But man, that French toast. Americans love this stuff, never see it as much at home!

 photo DSC_4521_zpsb35c63aa.jpg

I fell in love with San Francisco's architecture, there was so much character and detail and odd little surprises that would catch you off guard, mixed in with some newer elements. It was fascinating. 

 photo DSC_4540_zps76c40351.jpg

Cars on a 45 degree angle also fascinated me as we climbed Russian Hill. 

 photo DSC_4544_zpse446d568.jpg

Where we were rewarded with the most beautiful views.

 photo DSC_4561_zpsd696118d.jpg

Lombard Street also amused me, as all the cars played peek-a-boo.

 photo DSC_4586_zps7c5e158d.jpg

The single tram that we rode, had to get fixed halfway through our ride. It was kind of fascinating. 

 photo DSC_4600_zpse26442eb.jpg

 photo IMG_9089_zps9626e7b4.jpg

We had to squeeze in at least one sporting event, and why not the baseball? Although the smell of buttery popcorn tempted me constantly, we both knew it had to be garlic fries.

 photo DSC_4642_zpsa291a146.jpg

 photo DSC_4685_zps3d47fc52.jpg

We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, where we visited Napa Valley for a day.

 photo DSC_4711_zps7a5d69a2.jpg

 photo DSC_4713_zps73134c85.jpg

V. Sattui was my favourite winery that we visited, as they had this amazing cheese store. 

 photo DSC_4730_zpsd36736e0.jpg

And wine too I guess. Their aged Madeira was honeysuckle with richness, the Angelica dessert wine infused with cognac, strong on the nose, sweet and full on the palate. 

 photo DSC_4751_zps652482a8.jpg

We also tried wine straight from the barrel!

 photo DSC_4809_zps828ce6a1.jpg

Cute little cafes like this sung to my heart. 

 photo DSC_4785_zpsccd30baf.jpg

 photo DSC_4816_zpsedfcb562.jpg

 photo DSC_4825_zpsddc5b250.jpg

I died and went to sugar heaven in Miette where an amazing ice-cream sandwich and so-so macarons were consumed.

 photo DSC_4846_zps461343c7.jpg

 photo DSC_4867_zps11859068.jpg

We visited many colourful neighbourhoods. 

 photo DSC_4878_zps032c0adf.jpg

 photo DSC_4890_zpsfba3138c.jpg

And ate like crazy when we hit Mission. Seriously. Food lovers heaven. Think Bi-Rite Creamery and Tartine Bakery.

 photo DSC_4931_zps342f9fc8.jpg

And Bar Tartine itself, where we had one of the most lovely fish stews (amongst other delicious goods) ever. It's so far been one of my favourite meals, beautiful atmosphere and just delicious food for an incredibly reasonable price. 

 photo DSC_5012_zps1c48e1c5.jpg

Lots of clam chowder was generally consumed. 

 photo DSC_4986_zpsee88ee64.jpg

And the general number of crabs that could be found at Fisherman's Wharf astounded me. I was gobsmacked watching this guy just fish out around 20 crabs out of his boiling pot of water in one session!

 photo DSC_5046_zps923f08c2.jpg

You forget that you could be in America in San Francisco's Chinatown. 

 photo 1039679_10151671099934450_491234210_o_zpsd66c3ec6.jpg

Our last night in San Francisco was spent with internet friends of mine, who took us drinking at Comstock Saloon, Specs and the Irish Bank (I think?). Every single guy on this table, I have met via the internet. Brad obviously through a dating site, the rest through a videogame forum. Isn't it a wonderfully small world?

I loved waking up everyday in San Francisco, hitting the pavement and breathing in the cool fresh air tumbling past, and always smiled stupidly as I looked up to the clear and blue sky. As Brad said, San Francisco was like a sunnier, happier version of Melbourne...someone take me back?

I guess I can always relive my experiences via my write-ups later...


  1. Yay! I finally have time to catch up on your blog posts! Been flat out and now sitting at home with a bad cold >.<

    That ice cream sandwich looks amazeballs! Now I want it :(

    Looking forward to your next lot of American adventures! Take it easy and take care


    1. Oh no! Hope you get over your cold soon! :( I've been flat out too, need to catch up on everyone else's blogs! Such a bad bloggerrrr!

  2. i want all the foods

    and the seals!

  3. I loved San Fran! We stayed right new Union Square & went on HEAPS of cable cars. I wasn't so into food then so I wonder what I'd do if I went there now...probably still shop A LOT!

    1. Haha, I didn't shop as much as I thought I would, until I discovered Buffalo Exchange anyway! :) I'm looking forward to my trip to New York, because I'm in similar boat. last time I was there, my blog was in it's young days and I wasn't as food orientated, whereas this trip, it's definitely more food fuelled!

  4. Your LA post basically left me speechless and this one's not far behind. So much goodness, so much fun!

    1. Haha, good that the fun is getting translated through! :) Lots of fun, but enjoying a little bit of downtown in Rochester now...need to catch up on so much stuff!

  5. I must admit, I've never fallen in love with San Fran the way so many people do, but in truth there are probably external-to-SF factors playing a part in that. I need to go back!

    1. I think after coming out of LA, SF was just such a fresh breath of air, especially since we were walking both cities a lot, SF was just so much more enjoyable. :)

  6. I hear so many good things about San Fran. And, yes to French toast and garlic fries and EVERYTHING.