San Francisco & Monterey

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco – Mark Twain

Amen, Mark Twain. After about a solid four hour drive, including sitting on traffic on the Bay Bridge, we made it to San Fran mid afternoon. We checked out downtown for a bit, then headed to Oakland to check into our hotel. There was a conference in SF, so booking a hotel downtown was limited and pricey.  Oakland was only a 20 minute train ride, well worth the cheaper cost of the hotel.

IMG_4599 IMG_4603We met up with Danny, a close friend from high school who lives in San Fran. He walked us around the Mission and Castro District where we got to see more of the local feel and some gorgeous views.


Danny took us to Dolores Park, which overlooks the SF skyline and is a spot a lot of people participate in illegal activities hang out.

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We walked toward the Sunset District, to, appropriately so, watch the sun set.

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We weren’t near the Full House location, but a lot of the houses have the same traditional, Victorian style that the show had.

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We worked up our appetite from walking for a while, and gorged on some sangria and pizza at Starbelly for dinner. IMG_4621IMG_4627 IMG_4622

It was a great tour and beautiful night. I loved catching up with Danny and we’re thrilled he could show us around the less touristy spots.  IMG_4626

The next morning, we took the train to downtown to walk and do the Double Decker Bus tour. One of the first comments the tour guide said was “you both look a little underdressed for this weather.” Hmm, I guess jeans, a sweater and a flannel isn’t enough for this town. Needless to say, the closer we got to the bridge and the bay, the colder it got. We were a little chilly at times, despite the sky being clear and sunny. Lesson learned, wear more layers.

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Union Square

IMG_4635 IMG_4636 IMG_4637 IMG_4770IMG_4638 Tallest building and shaped like a triangle.IMG_4639 IMG_4641

Heading to the Golden Gate Bridge, we first drove by Weeping Women at the Palace of the Fine Arts. They are said to be crying at the lack of life without art, or the fact that there are so few straight men in San Francisco.

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Tower with a high, 360 degree view. IMG_4734 

Revolving night club at the top of the building. IMG_4736 IMG_4737 IMG_4739 IMG_4745 IMG_4750 

The Hibernia Bank sitting on the corner of an intersection caught my eye every time we drove by it. Famously known for the bank heist involving Patty Herst in the 70’s.

 IMG_4751Beautiful city hall.  IMG_4752 Heading by Chinatown.


Every person in this building has a corner office. IMG_4756 IMG_4757 IMG_4759

Lombard Street, is located at the top.  Just like a lot of its residents, it is far from straight. IMG_4760 IMG_4761 IMG_4763 IMG_4766 IMG_4769  IMG_4772 

Heading into the evening and Golden Gate Park, the temperature slowly continued to drop. It is larger than Central Park and openly allows a lot of homeless people to “live” there. The grounds were very green and open, and it boasts buffalo, a Temple,  windmills and luscious gardens.

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Ghiradelli’s – just like Hershey’s Chocolate World, but West Coast style. Free chocolate sample every time you walk through the door. We had lunch next door at Blackpoint Cafe, followed by some Ben & Jerry’s.

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We were pretty spent from the day, and headed back to the hotel in the early evening. The next day, we decided to head down the coast, so we could check out the Pacific and my mom could stick her toes in the ocean. We stopped for lunch in Monterey and a cute seafood spot right off the dock.

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We could hear the seals (or is it sea lions?) barking while we were eating, so we walked down the dock to check them out. They were sunning themselves on buoys near the boats and the majority of them were basking in the sun on the rocks.

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From Atlantic to Pacific, my mom was able to feel the (cold) water of the West Coast.

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We made a final stop in Paso Robles for a quick wine tasting at San Antonio Winery. We stocked up on a few bottles to bring home to celebrate my mom’s final evening in Cali and our incredible, unforgettable journey across the U.S.




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