Monday, September 22, 2014

PCH Road Trip Day One {San Francisco}

The marine layer blanketing the entire coast, and that one bridge
Our first day in San Francisco was packed to the brim with exploring many different neighborhoods around the northern part of the city. We flew in Thursday night, so we were able to wake up comfortably early on Friday with a full day ahead of us. I wanted to tick a few tourist boxes on day one, such as Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge, so that I was certain we'd get to them before departing. All in all, we traversed the neighborhoods of Nob Hill (gorgeous), Russian Hill, Fisherman's Wharf, Presidio, Marina, Chinatown and Telegraph Hill. Whew. There was a lot of walking, but also several cheap and oh-so-easy UberX rides along the way.

We took a short coffee tour of some places around San Francisco, including my favorite of the trip:  homemade almond milk lattes from The Brew, made with Contraband coffee.  This latte was so rich and delicious that even Adam, who won't touch a drop of almond milk, still talks about it.  Next stop: Contraband Coffee itself at their own location for a flat white.
Brunch at Brenda's French Soul Food:  Adam and I both agreed this was the best meal of our entire trip, and that this place absolutely cannot be missed!  Both Adam and I are not afraid to check out some borderline sketchy neighborhoods if there's a guaranteed gem hidden there; while the area around Brenda's was a bit on the fringe, as soon as we saw the adorable restaurant itself, we knew we were golden.
A flight of beignets, including plain, cinnamon apple, Ghirardelli chocolate, and a savory cheese and crawfish 
Pork belly cheddar cheese grits with a poached egg and spicy honey-tomato relish. (Adam had "the best shrimp po' boy" he has ever tasted.)
A stroll around Baker Beach and its nearby trails offered amazing, unobstructed views of the Golden Gate bridge.
We then did some walking around the Marina District neighborhoods, taking in the adorable SF architecture.
... and getting involved in some serious shopping in a cute boutique and retail-laden area of the Marina.  I had to show some serious restraint at the cutest (but pricey), boutique called Two Skirts on Chestnut Street. Obviously I didn't show complete restraint.
More cute buildings.

After covering a seriously impressive amount of the city, we decided to explore further into Chinatown for dinner.  We ate at a famous Chinese restaurant called House of Nanking, based on reviews and recommendations. Dinner was delicious, but admittedly not as memorable as we had hoped.

Blazer // Top // Booties
The Chinatown Gate
My Brit & Belle necklace that barely left my neck all trip.
Last but not least, we walked off our dinner by hiking up the steps to the Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill to check out some views of the city from above.

While the views of downtown itself were nice, you can see that California's famous marine layer struck again. Good view, bro.

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