We spent the last week of July in San Francisco for our 15th wedding anniversary celebration. Everything about it was perfect! SF is one of my favorite places in the world. I love that no matter how many times I go there, each trip is different and unique. My first time there was 4 years ago. I was barely pregnant with Mia, it was the end of June and I packed for a summer vacation to California. Fully expecting warm and sunny weather. I quickly learned that San Francisco is usually colder than warmer, no matter what time of year it is. I borrowed a few long sleeved shirts from Gavin and had an amazing weekend. I left knowing it wouldn’t be my last time there. I went back the next year with my sister and sister-in-law for a girl’s weekend trip. We biked the bridge, shopped, laughed and laughed, went to a few movies, signed up for a crappy city bus tour, and made the best memories together. I went back 6 months later for Gavin and his brother’s birthday celebration. Two months later, we escaped for a quick 36 hour trip with the Wares to see Wicked. Two years had passed and I was more than ready for a San Francisco adventure!
We spent some time at the Wharf with our friends, The Jensens, who happened to be traveling through San Francisco the same time we were there. I got my "Mia fix" with their adorable 3 year old, Victoria. She was my little buddy, busy holding my hand or getting piggy back rides around the wharf.
Look at all of those crazy tourists waiting hours to ride the cable car when they could walk up a few blocks and get right on one.
Maybe it’s empty and not moving but it was free, with no wait and we got a picture that makes it look like we rode on a cable car. Good enough for me!
We stayed at The Fairmont on the top of Nob Hill. It had amazing views of the city and harbor and lots of character. We could easily walk down to the wharf or to Union Square but had quite a walk up the steep hills back to the hotel.
We spent the second day on a personal city tour with our friend Jeff who now lives in the city. He drove us all around and took us to the best spots for views of the city and bridge and told us what we would have seen if it hadn’t been all covered up by the fog. Loved seeing all of the hidden gems of San Fran and new tourist spots that I hadn’t seen before.
We stopped by Rodeo Beach. Loved this beach! Instead of sand, the beach is covered in smooth, colorful pebbles. Morgan would’ve been entertained for hours with a shovel and pail at this spot!
That night we had a yummy dinner at City Hall
and then walked across the street to Symphony Hall for a surprise concert
Carrie Underwood did NOT disappoint. That girl has amazing talent and sounded incredible!
We spent the next day in Sonoma Valley at the wineries. I thought it would be fun to see this area of California. Thinking it would be similar to driving through northern Italy and all of the beautiful countryside full of lush vineyards. It didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It was more like rolling hills covered in dead, golden grasses with a small vineyard in the middle. Probably not the best tour option for non wine drinkers.
I know this wasn’t Gavin’s first choice but he knew I really wanted to see Billy Elliot and he was a good sport. He even pretended to be excited while everyone watched him try his best dance moves in front of the theater. I really enjoyed it. I don’t know that it’s the “best musical of the decade!” but it was definitely the best musical of the night.
The nights and mornings were beautiful. Every night the fog rolled in and covered the city. It changed the feel and look of the city and stayed around until late morning. I really couldn’t get enough of it.
Our hotel room had a huge picture window and I spent a lot of the night enjoying the beautiful, foggy view from my bed. Gavin woke up early every morning and went for a morning jog around the city while I slept in waiting for the sun to break through the fog letting me know it was time to wake up.
We spent the next day shopping all of the end-of-summer sales in Union Square. Gavin was a good sport while I spent hours in Zara. He left and came back a few hours later and found me in the same section of the store and started laughing. Hey, it isn’t easy shopping for six kids. I have to look at everything and remember who needs what and the right sizes. It’s a full time job!
Our last night was so much fun! Gavin’s company closed down Ghirardelli Square and we got to go from restaurant to restaurant for dinner. We had mini-donuts, lamb, seafood, Japanese cuisine, cupcakes, Ghirardelli ice cream, crab, etc.
But even after all of the food samplings, our favorite was still the first thing we tried. Mini-donuts.
We spent our last day shopping around Haight and Ashbury. There were some great boutiques and consignment stores. And lots of tattoo and piercing shops. We managed to leave without any new piercings or tattoos. But I did pick up a few new clothes items.
We had time for a quick lunch on the wharf with Dave and Heidi and one last stop at the donut shop before we headed to the airport.
It was a perfect anniversary celebration. Happy 15 years to us!
Until next time San Francisco . . .