Laura Rennie

Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco/Marin County

Laura R.1 Comment
**Some of these links will take you to pictures on my Instagram account. :)

Picking up where I left off yesterday

We had a late breakfast on Saturday morning at Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles, which was a short walk from our hotel and the perfect halfway point between our hotel and Alamo Square Park. We both got chicken and waffles, because, duh. Also, eggs scrambled with cheese and green onions, and an appetizer of cheesy grit cakes with jalapeño and artichoke sauce. Are your arteries clogging up as you read? The grit cakes were good but not great. The eggs, chicken and waffles, though…I mean, come on. This meal is going to haunt my dreams.

On to Alamo Square Park, home to the fabulous “Painted Ladies." Even if you could care less about the houses, the park is absolutely worth going to if you’re nearby. (Unless you’re scared of dogs.) Plus, The Mill coffee shop is only a couple blocks away. If you’re into gorgeous spaces and hipster coffee, GO. Andy had to practically drag me out of the place! (BTW, Andy whistled the song from “Full House” all morning. I adore him.)

not Postcard Row, but equally (in my opinion) stunning houses on Alamo Square
We took our coffees on the bus and headed to Golden Gate Park to check out the California Academy of Sciences, which I have to say was a bit disappointing. Now, I say this as someone who has been to the Smithsonian museums multiple times, as well as the aquarium in Baltimore and Chicago. I did think that the building itself was spectacular, and a few of the exhibits were really cool. One thing we accidentally missed was the planetarium. I bet we would have enjoyed that.

We could have gone to the DeYoung museum with our pass, but the day was passing quickly and I wanted to see the Japanese Tea Garden before we left the park. We didn’t realize you have to pay to go into the gardens! Tickets aren’t expensive, but I knew we would have to walk through quickly and I didn’t want to pay and not be able to fully enjoy the area. Plus, the line for admission was long. Oh well!

It took us a while to get to our next destination (the Mission neighborhood), but the bus ride gave us amazing views of the city. We drove through several colorful neighborhoods, including Upper Haight, which is where you see a lot of tie-dye and record shops. I loved getting a driving tour of the various areas of the city that I knew we didn’t have time to explore. 

Getting ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery was a must for me. The line is long, but so worth it! I have major FOMO when it comes to food, and it was torture trying to only pick three flavors. I eventually settled on salted caramel, roasted banana and ricanelas (cinnamon with snickerdoodle pieces). Andy had salted caramel, brown sugar with ginger caramel swirl, and malted vanilla with peanut brittle and chocolate. OH MY WORD. Can we go back, please? 

We endured a steep walk to the top of Dolores Park to take in yet another stunning view of the city. The people watching in this park is like no other people watching experience! We saw a group of guys playing beer pong on a table they had somehow lugged over. Lots of kites. Lots of picnics. Lots of people making out. Lots of marijuana being smoked. At least one speedo. I was having a great time, but after we left Andy pointed out that all that drinking and drug use was going on at a park, not far from a playground.
:-/ His face says it all here:

We walked around the neighborhood (bought some pretty earrings) and had dinner at La Taqueria. My pork taco was out of control and hands down the best taco I’ve ever had. My one mistake was ordering a watermelon agua fresca. It was delicious, but my stomach doesn’t handle super-sugary drinks very well. (This is um, foreshadowing to what happened later.)

We headed back to our hotel for a few minutes to freshen up before walking to Sundance Kabuki, an indie movie theater. We saw “Boyhood” and let me tell you, that is one spectacular film. We both couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards. You know it’s a good movie if you have to vomit the entire time you’re watching but you stay in your seat because you don’t want to miss a thing.

We rented a car and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County (while sipping coffee and eating croissants, in case you weren’t jealous enough already) where we hopped on a shuttle to Muir Woods. We hadn’t planned on using a shuttle to get to the park, but the $5 ticket was worth paying considering some visitors have to park over a mile away from the entrance! The drive to the park was beautiful (and a bit scary/thrilling). The park itself was fantastic. Those redwoods! We had a blast.

We spent about an hour and a half in the park before taking the shuttle back to our car and heading to HERE IT IS PEOPLE a chain restaurant! Andy’s one requirement of our weekend was that we hit up In-N-Out, and I’ll admit—I was excited to try it, too. We got our burgers and fries animal style. (I love that Andy’s hand managed to sneak into two of my food pics). I don’t think I would have been impressed if we had gotten plain burgers and fries. The animal sauce was what made both items, in my humble opinion. Hey babe, let’s host an In-N-Out party!

We still had a couple hours before needing to return our rental car, so we drove to both Tiburon and Sausalito. Both towns were incredibly picturesque! I’d recommend Tiburon if you want to relax and Sausalito if you want to shop and take pictures of San Francisco from across the bay. Sausalito was PACKED with people. We had minds blown by mint mojito iced coffees at Philz, so make sure to go there if you’re in the area. It turns out Philz is a chain! I would have never guessed. The one in Sausalito has a very casual, comfortable “local coffee house” vibe.

Both of us were worn out by the time we got back to our hotel around 4. We didn’t have to leave the city until 7:30, but neither one of us was up to doing much. We explored the area around our hotel some, though sadly many places were closed because of the day and time. Andy got to pick dinner (from my list of choices, hehe) and he picked Shanghai Dumpling King. He picked right again! Even though it was WAY out of our way, we figured we might as well go since we had nothing else planned before leaving the city. Unfortunately, In-N-Out and our iced coffees had filled us up so we only got three items. Everything on the menu sounded amazing and it was really hard to pick! FOMO! Andy had his first xiao long bao experience and he talked about those soup dumplings long after left the restaurant. I was sooo relieved that he liked them considering we had gone out of our way. We also had fantastic mongolian beef and THE BEST green beans I’ve ever had in my life. This picture is only showing half of the beef and green beans because I had already put some on both of our plates. Well, we crushed everything. I’ve never eaten so many green beans in one sitting!

We got to the airport with just enough time for me to browse a bookstore, grab some chocolate-coated salted caramel almonds and have a glass of sangria before boarding began. If only every airport experience was that wonderful!

If you ever decide to head to San Francisco, hit me up! I used recommendations from friends and a few bloggers I follow, as well as this SUPER helpful neighborhood map. We definitely didn’t see/do/eat everything, but I’m pleased with what we managed to pack in. Thanks for reading! You all deserve an award for bearing with these longs posts!