Leaving your Heart in San Francisco

2:44 PM Unknown 0 Comments

One month ago, I took my unofficial vacation for the summer and met up with my two best friends, Drew and Jasmyne, in San Francisco. Here is how it went down.


I arrived on a Tuesday and would not be reunited with the other two until Thursday, which gave me some nice bonding time with my dearest aunt, Nina. I flew in around 4pm into San Francisco, and Nina and I wasted no time feeding my hunger for exploration and decided to spend the evening in the city, which also would allow us to avoid the rush hour.  After meeting up with Nina, I realized I hadn't eaten for nearly seven hours and was reaching my breaking point. Nina had a solution for this issue, and I am proud to say my first meal of my vacation was a quarter-pounder with cheese from the iconic McDonalds, maybe you've heard of it before?  After patting my satisfied stomach, Nina and I decided to go for a long walk through Pacific Heights, which consisted of large beautiful homes, breathtaking views of the ocean, streets filled with small expensive boutiques, and a handful of private boys and girls schools.


Wednesday was a day of lots of relaxing. I helped Nina with chores around the home, including helping her get some items organized (something I do best!) and took a walk through her neighborhood and up to the top of the hill for yet another beautiful view. Later that evening we took the BART into the city again and met with a fellow Columbia Heights native, Katrina, who was now living in the area. While on the BART, there were plenty of things happening to keep Nina and me entertained, including a fellow passenger who was dressed head to toe in hot pink and carrying a dirty, wet dishrag. He was complaining to Nina and I about how hot the BART was and that the conductor needed to turn on the A/C. He eventually walked over to the intercom and spoke directly to the driver and claimed that "ladies be faintin' back here! You need to turn that A/C on!" When he didn't receive the answer he had hoped for, he turned to Nina again and said "Maybe if we all start lighting up cigarettes, then he'll listen to us." Finally, Nina and I got off at our stop and met up with Katrina. The three of us dined in at a restaurant called Le P'tit Laurent which was a small French place with wonderful bread and even better cheese.


Finally! I would be reunited with Drew and Jasmyne! They had an early flight into Oakland so Nina and I went and picked them up and went straight into San Francisco and parked by Pier 39 (the one with all the sea lions). While the area was very touristy, eating crab with an ocean view on a beautiful day made it all worth it. After lunch, the four of us walked off our seafood along The Embarcadero until we reached Ghirardelli Square where we treated ourselves to sugar-packed ice cream, which filled us up after three bites. Worth it.  Eventually we moved away from the water and made our way to Chinatown, otherwise known as Drew's home. We spent a good few hours just strolling through the streets and exploring the shops until it was time for our dinner reservation at an Italian restaurant in North Beach called Baonecci, a personal favorite of mine. We ate my favorite pizza of all time which included gorgonzola and thinly sliced pears. By the time we made it home that night, I swear we all fell asleep before our heads hit the pillows.


On Friday, Drew, Jasmyne, and I trekked into San Francisco from Walnut Creek to do some exploring of our own. We ended walking up Hayes St. all the way to Golden Gate Park. On Hayes Street, there were so many unique shops. A personal favorite of ours was a French candy shop called Miette, which was painted a pretty pink color on the outside with an interior even cuter. I treated myself to an ice cream sandwich with crème fraîche ice cream between graham cracker cookies. By the time we made it to Golden Gate Park, we realized we barely had any time to spend there before we would be meeting with my uncle, Brian at a place called Tacolicious for lunch. That being said, we sat down and rested out feet for a few minutes before calling an uber to take us to the restaurant. Tacolicious was absolutely incredible and I still dream about their cilantro salsa. Highly suggest it! After lunch, the three of us made our way to the Castro to scope it out while they set up for their Gay Pride weekend, which would start the following day. Eventually, we were beat and cold and finally decided to head back to Walnut Creek and have a nice night in and enjoy each others company.


By Saturday, we took a break from San Francisco and decided to explore the Oakland and Berkeley area. We started off the day by heading into downtown Oakland where Nina took us to a new favorite store of mine, Oaklandish. Oaklandish is more of a graphic t-shirt and hoodie place where all of the prints are inspired by Oakland and Bay Area designs. I spend a good chunk of time there picking out some hats and shirts for my dad and brother... After that we packed up and headed to Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. Why did we go to a cemetery you ask? Well it wasn't just any old cemetery, this cemetery was designed by the iconic Frederick Law Olmsted (the guy who designed Central Park in NYC!) and you could clearly see similarities at the cemetery. It was designed and built like a park, with benches, winding roads, fountains everywhere, and absolutely beautiful tombs and headstones. It was so cool to see a cemetery being used as a place where people also walk their pets, jog, and have lunch. After enjoying the views there we moved on to Berkeley where Nina dropped the three of us off at the Cal Berkley campus and we lurked around there for a while. Loving the weather and the scenery, the three of us decided to go up to the top of the Campanile for views of the Bay. Eventually we met up with Nina and her boyfriend Chuck and we had dinner at Farley Bar at Cavallo Point Lodge which had the best view of the Golden Gate bridge. It was a foggy that night though, which made the views of the bridge very eerie, but very cool!


Sunday, Drew, Jas, and I were absolutely exhausted (and had run out of clothes to wear in the chillier climates) so we decided to spend the day in Walnut Creek and went out for breakfast and shopped around. We were in search for matching "friendship" necklaces and were having no luck so we settled for necklaces from Forever21 that were $3.20 each, which we now claim is how much our friendship is worth. Eventually it came time for us to take Drew and Jas back to the airport to go home. After a very sad goodbye, Nina, Chuck and I had dinner back at Nina's place and planned our next two days.


I spent the day running errands with Nina, getting supplies for the 4th of July party Chuck was hosting the following weekend. I also finally convinced Nina to get an Apple TV (something my mother has been bugging her to get for months). After a day packed with errands, we un-winded at Chuck's beautiful pool and spa in his backyard before having one last nice barbecue dinner. 


I got all packed up and ready to go to the airport and we drove into San Francisco to check out the Mission District one last time before dropping me off at SFO. We tried to go to the Pirate Supply Shop (because, why not?) which we found to be closed for the day due to inventory. By this point, I was exhausted and all "adventured" out. Eventually it was time to say goodbye to Nina and Chuck and before I knew it, I was jetting back home to Minneapolis. 

Well there it was, my week in the Bay. I want to thank Nina (and Chuck) so much for having me and making the week so memorable for me and my girls! I'm already counting down the days until I can come back.