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San Francisco: The City That Captured Our Hearts

January 19, 2011

I was going to do a separate post on each list item that I completed in San Francisco, but the volume of them had me procrastinating and procrastinating until I finally realized I could just put them all into one post. It’s my blog, I’ll do what I want!

But first, if I haven’t mentioned it enough already, I just have to restate how much we loved San Francisco and the surrounding area. There is so much to do there, both in the city and all around it. And staying with our friends was a joy — I’m always a little nervous when we’re staying with friends or family; disrupting routines can make for uncomfortable situations but Jay and Christine could not have been more accommodating, kind, and enthusiastic in showing us around their city. If you ever go out west, stay with them! (Haha, just kidding guys.)

Ok, so here we go: #3. Visit Jay and Christine in California – Check! That was easy.

Golden Gate Bridge at sunset from Crissy Field

#9. Try 50 different kinds of alcohols/liquors/wines. We went wine tasting in Napa, so I made quite a bit of headway on this one! We went to five vineyards; I had to stop tasting at the fifth, I was verrry drunk. Wine tasting is the best excuse I’ve found for day drinking as an adult.

  1. Chandon Champagne (New Year’s Eve)
  2. Oak Knoll District Chardonnay (Prix Vineyards)
  3. Lodi Appellation Roussanne (Prix Vineyards)
  4. Napa Valley Estate Pinot Noir (Prix Vineyards)
  5. Napa Valley Estate Merlot (Prix Vineyards)
  6. Napa Valley Estate Syrah (Prix Vineyards)
  7. Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (Alpha Omega Winery)
  8. Napa Valley Chardonnay (Alpha Omega Winery)
  9. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Alpha Omega Winery)
  10. Napa Valley Proprietary Red (Alpha Omega Winery)
  11. 2009 Estate Chardonnay (Peju Winery)
  12. Provence (Peju Winery)
  13. 2006 Merlot (Peju Winery)
  14. 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Peju Winery)
  15. 2009 White Riesling (V. Sattui Winery)
  16. 2008 Sattui Family Red (V. Sattui Winery)
  17. Wente Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Pyramid Ale House)

Tasting Room at Peju

#22. Visit six zoos I haven’t yet. San Francisco Zoo! We got to see a couple of baby monkeys really having a good time trying to climb adults’ tails and steal their food; two grizzly bears jump into their pool for a swim (one of them realllly didn’t want to, but the first one goaded her into it!); and a really cool giraffe enclosure that makes you feel really close to the animals. It was a pretty awesome zoo and the animals were quite active because of the chilly weather. I love when that happens!

Brrr the water's cold!

Nom Nom Nom

#28. Eat at 15 local restaurants. I’m defining this as non-chain restaurants that support our local economy, not necessarily restaurants local to where I live. So I got to check off three on our trip: Thirsty Bear, Chow and Pyramid Ale House. Thirsty Bear was a tapas/brewery combo that uses local seasonal products, sustainable seafoods and responsibly stewarded meats. And it was delicious. Chow had the same philosophy with American-style food. Also delicious. And Pyramid is a brewery with seasonal beers. Their food sucked. Just kidding! Their food was delicious too, and I had my favorite wine of the entire trip there (the Wente Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore). Yum, my mouth is watering just thinking about the loaded grilled cheese I got there — sharp cheddar, grilled onions, peppered tomato, bacon and avocado on sourdough bread. And I’ve been on a bleu cheese kick ever since eating the bleu cheese chips that came on the side. To die for.

#56. Visit ten historical sites and learn something while there. We visited Coit Memorial Tower and walked around the rotunda looking at all of the murals. They are there because of the Public Works of Art Project, a New Deal initiation to employ artists during the Great Depression. There are 31 murals there and they are really neat to see, especially if you like the art deco style from that era.

"Library" mural

"California" mural

We also visited Golden Gate Park, which is a historic site, and within that went to the Japanese Tea Garden. It’s really beautiful and also the oldest public Japanese tea garden in the U.S., built in 1894. It holds a large bronze Buddha that was cast in Japan in 1790 and presented to the Garden in 1949, and it’s original caretaker claimed to be responsible for introducing the fortune cookie to America — he served them to visitors from 1895 to 1942 (before being placed in an internment camp as part of Executive Order 9066, an ugly era in our history books but one that shouldn’t be forgotten.)

#81. Listen to ten new, full albums. In preparation for our flight I put Grace Potter & The Nocturnals self-titled album and Maroon 5‘s new one, Hands All Over on my ipod. I like them both, Grace Potter a little more. I would like her even more if the lyrics were a little less cliche-y, but I really like her style and sounds. Maroon 5 is growing on me. At first it was a little too 80s pop sounding and I missed the darker Maroon 5 from their first album. But I like a lot of the album and, as is usually the case, the more I listen the more I like it.

And that about wraps it up! Sorry for the super long post. Just goes to show how awesome San Francisco is!

Translucent fish at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park trees from the very cool roof on the California Academy of Sciences

As great of a trip as we had, we were glad to be home, and it was amazing to see the lights of Philly from 20,000 feet!

Home Sweet Home

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2011 7:31 pm

    Ok so 1. what a SUPER cute giraffe!!!! and 2. I must be becoming part Irish cause when you said blue cheese chips I automatically pictured french fried instead of potato chips…. doh!


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