I did the classic late night flight zooming straight into the weekend for a little vacay in SF.
Closing the cafe is pretty easy - but I was on a time crunch. Once we finished our tasks for the evening, I dragged my suitcase through Pike Place Market, running for the lightrail to take me to the airport. Somehow I managed to make it there 45 minutes before my flight boarded and killed the extra time with my usual preflight frosty and fries. CLASSIC.
Boarding time came and went which worried me. About 20 minutes after our scheduled board time, one of the Alaska Airlines Representatives came to the podium and basically said "Uh, okay, you all can board now; it's a small flight. Boarding all sections".
Turns out, there were only ten people on this flight. SCORE. As you can probably discern, this quickly turned into one of the best flights ever. Passenger to flight attendant ratio was 2:1, so we received the best possible customer service. I had my own row to spread out on and the next ten aisles were completely empty. Plus, I was seated in an area where they serve free alcohol. The flight was smooth and pleasant and I wanted it to last forever. Of course, the flight was only 1.5 hours and my bliss quickly ended.
The final perk of the best flight ever was arriving 45 minutes ahead of schedule. My good fortune ended when Mom had to walk across the SFO airport because I came out of a different terminal. Eventually we found each other and geared up for the next day.
It would be an early morning for us to hit the ground running. We got dressed and had to deal with Mom's Amazon Fresh order, because she's using the service and is apparently more hip than I am. After figuring that out, we rode over to Sightglass Coffee for our morning cup of joe.
I marveled at the La Marzocco espresso machines, pour over bar, and their expansive space. Their roasting machine was on full display at the front, and walking up the stairs led you to their cupping classroom and birds eye view of the pinnacle of coffee culture.
We sipped our drinks and admired the fun cafe and walked over to Marlowe for Sunday brunch. Perusing the menu, we settled upon Hash Brown Benedict as suggested by our waiter and side of Candied Bacon because Mom loves her bacon. As we munched on our food, we plotted the rest of the day.
For whatever reason, we tend to walk everywhere which seems like the most counterintuitive thing to do in a city like San Francisco. BUT the benefit is getting to see more of the place you're visiting.
As we were en route to the Tartine Manufactory, we stumbled across Dandelion Chocolate’s new factory. Lo and behold, they were hosting their annual brunch where we ran into my boss and chocolate maker. Small town, small world, very serendipitous. We said our hellos, grabbed some cookies from the beautiful spread of food they had and dipped over to Tartine, Heath Ceramics, and Boiler Room for a little shopping.
We wandered on through the city and made a pitstop to Valencia Street to admire the cute shops. Along the way, we passed the Tartine Bakery where a woman behind us commented on the ever growing line remarking that "Here you can see the hipsters wait in line".
Our walk took us on a little trek uphill to Dolores Park to soak in the SUN (yes it was sunny!) and the views of SF.
On our list of activities for the day was a dessert show featuring twenty local vendors where we stuffed our faces with sweet treats and even introduced Mom to the concept of a donut wall.
uckered out for and in need of a break, we regrouped back at Mom’s place to relax. Before we headed out, we admired the rooftop views and gorgeous weather. Look at those skyscrapers!
We headed back out across town, towards the Presidio to find an art installation hidden amongst the trees. Andy Goldsworthy's Wood Line features a line of eucalyptus branches weaving their way through the trees.
After our little excursion through nature, we strolled down to Pacific Heights to roam the area until our dinner reservation. I was majorly hangry and we scoped out places where we could grab a drink and watch the Viking's game. We settled upon tacolicious for TACOS and margs to pass the time.
Our dinner reservation rolled around and we dined at A 16 with Mom's friend Bridget, where we chatted about the game HQ and munched on fresh pasta. We followed dinner with a tour of Bridget's apartment and a few episodes of Black Mirror.
Well, we ended up watching Black Mirror until midnight and needed our coffee fix the next morning. When in Bay Area, you have to make a trip to Blue Bottle at their swanky downtown location. Mom and I killed time by sipping on our drinks and watching the hustle and bustle of the corporate Monday morning.
From downtown, we wandered up to Noe Valley (because that's we casually do lol) to check out Mom's old digs. In the neighborhood is Omnivore Books on Food, but they were unfortunately closed. Next time! Noe is one of the quaintest parts of town and has the cutest architecture.
As we migrated up and down the street, we eventually walked over to the Mission and did some shopping at the cute little boutiques. Also here is the raddest Italian speciality store called Lucca.
It felt like we had walked into Tuscany with the meat and pastas lining the walls. Meandering some more, we stumbled upon Fellow, a place for all of your pour over coffee dreams, and Benny Gold for the hip dude in your life. We passed Ritual Coffee with the dope lighting aesthetics (and I guess coffee haha) and made our way down the hill for lunch at Souvla with Amy! Amy and I have been friends for three years now and gone on some AMAZING adventures (like this trip to Vancouver).
Souvla was AWESOME, I highly recommend, and it was so nice to see Amy and catch up on her SF life. She is thriving and it's great to see! After parting ways with Amy, Mom and I popped next door to Craftsman and Wolves to grab breakfast for the next morning. It was so hard to choose just one. Literally so hard to choose JUST ONE. Like what even is this spherical goodness?
Continuing our crusade down Valencia Street, we went next door to Dandelion Chocolate for the Chef’s Single Origin Tasting Flight which consisted of cacao and chocolate desserts in microform!! HOW CUTE.
Walking a city is the best way to get to know it. You come across the local shops and restaurants you’d normally whiz by in a car. Strolling down the street at the very least slows down that mindset and allows you to explore. On our wanderings, we came across some of the coolest alleys and street art.
The neighborhoods flow right into the next, and we had clearly made our way into Castro indicated by the rainbow sidewalks and flags waving in the wind.
We hit the famous cookie nook Hot Cookie (with some phallic cookies) and munched on our treats while doing more shopping. Eventually we found ourselves in Hayes where we conducted MORE SHOPPING and indulged in Salt & Straw, and then took to the Muni back to the central downtown area to check out City Hall.
City Hall looks like every other government building; stoic white facade, ionic columns, blurbs of Latin, and rotunda topped off with a dome. It had me reminiscing about our trip to Washington D.C. a few years ago. The inside was grand and dimly lit as the sun set for the day. There was a Quinceanera photoshoot happening inside, and the girl looked like a princess in her castle.
STILL WALKING EVERYWHERE, we made our way over to the Embarcadero towards Cotogna, our dinner spot for the evening. Along the way, we came across what appeared to be a little arts district and ducked into an archictercutre bookstore. The place was stuff to the brim with Coolhaus and Le Corbusier as well as many other greats.
From the bookstore, we dipped into Cotogna and instantly felt underdressed. AH-MAZING. One of my big pet peeves is being underdressed; I don’t know why, I just hate it. Anyway, since people in this town make reservations for Monday evening dinners (???), we opted to sit at the chef’s table to avoid waiting too long. The chef’s table was a bar like perch where you were nice and close to the grill - aka felt like your eyebrows were singed off - but got close and personal to watch pizzas and meat be cooked. It was a GREAT experience. Funny enough, the men next to us happened to be from Seattle and in town for the fancy food show - small, SMALL world.
In our food coma on the way back home, we ran into Mom’s friend Bridget and I bid her adieu since I was leaving the next morning. Mom and I ended our evening by binging the second season of Black Mirror and getting ready for the next day. I had an early flight, munched on my Craftsman and Wolf pastry, said goodbye to mom and headed to the airport. Thanks for such a fun weekend Mom!