San Francisco Part Three: Extreme Tourists

Touring Alcatraz was one of the coolest things I have ever done! For anyone going to San Francisco... you absolutely need to make your way over there. Seeing the grounds and prison, while listening to the stories that go with each area is truly an awesome experience. It's eerie, it's intriguing, it's tragic.. it's amazing.

Before our tour, we stopped at the most amazing little breakfast joint. Next to The Baked Bear's ice cream sandwiches, this was my favorite meal. Sweet Maple had the best breakfast food.. naturally, Andy and I ordered the same thing (this is an actual problem for us.. we have such similar tastes in food that we always seem to want the same thing) - which was their breakfast tacos. Holy wow they were the best darn breakfast tacos I've ever eaten in my life! Plus their Millionaire bacon was featured on food network, and we could see why!

We had our Alcatraz tour at 1pm and stayed on the island until about 3. Like I said, it was pretty awesome.

Waiting for our ferry in the rain..

Afterwards, we stumbled through the rain under a little umbrella to Ghirardelli and devoured their "famous chocolate fudge sundae" which was supper yummy and then proceeded to hike (litterally hike - up the next four blocks to Lombard Street. For the record, I would not recommend doing this right after eating that sundae.

After Lombard Street we checked out an arcade in Fisherman's Wharf that had a ton of really old games from the past like, 200 years. Some were really creepy, so we settled on playing one new age game and then got out of there. We did have a little fun with the funhouse mirrors though :)

We explored all of Fisherman's Wharf - which is an awesome touristy street and decided to go for Deep Dish Pizza at this place that got excellent reviews.. we were completely unable to find any sort of parking on those crazy streets, and it was obvious that we were both getting slightly frustrated. So we decided to drive over to a pizza spot closer to our hotel in Burlingame called Blue Line Pizza. Lo and behold, it's a restaurant from the same owners as the one we were going to go to - it was just their chain name!! So we chalked that up as a win. 

Oh and they were fabulous too - deep dish pizza with the freshest ingredients, and two delicious cocktails for us. We were sleeping like babies that night. 

Tuesday turned out to be a beautiful day - so we were up and at 'em bright and early! Since we enjoyed our dinner in Burlingame so much the night before, we decided to check out another restaurant there for breakfast - Alana's Cafe. Their apple juice - to die for! and our food was excellent as well.

A little shot of the streets of Burlingame :)

I highly recommend staying in a hotel close to Burlingame if you plan on visiting the San Francisco area. It's an adorable, clean, and fancy town. We both agreed that if we had another day to spend we would have checked Burlingame out more because it looked like they had a ton of things to do!

For our last day, we explored Fort Point for beautiful views of the Golden Gate, the Painted Ladies (much to Andy's dismay - he hated this part), the Castro district, the mosaic steps, road a cable car (so fun!!), explored Fisherman's Wharf more, and visited Pier 39 and the stinky seals. Prepare for picture overload:

Birthday cake latte and Lavender latte

The Painted Ladies

Pier 39 Seals.. they were pretty stinky!

We ended our trip with (one to many) fancy drinks and fresh sea food at a restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf called Chart House. This place had a gorgeous view of the bay, and we were able to enjoy the sunset. Their food was great as well - we came in time for happy hour and the prices were incredibly reasonable.

We are so sad our big trip of the year is over, but we are already looking forward to next years. :)


San Francisco Part Two: Muir Woods & Chinatown

I was wide awake by 7am on Sunday to start our trek to Muir Woods National Park. But not without a trip to Mr. Holme's Bakehouse - aka one of the most instagramable bakerys! We got there around 8:30 and there was already a line! Andy had a chocolate croissant and I had a chocolate chip cookie dough bear claw.. they were spectacular.

We drove about a half hour north to the Muir Woods (but not without a little tiff over Andy's "need for speed" driving around the no-guard-rail mountain roads. Seriously they were so twisty and narrow, I had to close my eyes a few times. Despite my minor freak outs, he ended up doing a good job.. :)

This park is absolutely breathtaking. The trees seem to go on forever and ever. It is so serene and peaceful walking these trails. The atmosphere was so calm with the birds singing and the sounds of the creek flowing - I could have walked around all day. 

We snapped a ton of cool photos, and then made our way back to the main area for coffee. 

Shortly after, we made our way back to the city and checked into our hotel. For Valentine's day Andy graciously surprised me with a night stay at The Marker - a luxury boutique hotel right downtown by Union Square. The service we received there was phenomenal and the rooms made us feel so fancy! It was a wonderful gift and it was cool to experience staying in the heart of San Francisco. 

We visited Chinatown and had lunch at a place that was recommended by a friend - Oriental Pearl. Hands down the best chinese food I have ever had! We had their Dim Sum as an appetizer (definitely a must-try) and shared some sweet-and-sour chicken and General Tso's chicken - yum!

After exploring Chinatown we headed over to the Financial District where we tried coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee. We made our way back to the hotel to get ready for the evening and attend the Wine Hour where you get unlimited free wine from the hotel.. genius idea! 

For the evening we checked out The Thirsty Bear Brewing Company - an organic brewery that has a chocolate beer that's out of this world! For dinner we picked The Pub down by Fisherman's Wharf. This place was okay - definitely not our favorite meal so I would recommend trying somewhere else. Not everything can be a win I guess :)

Now our dessert though was a completely different story.. my mouth waters just thinking about it! For those of you who don't personally know me, I have a huge sweet tooth. And I would be lying if I said this wasn't one of the things I was looking forward to the most. This place is called the Baked Bear and wowwww I can't even put into words how amazing it is. It's a build-your-own ice cream sandwich bar.. just let that sink in for a bit :) 

We chose a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie as our base, with Bear Batter ice cream inside, and covered it in hot fudge and sprinkles. It. Was. Insane... insanely good!

As if our stomachs could hold anymore (in our defense we did a lot of walking - those hills are no joke!) we grabbed a drink at the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar which was a little too crowded, but had quite the crazy atmosphere! It was a perfect way to end the night!
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