San Francisco itself is Art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every house a poem, every dweller within immortal. This is the whole truth. – William Saroyan
When you’re someone who loves to travel, sometimes you just want to get away, even if it’s just for a couple of days. I was feeling this way after my international trip and was itching to go somewhere, anywhere. As luck would have it, a friend of mine was going to San Francisco for a conference and was going to stay through the weekend to explore the Bay area. Yours truly decided to tag along for the ride.
The last time I was in San Fran was with the parental units over a decade ago. I forgot how much I love the Bay area. Not so much the cold, but the atmosphere is charming. The buildings are paintings; drawings from a story book come to life. It’s deliciously enchanting. I’ve heard the term magical used to describe this beautiful city and I couldn’t agree more, even with the short time I was there.
-Get Around, Get Around, I Get Around-
The bus/trains are your best bet if you’re traveling solo. If you’re traveling with friends, the buses and trains are still at the top of the list, but you can split the cost of Uber and cut your travel time down. If you don’t mind meeting random people on the way to your destination, then the Uber pool option is a great alternative and can save you up to half off your trip.
-Where to Stay-
I like to spend my money on traveling, but I don’t like to spend a lot of coins on where I stay or transportation when I get where I’m going. We booked at Da Vinci Villa on Van Ness Ave. It was actually an ideal location for getting to where we wanted to go. This isn’t a traditional hotel. It actually looks like an apartment complex that was converted into a hotel. The room was clean and comfortable for us. I was originally going to reserve on Booking.com, but something told me to check out Hotwire and sure enough, the place was there and I was able to get it even cheaper! Win/win situation, my friends. When you’re looking for accommodations, make sure to check multiple sites because one might have the same lodging, but at a cheaper price.
-Where to Go-
The View – Located in the Marriot Marquis Hotel. This was a recommendation from a friend who used to live in San Francisco and I wasn’t disappointed. As the name suggest, the view is simply amazing from here. The lighting was dimmed, but it lit up and made everything glow. I’m really not much of a club person these days. I’m not one for large hoards of people in tiny spaces. The View was a great mix of a party atmosphere, like a club, and laidback, chill crowd. Our bartender, Kevin, was the best and kept the drinks flowing. I met a guy from Kentucky who introduced me to the tastiness of the Sidecar with Hennessy VS and a sugar rim. Try it! Thank me later.
16th Avenue Stairs – The not so secret 16th Avenue stairs are not really a secret, but it was a little adventure trying to find them. The view is breathtakingly beautiful from here and the stairs are extremely colorful and unique. There were a lot of people there trying to get the perfect picture on the stairs, myself included.
Golden Gate Bridge – Of course no trip to San Fran is complete without going to the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’ve never been, you need to go for the view alone. Seriously. The view is everything. There’s a history of the bridge before you climb the ramp to walk across the bridge. Walk around, take a bike ride across, or a nice jog. You have to go at least once.
Oakland Museum – We spent almost 2 and a half hours at the museum for the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers exhibit. We soaked up a lot of knowledge of probably one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented civil rights groups in our nation’s history. I can’t say I didn’t feel a little proud in knowing that black women were heavily involved and held leadership roles, more often than their male counterparts. Black girl magic, y’all. We’ve been magical since forever. This isn’t new for us. Twirl on the haters…okay, I’m done! Lol
-Where to Eat-
THE FOOD….*insert emoji with fork, eyes closed in ecstasy, tongue hanging out with drool* Everything we ate was capital D…Delicious. Scrumptious. Divine. Any other word you could think of. Anyone remember that cartoon Little LuLu in the candy land dream? That’s what eating in San Francisco feels like.
Osha Thai – I can only describe it as a Thai fusion restaurant. We ordered the crispy wontons, angel wings and beef wasabi rolls for appetizers to share. Seriously, need more stomach space. There were so many other things I wanted to try. I ordered the volcano beef entrée and barely had room for that. I nibbled to my heart’s content. Between the décor and the plating, Osha is a must for me. Have a glass of Riesling, it’s also a winner.
Cholita Linda – If you have time to go to Oakland, this is the place to eat. I love tacos! I love it even better when the tacos are really, really good! My taste buds were so happy! Authentic Latin American food made to please your palette. I ordered the carne asada and a pollo al pastor with a side of chips and guacamole. And if you know me, you know I do love my Sangria which was my drink of choice. Everything was great! The guacamole was so good I was tempted to order another side of it. Remember, I said I needed multiple stomachs for this trip. I’m not lying.
Farmer’s Market – This was a favorite of mine. The vendors, the variety, the smells, the food (!!!). Oh, the food is glorious! If I had spare stomachs, I would have sampled something from every vendor there. I had the most wonderful brunch of eggs, beans and tortilla chips with avocado, cheese, onion and cilantro garnish with a spicy, hot sauce. Albeit spicier than I thought it was going to be, it was worth the temporary fire in my mouth. There’s something for everyone, I think. Check the Farmer’s Market website to see what vendors will be there the day you decide to go.
-Until We Meet Again-
San Francisco is a wondrous place. I loved it, just like I loved it before, even though I was only there for two days. There’s nothing not to love, except for the dent the Bay can put into your coffers. (For all you young whippersnappers out there,that’s a bag or box of money.) The Bay is great, but be ready to spend a few pretty pennies. But, it’ll all be worth it.