San Francisco, well California in general, is one of those places that you just want to show off. When I lived in Columbia the extent I would show off my town was really limited to the University of Missouri campus, Shakespeare’s Pizza, the Artisan (RIP) and Top Ten Wines. If they were especially adventurous we might hit up the Pinnacles north of town or Rock Bridge Memorial State Park south of town. We could get everything done in a day, easily.
San Francisco and Northern California are so different. I’ve lived here for a total of four years and I feel like I’ve only skimmed the surface. I am regularly thanking my friends Jimmy and Aaron for helping me discover new and often inspiring features of this part of the country. Whether it’s a mountain to be climbed or a fantastic restaurant at which to be dined.
So when friends visit me here in California, the list of things to do is almost certainly longer than the days they will be here. Such was the case with Alex and Joey. I picked them up from the airport a Wednesday afternoon and drove them straight to wine country for tastings at J Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards and Preston of Dry Creek.
We had such a fun and relaxing time in wine country, despite having such a short time out there. Ordinarily we’d have hit up five or more wineries but this slower approached proved to be a nice change of pace. Especially considering the significant flight times from Chicago and Orlando!
After our time in wine country we made our way back down towards San Francisco, stopping at the Marin Headlands for a shot of them in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’re ever in San Francisco this is a must stop. Normally we’d take a few pictures and then head into the city. However, since we were making such good time with no traffic slowing us down, we were able to spend a little extra time in the area.
We took a side road further into the Headlands, a one-way, cliff-side drive with some of the most beautiful views any of us had ever seen.
The next morning we woke up to visit Plow for a classic San Francisco brunch. I went to Plow with Jimmy last year and it proved to be as delicious a second time around as it was the first. I had the breakfast sandwich, Ryan had the French toast, Alexandra had the granola and Joey had the (amazing) ricotta + lemon pancakes.
From Plow we went to Flora Grubb Gardens after which we parted with Ryan to hit up the curviest street in the world, Lombard, Chinatown and it’s Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and Union Square. We probably didn’t need to buy three bags of cookies but whatever… 😀
After that Ryan met up with us and we went to my new favorite place, Fort Funston. It’s technically a dog park but humans are welcome as well. The views from here are killer. From the ocean to the sunsets to the coastline north and south, it’s hard to find a better example of the beauty provided but California than this.
We finished that night with sushi at Warakabune, our favorite sushi joint.
Other adventures included the shopping in Union Square, lunch with Anthony, exploring the Mission, a stroll through Dolores Park and gosh, so much more. At this point I’m starting to get lost in our adventures. One thing that does stick out was our accidental venture into Golden Gate Park during a 4/20 rally. That is something none of us will ever soon forget. I’m pretty sure we saw the future Nicki Minaj there… Afterwards we took a Lyft car to El Farolito for the best burritos in San Francisco. The wait might be great but so is the taste.
The next day would be the end of our shenanigans in San Francisco. We had breakfast at Cafe Floré just before Joey flew off to Los Angeles. Afterwards Alexandra and I walked through a cosplay event at Civic Center and into Hayes Valley before she too flew away.
It was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had here in San Francisco. Showing off my city to friends and allowing myself to be spoiled by its food, drink and views is amazing. Saying goodbye to these two amazing people wasn’t fun but you can’t have hellos without a few goodbyes. I can’t wait to see them back here.
- Marin Headlands Pacific View (justinmoorescott.com)