Tag: Travel

San Fran Day #4: Chinatown, Full House house, Golden Gate Bridge, Sunset Sail in the Bay

2-Hour Walking Tour of Chinatown + Dim Sum Lunch

We started today with a walking tour of Chinatown. We booked this through Viatour and although I knew the girls would be really excited about it, I didn’t have very high expectations. I’ve done walking tours before and have thought they were OK, but they were never something I’d rave about. I was pleasantly surprised with this tour and would definitely recommend it! Our tour guide Linda grew up in Chinatown and was able to offer an authentic viewpoint of what life is like for the residents. She was very funny and I laughed a lot on this tour! As an added bonus, I had multiple “Linda listen” flashbacks during her stories.

We started the tour with some brief history on how the Chinese ended up in California in the first place, then we walked over to a store that sells herbal remedies and fills herbal prescriptions. We had been running late this morning and weren’t able to stop for coffee (end of the world stuff here, y’all) and I was DELIGHTED to find canned iced coffee at this small herbal store; it tasted like a store-bought Starbucks Frappucino which was just fine with me. I also picked out a couple herbal soup remedies to bring back home and try out. In the picture on the right, below, you’ll see prescriptions that are being filled.

The next stop on the tour: a Chinese temple. The Ma-Tsu Temple is built in honor of Ma-Tsu (or Mazu), a Chinese sea goddess revered for protecting the lives of fisherman and sailors and, today, travelers of all kinds. Ma-Tsu translates to “Maternal Ancestor” or “Mother”. The golden columns you see in the pictures below hold the names of worshippers who have purchased a spot in her temple, and with it protection during travels, for the year.

The final picture you see below is from our third stop, a fortune cookie factory. Maybe surprisingly, the only country that doesn’t serve fortune cookies with Chinese food is … China, according to Linda. She informed us that the first modern version of the fortune cookie was served in the U.S. in the 1890s or early 1900s by Makoto Hagiwara of the Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden (which we visited and I wrote about on our first day in SF). Sometime around WWII, fortune cookies evolved from a Japanese-American dominated tradition to a Chinese-American one.

Continue reading “San Fran Day #4: Chinatown, Full House house, Golden Gate Bridge, Sunset Sail in the Bay”
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San Fran Day #3: Lombard Street, lululemon, Union Square, fancy family dinner

I’m part of the lululemon collective and will receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links below.

I had originally planned today as our Yosemite day, however that plan quickly changed last night as Ruben started imagining himself driving the roughly 5 hours to Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point. So, instead, we took the opportunity to slow our pace and play the day by ear. We stopped at Lombard Street for an IG photoshoot, walked around Union Square, checked out a couple lululemon stores & hit a few restaurants.

Lombard Street

Our big touristy activity today was going to the curvy part of Lombard Street in the Russian Hill neighborhood for a full-on IG photoshoot. The girls were all over the place taking pictures from different angles and trying out different poses. There were tons of tourists also there for pictures so you had to be patient and take turns in certain spots, but the view was definitely worth it. After everyone was pictured out, we got into the car and drove down the big curvy hill just to say we did it.

[ OOTD: Target sweater + Jeans + Sunglasses + Jessica Simpson wedge ankle booties]

Food Rundown

I cannot stress enough how much I recommend breakfast at Fred’s Coffee Shop in Sausilito! It was amazing! The ambience is nothing special, it’s very casual with large round tables and a stammtisch vibe. Oh wait, you don’t know what stammtisch is? Weird. Ok, I didn’t either, but there’s a bulletin board on the wall at Fred’s with an explanation of the German word and lots of pictures of regular customers. I ordered The Swedish, which I thought was going to be a sandwich but was more like an open face sandwich: 2 over-medium eggs and a burger patty stacked on top of three pieces of toast. I also ordered a side of Fred’s Sweet Bacon — HOLY COW. This stuff is three times thicker than traditional bacon, sprinkled with red and black pepper, brown sugar and red pepper flakes and then baked for 2.5+ hours. Best bacon I’ve ever had, hands down.

We were in the Union Square area around lunchtime, so after a quick Yelp search, we walked over to Tropisueño Mexican Kitchen, an “order-at-the-counter and sit down with your number” type place. I ordered a Super Taco with carne asada and a Baja Fish taco. The carne asada taco was ok, but form the meat description on the menu I was expecting steak rather than the ground beef I was served. The Baja Fish taco was a pleasant surprise – the fish serving was large and the house slaw was tasty.

The kids really wanted to dress up for a dinner, so tonight was our “fancy” family dinner night. Dani did some research for places close to our Airbnb and picked Piazza D’Angelo in Mill Valley. Sadly, the food was hit or miss. Two of us ordered the Fettuccine Funghi e Pancetta and I think everyone loved it; I cleaned my plate. The Tortelloni Della Casa was also a table favorite. Ruben ordered the Fettuccine Bolognese and he liked it, although I was just ehhh about it. One of the girls ordered the Ravioli (I don’t remember the full name), but it wasn’t very good.

[ The dress I’m wearing above is the Here to There Dress. I’ve worn this LBD for many events and always get a ton of compliments! Plus it has pockets, ladies! Everyone is always surprised to learn it’s from lululemon. Shoes: Target’s Ema High Block Heel Pumps]

lululemon x2

Anytime we go on a trip, I always look up the closest lululemon stores and try to squeeze it into our itinerary. There are three stores in pretty close vicinity to one another in San Fran and we were able to hit up two of them: lululemon Union Street & lululemon Grant Ave. I should’ve taken pics in the stores so y’all could see how the layouts and displays or in front of the stores just for fun, but it didn’t cross my mind at the time. <<womp womp>> I’m always excited when stores have newer display fixtures and different product than my store (nerd alert, I know). Both stores we visited got the Barry’s Bootcamp collab product and the Grant Ave store had the intimates display fixtures and products. I tried on a couple of the bralettes and my favorite was the Simply Strappy Bralette although I didn’t pull the trigger to buy it just yet.

I did buy the Stronger as One Ribbed Tank lululemon X Barry’s in Midnight Maroon, the Muscle Love Crop Tank in Grey Sage and the Breeze By Muscle Crop Tank in Dark Olive. I already had the Muscle Love Crop Tank in a couple colors and the Breeze By Muscle Crop Tank in one other color — I love both of these styles and they both sell out SO FAST, so I jumped on it when I saw they were the last of their kind in the store there too.

San Fran Day #1: In-N-Out, Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden & a grocery store surprise

I’m part of the lululemon collective and will receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links below.

The first stop after leaving the airport was obviously In-N-Out. Double double animal style, please.

Next up, we walked around Golden Gate Park for a couple hours. There was lots to see – an orchestra concert, kids on playgrounds, pretty landscaping, a few dogs, some PDA – but the best part was the Japanese Tea Garden.

[ P.S. I’m wearing the lululemon Ready To Roll Crew in the color Shibori Gris Magnum in these pics. It was a perfect layering piece for the combination of warm sun and cold wind. Madewell Curvy Jeans + RayBan Clubmasters + Nike Platform Sneakers]

After a long walk around the park, we headed to our AirBnB in Mill Valley. I’m so excited we’re staying in a house vs a hotel this trip. It’ll be fun to be in the same place in the mornings and evenings instead of split up into different hotel rooms. Plus, the views from this house are incredible!

Taken while literally (literally) laying in bed, as evidenced by the napping Ruben’s feet.

We did have one interesting little thing happen tonight while we were at the grocery store stocking up on snacks for the week … It’s funny, because we had just discussed the Erica Thomas/Eric Sparkes news story the night before.

While in the checkout line, we witnessed a verbal fight between two guys after one man (we’ll call him Nervous Guy) made multiple attempts to jump the line and another man (we’ll call him Zucchini Guy) confronted him about it. And when I say “confronted”, I just mean Zucchini Guy told Nervous Guy he needed to get behind him in the back of the line. Nervous Guy spazzed out, started cursing at Z-Guy loudly and inched forward until he was basically touching our cart. At this point, our group was separated: the cart + two of us in front of Nervous Guy and three of us left standing behind Nervous Guy. I repeated multiple times that we were together in a group while N-Guy continued to accost Z-Guy with phrases such as “you don’t know what kind of day I’ve had”, “I’m in a hurry; I just want to get home”, “you don’t know who I am”, “no one tells me no”, “you’re a selfish, self-centered a**hole” and the wildly confusing “look at my body”. Let me point out that Z-Guy had (no joke) two zucchini. That’s it, folks. N-Guy had three bottles of sparkling water, three salsas and a couple bags of tortilla chips.

Luckily for us, N-Guy’s attention was solely focused on Z-Guy and we were able to easily get in front of him, reunite our group and carry on with our purchase. Unlike the Thomas/Sparkes case, this one ended in a positive manner thanks to some sort of calming, deescalating voodoo from Z-Guy. In response to N-Guy’s “you don’t know what kind of day I’ve had”, we overhead Z-Guy say, “you don’t know what kind of day I’ve had” as well as something along the lines of “it didn’t feel good to have you talk to me like that.” They continued talking while our groceries were rung up and bagged. By the end of it, Zucchini Guy was able to actually get Nervous Guy to apologize and move behind him to his rightful place in line. It was pretty amazing to witness actually – the power of a compassionate conversation vs meeting aggression with aggression.

The Grand Canyon is just gorges

Our time at the Grand Canyon was a little rushed, but we managed to get some great family pics on the Skywalk and had plenty of time to pose for those all-important IG shots.

OOTD

I’m part of the lululemon collective and will receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links below.

shirt: Mason’s Peak Flannel
pants: Align Pant 25″
bag: Festival Bag
shoes: Sorel Joan of Arctic Wedge II in Quarry
boyfriend’s hoodie: City Sweat Hoodie