I know it’s been a while since I’ve given you some juicy jet setting scoop, but some of you have seen my most recent posts on Facebook so you have a pretty good idea what I’m going to be sharing with you on these next few blogs. Squeezing time both in San Francisco and Napa this past weekend, there’s plenty to see and talk about!
Let’s get it started in San Francisco!
This trip was much different than any of my previous trips to “The City by the Bay”. First of all, it was a destination birthday trip to celebrate a major birthday milestone. I will not divulge more than that so as not to get myself in trouble with afore mentioned birthday person (Happy Birthday Keith!). And secondly, our birthday boy decided that we should rent a traditional Victorian style house for our stay here. It made the trip that much more interesting to be located in the residential Mission District. Our house was a lovely turn of the century (maybe even slightly earlier) Victorian lady on Guerrero St. and 22nd.
990 Guerrero St.–home for 5 days!
Yes–Those are my walking shoes for day 1 in San Fran. They are actually some of the most comfy sh*t kickers you can probably walk around in (Sundance catalog)
This traditional house had been recently semi-remodeled into a more millennium functioning, 3 bedroom, 1 and a 1/2 bath home–yes you heard me correctly– only1 full bathroom! Somehow our group of 7 managed to get our acts together in the morning with just this 1 full bathroom. The house was modern where it needed to be, the kitchen and the bathroom, but there’s only so much you can remodel. There isn’t any space in SF to build up or extend out. These houses are stacked tight one on top of another. The beauty of our house’s interior details were the tall ceilings (probably higher in height than the width/length dimensions of many of the rooms) and old beautiful woodwork around tall windows and doors, lovely relief tile around the fireplace surround and curved archways.
Dave and I arrived late Thursday evening and got caught up with the rest of our group who had all come in earlier that Thursday from Ohio. The Ohioans had already had a pretty big day in SF and we were all content to have a few glasses of wine while we talked about plans for the next day and shortly after call it a night.
The next morning was sunny and we were all raring to get started. An early morning walk up and down our street was like looking at rows of dollhouses. You could see block after block of beautiful Victorians on steep vertical postage stamp front yards that I’m not sure how a homeowner manages to take care of! It was quintessentially San Francisco and we were lucky enough to be staying in the heart of it!
Across the street view of our cute Victorian–turret included!
Beautiful wrought iron gate details
Not a scrap of space to spare between these beautiful Victorians
A majestic corner lot Victorian–wonder what this baby goes for??
Beautiful dragon railing detail on an old Victorian
Mini succulent gardens seem to be the way to go here in downtown San Fran
Beautiful wall murals are part of the San Francisco vibe
Conveniently (and I mean CONVENIENTLY) located right next door to our house is a corner neighborhood bar called The Liberties–great for a cocktail at any time and also a good late morning brunch!
On our way to The Embarcadero–
Beginning to venture out of our ‘hood, the morning starts with a trip on the BART to get us to the eastern waterside area of San Francisco which faces the bay. It’s one of the top things on most tourists’ lists of places to see when you’re here and it’s definitely on all of our lists–and really, who doesn’t like being on the water? After figuring out where the BART station is, what kind of ticket to purchase, and making sure we’re on the right train–we are finally off and running! We are finally approaching our destination–we are only one stop away from the Embarcadero stop when they announce over the PA that they are stopping all trains heading that direction due to police activity. A bit annoyed, we exit the train. Back up on the street we put google maps into action and get ourselves oriented in the right direction. We can tell we are getting close as soon as we start to see lots of tourists heading the same way….
Palm trees–always a good sign!
The San Francisco Ferry Building tower–probably one of the most recognizable clock towers
Some time has now passed since we embarked on our journey from the house to the waterfront and our group is getting a bit antsy. It is actually the birthday boy’s literal birth date and the democratic vote of the group is calling for a stop into a bar for a celebratory cocktail. We stray away from the main touristy area and head in the direction of The Bay Bridge along the water. The view of the bridge is just spectacular.
Cupid’s Span sculpture in front of the Bay Bridge. Supposedly inspired by the port of San Francisco being the home of Eros (the god of love)…
Close-up of that supersize “love” sculpture. Dave and I were a bit silly and tried to walk up it and slide down it since we saw some 5 year olds trying the same thing. First off–don’t try it in cowboy boots. Secondly–don’t try it if you’re not 5 years old.
Vintage tugboat parked in front of the Bay Bridge
Members of the “Party Brigade”–ready to get things rolling for the birthday celebration!
Outdoor patio at the Water Bar
We stop in at the Water Bar for a celebratory 50th birthday cocktail for Keith. Keith calls the shots (wink–wink) on a first round of oyster shooters. I’m taking note of the ingredients–Ketel One, a Marshall Select oyster and a bit of something that looks like a spicy Bloody Mary-are poured into our shot glasses. I quickly take a look at my iPhone and verify the time as 11:48 AM. Close enough to noon to start this part of the day’s drinking events because if there’s one thing I know with this group, we are not here for just one birthday cocktail–no my friends, the party is just about to start….
Prepping the liquids
Adding the yummy oysters!
This crowd is ready to go!
Now we decide what additional libations on the drink menu look good for a follow up. Dave and I choose a Sucker Punch. This is Bombay Sapphire Gin, Lillet Blonde, St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, and a bit of a citrus squeeze. It will soon be living up to its cute but deadly name!
Cheers at the Water Bar!
The view of The Bay Bridge right outside The Water Bar
As we are all admiring the incredible views from our bar seats, I can see the group has no plans of moving anytime soon, so I start to review some oyster options because my seat is conveniently located right next to bushel baskets of assorted oysters–many I have never heard of! Our server tells us we are in luck because they have just started the Oyster Festival and for that reason, they have a wider variety to choose from than normal. Many of these little guys have arrived fresh this morning to the restaurant!
Dave and I cannot decide on an exact dozen to share, so we get 14. These are oysters that are so foreign to me, I have no desire to taint there natural tastes by even considering to put any kind of sauce on the. Let them speak for themselves.
OMG…..these are gonna rock!
A close-up of our oyster tags for all of you fine dining aficionados….
The Beausoleil are from eastern Canada and a bit salty but with a sweet finish.
The Kusshi are a British Columbian oyster and are smooth with a clean flavor. Love these!!
My ABSOLUTE favorites are the Tio Point which are from New Zealand. The are flat large shells that are super sized, and the most velvety creamy tasting oysters I have ever had! At $6.50 a pop–they live up to their hefty price tag!
And we keep the palate cleansed for oyster tasting with a beautiful Honig Sauvignon Blanc. Oh my goodness–this day is already stellar!
A birthday treat!
Once our group finishes our little Mad Men era of afternoon cocktails and decadent food, we start to head back the other way along the waterfront (a bit more touristy) for some great photo ops and pretty much what I would call a bar crawl….
The girls enjoying some San Fran sun…
It’s a “That Girl” moment….captured by Tracy (aka: Trixie)
Easy laid back San Francisco dressing–Loft denim French terry mini skirt with Loft chambray “denim and diamonds” work shirt.
Making our way along the waterfront…
Next bar crawl stop is Pier 23
A Sangre Peligrosa out on the patio…Milagro Silver, blood orange liqueur, lime and a chile salt rim!!
One of these shoes is not like the other…..
As you are beginning to now realize…today is pretty much a food and drink fest with just a touch of sightseeing–I’m not complaining.
And now as we are wrapping up our time on the waterfront, it’s time for some heavy duty food to soak up all that alcohol. We meander back through the streets making our way into the Little Italy/Chinatown area and stop in at Cafe Zoetrope in the Columbus Tower/Sentinel building. It’s a cute copper covered flat iron building. Much of the space in the upper part of the building is dedicated to Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios. This cafe is all about hearty Italian fare!
Heading to dinner…the Trans America building in the background
I know it’s still relatively early after our first day’s dinner, but my body is still on east coast time and I decide to put in my punchcard for the day and Uber back to our cute house. The rest of the group decides to head back to our friendly neighborhood bar next door for some after dinner cocktails, but in general, this group is going to turn in early because tomorrow is a bright and early 8:30AM pick- up to Napa Valley.
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