I decided to surprise my boyfriend with a trip to my favorite city ever, San Francisco. I’m so glad we went on the trip. It was a whirlwind weekend filled with so much excitement and love.
I was extremely excited the night before the trip. I had a hard time sleeping (I think I only slept for 3 hours), however, my excitement and energy were still through the roof!
I had to take a picture of the famous PDX carpet because that’s what everyone does when they travel, right? I also had to take a picture of the airplane wing because everyone does that too, right? Haha I am so original!
We stayed at the Calista Organic Hotel in Downtown San Francisco over the weekend. It was the cutest hotel. The hotel was very modern and minimal. They also had an industrial elevator that completely matched the vibe of the hotel.
We landed very early in the morning and our room wasn’t ready. The concierge was very nice and allowed us to store our backpacks while we explored the city. The luggage storage was perfect, just like our room. The room was tiny but it was the perfect size for two people for a weekend. We also had gorgeous views of the city (we stayed in a corner so we had two windows with two different views).
It was a great hotel and we both really enjoyed our stay!
After we dropped by the hotel, we decided to get breakfast at Mymy nearby. I ordered a Banana Soufflé Pancake. It was very interesting! I had never had one before. The soufflé was in the center of the pancake. It was very tasty. You could also clearly taste the banana in the pancake but it wasn’t too overpowering. I loved it 🙂
After breakfast, we went to the Aquarium of the Bay. It was a small aquarium (we went through it in about 1.25 hours), however, it was still very cool and filled with many beautiful marine animals. They had many different types of fishes in the tunnels. The tunnels were designed to have fish that would typically be found in the bay at the beginning and as the tunnels went on, fishes, rays, and sharks typically found further from the bay would be seen.
In addition to having marine animals, the aquarium also has many different animals that would not typically be seen in aquariums. They had aquatic turtles, chinchillas, and tortoises. The aquarium also has a touch pool where you can touch rays, mantas, and baby sharks.
We finished the aquarium fairly early so we went down to Pier 39 to grab some lunch. We ended up eating at Wipeout Bar & Grill. I ordered a cheeseburger. We came during the lunch rush thus our food was really slow. We ended up having to get it to go in order to make it to our Alcatraz tour on time. However, the cheeseburger did not disappoint.
I also booked an Alcatraz tour for the trip. We had to rush our lunch to make it onto the ferry on time. We ended up being one of the last people on. On the ferry, we found out that we could bring food onto it and the dock of the island.
Alcatraz, in addition to being the home of the famous Alcatraz prison, is also home to many birds. It is a bird sanctuary and it is very clear once you arrive on the island (it smelled like a penguin exhibit).
On Alcatraz, we did an audio tour inside the prison. The recording was awesome. It had great sound effects, interesting facts that kept me engaged, and very clear directions. I learned so much from the tour.
After Alcatraz Island, we decided to drop by the Exploratorium. However, it was almost closing time and we were super exhausted so we ended up saving our tickets for the next day.
We decided to ride the city bus back to the hotel…
For dinner, we both decided we wanted Thai. I found Ben Thai Café near our hotel. I ordered a Thai Iced Coffee and duck fried rice. The coffee was very yummy. It tasted like coffee my mom would make. As a added bonus, they also made a rose out of the straw wrapper and it completely stole my heart. The duck fried rice was out of this world! I had never seen duck at any restaurant before so I order the dish in a heartbeat. I was not disappointed. 🙂
After the meal, we decided to do a bit of exploring and traveling down to Lombard Street. While waiting for the bus, we ran into this creepy clown…we also didn’t make it down to Lombard Street. We got on the bus that traveled in the wrong direction. After that, it was getting dark and we decided it was best to head back to the hotel.
The next morning, we rode the famous cable car back down to the pier. We both were super excited to ride it. It was lots of fun and interesting to see how they stopped and moved the car.
My boyfriend has never been to San Francisco before so he thought the bridge above is the Golden Gate bridge. I am sure a lot of people have made that mistake! I know I did when I visited San Francisco for the first time. I ended up researching the name of the gray bridge…and it has such a creative name, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
We finally made it into the Exploratorium!!! The museum was very overwhelming! There were so much to see and do. There was also a lot of people so we weren’t able to interact with much. Darn!
That is made out of toothpicks. The picture doesn’t do the structure much justice. It is so much more breath-taking in person.
After the Exploratorium, we dropped by Pier 39 again to get lunch. We didn’t eat at Wipeout instead we tried a “fast” fish and chips place. We order a salmon burger and fish & chips. The burger was disappointing. Salmon is usually juicy and sweet, however, the burger was bland and had zero flavors. The fish & chips were ok. I was already a bit disappointed because I wanted a sit-down restaurant. I was exhausted from the Exploratorium! After lunch, we walked around and got ice cream. It made me extremely happy and completely redeemed the lunch. Our last stop was to the Golden Gate bridge (after all, what’s a trip to San Francisco to the famous bridge?).
I am so glad we made it to the bridge. It was absolutely gorgeous. I understand why everyone visits it. We only stood at the lookout. I wished we had enough time to walk the bridge and the trails.
I was extremely sad that our trip is over. I think I cried a bit when we flew out. The weekend was better than I could’ve ever imagined. I fell more in love with San Francisco (and a tiny bit more with my boyfriend too). The city will always have a special place in my heart. I wished we had more time to travel to Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies, the California Academy of Science, the Painted Tiles, Meir Woods, and to do more exploring. I guess we just have to come back one day and visit everything we missed this time around 🙂