Hope you all had a fantastic Valentine’s/President’s Day Weekend!So I know the term Galentines is cheesy but it felt ohhh so appropriate for this past weekend. My bestie Patrice flew up from San Diego to visit me – my first visitor! – and spent the holiday weekend with me in the city. What ensued was a jam-packed weekend of adventures, perfect and gorgeous weather, and an itinerary that could double as a tourist weekend guide.First, a little update: I’m signed up for the SF Half Marathon in July! AHHHH. Also, I’m selling some shit on Tradesy: a large Rebecca Minkoff handbag (new condition, tags not attached but in the bag), and a brand new J.Crew sweater that I haven’t worn. You should buy it.
Back to the activities. My galentine (ok, sorry I’ll stop) Patrice is that friend who is ALWAYS on the same page as me, and always down for an adventure. When the two of us get together, our schedule is always jam packed with fun, new, and sometimes weird activities (tbt to the wax museum on our SF trip in college). I’ve been fighting a cold for the past few days, but feigned good health (and loaded up on vitamin C and H2O) so I could keep up all weekend. It’s probably gonna catch up with me soon but like yolo you know.
Sidebar: Hopefully you’re not devastatingly disappointed by the non-Nikon photos in this post – although these activities would’ve served as prime blogger material, my mind was not in that space. I was so focused on the much-needed friend time and how excited I was to see Patrice … so I didn’t think to plan the blog into the weekend. We definitely snapped a ton of iPhone photos, but I didn’t plan outfits and also forgot to wear makeup on Sunday morning (whoops) and also never brought my nice camera. SO even though this wasn’t a planned post, it just ended up being such a great weekend of touristy fun that I wanted to share the itinerary and some pics.
Here’s what went down… If you’ve got 48 hours in the city, try this out.
A 48 Hour Galentine Weekend in SF
Brunch at the Tipsy Pig
We kicked off the weekend by heading straight from SFO to one of our favorite spots for Dutch pancakes, beignets, and strawberry fields cocktails. Tbh, Trice had the strawberry fields. In lieu of alcohol, I opted for many glasses of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice at the bar to load up on the vitamins.Bike the Bridge
Shout out to Jonathan at Equinox for this activity idea: rent bikes in SF, bike across the bridge to Sausalito, and ferry back. The weather was seriously gorgeous: 70º and not a cloud in the sky. Being outside in the sunshine and breezing through the city was ideal. AND biking was a great low-intensity exercise that worked really well with my cold.
Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge was such a special experience – I’ve driven over it a few dozen times, but getting the biking perspective outside was really, really incredible. We headed into Marin and down to Sausalito, which was like a storybook town. A mix of European charm, and a bit of the east coast seaside, combined into a Northern California gem. I wish we got more time there, but we’ll definitely be back!Although I would not recommend getting your bikes in the wharf (insane amount of people to navigate through on foot, let alone with a bicycle), nor doing this activity on a holiday weekend (the line to get on the ferry took 1.5 hours, and dropped us in the Embarcadero), I would absolutely recommend biking the bridge in San Francisco. Definitely a highlight of my time here so far. I’ll break this out into a separate post to give more detailed tips soon!
Cost: $8/hr for the bikes, $11.25 for the ferry ticket.Dinner at delarosa in the Marina
After returning our bikes and grabbing a hot cocoa, we headed to dinner. Patrice loves Italian food, I love italian food, and we were both seriously craving pasta (and cheese). A day full of biking really lets you work up an appetite. Delarosa is one of my favorite restaurants (the pappardelle pasta with pork shoulder marinara is to DIE for), and I was really excited to show my friend one of my go-to spots in my new city. I felt suuuper cool and cultured.
The next morning we got up early and headed back to the Marin Headlands, this time via car, to visit the Muir Woods National Monument. I hadn’t been since I was about 14, and Patrice hadn’t ever been. It’s hard to put into words how beautiful this place is; it’s profoundly spectacular, eerily beautiful, and awe-inspiring. In layman’s terms, it’s an enchanted fairy forest like Fern Gully (Patrice made the Fern Gully comment, it was an excellent assessment so I stole it).
The cool morning mist coming through the canopy of skyscraping redwoods was broken up by beams of early, gentle sunlight, while we trekked through the freshest, most deliciously clean air in beautiful silence; the only noise to be heard was the gurgling of the brooks and streams. The hike was another amazing low-intensity activity that kept me moving without wearing too much on my body and immune system.If you’re visiting Muir Woods, be prepared to park pretty far down the street, unless you’re there before 8AM. Highly recommend getting there early – it’s peaceful, quiet, and pretty empty… even on a holiday weekend. You’ll get to enjoy the trees and the calm before all the families (read: loud, screaming children) get in around 11/12, and the parking becomes a nightmare. It’s $10 for a day pass (free parking), $40 for an annual pass (regretting not getting that). I’ll delve more into Muir Woods in a separate post, as it deserves some solo time on the blog. It’s that good.
Chinatown, Union Square
After immersing ourselves in nature, we returned to the city; we took MUNI into the downtown area to visit Chinatown and check out the shops, before taking a spin around Union Square and the surrounding shopping attractions (notably, the Chanel store where I quietly wept over Boy bags).
Coit Tower Sunset
We grabbed yet another hot cocoa (shocking) and took a lyft up to Coit Tower to catch the sunset – which was iiiiinsane. Unfortunately, the tower was closed at 5:00, and no amount of “being cute to the staff” could get us in after hours (WAH). We still got beautiful views atop the hill, and watched a romantic Galentine sunset together 💯Drinks in North Beach
As the sun went down, we walked down the hill into North Beach (Little Italy) and grabbed a drink at Piazza Pellegrini, just across from Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral at Washington Square Park. After running around all day, it was nice to sit down, unwind, and get some time to talk without distractions.Dim Sum & Bars
Our lyft driver in North Beach told us that we needed to go to House of Nanking in Chinatown for the best dim sum in SF. The line out the door indicated that his claim had some clout, as did the rave review from a mother and daughter in front of us in line. Trice was particularly fond of the colorful sign outside, and the photo of Keanu Reeves with the restaurant owner. HOW. EVER. ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE WRONG AND CRAZY. I hate putting anything negative on the internet, but seriously, HOW is this place so popular? The food was meh, and the service was hilariously awful. I’m not just saying that – we actually laughed several times because our server(s) were so rude. It was also disgustingly dirty, and the bathroom was horrifying. We were both seriously amused with the experience (Patrice even bought a shirt), but we will never, EVER return. I need to write a Yelp review so more people know.
We went to Harper & Rye on Polk, which was a trendy little bar, then to Mauna Loa (per a friend’s recommendation). And as any classy 25/26-year-olds would do in a bar on Valentine’s night in the Marina, we played KISS pinball and Duck Dynasty Buck Hunter by ourselves until we got sleepy and went home.Coffee at Philz in Castro
The Monday morning line at Mr. Holmes was shockingly long, so we drove right past it and went to Philz to get an iced mint mojito coffee, which my boss had recommended to me as the best thing on the menu. It’s sooo refreshing, light, and flavorful. We poked around the Castro (pretty much everything was closed because of the holiday) and drove by the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square so Trice could see them, and then headed to Golden Gate Park.
Stroll Through Golden Gate Park
There’s always something new to discover at GGP. This time around, we found a carousel and were the only riders under 5 years old. We walked to the Conservatory of Flowers, which was closed, then strolled around with our Philz coffees in hand while. On our way back to the car, some guy offered us edibles (we politely declined) and we felt suuuuper cool knowing we looked like girls who would buy edibles from a stranger in the park.
A pretty packed two-and-a-half days, right? Don’t worry I totally didn’t cry when she left it was fine and I played it really cool. So cool.
On the agenda for the next trip: Alcatraz, Conservatory of Flowers, actually getting into Coit Tower, Britex Fabrics, Ghirardelli Sundaes, and Dim Sum at my local spot in the Sunset.
Have a great week!