The Yay Area

I love visiting the Bay area, so when I recently had a chance to fly to San Francisco for a quick solo jaunt, I jumped at the opportunity.  No, it is not puddle jumper flight to get from Atlanta to the West Coast, but YOLO right?  

Though it was a business trip,  I also had a chance to do something that is really precious to me- walk around and take in life and the world.  For a time, I was a wandering, carefree soul.  It felt amazing to have nothing to do but experience and wonder.  

Ocean view from the cab that picked me up from SFO airport

Ocean view from the cab that picked me up from SFO airport

My nice hotel room at the Le Meridian hotel in the Financial District.  See that nice backpack over there.  That's all I travelled with!  

My nice hotel room at the Le Meridian hotel in the Financial District.  See that nice backpack over there.  That's all I travelled with!

 

 

The room service fruit plate and green tea that helped me power through my important meeting.

The room service fruit plate and green tea that helped me power through my important meeting.

 

Tasty shrimp salad I had for lunch at Sai's Vietnamese Restaurant 

Tasty shrimp salad I had for lunch at Sai's Vietnamese Restaurant 

When all the business was done, I started wandering.  I first wanted to check out the Museum of the African Diaspora, but it was closed on Mondays (bummer). As a pick me up, I headed to catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge near the Yacht Club.  It was just awe inspiring.  I just sat and stared, breathed the air, and let my hair blow for a long while. 

 

The Golden Gate Bridge was so picturesque!

The Golden Gate Bridge was so picturesque!

Then I unknowingly stumbled upon another great San Francisco site- the Palace of Fine Arts.  This is honestly one of the most picturesque spots I have seen in a while.  It's basically a Grecco-Roman open structure featuring a pergola that surrounds a central domed rotunda. The Palace has lush foliage and a beautiful (fake but who cares) lagoon. You have to see it! It's a total make out/Instagrammable spot.  Thank me later!

 

image.jpg

 

The Rotunda at the Palace of Fine Arts

The Rotunda at the Palace of Fine Arts

image.jpg

 

image.jpg

 

image.jpg

 

My wind-obstructed selfie at the Palace of Fine Arts

My wind-obstructed selfie at the Palace of Fine Arts

Next, I hopped in an UberX car to check out something I came across on Pinterest- the 16th Avenue Stairs.  They looked liked beautifully decorated stairs to heaven on the Pin photo.  They were even better in person.  What's more, they helped me keep my promise to fit in fitness on every trip. 

 

The stairs are decorated with an eye catching mosaic.  Donors' names are included on some tiles.  It was a nice little workout to make it to the top.

The stairs are decorated with an eye catching mosaic.  Donors' names are included on some tiles.  It was a nice little workout to make it to the top.

 

French tourists thankfully helped me capture my visit to these great stairs.

French tourists thankfully helped me capture my visit to these great stairs.

The beauty of the stairs is matched by the view from the top.  My aching legs even calmed a bit when my eyes laid sight on this view.

view from me on top!

view from me on top!

 

more view

more view

After my eyes had their fix, I tried to satiate other senses.  I Ubered to a record shop (Groove Merchant Records), but they were closing as I arrived.  So I walked to the Mission area where I knew I'd find food and drink. 

It was about a 30 minute stroll, but who was counting with all of the people watching and sights to keep me distracted. 

cool street art I saw along the way

cool street art I saw along the way

The first place I stopped was Monk's Kettle, a craft beer temple of sorts.  I settled in and tried a draft choice that was calling my name.

Reality Check - a Bohemian Pilsner by Moonlight Brewing from Santa Rosa, California

Reality Check - a Bohemian Pilsner by Moonlight Brewing from Santa Rosa, California

Adequetely lubricated, I kept on walking, then I got really hungry. Unbelievably hungry.  But I could not decide what to eat.

So I said why not Indian?

image.jpg

I ducked into Curry Up Now, a food truck turned quick service fusion Indian place.  I ordered the Thali plate with Tikka Masala, and Aloo Goba.  It came with rice, raita, pickled veggies, and curry chickpeas.  Honestly, it was just so-so. 

So I figured just keep on eating.  Next, I went to the Vietnamese restaurant next door, Mau

At Mau, I ordered Veggie Pho. It was pretty good considering it had no meat.  I was slurping up the goodness in the bowl and the nicely flavored tofu cubes.  

 

veggie pho with all the fixings at Mau

veggie pho with all the fixings at Mau

After 2 meals, I needed to walk some more.  It is almost time to be "summertime fine" after all.

 

Another dope mural I passed on my epic stroll of San Francisco

Another dope mural I passed on my epic stroll of San Francisco

Walking led me past this amazing mural.  I wished I could learn more about it.  (Maybe if I had Google Glass it would help?)

Then I stopped into Bi-Rite, a local specialty foods and organic produce shop that I could spend hours in.  I had to be mindful that I was getting on a plane in a few hours.   

image.jpg

I did allow myself a special luxury that is close to my heart- a dark chocolate bar flavored with sea salt.  If you want to make me happy, buy me chocolate.  This one was made in town and had especially attractive packaging, seemingly making it worth $10+.  

 

image.jpg

Inside was even better. 

image.jpg

I actually managed to fit in 2 more meals, but I'll spare you my gluttony.  

Here's a group shot of the night's bounty.   

 

image.jpg

Thank God San Francisco is walkable.  It made me feel a little better about eating more than some people consume in a week in a matter of hours.  

That was basically my 36 hours in San Francisco.  I loved my time there and cannot wait to get back.  

Take aways: 

1) The Nike Tech Fleece was clutch for dealing with the weather.  It was really windy at times, but not too cool.   

2) A lot of times when I travel, I have an elaborate itinerary.  I was fine without it. 

3) I could have done a better job of picking the perfect places to eat, but it wasn't that crucial.  I would have actually been better served grappling a salad and wine from Bi-Rite and heading to a park to chill a bit more.

4) I finally figured out how to use Google maps for navigation while walking.  Go me!  

5) Always check hours of operation for destinations. 

6) I still love San Francisco but wish I could have seen more of the Bay and a concert.  

7) I didn't really shop, and I'm ok with that.