Unrelated to Food.

The day after Christmas Paul and I left Santa Cruz for a three-day adventure in San Fransisco. We met my Dad, his girlfriend Denise, her daughter Meghan and her friend Devin, at the Conservatory of  Flowers in Golden Gate Park. It was closed the Monday we arrived, but, Denise has an “in” with the people who work there, and we walked right in, past the people who were looking longingly in through the windows, wishing they could be us.

With the doors locked behind us and the Conservatory to ourselves, we were free to wonder…

Thoroughly spoiled with our Conservatory experience, we figured why end the magic there and this is what followed:

MONDAY:

The Ferry Building… Market Bar Restaurant, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Mt. Tam Cheese from Cowgirl Creamery

(Market Bar is “ok”…it’s not great, but it IS convenient; Blue Bottle Coffee has an insane line, but it’s worth it (thank you Mom for that recommendation; and Mt. Tam from Cowgirl Creamery is the best cheese on the planet)

Checking into The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel

(Paul and I have always wanted to stay here, and for whatever reason I found fantastic deals (half-priced), so we booked it! We would stay there again…clean, easy, and you can’t ask for a better location)

The Nutcracker at The Opera House

(What a treat. I’ve been a fan since I was a little girl and it was great to see it again… except the $80 for 4 small glasses of wine)

Drinks at Top of the Mark

(Great view, bad service)

TUESDAY:

Breakfast at Tartine Bakery and Cafe

(Hands-down best bakery-breakfast food I’ve ever had…worth the insane line of people waiting for a tasty treat)

Walking around Union Square

(Always entertaining…slightly torturous considering I can’t afford any of the stuff down there)

Mid-afternoon drinks at Top of the Mark

(duh.)

The Farallon for dinner

(Great service, great food, great wine. No complaints about this place)

Bourbon and Branch

(BEST COCKTAILS WE’VE EVER HAD. We will make a trip to the city just for this place. It is now a favorite. Be sure to make a reservation to get a password to get in (so awesome, I know))

WEDNESDAY:

Breakfast at Top of the Mark

(Easy-shmezy but kinda gross)

Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park

(Super beautiful, very peaceful, except for all the tourists taking weird pictures of each other)

Lunch at Mariposa Pub at Haight & Ashbury

(Found it by accident, it was pretty good. But I don’t know that I would make it a destination (aka, find somewhere else))

Now, if you’re looking for an utterly good time, want to plan a trip to the city, but don’t want to do any research, THIS IS THE TRIP. I don’t know that there is much I would change… I don’t like to go somewhere where I have been before (usually), but, I WILL be returning to Tartine Bakery and Bourbon and Branch FOR CERTAIN.

It was a perfect trip with great people. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to me! So thankful that I would spend it with such great people. Do the trip, and love it.

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