Yup, you read that title right, folks... Daniel and I totally did a thing. We shipped the kids off to grandma's for 2 weeks and we took a mini vacation up to San Francisco. And it was AH-MAY-ZING!!!! What started off as more of a work trip for Daniel turned into a getaway for us... if you wanna call it an extended anniversary celebration, you totally can lol - since you know, we already celebrated our anniversary at Disneyland back in March.
We flew up to Frisco on Wednesday (May 29th) morning. We weren't able to check into our hotel early, so we left our luggage with the front desk and took advantage of exploring the city a little bit. We stayed at Hotel Zelos, which is in the heart of Downtown San Francisco, and there were SO many things within walking distance from us. The convention center was a 4 minute walk away (which is where we spent majority of Fri, Sat and Sun), Union Square and all things shopping was right there in our "backyard" (our hotel sat on top of Old Navy and Trader Joes), and every type of restaurant you could think of surrounded us.
Our first night there, we tried a mom + pop shop hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Tacorea which was a Mexican + Korean food infused joint. Then after that we went to a "secret" bar known on the streets as Speak Easy (AKA Bourbon & Branch) - which requires a reservation online. Once you reserve a spot, they'll send you the directions, house rules, and password to get in via email. This place is so "secret" that we almost walked right on by it. The GPS told us we were near it, but because this place doesn't have a store-front sign OR even a visible address on the building, it took a homeless guy to notice that we were lost and asked us if we were lookin' for Bourban & Branch. When we said yes, he pointed to a building with a single door. If he didn't tell us where to go/look, we may never have found it on our own lol.
This bar sits on top of the original Speak Easy that existed back in the 1920s during the Prohibition era - when the sale and consumption of alcohol was illegal. The experience and ambiance of this place takes you back to that era. They serve drinks you won't find anywhere else and you definitely won't be able to order a cosmo or margarita here. One of their main house rules is: no cell phone usage while you're inside. If for some reason you need to make or take a phone call, they ask that you step outside to do it. So I have zero pictures of what it looks like on the inside or pictures of our overall experience. This picture right here is literally the ONLY "proof" we were even there. But I will say, the drinks I had were YUMMY and our entire experience there was a GOOD one so if you ever get the chance to go, you definitely should.
We did all the touristy things on Thursday. We bought a 1-day public transit pass to get around the city. We took the cable car all the way down to, what I thought was Fisherman's Wharf, but turned out to be the Port of San Francisco, which sits at the very beginning of ALL the piers.
Fisherman's Wharf was at the very end. Daniel had the bright idea to walk it because he said Fisherman's Wharf was just a couple of blocks away. The whole "couple blocks away" phrase became his thing our entire stay. And because he thought everything was only a couple blocks away, we did A LOT of walking that day and the entire trip. We walked past the Exploratorium all the way to Pier 39 where we had lunch and saw the sea lions.
Then we walked all the way up to and through Ghirardelli Square to the bus stop to wait for the bus that would take us to the Golden Gate Bridge.
We probably spent an hour reading up on all the historical facts and taking pictures before deciding to make the trip back to our hotel. We took the bus back to Ghirardelli Square and walked over to the Street Car stop. Because ya can't go to San Francisco and NOT ride the street car! Yeah, we waited about an hour to get on it because there were so many of us and I think it was also a shift change for the guys that drive the Street Cars. But it was the coolest thing ever.
After we got back to our hotel, we freshened up and returned back to the Exploratorium for their After Dark event which is catered to adults (meaning they served alcoholic beverages and you could explore the exhibits while having a cocktail) and only held on Thursday nights. But because we were so tired from our long day (and also starving) we didn't stay long. We hopped back on a cable bus that took us back to our hood. And then we walked "a couple blocks" to get some pho because we were hangry! We didn't get back to our hotel till almost midnight.
The rest of the weekend was spent at the Moscone Convention Center and we hung out with a few friends who were also there for the same event. After "work" we attended after-parties and went bar-hopping. We had such a great time that we kinda didn't wanna come back to reality. But it was a vacation well-deserved. We hadn't taken a trip like this (just the 2 of us) since we had Ella almost 4 years ago so it was nice to be able to just enjoy and reconnect with each other.
Have you ever been to San Francisco? Have you been able to go on vacation (or stay-cation) with your significant other without kids? If so, where have you gone? If not, where would you like to go?
Tags: #sanfrancisco #goldengatebridge #pier39 #ghirardellisquare #exploratorium #architecture #tourism #vacation #pier #bourbanandbranch #speakeasy #downtown #downtownsanfrancisco #minivacation #hotelzelos