Last month, O and I hopped on a plane and after 3 hours of watching Meg Ryan movies in the sky, we landed kid-free in the city where we were became boyfriend and girlfriend, spent most our engagement and were married: San Francisco.
We both went to college in the Bay Area, I spent the majority of my high school years there as well and coming back has always felt a little bit like home. Even though O is Canadian, his sister also made the jump to head across the country and live in the Golden State years ago. She and her husband are such wonderful hosts and since O lived with her during his off-seasons during our dating and engagement, it’s only fitting we stay there “just like old times” every time we visit.
Main Street Burger, friends. I don’t eat the burgers and shakes anymore but you better believe I stopped in for my favorite fries. Praise hands.
Maybe it’s just us, but vacations preeetttty much rotate around food. Good food. Nostalgic food. And for us, the Bay Area always means one thing: Icing on the Cake. We always choose a meal a trip to just go hard in the paint and forget for a moment we’re plant based eaters. This was that one. Icing on the Cake is in my old neighborhood, the house I “grew up in” through my teen years. O asked me to be his girlfriend with a red velvet cupcake from this shop. They made our wedding cake two years later. I celebrated graduating from college with their cake two years after that and when we returned for our first vacation without Oshiolema you can guess where we drove for dessert. It’s sweet in more ways than one to us.
(totally got this bag to use as a library bag. super win.)
It’s important for my health that I don’t eat gluten so I only had a bite of one non-gf treat, but the gluten free items are the best I’ve ever tasted. Please, please friends- if you live anywhere near this place, go there and have a peanut butter cookie or slice of banana loaf for me.
the decaf almond milk vanilla latte at Cafe Reveille was the best of my life. dreaming of this every since
Jane on Filmore is an absolute must visit- the gluten free bread with jam + my favorite latte blew me away.
Another favorite travel indulgence for me is coffee. I’m not a coffee connoisseur, friends. I’m just not. You know by now- strictly decaf, strictly sweet, mostly coconut creamer. It’s not fancy or snooty, but I still would say I love coffee. “Really good” coffee usually doesn’t taste awesome to me (pass the creamer, please) but great branding, a beautiful space and coffee that doesn’t taste like coffee grounds is my ultimate happy place.
Something I really miss about living in the city is the constant inspiration. Now, Mondays are my work days where I leave the house and might make it to a nearby coffee shop. Maybe a restaurant for lunch. There may be some inspiration, maybe not. But in San Francisco? You’d have to be a. blind b. a hermit to avoid endless inspiration. The street art, the flowers, the homes, the graphic design and branding of every shop you pass..it’s just there spilling out of everything. As a person really drawn to aesthetics, this fuels me to no end. I kept telling O “I’m just so happy!” Because everywhere we went I couldn’t put down my camera. If my camera is out and I can’t stop snapping you know I’m just beaming inside.
We spent two nights at the Four Seasons because room service is just something we look forward to with all the heart-eyes. It’s what genuinely makes a trip feel like a vacation for us so we really prioritize that. It’s always nice, also, to hit the gym after a couple days of more indulgent eating and get a really good sweat. The best part about the Four Seasons here is that Equinox gym is open to guests. I can’t describe how it feels to be in such a fancy gym, guys. I think being a competitive person makes my workouts reliant on my surroundings and this place is pretty much my peak best self. I could have worked out forever…but we had some gf/vegan pizza being delivered and a girl’s gotta have priorities, right?
The last day of our trip was spent driving to Half Moon Bay to watch one of my sweetest friends’ say I Do. We had our first date in California in Half Moon Bay (I wore a red and white striped H&M dressed which I bought just for this date. I’ll never get rid of it I love it so much!) so this place is really special for us too. It’s a little bit over an hour drive from the city and our favorite way to spend a drive is with a ‘How I Built This’ podcast and listening to the songs we’d play on road trips when we were dating in this city 9 years ago. Lots of Usher, Damien Rice, Kings of Leon, and old school R&B. Nothing like driving the coast with the windows down and your feel-goods blasting!
I was able to see some of my favorite people that I haven’t been able to actually hug and hold in person since before I’ve become a mom. It’s such a crazy thought and something I always say won’t happen but life blurs past and before I know it, it’s been 5 years. Why does that happen? And how?
We’ll be back to California in the fall with the babes in tow this time and I can’t wait to do it all again. The trip is always a little bit different with the littles- lots more parks and museums, lots less late nights and sleeping in, but it is so much fun to bring them around the world with us and show them the places that make us feel warm, fuzzy, and every great feeling. Thanks for the memories as always, San Francisco.