Monday, March 09, 2009

Weekend in San Francisco

What a weekend we had in San Francisco! It was so nice to get away for the weekend and spend time with good friends. I wish we had a bit more time though cos it went by so fast! I will def have to go back and visit plus the plane ride wasn't too long, only 2 hours there and 2 hours and 20 back. There was so much but I'll just write the highlights of each day!

Arrived around 8ish and went straight towards the shuttles to catch a ride directly to our hotel. By the time we arrived and checked into the hotel, Hotel Metropolis (cheapest rate in downtown SF Union Square at CDN $120/night), I was craving for a cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory! I wish we had one in Vancouver but then I would not be able to control myself and would have to eat cheesecake every weekend. That is not good cos these cheesecakes are HUGE and full of fat and sugar and probably a zillion calories! Gosh, the restaurant was super busy and packed, we didn't want to wait so we ordered a cheesecake to go. It was a long night and although we wanted to explore Union Square (super busy kind of like Robson street in Vancouver), we were both really tired and decided to call it a night.

In the morning, we woke up super early (not on purpose) cos we could not sleep! Our hotel is on the border of expensive downtown and Hastings Street, Vancouver which meant we had some loud and crazy neighbors. It was so noisy throughout the nite and really strange how different it was in front of our hotel. Walking out the front entrance, you must go left cos left is the high end shopping district and right is Hastings Street. Since we were up early, we decided to do a bit of exploring in our neighborhood, we were thinking about taking the trolley to Fisherman's Wharf but the cost is $5 and we didn't think the walk would be too bad. Gosh, did we ever do a lot of walking! We walked from Union Square, Market street to check out a couple of stores and then up the hill towards Fisherman's Wharf. Not realizing how far and wide downtown SF is, we ended up walking through Chinatown which was pretty cool and the architecture in the city is amazing. So much to see but our goal was to get ourselves to Fisherman's Wharf. It seems that we were walking thru Chinatown for a long time but we finally got directions towards Fisherman's Wharf. But instead, we ended up walking thru another neighborhood, Italy town where we saw more amazing buildings, restaurants and cute little boutiques. Again, we asked for direction and we were close! We ended up walking thru another neighborhood filled with really beautiful homes, heritage homes and we could feel and smell the ocean and knew we were close. The buildings were beautiful, a mix of modern and vintage, keeping the city's heritage. Finally, we arrived at Fisherman's Wharf and it wasn't too busy cos it was still early but the the crowds of tourists were forming. We walked through Pier 39 (Fisherman's Wharf) to check out all the shops and restaurants, we wanted to eat lunch there so we needed to see what suited our tastebuds and within our budget! We ended up a restaurant called Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, yes like the movie, Forrest Gump. Mostly known for shrimp, other items are served as well. We split a shrimp platter - which was amazing and both of us ordered a side, Jas ordered a side of veggies while I opted to go with a seafood chowder. After lunch, we decided to figure our way back to Union Square and do some shopping! We managed to figure out a route back to union square by taking a street car back downtown for $1.50 instead of spending $5 on the trolley. Our driver was like a mini tour guide, he gave us a bit of history or story to every stop we took. It was really cool! Once we reached our stop, we got off at Virgin Records cos VR is closing down (all the North American VRs are!) and a 30% off everything sale was going on in the entire store. We did some more shopping and wandering around Union Square ending up at Westfield, a huge shopping mall! Lots of stores and gosh all the damage that could be done! Lucky for us, we did so much walking and not that much shopping, I only ended up picking some souvenirs, gifts for the girls, Pumas for myself and a Hollister top on SALE - woot woot! Hollister in Vancouver had NADA on sale :( After a very long day, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel to rest up before the reception at Freeman's place in Oakland. We figured out how to take the BART to Freeman's place and it wasn't that bad nor too far of a walk but it seems that no one in Oakland walks from the station. We could see why, it wasn't particularly the safest or nicest neighborhood and there was NO ONE out walking! Once we arrived in their neighborhood, we found Freeman's loft and it was amazing! The loft is a huge corner unit with a private roof deck which had some amazing views and there was so much space up there, they even purchased a heat lamp for this occasion. Thank goodness for that cos it can get pretty chilly in the evening. We had a lovely time and meeting all of Freeman's close friends and family. It was a small and intimate gathering and we felt so honoured to be there and be part of this beautiful event.

Again, we woke up early to beautiful sunny weather in SF while Vancouver was cold and wet! Atho it was early, we decided to wait until lunch before hitting Jack in the Box for a sourdough jack and curly fries! Last nite, we made lunch plans with Free but in the morning plans had changed, it was decided that we would meet Tanya and friend for brunch and Free would meet us after at their Boba tea house, Tapioca Express in Berkeley. After JB, we headed over to Westfield to exchange the Hollister top (picked out the wrong size!!) and raced back to the hotel cos Tanya had rang us on Jas's cell, she was waiting at the hotel. Once in the car, we were not quite sure where to go cos Tanya and Gene wanted brunch but they also wanted to show us around the Marina. The drive to the Marina was really nice and San Fran is quite a beautiful city, once at the Marina, we noticed how similar it is to the OC or Yaletown with beautiful and snotty people and lots of cute boutiques. Gene found a place for brunch and it was super packed! Good brunch and great company, once we finished our meal, we decided to go for a walk and walk down to the ocean. I took some great scenic photos of the Golden Gate bridge and after the walk, which again was a lot of walking, we decided to head over to Berkeley for Boba tea. At Tapioca Express, we ordered some boba tea and appy's like fried chicken, mmm delish! Free had to drop off his cousins at the SF airport so he left first and we made plans to meet him for dinner. Tanya had a bit of work to do before leaving the tea house so Jas and I wandered down the street to this quaint little bookstore and I picked up a bibliography of Christian Dior by Marie France Pochna for only $10 USD. We decided to head back to Free and Tanya's loft to rest and relax on their couch. We girls chatted and talked and tried to decide where to have dinner, Lake (Free's wife) wanted asian and Tanya was craving hamburgers, we decided to Thai food. Gene had to catch a plane back to Los Angeles so he did not end up joining us for dinner and Free got back late (due to traffic coming back from SFO) so we snacked on nuts while Free took a quick power nap. The Thai restaurant we went to was quite yummy and the dishes were pretty interesting, a good mix of flavours but def not authentic thai, more asian fusion thai but still very yummy. After dinner, Free & Lake insisted on driving us back to the hotel and we got a scenic ride back, stopping by Treasure Island for some beautiful shots of the Oakland Bay bridge. It was really really cold but I did get one good shot! It was a great Sunday and it was so awesome spending it with such great people!

We checked out of the hotel a bit early (11ish) and decided to have a hearty American breakfast at a 50's dinner close to the hotel. Gosh, was it ever greasy but so good and oh so much food! We didn't have any plans so we just did a bit more wandering around Union Square, Free was suppose to meet us earlier but he didn't have a car and realize he had to meet the plumber which meant he wouldn't make it out until after 2pm. He really wanted to see us before we left so he made every effort to meet with us. We decided on having an early dinner so we could catch each other before we left for Vancouver. Our plane was due to leave at 7.55pm and we planned on taking the BART to the airport cos it would only cost us $4 where taking a taxi (at least $45) or a shuttle ($20) was a bit too much. Jas and I walked around Union Square a bit more and explored more shops, we didn't realize how many stores there were! We didn't buy anything of course cos most of these stores are high end designer stores. After shopping and walking, we decided to head over to Macy's and work our way up to the Cheesecake Factory located on the rooftop. I had to have one last cheesecake before we left SF cos we don't have cheesecake THIS GOOD in Vancouver. Free finally called us to say he was heading down by BART to meet up with us, we told him we were at the CF and he could join us there. Thank goodness, we decided to eat a bit before we left even tho we weren't that hungry, I did not realize how late it was going to be by the time we reached home! Of course, I had a cheesecake before we left but the portions (even lunch size) were humongous so thank goodness Free finished my pizza and I took the last 1/3 of my cheesecake to go. I figured I could enjoy it while I was waiting for our flight but I ended up throwing it out before checking in! Oh well, it was probably a good idea not to finish it! It was a lovely weekend and def not long enough! I am very excited for Free and Lake and wish them all the luck, happiness, prosperity and love in the world, I'm so glad he found someone so perfect for him cos he is awesome!!! Will def need to go back and spend more time in San Fran, maybe a family vacation :) Lots of photos but haven't edited them, will try to post them soon!

1 comment:

Joss said...

What fun! Your trip (and the cheesecake) sound amazing! I'm hoping to eat at Bubba Gump when we're there in September.