Sometimes the best way to see the city you live in, to truly experience it, is to be a tourist with visitors. And when those visitors are family and friends you already love, that’s then a recipe for magic.
While I will always miss Chicago, yearn for aspects of Los Angeles, wonder what it would be like to live in New York City or Boston or Denver or even Washington DC, I love San Francisco. It is truly a beautiful city. I’ve mentioned this before to others, what makes San Francisco even more beautiful than most other cities and what makes it truly unique is what’s outside San Francisco, not just what’s in it.
And so it was that, with selfie stick in hand embracing the tourist that lives within me, with family and friends visiting, I decided to have an adventure, go travel and go live in the city that I live in. I never gave this thought a moment before, but I realized every time I am with a family member or friend, I am reminded of the first time I ever met them, and of the first time I loved them. And so it was the same on this particular weekend.
It started on Thursday and carried through Friday and ended on Saturday. If you’re looking for a three-day itinerary for what to do in the Bay Area, this is not a bad one.
Thursday’s in The Bay Area Are Awesome
I picked up my friend Christine and her friends at the airport to hang out in Nob Hill. Christine is the type of person, when you meet her, you notice how much she captures life, and how after saying goodbyes, you wish you can press rewind. She has great taste in friends, as I would find out over the weekend. We had lunch in The Mission at the Local Mission Eatery on 3111 24th St. The food was so fresh. I had the chicken salad sandwich. I broke off from the group to hang with my cousin Julie and her little girl Eden at Alta Plaza Park, where you have simply breathtaking views of the entire city. My cousin is literally one of the best people I’ve ever met, so full of love for those around her, and no matter how busy, always makes the time for those she loves. I found them playing in the sandbox with Eden’s friend Xander at the top of the world. There’s something fascinating about sand to a two-year-old. Afterwards, we went to her friend’s apartment in Pac Heights. After going home to hang out with Taylor, I left for dinner with my friends at The Slanted Door off the Embarcadero, leaving the restaurant looking at the beautifully lit Bay Bridge against the dark night sky.
Life is good.
Fridays in The Bay Area Are Awesome
I woke up for the sunrise in Sausalito, then headed into the city with Taylor to hike with our visiting friends at Lands End, starting at the Cliff House and walking towards the Presidio before looping back to settle down at Sutro Baths to take in the ocean scenes while sketching and painting. There are many beautiful hikes in the Bay Area. There is something about this one that is special. When Taylor and I first moved here, we would come here on the weekends, cos at the time I thought living in the city was an actual possibility. It would take over two months miserably living in a hotel in San Rafael for us to give up that dream. Hiking Lands End always made us feel better, that we were connected to both the city and nature. Sitting there with him just staring out into the sea was peaceful. Taylor had a ball of a time, while I drew as much as I could.
Taylor and I headed home. I went back out to meet up with both my friends visiting and friends living in the city into the Marina at Fort Mason to spend the evening at the city’s Friday night staple – Off the Grid, where there were all sorts of food trucks each showcasing all sorts of cuisine (the Nepalese and Indian being our favourite) as well as wine, beer and cocktails, all the while with live music playing. When it was all said and done, when my friends were reflecting upon their visit, Off the Grid was their favourite. Late night, some of us went to Chambers, a lounge at the Phoenix Hotel.
Life is good.
Saturdays in The Bay Area Are Awesome
Wine country is beautiful. And a perfect Saturday St Patrick’s Day weekend activity. I met my friends at Domaine Carneros, where we had a champagne flight. Sorry, a sparkling wine flight. Outside of weddings, I very rarely have sparkling wine or champagne. Domaine Carneros has amazing sparkling wine.
Afterwards, we took the scenic seven minute drive to Artesa, where they have the most incredible Pinot. We bought the Artesa Vintage 2013 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir. It was incredible. We drank it on the patio overlooking the vineyard.
Afterwards, we drove into the city for dinner at my favourite restaurant – Burma Superstar. The wait was over an hour and fifteen minutes. So we waited at The Bitter End, the bar I always go to when I am (inevitably) waiting on Burma. Of course once the restaurant was ready for us, I introduced them to my favourites – chili lamb, garlic shrimp, pumpkin shrimp, beef curry, tea leaf salad, samusas, and coconut rice. Dinner was a big hit.
Life is good.
I was sad to leave my friends. And I was sad to say goodbye to my cousin. But I was happy too, for an incredible weekend and for the next time I would see them again.
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.
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