Wednesday, February 27, 2013

San Francisco Weekend Trip

This past weekend I took a mini vacation to San Francisco to visit one of my best friends from high school, Mansee. She got a job at a PR company and moved out there last summer - she's pretty much awesome! Right after she moved I decided I needed to go visit her because how fun is Mansee + San Francisco?! This was my first round trip flight/vacation by myself and 3rd time on a plane by myself haha!

My flight was at 6:20AM on I had to get up super early which I'm not a fan of. Going through security in Austin at this time of morning is NOT fun but I didn't miss my flight so that's all that matters. I used miles on United to fly out there and was able to chose and economy plus flight for free and the leg room was amazing!

I got to SF at 8:30AM (love the time change going West) and Mansee met me at the airport. She had to work that day but could work from home so we were able to hang out all day. She lives in the trendy Mission District so there are tons of cute little restaurants. We went to Frjtz for lunch...they are known for their french fries!

After a yummy lunch we went back to Mansees and I napped while she worked. For dinner we walked to a cute little sandwich/salad place across the street from Mission Dolores Park. We went to bed early - the time change was getting to me and we had to be up early for our wine tour!

Friday morning we headed to the Embarcadero for our Napa Valley Wine Tour. My mom and I did this tour when we visited SF in summer of 09 and had a blast! The weather was PERFECT and we had so much fun! There were 23 people on our tour and we took a bus to Napa. We stopped at Vista Point to take some pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge after crossing it before continuing North.

Our bus driver/tour guide was full of knowledge so we learned all about the history of Napa/Sonoma Valley on our way there. Plus, the scenery was beautiful!

Our first stop was the Robert Mondavi Winery. We figured out by the end of the tour that we lucked out because somehow we ended up on the more expensive tour that included the tasting at Mondavi - score! We learned about the history of Mondavi and how they make wine - and of course tasted some - perfect way to start a Friday morning at 10am!

Our next stop was the Andretti Winery which also is where our included lunch was. This tasting was fun because you got to taste 5 wines. 2 whites & 2 reds. The 5th wine was the same as the 4th red but a younger wine right out of the barrel!

After lunch we headed over to the Menage a Trois Winery. This one was a smaller winery but Mansee and I liked their wine the best - and it was reasonably priced! I will definitely be buying some in the future.

Our last stop was the Franciscan Vineyards. We tasted 1 white and 2 reds here. The white was good but neither of us liked either of the reds. I guess we are no wine connoisseurs because these were the most expensive wines we tasted all day!

On this particular wine tour, instead of taking the bus back to SF you take a ferry! It was a nice change of pace and there were great views! We sat inside while we cruised by San Quentin State Prison (where all the CA death row inmates are kept) - talk about creepy...but prime real estate! Once the ferry started cruising we headed outside to take some pictures. Holy cow was it take a picture you had to try and brace yourself and snap before the wind blew you away. Pretty much like the wind Austin had on Monday!

Golden Gate Bridge
Literally being blown away!

Alcatraz with Golden Gate in the background
Sunday morning we took our time getting ready and headed back to the Embarcadero but this time to visit the farmers market! We walked around but didn't buy anything - but man did that stuff look yummy!

Beautiful tree on Mansee's street

After browsing the farmers market we set out on a mission to find the Boudins Cafe. If you've never been to California you must go just to have Boudins is the BEST sourdough bread EVER! It took us about 30 minutes to find the place but we finally did and then had an hour to kill before they opened so we went to a nearby coffee shop and had hot chocolate and talked. Once it hit 11:30 we made a B-line over to Boudins and got one delicious lunch. We both had breadbowls with soup and split a grilled cheese.

After carb loading we headed to the MUNI to go to the San Francisco Zoo. The ride took about 45 minutes and in no time we were at the zoo. Now let me just say that Mansee and I went back and forth about bringing our jackets because of all of the different micro-climates in SF. Well, I didn't bring my jacket and the zoo is literally right on the Pacific Ocean...oops! Once we were in the zoo it wasn't so bad but when that wind was blowing it was COLD. We saw so many animals and it was such a great zoo!

Giraffe just hanging out!
Had fun watching the Gorillas - when I was a baby I had a gorilla here -  a gift from my uncle - SO neat!
Penguins!! We watched these little guys for a while too!

This cracked me up!
Such pretty scenery
Adorable grizzly bear!
Polar bear!
Sweet chimp!
View of the ocean from the platform at the Lemur exhibit!
We saw lots of other animals but cell phones don't capture them quite as well as regular cameras do. After the zoo we headed to Union Square to do some shopping and then went back to Mansee's apartment and she took me to the best Mexican restaurant around! She vouched for their salsa and man was it good! We waited about 30 minutes but it was worth the wait! We celebrated National Margarita Day 1 day late :) too much wine on actual margarita day!

My flight wasn't until 5:30 Sunday afternoon so we had the whole morning to enjoy. We went over to Pier39 & Fisherman's Wharf. We were there fairly early so it was nice that it wasn't swarmed with people yet.

LOVE watching the Sea Lions - we finally had to move along because we could have spent all day there

Our original plan was to have sundaes at Ghirardelli for lunch but then my dad informed me that there is an In-N-Out Burger right at Fisherman's Wharf and Mansee has never been so we decided to forgo the unhealthy sundae for unhealthy fast food. Great decision! We each got a cheeseburger/fries and split a chocolate milkshake (because in CA they put the calories on their menu and we couldn't handle the amount of calories in a shake)!!

After our early lunch we walked over to Ghiardelli Square and went into the cute little shops, as well as the Ghiardelli store.

There is a pretty park with great views right in front of Ghiardelli so we stopped there to take some pictures before going back to Mansee's and watching Girls before I had to head to the airport.

 It was such a FUN weekend and was great to visit with Mansee. Next time I want to bring Justin so he can experience San Francisco!