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San Francisco in Three Days: a travel diary

Three Days in San Francisco | College with Caitlyn

So if you missed it somehow, I went to San Francisco last weekend for my fall break. It was my first ever weekend trip (that involved a plane), and it made me feel like a real adult because adults take weekend trips. Anywho, I decided to take a trip for my very short (Saturday through Tuesday) break because I’ve wanted to visit San Francisco for years and my best friend actually transferred to SFSU this semester. As soon as she told me she got in I was all, “I’m coming to visit.”

I wish I could have flown in Friday morning or afternoon, but I had a midterm Friday morning so I left on a later flight. I had a layover in Detriot where I had to switch flights because mine was delayed, and I got to sit by a cute guy on that flight so I’m not complaining. Plus, I got to watch Going In Style, which is such a good movie by the way.

Once I got to the San Francisco airport, I met up with Emma and then waited for my bag. I had to check it on my first flight because it was a small plane and the suitcase wouldn’t fit in the overhead. Unlucky for me, the bag didn’t switch flights like I did in Detriot, so we had to wait at the airport for another hour and a half for it to come in. The baggage lady was sweet enough to give me $15 to use in the food court though so it was all good.

On Saturday morning I wrote out an itinerary for us. I wanted to be able to visit all the things on my list and we had very little time because she had to work both Saturday and Sunday night, and she had class Monday and Tuesday morning. We kept it light on Saturday and just visited the Golden Gate Bridge and the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps.

Golden Gate Bridge

Honestly, the bridge wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be. I think it would have been a better sight had it be foggy or we were able to go at sunrise or sunset though. I was amazed at how blue the water was, but that’s probably only because the Ohio River is literally brown.

Walking on the bridge felt super surreal and I still feel like I wasn’t actually there. But I have the pictures to prove it so I guess it wasn’t a dream.

16th Avenue Tiled Steps

The tiled steps were super pretty, but to get to them you have to walk up a majorly steep hill for two or three blocks. Normally, I wouldn’t have minded but for some reason that morning I felt really faint and had a killer migraine. I was probably dehydrated and needed sustenance because as soon as we got to a Mexican place for lunch and started wolfing down tortilla chips I felt better.

Speaking of lunch though, if you ever go to San Francisco you have to go to El Toreador. It is the cutest little Mexican place and the food is amazing. Best guac I’ve had in years and the food didn’t make me feel gross and greasy after.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

I Got Baked in San Francisco | Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

Because I’m an Insta-stalker, I knew I had to visit this bakery before leaving. Honestly, I knew nothing about the things they actually served at the bakery. I just really wanted a picture of the sign. #SorryNotSorry

After reading Molly’s post about San Francisco spots I decided we should get to the bakery as early as possible. But we accidentally slept in and ended up getting there a little bit before 10 a.m. on Saturday. Somehow there wasn’t even a long line so that was amazing.

I got a churro croissant and some doughnut that I can’t remember the name of. The croissant was nice, and it had filling! I so wasn’t expecting it so that was interesting but like good interesting.

The Painted Ladies

Emma wanted to take an Uber to Alamo Park from the bakery, but I convinced her to walk and I’m so glad. I know San Francisco is super hilly, but I love being able to walk places, especially when the buildings are as beautiful as they are there.

As soon as we got to the park, I made a beeline straight for the side with the Painted Ladies. We didn’t go anywhere else in Alamo Park and I really regret it. The foliage was gorgeous and I kind of wish we went and just sat in the middle of the park for a little bit.

It’s okay though, I’ll have plenty of time to do that when I move to San Francisco. (Only half joking).

Also, can we please look at the contrast between me and Emma posing in front of the Painted Ladies? I was fangirling hardcore and she was so indifferent. This girl has never seen an episode of Full House! Please tell me you think she’s crazy, too!

Full House House

Full House house 1709 Broderick St

First up, the Full House house is a good mile or so walk from the Painted Ladies. A lot of people get confused and think one of the Painted Ladies is the Tanner’s supposed home, or that it’s right around the corner. Just no. Please do your research.

Up until this point, I really wasn’t too too impressed by anything we had seen. But as soon as this house came into view I was in awe. I didn’t want to leave and I had to tell Emma to wait before calling an Uber to take us to lunch. I really didn’t want to leave.

I was the tiniest bit upset because the original red door isn’t on the house right now so it looked really different. They had to remove the door because they are updating the foundation of the house and doing other work on it and didn’t want it to get damaged.

If you want to find the house, here’s the address: 1709 Broderick Street

next to Full House house San Francisco Broderick St

As Emma isn’t a Full House fan, she wasn’t paying too much attention to the house. Instead, she turned to the house to the left of it and said, “I think this one is better.” I do have to say, this one is more aesthically pleasing, but it doesn’t have the history!!

Billy Goat Hill Park

After eating one of the best burgers of my life at VeganBurg and buying Rupi Kuar’s poetry books at the BookSmith in Haight, Emma and I headed out for a viewing point. Literally that morning I had found a BuzzFeed article listing things to see in San Francisco and this park was on the list. I originally only wanted to go because there was supposed to be a rope swing there, but it had been torn down. So that was a bummer, but the view was still phenomenal.

Philz Coffee and Embarcadero

On Monday after Emma was done with class, we headed down to the Embarcadero. As soon as we came up from the muni cable station I was in love with this part of town. It reminded me of what I think Boston would look like with all the brick buildings and Emma said it reminded her of New York.

This part of town was also my favorite because it was crawling with cute boys all dressed up for work. No shame.

We stopped to get some coffee and a snack at Philz Coffee per recommendation from Kelsey and it was a little disappointing but an experience. This coffee shop was set up like no other I’ve been to. You get in line and wait for a barista to call on you, you walk up and tell them what you want and while you run off to pay they make your drink and then you sit on the benches in front of the line of baristas and can watch them work while they make your drink.

I got an iced Ecstatic, no cream and sugar with almond milk and I did not like it. My coffee was super watery, but Emma got an iced Tescora which had dark chocolate in it, which I really liked. I don’t like sweet coffee (why I opt out of cream and sugar) and I really liked this. I don’t think I could have done it had it been milk chocolate though.

Sidenote, Philz serves all their coffee in cups that usually only hold hot coffee so that was freaky. I felt like I should have been burning my tongue on the drink with each sip, but instead, I heard the ice hit the lid. So that was trippy.

Alcatraz

Our Alcatraz tour was hands down one of the things I was the most excited about. We originally talked about doing a night tour, but the tickets sold out for those before Emma was able to secure her work schedule.

We went out on a 3:50 boat and I think it was the perfect time because it was just starting to cool down and we got to experience the sunset while coming back from the island.

After about a ten minute ride, we were at the island and ready to explore. First, we stopped by the little bookstore out front and I bought a sweatshirt that I’ve worn way too many times already. Then we headed up the hill to the prison to do our audio tour.

Basically, you get a pair of headphones and mp3 player that guides you through the prison. It tells you where to walk and stories about each section from former guards and prisoners themselves! It was so creepy to hear the prisoners talk.

Speaking of creepy, at the end of the tour Emma said she felt creeped out and picked up on some bad vibes while on tour. She even said she was kind of glad we weren’t able to do the night tour. I, on the other hand, didn’t feel anything, and still want to go at night.

Fisherman’s Wharf

My last stop on the trip was the ever famous Fisherman’s Wharf. We arrived right around peak sunset time, so I ducked into a shop real quick to buy some souvenir t-shirts for me and my family and then we headed to the end of the pier.

I cannot get over how beautiful this sunset was, y’all.

After the getting enough sunset pictures and listening to the loud seals, we went back down the pier and ate dinner at Swiss Louis. It was super fancy, and we were totally underdressed in our tanktops, jeans and sneakers but we didn’t care. We enjoyed our huge portions of sourdough bread and pasta while having amazing life conversation and reminiscing.

Nothing like eating overpriced Italian food while overlooking the bay with your best friend to make you feel like a real adult, right?


And that’s everything I did in San Francisco!

Well, besides spending like four hours at the airport because somehow security only took five minutes and my flight was delayed due to the fires. But I wasn’t too bitter about it because it was then that I found I was accepted into my school’s study abroad program!! I also just realized that in literally three months I will be in a different country. Whoa.

Have you ever been to San Francisco?

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  • San Francisco’s so much fun! I went a few years ago. I also spent a few days in Berkeley. All the food there is amazing.

    http://www.goldclutter.com

    • I didn’t get a chance to visit any neighboring cities because of time, but I really wanted to see Oakland! And yeah the food was pretty dang good out there!

      xo
      Caitlyn

  • I love love LOVE this post!!! You were so descriptive and thorough – I want to go back to SF now, haha. I haven’t been since I was little, but you’ve inspired me to reach out to a friend that lives in the area to stop in for a visit sometime soon :-) (also, your friend is crazy, I would have freaked out about the house from Full House too!)

    • omg girl you so nice. You should totally reach out and head back there for a few days!! And maybe sneak in a visit to the Full House house, too. *wink wink*

      xo
      Caitlyn