As mentioned in my previous post on traveling with an infant, our little family took our first major trip earlier this month. We chose San Francisco, a city I have visited before but that my husband had not been to yet. We were entertaining a few options (Hawaii, the Turks and Caicos — where we went for our babymoon — elsewhere in the U.S.), but after much consideration felt SF would be a good option. For one, it has been so incredibly hot in North Carolina this summer, and we wanted to spend alot of time outdoors. Since it is on the bay, SF has much milder temperatures. Although we love hot weather and don’t mind being outside in the heat and humidity, we had to consider the comfort of the little one! I guess those people who love cold weather have a point when they say you can always add more layers to stay warm but you can only remove so many layers to stay cool. Ok fine. We also wanted to have things to do each day, so the islands were out. Our trip there was very low key and relaxing. Lots of time spent floating in the crystalline, perfect ocean and reading on the beach. Though this would be a good option for a couple, we figured the baby would get quite restless.
There is alot to do in SF, and we liked the option of sleeping in and relaxing in the airbnb if we were tired or if the baby was napping. We purposefully did not jam pack each day with events and aimed for one major outing per day. Here’s a breakdown of our time there!
Friday 7/1/16: Travel day
We relaxed in our beautiful, homey airbnb and got things organized and unpacked.
Saturday 7/2/16 : Ferry Building Farmers Market
We headed here in the morning for some breakfast and coffee. There were many vendors and we found some delicious hot food for breakfast. I got a yummy handmade pita wrap with a sweet and savory sausage, eggs, and cheese from a Middle Eastern food stand. N got a bowl of hot soup from an Asian stand. We sat by the water and enjoyed the sunshine, then walked around the market a bit more. There were some lovely specialty shops inside the Ferry Building. We finished things off with some yummy lavendar lemonade, then headed over to Chinatown to walk around (read: hike up giant hills) and got some great views of the water.
Sunday 7/3/16: Muir Woods and Sausalito
I booked this tour in advance and opted for the afternoon departure time so we would not be rushed in the morning. It was about an hour bus ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods National Monument, and we had an informative tour of the sights along the way. The actual redwoods were absolutely beautiful, and the smell was incredible! The air was so clean and refreshing, and the fragrance of the trees was something like I have never experienced. I would love to visit more redwoods in Northern California again. I hope to visit all of the national parks! The only thing about the tour was that I wish we had more time in the woods. We only got one hour there, and this was really not enough time. If you can drive yourself and spend more time there, it is worth it.
Following Muir Woods, we headed over to Sausalito, a quaint and picturesque town that is a ferry ride away from SF. We walked around a bit and took in the beautiful view of SF, and then headed back to the city.
Monday 7/4/16: Happy Independence Day and visiting Kristin
A dear friend of mine from medical school now lives in Mountain View, about 40 minutes outside of SF. We made plans to meet up at some point during our trip, and happily she was off for the holiday so we were able to drive out to meet her. We loved her area, for it was much sunnier and the weather was perfect that day. It was a nice respite from the clouds that can at times totally obscure the bridge! We took a nice walk to downtown and had delicious Israeli food at Oren’s Hummus Shop. The baby tried hummus and babaganoush for the first time and seemed to love it! We sat outside and enjoyed an amazing meal before heading back to Kristin’s for some ice cream and her homemade chocolate chip cookies. Heavenly!
After our visit, we headed over to see Google headquarters. The offices were closed due to the holiday, but it was nice walking around and checking out the outdoor space with their electric car charging ports, bicycles, adirondack chairs, droids, and T-rex statue. We then headed back to the airbnb for our usual nightly routine of getting baby bathed and asleep before ordering takeout.
Tuesday 7/5/16: Stanford
We were pretty bummed by the clouds and wanted to experience some sunshine again! We decided to drive to Palo Alto, about 35 minutes away, to check out Stanford University’s campus. I had driven up to it the last time I was in town, but had not gotten to walk around. All I can say is WOW what a beautiful campus!!! The main building is so incredibly magnificent. It even contains a cathedral which is so lovely inside. We also walked through the Rodin Sculpture Garden, one of the largest collections of Rodins in the world. I would have loved to check out the library, but we didn’t have enough time to make it over there. Maybe next time! It definitely made me nostalgic for my college days and brought out my inner nerd.
Wednesday 7/6/16: Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge
Well we couldn’t escape the clouds, and we kept putting off our walk across the bridge in hopes of a somewhat clear day (or clear 1-2 hours!) We sucked it up and decided to just go for it, and although it was quite windy and cloudy, we still enjoyed the walk across the bridge and were able to cross this off our bucket list. The clouds made for some eerily pretty photos, though! The bridge is 1.7 miles long, and you can also bike across it. Thank goodness we had our rain shield for the stroller, for although it did not rain, it really helped guard the baby from the strong winds. She slept most of the way (I guess the cars on the bridge served as white noise, plus she was bundled up and cozy!) After our trek, we had built up an appetite and headed to Starbelly for a delicious lunch. They had a heated outdoor space full of greenery, and we were the only ones out there so it felt like a private party! I had the fish tacos – yum! (You know I love them tacos).
Thursday 7/7/16: Going back home!
We had a super early flight which was tiring at first, but we were able to all knock out on the plane and felt rested by the time we reached back home that evening. The jet lag didn’t hit until the next day and seemed to drag on for days! And we didn’t have much time to recover as we were travelling to Philly the next weekend for a family party. Suffice it to say I am just starting to get back to my normal schedule and it’s almost August, ha!
A quick aside — while visiting Philly, we went to N’s cousin’s newly opened restaurant Tacoria Mexican Street Kitchen in New Brunswick, NJ. As mentioned above, I LOVEEE tacos and would eat them everyday if it wouldn’t make me 900 lbs. In fact, I had hardcore cravings for them during pregnancy too! I think it is partly an emotional attachment for that reason, lol. Anyway, we went up there for dinner and it was soooo yummy! The ingredients are really fresh and flavorful, and everything I tried there (bites of the various tacos, guac, grilled corn, burrito, and nachos) were all fantastic. Not only that, but the outdoor seating feels like you have stepped into another, older world. If you are in that area, I highly recommend it!
Have you been to SF? What are some places there you love to visit/eat?