California, here we comeeeee 🎶 (part 2) 

So after LA, San Diego, Joshua Tree, Vegas, Death Valley, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, it was time to head to San Francisco. The drive from Yosemite wasn’t bad and we were pleased to get back to an Airbnb. Our room was just south of the city and a quick drive or train ride. I had a nap in our comfy bed as I was tired after the drive, but once I was refreshed we headed into the city and over to Pier 39, a shopping and dining complex on the water. On the way we managed to get a chip on the windscreen of the rental car (which got worse throughout our trip – luckily we just handed the car back and didn’t have to pay anything). We had a wander and had a look in some of the most random shops like the left handed shop, the sock market and magnetron. We both fancied pizza so headed to Luigi’s. We were about to order a large pizza to share when the waiter advised us a small or medium would be fine. He was right, we didn’t finish the medium pizza. The weather was lovely, with blue skies, but drops to a stupid temperature after dark – we were not dressed for the weather. 

We had to do the touristy thing and have a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. Obviously we chose the foggiest day of our stay, so the main viewpoints we wanted to visit had absolutely no visibility. It’s a strange sensation when you can’t see more than 20 metres ahead. On our drive back over the bridge, the fog started to clear so we stopped off at Chrissy fields and managed to snap a couple of pics. We were lucky to have our car, but lots of people seemed happy cycling around the city or whizzing around on go kart tours (funny little yellow cars with audio commentary – such a novelty idea but I bet it’s pretty good). We followed google maps and Jack’s improving navigation skills to hunt down Doubtfire house. I wouldn’t have been able to spot the house in a line up as my memory of all things films is awful, but Jack spotted it and we both had flash backs to the film – definitely want to see it again. We were getting a bit peckish so drove towards home for a milkshake. I had been my organised self and found the best milkshake bars in SF. The one we visited was Tonys cable car restaurant. The restaurant is designed as a cable car which is cute and it only seats about 20. The milkshakes were so thick and cheap – deffo what we needed. Tired from darting all over town, we chilled pre dinner and then went for a curry.

As we were making our way around a variety of sports whilst travelling, Jack had booked for us to watch an ice hockey game in the evening, so we had a chilled day which started with brunch at Mama’s. This cute little restaurant is only open till 3pm each day and is a SF favourite with queues all the time. We waited about 45 mins for a table, but boy was it worth it. Just check out the picture below. Jack had a whopping omelette and I fancied something sweet so ordered French toast – that’s my allowance for the year used up. We both loved the food and at only $35 it was reasonable for how much food we had. We left SF to drive to San Jose for the Sharks game late afternoon. The drive was only meant to be 50 mins but took slightly longer with traffic so it was good we allowed more time than needed – as per. Dinner was fast food at Five Guys, then we had a drink pre game mainly to warm us up before entering the ice stadium. I actually really enjoyed the game and definitely would see another one. The funny thing with ice hockey is that they just fight each other and get put in the sin bin 😂- makes good entertainment. It did get a bit chilly towards the end, which wasn’t helped by the fact the sharks lost! 

Another day of sightseeing was on the cards for our last day in San Fran. We got the train into central to board the famous cable car. We had great weather which was good as the queues were pretty long. I doubt this is something that changes whether it is rainy or sunny. We took the cable car to the end of the line at Fishermans Wharf. By that time we were pretty hungry so stopped at Boudin (famous for its sourdough) for lunch. Jack tried the sourdough soup bowl which we are told is a SF staple and I was boring with a tuna sandwich – both were yum. There was a little arcade museum on the square so we tried our luck on some old fashioned games – we had a great time and spent $2. Some of the games dated back to the Victorian times. The cable car queue back was long again so we tried give it some time to reduce at Buena Vista, a bar/restaurant famous for its Irish coffee. I tried an Irish coffee and Jack had a Guinness out of respect as it happened to be St Patrick’s day. Union square is also really nice and is surrounded by shops. As we were heading to Toronto next, I was looking for a coat which I found in H&M for $30 – result! Dinner was another google find called La Taqueria which had amazing burritos for about £5 each. Everyone had the same idea as the queue was out the door.

The next day we had 6 hr drive to Santa Monica where we were spending our last couple of days. We were actually only meant to spend an afternoon there prior to our early flight out of LAX, but this plan changed as part of route 1 was closed. The drive didn’t seem that long as we stopped for petrol a couple of times and then at Subway for lunch – the veggie patty here is actually so good. We didn’t arrive till late afternoon so had a break from driving and then went out to experience In N Out burger for dinner. As a SoCal staple, it was packed, but the food wasn’t as good as we had expected so were a tiny but disappointed but glad we had tried it. 

We had unintentionally timed our stay in Santa Monica to coincide with the LA marathon (Santa Monica being the finish line) so everywhere was packed. I found a cute brunch place called M Street Kitchen where the food was great and the mimosas even better. After stuffing ourselves silly, we had a wander along the promenade and tried not to get run over by cyclists and roller skaters. I love Santa Monica as it is such a diverse place with everyone using the space how they want. We saw a lot of people in foil blankets after finishing the marathon which made us think about the London Marathon in a months time which my amazing mumma is running. We continued our walk along to Venice Beach which is a completely different scene of tattoo artists and people selling street art – such a fascinating place. We were yet to try Taco Bell so did so for our last dinner in the states. Again we were so underwhelmed. The veggie option was poor and although the food is super cheap, you would have to order two meals to be full which kind of defeats the object. Again, glad we tried it. 

An early start followed for our flight to Toronto which I will write about separately. 

I’m finishing this post whilst on a coach on the way back from Niagara Falls (sorry for the delay) on our last evening – can you believe it!!! 

Love as always xx


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