Archive for May, 2008

Many people have asked me what my favorite part of San Francisco was, and honestly, I cannot pick out one thing to call my favorite. I loved it all. Seriously. From the time we got off the plane until we left again, I loved it. Okay, there was a brief time on the bus as we drove through the rough part of town that I didn’t love, and I wasn’t terribly crazy about the people on the streets asking for money, but you get that in any large city. But I loved everything else. When we first arrived in SF and stepped out of the airport, I could feel the cool breeze and it was so refreshing, so different from the air in Denver. I loved being close to the water, I loved taking public transportation everywhere, I loved the beautiful flowers and plants everywhere, I loved walking up the hills, I love seeing all the quintessential San Francisco sites, I loved the different cultures represented, I LOVED IT ALL (can you tell?).

Jason and I even had a brief conversation while we were there about what it would take to live in San Francisco (but that conversation was short-lived, as we realized we would have to sell our souls and be forever in debt to live there) because we loved it so much. I am not sure if the love-fest would continue if we actually did live there, but we sure loved visiting.

But if I HAVE to pick my favorites, they would be:
Cliff House (not so much the house, but the beach and the view)
North Beach
Lombard Street
Japanese Tea Gardens

I hope we get the opportunity to visit San Francisco again someday. We loved it!


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SF Day 3

Sunday was our last day in SF, and we woke up a beautiful, sunny day! We headed to North Beach, where I had the most amazing breakfast. We went into a little bakery, and I ordered homemade granola with yogurt and fresh fruit. It was outstanding, and I wish I had it again right now!
We then headed to Fisherman’s Wharf to catch the ferry to Alcatraz. We arrived a bit early, and Jason was still hungry, so we stopped to get him some tea and a crepe to snack on. It was a banana and Nutella crepe, and I LOVE Nutella! We then walked down and hopped on the boat over to Alcatraz.

We really, really enjoyed our visit to Alcatraz. The history of the island is so amazing–I had no idea that families of the prison guards lived on the island, and I didn’t know that a group of American Indians lived on the island for 19 months in the sixties (after the prison closed) to protest being forced onto reservations. The audio tour of the prison was very good, and the flowers and birds on the island were beautiful. We loved it and spent several hours out there!

We did a little shopping on the Wharf when we got back, and had In ‘N Out for lunch (Jason’s favorite). We spent a little time that afternoon in Chinatown (not as long as I wanted), then headed to our hotel for another nap. We had dinner at The Stinking Rose, a garlic restaurant in North Beach, and had an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista. It is right off one of the cable car lines, so it was so fun to sit inside and sip our coffee as we looked out the window at the twinking lights outside and the cable cars going by.
We then took a very fun cable car ride back and walked to our hotel. It was a wonderful way to end our wonderful trip to San Francisco!
The boat to Alcatraz

On the ride over to the island

One of the cells–I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was so tiny

The view of the city from the island

There were THOUSANDS of seagulls on the island! Apparently it is a wonderful habitat for birds, because there are no predators around. It is seagull nesting season, so there were tons of them sitting on nests. They even had part of the island closed to visitors so the gulls would not be disturbed.

One of the windows in an original building on the island. I just love it because of the contrast between light and dark (plus if you look closely, you can see a sailboat off in the distance).

The flowers on the island were beautiful! I was so excited to see calla lillies, because I have only seen them in flower shops!

Our lunch stop

Dinner (see the sign above? “We season our garlic with a little food.” They even had garlic wine, garlic martinis and garlic ice cream!)

I was still full from our late lunch, so I only had salad.

Jason had lamb wtih garlic mashed potatoes

Mmmmm, Irish coffee

Our last cable car ride of the trip

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SF Day 2

We woke up Saturday to a cool and drizzly day, but that did not slow us down! We had breakfast at a little cafe in North Beach (SF’s Little Italy), which was very good, and then we walked over to Coit Tower. We didn’t go up into the tower, but I walked through the bottom of the tower to look at the murals. We then walked down all those steps and caught the bus to the Golden Gate Bridge!

It was pretty amazing to be at such an iconic landmark. We walked about halfway across, and honestly, I didn’t love that part of it. I am not a huge fan of being suspended high up the air, so all I could think as we were walking was how freaked out I was. I didn’t get near the edge and walked as close to the traffic side as possible. We were amazed, though, at the enormity of the bridge and how they could possibly build such a structure. It is beautiful and a must-see.

After the bridge, we headed to Golden Gate Park. We walked through the Botanic Gardens and then the Japanese tea gardens, where we stopped for tea and snacks. It was beautiful, and we really enjoyed that.

We then headed back towards “home” and stopped for some quick Chinese food close to Union Square. Once at our hotel, we took a nice, long nap!

For dinner that night, we had reservations at the Cliff House to celebrate our anniversary, and it was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. The Cliff House is on the west side of San Francisco and has a beautiful beach with AMAZING views of the Pacific Ocean, plus a really cool history. We arrived shortly before our reservation time, but I wish we had arrived much sooner to spend some time on the beach. I LOVE the ocean and could have looked at that view for hours.

Our dinner was great–I had crab cakes and halibut, which was very fresh and very good. After dinner, we took the bus back to our hotel and called it a night. It was another wonderful day!

Our breakfast stop in North Beach–I had a prosciutto omelet (I LOVE prosciutto!) and coffee. We also stopped for lattes before heading to our next stop to help us warm up in the damp, chilly weather!

Coit Tower

That’s me on the steps coming down from Coit Tower

See, I was really there!

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the entrance

Jason kept talking about how many people commit suicide by jumping off the bridge each year, which did absolutely nothing to help my anxiety level

Our yummy snack in the tea garden–I had jasmine tea and Jason had green tea

That is the Cliff House in the upper right corner

View of the beach in front of the Cliff House

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To celebrate our 5 year anniversary, we decided to spend the weekend in SF. We left Denver Friday around 11:30 in the morning, after dropping the pugs off at Moxie’s house. Once we arrived in SF, we took the BART to downtown SF and walked to our hotel. We stayed at the Intercontinental San Francisco at 5th Street and Howard (found a great deal online!) which just opened in Febrary and was amazing! We were on the 22nd floor in a corner room, so two of our walls were floor to ceiling windows!
We were too excited to sit around, so we headed to catch the cable car, located just a few blocks from our hotel. The line was LONG and the car was CROWDED, but it’s something you have to do in SF! We went first to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we stopped at one of the seafood stands. I had a crab sandwich, and Jason had fish and chips. Yum! We were so excited, though, that I forgot to take a picture! We then went to Ghirardelli Square–Jason had the World Famous Chocolate Sundae, and I had a brownie sundae. On our way to the chocolate shop, we passed the Keane Eyes Gallery, and we HAD to stop in! Moxie’s mom has a pug print from the gallery, and it is beautiful! Unfortunately the painting I wanted was $22,000, which just wasn’t in the budget. But check out the website–the artist paint things with big eyes and has several pug pieces. My favorite was the fawn momma pug with the black and fawn babies on the gold background.
After Ghirardelli Square, we headed to Lombard Street, “the crookedest street in the world” (pictured in earlier post), which was one of my favorite things in SF! Because we used public transportation while we were there, we didn’t get to drive down the street, but we did start at the top and take the stairs down. The landscaping was AMAZING (beautiful hydrangeas growing all along the street) and beautiful red brick paving. You just don’t see things like that in Denver!

After Lombard Street, we headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf. We walked up Pier 39 and looked through some shops and visited the sealions. They were so funny! We then took the bus back to the hotel and had an evening snack of wine and cheese before we called it a night!

Jason having fun on the cable car

My sundae! I can’t believe I am saying this, but it was almost too chocolatey for me (the brownie part especially). I could only eat half, and Jason finished it off for me (after devouring his own!).

Those crazy sealions–they were so entertaining!

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San Francisco!

Our trip summed up in one word: AWESOME!

We spent the last 2 1/2 days exploring San Francisco and had a wonderful time! We loved it and have lots of pictures to share, which will be coming soon!

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Birthday Fun!

To celebrate the pugs’ birthdays, we celebrated with cookies and presents. Oscar received a football cookie for his “gotcha” day, and he and Daisy shared it.

Mmmmmm, waiting for the cookie!
Wow, that was good!
I LOVE this picture! I was trying to get Oscar mid-lick, but his tongue was just sticking straight out!
Sweet Daisy
Cookies, Round 2!
Waiting for our cookies!
Daisy and Oscar received new collars for their birthdays–we will have to show them off one day. We are so thankful for our little puggies and are so happy to celebrate another wonderful year with them!
Hope everyone has a great, long weekend!

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Today, Daisy is celebrating her 4th birthday! I can’t believe my little pug girl is 4 already. She has brought such joy to my life, and I can’t imagine how boring our lives might be without our dogs. Daisy lives her life with such vivaciousness and never meets a stranger. I love this little girl!

Tonight we will celebrate with doggie cookies and bully sticks (we meaning Daisy and Oscar not Jason and me). And tomorrow we get to go see Moxie!

(FYI, Moxie is Daisy’s best gal pal. The two have been buddies since they were just babies! Anytime we say “Moxie!” Daisy’s head tilts, and she gets all excited. Moxie came to visit recently while her parents were out of town.)

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