San Francisco, Calif.

San Francisco skyline

Here’s the breakdown of my favorite places:

❶ Colorado. Of course. Do you have a week and a half for me to tell you all the reasons why?

❷ San Francisco.

❸ New York City.

❹ Paris.

❺ All the other terrific places I’ve had the privilege of seeing. There’s a lot of good ones out there.

But today we are gathered to talk about the city by the bay, the one and only… Bay City, Michigan.

Kidding! Just checking to make sure you are all paying attention. I’ve never actually been to Bay City, Mich., but it sounds promising. There’s a tab on their Downtown Bay City website that examines the particulars of what makes a city cool. So there you go.

Today, for reals and for trues, we are going to talk about San Francisco.

San Francisco marina

I’m a bit predisposed to love S.F. My family has been established in the area for generations, leading to a pretty serious kind of love for the place embedded deep in my bones. As such, I’ve visited this city by the bay almost once a year for my entire life. Over that time I’ve seen most of the top destinations: dipped my toes in the freezing Pacific Ocean, climbed more city hills than seemed advisable in a single day, watched fortune cookies get folded in China Town, explored the Poetry Room at City Lights Bookstore, ventured across the Golden Gate Bridge, heard the slam of the cell doors at Alcatraz, zipped on a cable car ride…well, you get the idea.

Therefore, on my most recent trip out to visit family (my brother being the most recent addition to the family unit residing there), we decided to forgo any definite plans and instead allow ourselves to simply wander and take the city in as we came upon it.

San Francisco Bay Bridge

Succulents

Chris (the brother unit previously mentioned) took the entire week of our visit off from work. Giving us a full, uninterrupted week to wreak havoc hang out. An  event that doesn’t happen much any more, now that we’re both employed full-time-and-a-half with careers and adulthood and all the trappings that accompany it. (And especially since he left Colorado to pursue his dreams in the great beyond. The punk.)

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Deciding to not make a solid itinerary for a trip can be a bit of a wild card move. If you don’t have a schedule, you may spend too much time not doing much of anything. Which can result in feelings of loss, lawlessness, lethargy, and inevitably, a strong craving for a cup of coffee and probably chocolate cake.

On the other hand, not having a schedule to which you must adhere allows you to embrace spontaneity at its finest. Follow where your feet lead and spend as long as you’d like, wherever you’d like.

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

Such as at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

Or Baker Beach.

Golden Gate Bridge

Baker Beach San Francisco

Baker Beach San Francisco

Baker Beach San Francisco

Baker Beach San Francisco

A beach at which we had what my grandfather characterized as a “San Francisco experience” — nude sunbathing. We encountered nude sunbathers that is, just hanging out oh so nonchalantly right there on the beach. We ourselves didn’t sunbathe in the nude. I should probably make that clear.

Sea fishmerman

Baker Beach San Francisco

Chris and I did however inadvertently create the album cover for our first volume of alt rock karaoke inspired by Queen. You should hear about our envisioned rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It will break your heart. And most likely your eardrums.

Baker Beach San Francisco

….yep….

Fort Mason

Eureka Restaurant Berkeley

Eureka Restaurant Berkeley

Vine covered wall

One of my favorite day trips during our week together was a drive up to Sonoma, California. Wine country.

Sonoma California

Sonoma California

Old door in Sonoma California

Bartholomew Park Winery

Wine country gets a gold star, a medal, and the grandest trophy you can get for $20 (hey, we’re a budgeted household). We had a marvelous time in the sunny and serene Sonoma. Immediately upon arriving at the first winery of our tour I felt all anxiety melt away. They should bottle up that feeling and sell it to the masses. Oh wait…

Wine tasting aside though, the beauty of those rolling hills will do the soul good. I guarantee.

Wineries we hit up: Bartholomew Park Winery | Roche Winery | Kunde Family Winery

Cactus in Sonoma

So this has been a bit of a free-for-all recap, hasn’t it? I’ve been trying to find the right words to eloquently summarize our visit, my love for this particular bay city, the complexity of the metropolis. But nothing is jiving.

Instead, I’ll finish off with few more photos to wrap this travel diary up. San Francisco is a very beautiful place; I’ll let her speak for herself.

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco flowers

San Francisco plants

Sutro Baths

San Francisco skyline

San Francisco yellow house

San Francisco Bay Bridge

San Francisco Sunset

San Francisco, you’re top notch. A real dream boat. Much love to you and to my family members who gave us a place to stay, dinners, breakfasts, good conversation, adventure recommendations and continuous care and support in life.

And if you, dear reader, made it to the end of this mammoth post, then you are a champion. We’ll see if we can get wine country to share its $20 trophy with you.

SIGNED, anya elise



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *