“NorCal is amazing!”
“NorCal is way better than SoCal,”
“You’re from SoCal and you’ve never been to San Francisco?”
These were just a few of the statements I would get on the daily while debating the areas of California to visit. Growing up part-time in Los Angeles, I can confirm that a third of those statements are true.
However, San Francisco is an outstanding city with a very pleasant suburbia surrounding the urban municipal. I had an incredible opportunity to visit this bouncing paradise for President’s weekend and it was one of the best weekends I have ever experienced in my life! Everything was a dream come true over in the north… except for all the Ubers I paid for.
Thursday afternoon, I landed in the outskirts of San Francisco, other words as known as, Oakland. My uncle in law who lives in El Cerrito, just north of UC Berkeley, was able to introduce me to the Bart, the main transit train that takes you around the Bay area. I never had any trouble in the past figuring out subways so it was fairly easy for me to figure out this kind of train!
Later that night, I explored downtown Berkeley and stumbled upon the cutest affluent streets. I also learned that UC Berkeley is also on a hill, just like the University of Utah. I then came across the cutest gourmet ice cream parlor on one of the streets of Berkeley, and this is a MUST pit stop for any ice cream lovers!
(Ici Ice Cream, 2948 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705)
The next day, I traveled across the Bay Bridge into the city. It was a long journey, but the view was definitely worth it! Driving through the city for the first time felt like stimulating through a foreign city, it was very overwhelming and confusing. How many subsections of San Francisco were there??
I stayed with one of my best friends, who attends the University of San Francisco, and that campus is very urban and modern – definitely different from the U! Here is the view from his apartment.
My two friends and I went and did a touristy trip – which was Fisherman’s Wharf! I have never experienced so much rain in my life at the time, even when I was in London last summer! Walking on the PIER 39 felt like I was going fishing even though I have never fished in my life. Either way, we had bomb Mexican food! If you ever come across this restaurant, you have to order yourself a Pork Flautas Platter, and don’t forget your strawberry margarita!
(Mango’s Taqueria & Cantina, PIER 39, San Francisco, CA, 94133)
In the evening, we went and ate at one of the fanciest restaurants in the city, the Mona Lisa. It was right in the center of downtown, right next to the Financial District, otherwise known as Columbus Ave. Their fettuccini was to die for! And what’s better than taking a walk through the Financial District after a ravishing Italian meal? Also, do yourself a favor and ride a cable car if you’re in ever in San Francisco. It’s a classic over there!
(Mona Lisa Restaurant, 353 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133)
The next day I did the most San Francisco touristy thing anyone can do – I walked the Golden Gate Bridge! Twice! I didn’t find myself having to stop to take a breath or get a drink of water, even though the bridge was a mile long. It must be the elevation.
My friends and I then walked through Golden Gate park and it was such a beautiful scenery to notice. It is even bigger than Central Park in New York City! This is also the park where all the dogs roam around and are free from their leashed lives.
Later that night, we made the trek to the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge – Sausalito! We came across the nicest sushi restaurant and me being a sushi fanatic, I actually did not order sushi. I ended up ordering the Satsuma Wagyu, which is a Japanese beef striploin. The food tasted delicious and I would do anything experience that taste again!
(Sushi Ran, 107 Caledonia St, Sausalito, CA 94965)
My night owl came ‘outta me and I circled right back to Columbus Ave where the bar, the Devil’s Acre was screaming my name! I died after having a Manhattan but what can I say? San Francisco is the place to live, in that certain context.
The next morning, I came to a realization that I had to get rid of dude smell, so I took a detour on my own to Union Square. I loved the vibe of the unique downtown spot. So many boutiques and mainstream stores (Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, etc.) and a devouring brunch restaurant. Everyone who visits San Francisco NEEDS to check out this adorable breakfast joint. They serve the BEST sausage rolls in the world!
(Sears Fine Food, 439 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102)
Besides walking around the downtown district of Union Square, I took an easy Sunday stroll all day. Very relaxing… Overall, this was one of the best solo trips I have ever taken. This was definitely one where I learned some new aspects about myself; I learned that this trip made me very ambitious about what I want to do in my life, and also being more open-minded about trying new things!
I’m super incredibly thankful that this was the first trip that I spend all of my OWN money, not any of my parents’ cash. Here’s to adulthood, am I right?
Now onto the next destination…