As many of you know, the husband and I took a quick four day trip to San Francisco and Mendocino for Labor Day Weekend. I was going to write a whole recap post but instead decided to just incorporate that into my Five on Friday post and break down my five favorite places/moments.
(as in literally hills – not to be confused with The Hills show starring Lauren Conrad)
I usually make plans and itineraries for trips. I google & yelp everything until I have a fairly certain idea on how each day will breakdown.
This trips was NOT like that. I had every intention to google & plan, but then… well, life happened and I never got around to it. So, on our first morning in San Francisco we literally just took off walking and hoped for the best.
Our hotel was in the Union Square area so one of the very first streets we hit was around Nob Hill (literally a giant hill). It turns out San Francisco is very hilly (note to self: basic knowledge of a destination would be a good thing to have). Once we were walking it seemed like we were never getting anywhere since we kept going up and down super steep hills. But ultimately every hill we went up on was in a beautiful neighborhood and/or led to a beautiful view of the city or the bay. Even though it was quite a workout, I am so glad we ended up just walking with no general plan or direction. Plus we felt like we really earned all that food we consumed 😉
(I hope you all just started singing Rollin’ by Limp Biskit in your heads. You’re welcome)
After walking for what seemed like 100 miles and being no closer to getting to the Golden Gate, we sporadically decided to stop and rent bikes. Again, very unlike me since usually I would have researched the rental places, bike paths, ferry routes, etc.
We ended up biking all the way up to the bridge & across with the intention of biking right back. However, when we were almost all the way through we said f’ it, lets just bike all the way down to Sausalito and catch a ferry back. Mind you we didn’t know which way to go, how far Sausalito was, where the ferry was located, how much it cost or what time it left.
Not planning any of it ended up making it such a good experience. Renting a bike is such a fun way to see a city! It’s quicker and you can cover more ground than walking, AND it’s a lot more active and engaging than taking a bus or a taxi. I can’t speak to biking in any other cities, but doing it in San Francisco was amazing. There were bike path’s & signs everywhere that made it super easy & convenient.
I’m never going to forget biking across the Golden Gate bridge. Or the way my hair flew for this picture.
Of course after all that activity we had to get a treat! I know this was such a touristy thing to do, but we were tourists for pete’s sake! And, well, CHOCOLATE.
We stopped over at Ghirardelli Square and devoured a delicious dark chocolate sunday. It was worth every single calorie.
Ok, let’s be real. We loved it so much that we went the next day and ate another one 🙂
On the third day of our trip we rented a car and drove up to Mendocino. Originally we were going to go to Napa, but everything was sold out and we’d heard a few people comment how commercial it had become. At the random recommendation from a complete stranger we decided instead to head to Mendocino.
Before we got there, I wrongly assumed we were going to stay in town. It turns out, Mendocino isn’t even large enough to be called a town. It’s actually Mendocino Village.
The village is a tiny little thing located in the most beautiful location. It’s literally on a cliff by the Pacific Ocean. If you ever watched Gilmore Girls, think Stars Hollow, but smaller and on the coast. Everything was so adorable that I just wanted to scoop it up and put in my pocket! There was a jam shop people. A whole shop just for jams.
We stayed at the Joshua Grindle Inn, a very small Bed & Breakfast owned by the sweetest couple. Our room was actually the little cottage in the picture.
Whales & Wine
Given that we drove all the way to Mendocino to replace the Napa experience, we figured we should probably get ourselves a little wine. Thanks to my husbands quick last minute googling we headed to the Pacific Star Winery.
The property is cliff side and has insane views of the ocean. There are tons of chairs and picnic tables right on the edge of the cliff for patrons to sip on their wine. Apparently people can often spot gray whales while there since the spot is right on the migration path.
We walked in on a holiday weekend with no reservation or plan and we had no issues getting a tasting. The owner, Sally poured our wines and we got to taste 6 different kinds for $5. At this stage I got slightly drunk and decided that we needed to stay and wait for the whales.
We bought a bottle of wine, sat on the cliff and sipped for hours. It was incredible.
Unfortunately I didn’t see any whales. But, the location was so beautiful that the trip was more than worth it. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend.
I hope you all have a great weekend!