I hope all of you are staying warm and safe out there. We already have 12 inches of snow at 7am here in Falls Church!
I’ve found one of the MAJOR perks of working for the government versus the private sector is getting all the government holidays off! Having those random Mondays off every couple months makes for the perfect opportunity for a weekend getaway. Over Martin Luther King holiday weekend I took full advantage of having the Monday off with a long weekend in San Francisco. The weather was unseasonably warm and dry there, so it was in the mid 60′s and sunny pretty much the whole time. This seriously felt AMAZING after living in the polar vortex of D.C. I won’t bore you with every detail of our weekend, but I did want to share some highlights and suggestions in case you may be planning a trip in the future!
Coincidentally our friends from grad school (Jason and Mallory) were headed to the west coast the same weekend for a wedding. We were able to hook up with them Friday for the Alcatraz night tour. If you plan to do the Alcatraz tour be sure to order your tickets in advance….especially if you want to go at night. It books up a good 4-6 weeks ahead of time. I really wanted to do the night tour because I heard the sunset views are amazing, there are different programs/parts of the island that are open at night that aren’t open during the day, and lets be honest, if you’re going to a creepy place like Alcatraz, why not do it at night?! Here are some of my favorite pictures:
After the tour we headed to the “mission” neighborhood for dinner and drinks. This is definitely considered the more “hipster” part of town, with tons of dive bars (which was right up our alley). The Monk’s Kettle was delicious. They had a HUGE selection of craft beer (200 rotating beers) and the food was amazing. The place is small…we were actually a little worried when we got there because it was packed. Luckily the hostess was awesome and took down my phone number so we could go grab a beer somewhere else. She then texted us when our table was ready. When she took my number she immediately recognized the area code. She went to East Carolina for undergrad and actually grew up in Fairfax county (northern, VA). Such a small world! Definitely recommend this place if you are a beer and food lover!
Special Family Tour:
I have to give a special shout-out to my west coast family. My mom’s aunt and cousins live just outside of San Francisco, so they were nice enough to take us on a personal tour around San Fran: down the famous Lombard Street, along the coast down to Half Moon Bay, over to Stanford, past the new 49er’s stadium, and through Google’s campus in Mountain View. We ended the tour at my mom’s cousin Rob and his wife Mindy’s house where we got to enjoy a delicious dinner with the rest of the family (Aunt Donna, Stephanie, Sharon). The last time I was in San Francisco visiting I was just five years old! It was so fun seeing family I haven’t seen in years–and such a treat to get a personal tour of the southern part of the bay area we weren’t expecting to do. Thanks again
Fishermen’s Wharf and Golden Gate Park:
Sunday morning LJ and I set out on a run down to the fishermen’s wharf area. This is considered a pretty touristy area, but it was fun to check it out early in the morning by foot. We first looped around to see the sea lions, then we headed along the water to golden gate park. There were TONS of people out running/biking/walking. It was so nice seeing everyone so active! From where we stayed to the bridge was ~6 miles. We walked over the bridge, but only made it halfway because it was super crowded, windy, and cold! The views were gorgeous. We definitely lucked out with sunny weather!
On our way back from the golden gate bridge we checked out the Buena Vista Cafe (recommended by Jason and Mallory). They are known for their Irish coffees, which are pretty much sugar, coffee, whiskey, and heavy whipping cream (definitely a dietitians dream–good thing we ran before). It was so much fun watching the bartenders make these drinks. They were soo good (and strong)! The food was fairly good….but the main attraction is the Irish coffee. The fun thing about brunch there is they have a couple huge round tables. Whenever a spot opens up you sit down. I love meeting new people, so it was fun to sit with a bunch of random people and hear their stories. One couple had just dropped their son off at Berkley. They were originally from Pittsburgh (small world), but now lived in a small town between San Fran and LA. If you are in the area…..definitely stop in for a drink. I hear during the week (on slower days) the bartenders even do magic tricks…..!!
Our last night we went the Park Tavern Restaurant per recommendation of a friend. It was a little on the pricey side, but it was definitely worth it! We didn’t make a reservation in time, so we we sat at the bar area. This worked out perfectly because the bar area was huge. They have a large, gorgeous, wooden table with plenty of space to still have a nice “sit-down” dinner. Their cocktails are also delicious. I recommend “The Washington Square” martini
We had such a great trip! As always, vacation goes by way too fast. Now I’m counting down the days until we explore the northern Bay area and Napa in March
Stay warm and safe out there! I will be working on another post of my recent DIY project. If you follow me on Instagram (rfulrich)…then you got a sneak peek picture! I will give you a hint…it involves cabinets and painting.