Friday, February 6, 2015

Snapshots of San Francisco


Though I may have been raised in Seattle, I was born in the Bay Area and still consider myself a California girl at heart. (Sorry I'm not sorry, Seahawks. Go Niners!) Half of my family still lives in California, so I jump at the opportunity to visit any chance I get. 

Between visiting my parents in Phoenix and Seattle over Christmas break, I hopped over to the Bay Area to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday. Despite the countless times I've been to San Francisco to visit my family, I had never really seen any of the famous sights or truly gotten to know the city. So on this trip, I set out to change that.

San Francisco's Ferry Building Marketplace, also known as foodie mecca.

Maybe I got extra special treatment because I came all the way from Spain, but my family and friends bent over backwards to give me phenomenal tours of San Francisco. My aunt and uncle organized an SF Tour Extraordinaire for the entire family, and my best friend Meghan drove all the way up from Newport Beach to see me! 

Cocktail hour at Waterbar on the Embarcadero

After celebrating Christmas in San Francisco with my family, I got to spend a couple of days exploring the city with my friends.  They put up with me dragging them to the Golden Gate Bridge, showed me the coolest bars, and just about changed my life by taking me to get late night tacos in the Mission. 

After the whiskey bars, brunches and Muni rides, I met back up with my family for the second part of my San Francisco 101 tour. We hopped on the Bart and started our day off at the Ferry Building Marketplace, where I was elated to find a gluten free bakery and the best coffee I'd had all month. After fueling up with cappuccinos and pastries, we trekked up to the Coit Tower. We climbed an endless amount of stairs until I'm pretty sure I burned off every Christmas calorie consumed ( ...or maybe just the tacos from El Farolito the night before).

Blue Bottle Coffee, I think I love you.

We admired the views from Coit Tower, taking in the stunning panoramas of the Bay Bridge, Golden Gate bridge and city skyline. Then, like every good part Italian family, we wandered back down into North Beach for some much-needed Italian food. We feasted at Original Joe's, an old favorite of my mom's, and watched the Niners beat the Cardinals. It was the perfect introduction to San Francisco, and I ended the day wishing I had more time to explore. 

The Ferry Building at dusk
Not every friend drives 7 hours to see you when you're finally in the same country again!

The verdict: I could definitely see myself living in San Francisco someday. Though ideally I'd prefer to live somewhere with more sunshine, San Francisco feels like home to me. Maybe it's because I grew up listening to my mom's stories of working in SF, I've spent countless holidays visiting my family in the area, and the city somewhat reminds me of Seattle in many ways. (And of course, despite the fervent hatred I get from my fellow Seattleites, the 49ers will always be my favorite football team.) 

Nevertheless, when the time comes for me to eventually move back to the States, you can bet that I'll be applying to grad schools in San Francisco! 


My San Francisco Picks:
Best Whiskey Bar: Rye
Favorite Restaurant: Waterbar
Favorite Views of the Golden Gate Bridge: Crissy Field
Best Late Night Tacos: El Farolito
Can't-Miss Coffee: Blue Bottle

29 comments:

  1. Ahhhh, your photos are gorgeous as always! I'm hoping to visit San Francisco this year and will definitely bookmark this post so I can save your recommendations :)

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  2. I've never been to SF but have always wanted to go and your gorgeous pictures are definitely adding to the wanderlust :)

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  3. YES YES YES. I'm heading there mid-March and I'm taking notes! (You can also share some GF recommendations if you have any :D) It's weird that you say you prefer somewhere with more sunshine because I've always thought of SF as the sunniest place ever! But that might just be from all the movies and altercated memories of the last time I was there... in elementary school. I love that because you've been abroad for so long, you were able to treat your hometown like a new city, looking through fresh eyes! :)

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  4. Wow, your photos of SF are gorgeous!! I've been wanting to visit again since I have a lot of friends who have moved there in the past year or two. But seeing this post makes me REALLY want to go back! Seriously, your first pic of the bridge is stunning!!!

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  5. aw always wanted to be a California girl! Totally jealous! Really want to visit San Fran one day :)

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  6. It looks like you had a ton of fun in SF! The façades of those houses are gorgeous, I love the pastel colours!

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  7. Great pictures! It's always fun to see "home" through someone else's eyes.

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  8. Wow this looks so fun! How great that you had such good tour guides in your family and friends :) I'm about to spend some time seeing home through a tourist's eyes... can't wait!

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  9. Great that you got to know it! It is amazing how may cities I have never truly known despite having lived so close to them!

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  10. I've always wanted to go to SF, mainly thanks to full house. I hope I get to go one day!

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  11. Thanks Setarra! I hope you get to visit SF this year! :)

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  12. You've gotta go! It's such a fantastic place. There's so many cool things to see and delicious things to eat! What else could you ask for? ;)

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  13. You're going to have such a fantastic time there! But bring a jacket - it's definitely not a warm and sunny place year round! You have to go to the Mariposa GF bakery in the Ferry Building, it's soooo good :)

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  14. Thanks Sara! That means a lot coming from a great photographer such as yourself! :)

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  15. I hope you get to visit someday! It's such a beautiful city!

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  16. Me too - the colorful buildings are one of my favorite parts about San Francisco! (And I'll definitely say the same about Spain... I sense a theme here!)

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  17. I love playing tourist at home (or in a city I know well) because you get to see the city through a different perspective! I hope you have a great time back home rediscovering your favorite parts about NZ :)

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  18. Exactly! The places right under our noses offer so much to be discovered!

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  19. Hahah so true. I begged my family and friends to take me to the Full House places, but sadly time did not allow for it. Next time ;) Here's hoping you make it there someday soon!

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  20. Your photos are so beautiful (of such a pretty city!)-- you got really lucky with great weather and lighting, it looks like! Last time I went to SF I could barely see the bridge through the fog. Eesh. I can understand your equal California/Washington love. I lived in the Bay Area when I was a tot so I always feel like I could easily return and love all things California :)

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  21. As always your pics are freakin phenom. You capture all of the places you've been so beautifully. It makes me want to sit down and finally learn more about my camera.. maybe one day....

    I've only been to San Francisco once and don't remember it too well.. but you're pictures are pushing me to go back! Cali here I come

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  22. Thanks friend! Finding the time to sit down and learn it all is tough, pero vale la pena! And any time you want to go on a photo adventure, just holler :)

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  23. Thanks Cynthia! The weather certainly worked in my favor, so I can't complain :) I feel like most Washingtonians I've met have lived in CA at one point or another... just another thing to bond us together, haha!

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  24. Wow these pictures are *gorgeous*! You've captured it beautifully, doubt any city could look as gorgeous right now ;) haha

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  25. Oh man do I heart San Francisco! Next time you go try the 'Secret Breakfast' ice cream at Humphry Slocombe (they also have a location in the Ferry building)... it is bourbon + cornflake ice cream. They also have a Blue Bottle coffee flavored! Sooo yummy.

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  26. BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE ICE CREAM?!?!?! Stop. I need to go back to SF right now just for that...

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