For Day 2 of my visit to San Fran, I decided to split the recap up into 2 posts. I pretty much covered everything on my "must see" list during Day 2, so separate posts makes it easier for me to organize everything. Check out Part 1 of my visit here!
When I first scheduled my trip to Las Vegas for my brother's wedding (more on that later), I figured I would just extend my stay out west. I've never been further west than New Orleans, so it was time to explore somewhere new. After choosing San Francisco, I realized I had no idea what there was to do, where to eat, or anything in between.
After sleeping in till 6:00 AM (thanks jetlag!), I went onto Yelp to find a decent breakfast spot near my hotel. I didn't want to go to Starbucks (there was one 2 minutes from the hotel) or to another chain. The best reviews (and closest) location was a place called Mazarine Coffee. I took the 8 minute walk over to check it out.
According to their website, Mazarine was inspired by the very first public library in France, the Bibliothèque Mazarine:
"The idea that an artfully assembled collection might serve the public good struck a deep chord with us. We treat with curatorial zeal each new coffee that we source from the most accomplished roasters, each pastry that we select from our partner bakeries. We believe that the right sort of institution can serve, in turn, as an inspiration to its customers. We want Mazarine to be a place where you can appreciate the best coffees collected from all over the world, where you can have engaging conversations with friends and colleagues, and where you can accomplish your own great works."
I ordered a cappuccino, plus the eggs & avocado: Two Sous Vide Eggs, Avocado, Chives, Sea Salt, and Cracked Pepper on Toasted Pain de Mie. It was pretty good. If you've ever been to BREW in Jacksonville, it reminded me of their artisan toasts. I wasn't the biggest fan of the (really thick) bread, but the avocado was tasty, and the coffeehouse was cozy to sit in while I ate and people watched.
After I ate, I took the walk over to see the Painted Ladies. I was disappointed to see that the "viewing area" (imagine living here and having tourists constantly photographing your house! Not that I did that...) was having work done, so there was caution tape up everywhere.
The thing about San Francisco is, there are beautiful Victorian homes everywhere. I know that the Painted Ladies are famous, but there were so many houses that made me stop and stare. This one was super pretty, and probably super expensive...
Stop and smell the flowers...
I left the Painted Ladies and started on the super long walk to the Golden Gate Bridge. Along the way, I stumbled into Alta Plaza Park. If I had brought enough running gear, I probably would have spent some time running the stairs or the hills here. It would be a great spot to people watch, but I just took some city shots and went on my way again.
San Francisco's hills almost killed me. I run a lot, lift weights, and am in decent shape. But man, I was not prepared for just how hilly this place is. I even found myself running downhill at random parts, but not by choice.
During part 1 of my recap, I mentioned the guy I met at the bar on my first night. He told me that on my way to the bridge, I had to check out "this place with these things that are like ruins."
I (literally) ran right into them. The Palace of Fine Arts was first built for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915 in order to exhibit different works of art. It was rebuilt in 1965, but the newer structures still sit on the original site.
They're beautiful, and I'm glad that I stumbled into them. I feel like this would be a beautiful spot at night with all of the lights lit up, especially during a wedding.
On I went, on the longest walk ever. Since I decided to walk the full distance to the bridge (who needs Uber?), I was committing myself to many, many miles. I didn't care too much once I was within view - okay, maybe I did a little bit.
To tell the truth, when I first pictured San Francisco, all I envisioned was a big orange bridge with a small city next to it. I realized that the Golden Gate Bridge is a huge tourist attraction, but not really near a lot of the touristy areas.
After a super (!!!) long walk up different paths and roads, I finally made it! I've been told that unless you take a picture with the bridge, you didn't technically visit San Francisco. So, here you go.
My friends who have visited San Fran told me I should walk across the bridge, so I could see the Bay below me. I made it about 1/3 of the way across and immediately turned around. Part of it is that I'm afraid of heights, but I'm also terrified of being "wrong place, wrong time" to an engineering failure or something. Paranoid, I know.
After I took a few more pictures, I turned around to start the long walk back for lunch, drinks, and many, many more hills.
What's your go-to vacation breakfast?
Are you afraid of walking over bridges?