When in San Francisco…

Katie and I just spent a week in San Francisco. Here are a few of our favorite things:

Favorite Bus Tour Stop: Muir Woods. Much like the pictures that can’t do it justice, neither can my words. Even if it’s just a small part of the beautiful forests stretching throughout California, you feel small under God’s grandeur. Beautiful trees had us looking up at something above us. That’s a good reminder every now and again.

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Favorite Coffee Shop: I feel like I got a fairly good look at the San Francisco coffee scene. Most mornings, I would pick a direction and walk. I’d stop in coffee shops, take a look around, and head on to another one if I wasn’t intrigued enough. The obvious stand-out in all of my forays was Sightglass Coffee. On 7th street, this sprawling, open-door building offered a great environment. Three-stories with depth and their own homemade blends. I also noticed their brews being sold in various coffee places throughout the city.

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Favorite Restaurant: Hops and Hominy / SPQR – A tie here, and really there are so many places we could throw in the mix. Hops and Hominy was a southern cooking place, very similar to Beasley’s or Crook’s Corner, even. The decorations were as fantastic as the mac and cheese. Meanwhile, SPQR goes down as our favorite fancy get-up. I booked reservations for the Chef’s Counter and Katie and I were stunned. We watched the feverish pace of the chef’s and enjoyed seeing the food come to life. Our mushroom soup, corn-stuffed ravioli, and smoked linguini were great.

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Favorite Book Store: City Lights Bookstore. Not only a wonderfully historic bookstore… but a wonderfully full bookstore. They had EVERYTHING. Including If This Be Treason by Gregory Rabassa (haven’t EVER seen it in a bookstore before).

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Favorite Pastime- When you have a chance to go to the spa… go to the spa. We stayed in the Huntington Hotel and shamelessly took advantage of the basement floor. Bathrobes, fresh fruit, hot tubs, and a verandah overlooking the city. Katie and I went together, but I’ll confess that I dropped in after a long walk back to the hotel a few times. Relaxing, in spite of the overeager pool guy.

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Favorite Conference: The Intersolar Conference. I had a HUGE crush on this girl from ABB.

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Favorite Weekend Activity: The farmer’s market at the Ferry Building on Saturday was sublime. Katie and I snagged breakfast with a view of the Bay Bridge before strolling the stands, outside and inside. Supposedly the largest farmer’s market in the country, we enjoyed our time and bought some fresh fruit. What we missed: The Porchetta Sandwiches- A local chef bragged to us about a food truck we needed to see. Sure enough, at 9:30 there was already a long line for a rotisserie food truck that smelled out of this world. Too bad we’d already had our breakfast and coffee.

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Favorites Without Pictures:

Brewery: 21st Amendment- Great beer and food. Try to avoid going there after a Giants vs Athletics game like we did.

Street: Fillmore Street. Even though we didn’t catch the jazz festival, we did catch a number of restaurants here throughout the week. If you’re unsure of where to eat or where to drink coffee or where to shop… stop here first. We tried three or four restaurants during the week, all rewarding in their own ways.

View: Coit Tower!

Worst Walk – California Street- We stayed at the top. Of everything. Walking back to our hotel was the equivalent of setting the treadmill to the highest incline and hitting go. If you’re not used to it, be ready to go up and down massive hills and get a proper work out in. I do love walking around a big city though. The picture below is me give Katie a sassy look after realizing what steep hills were waiting for us.

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