My mom’s family moved to San Fransisco her senior year of university. She finished high school there and then went to UCLA before coming back and finish in the bay area at Berkley. My mom lived there throughout her 20s and 30s until she married my dad at 35, her sister still lives in the Bay area to this day, and my grandparents lived there until 2003 when they moved to Palm Desert. San Fransisco is incredibly special to my mom, and we went there a lot as children. My dad always said he was afraid she would go back and never come home. So when thinking of birthday surprises, a girls weekend in San Fransisco was an obvious choice.
Thursday, August 25th
arrive at 2- We checked into Marriott fishermen’s Wharf - Surprise details- I had to run in while mom and aunt unloaded the car, I told my mom it was under my name, so I needed to check us in. I explained to the check in lady that my mom didn’t know that we were only staying there that night and that my sister would be checking in that night, and I needed to give her name so she could get a key.
Fishermen’s Wharf- once we settled into the hotel we went down to the wharf area. I don’t have too many memories of doing touristy things because when I came to San Fransisco, it was always Family Stuff. I thought it was cool to see I couldn’t believe they had an In-N-Out (Even though they are a draw for tourist they rarely are far from a highway/interstate as a part of their original model). We also walked into the National Park Museum of maritime history (it was the national parks 100th birthday so we needed to do something to honor it)
Ghirardelli Square- before we left for the trip I mentioned I wanted to go to Ghirardelli square (for the chocolate of course) I asked if she had ever been there? She laughed because she had worked there back in college and high school at a famous restaurant that's no longer there. Back then the square had been happening and had all sorts of cool shops. Now it's pretty much all Ghirardelli chocolate shops with a few boutiques.
Patagonia- my mom took me to the original Patagonia store that around the corner from all this.
^MOM infront of her old store (its now a home)
Filmore Street- My mom’s dream was to open her own store which she did between 1985-1992 the store was located on Filmore Street, which she closed when she married my Dad and moved to Utah. She never regretted closing it and moving on, but she always refused to drive past or near it. When we decided to head to SF, she called her best friend and asked her to make reservations for some place hip cool and trendy. Instead, she chooses the unthinkable a restaurant on Fillmore Street calledJackson Fillmore Trattoria.
I had been to Fillmore street once before with my aunt and knew it was a cute trendy street with stores like Alice and Olivia, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, and some boutiques. She was sad to see the change there were less than ten places that were the same as when her shop was there.
Jackson Fillmore Trattoria- Jacksons opened a year or two after my mom opened her store. The food is traditional Italian and very good. But as for my decor, my mom says it looks like they painted when they began back in 1988 and hadn't painted it since.
Paragon Bar-we went to drinks after to continue talking. We went to a bar around the corner from my mom's friend. It's also right at AT&T Park where the Giants play. The place is cute, and we had a very good time.
The First Surprise- as I mentioned I left Ali’s name for her so she could sneak in and surprise mom. Her flight landed at 11:30 and we were fast asleep. Unfortunately, the front desk wouldn’t let her up because I left Ali instead of Alexandra. She called me and woke me up, and I had to get her. She walked in and got in mom's bed, and she was like super freaked out and didn't really know what was going on. She let her get back to sleep, but when she woke up she was like “I didn’t know if I dreamt it or not”
Friday, August 26th
Surprise 2- in the morning after mom got her wits about her she noticed there was the hotel bill and asked if we Weren’t checking out today why it was dropped off. We told her we had a surprise and to pack her bags. She said “Are we staying at Lowes? (i may have dropped too many clues). We said yes and she got very excited and asked if we could check in now (it was 6 am). She called and asked if our room was ready and found we had two rooms and didn’t know why we needed two rooms for Three of us. Luckily the rooms were ready we moved in.
Union Square- for Lunch We had to go to Niemen Marcus. Which meant walking around Union Square and going to the shops. I love Union Square it's so central everything is there. I was most amazed to see the Levi store was gone (which is amazing because it was huge and its heritage store), in its place was this gorgeous apple store that is just unbearable with three story windows that slide open and close.
Neiman Marcus- Neiman’s itself is just amazing, and you have to walk around before you sit. The restaurant there is even better we go for the pop-overs but you know the stuff you actually pay for is good too. But the mmmmmm the plovers and strawberry butter yum yum. The restraint also surrounds this beautiful stain glass dome.
Lucas Studios- George Lucas’ Studios are in the Presidio and have taken over some 20 old army buildings and are using them so beautifully. The studios aren’t actually open to the public as they are where they actually work. But they have a cute little Yoda fountain, and you can go into the foyer, and they have a few costumes.
Walt Disney Museum- also in the Presidio is the Walt Disney and Family museum. The museum was set up by one of his daughters who lives in Napa and holds the history of Walt Disney including an amazing replica of Disneyland. There's 2 exhibits the percent one about Walt's life and then a changing one. Last time I was there, it was the drawings of snow white and this time we went and saw the drawings from Pinocchio.
Surprise- the girls were landing around 2, and we didn’t leave the museum till then, so I got a little scared. They might beat us there. When we got back, i hadn’t heard anything from them but told them to text me when they were in the lobby. I hadn’t really heard from them, so I took a bath and well… the video sees (note Ali came in and told mom there was present for her and she's and thinks it's the champagne)
drinks- the hotel has drinks out on the “sky deck” at 5pm so we went down and looked out and opened presents.
Bix- Ali had planned to go to SF a few months prior with my mom and did some recon on some of my mom's favorite places. One of the places that came up was Bix this cool local restaurant that lies in an ally way. The food is amazing, and the atmosphere is somewhere in-between a jazz club and speakeasy. We had so much fun, and the waiter was so great. The family foodies (aka not me) approved. My mom loved sharing her favorite places with us my oldest sister had only been to SF one other time.
- side note after dinner my sister texted her friend who’s hip cool and trendy where should we go out for drinks her suggestion was theres this cool place called bix you might like (this was a place my mom had gone to back in the 80’s)
Saturday, August 27th
beach chalet- one of my favorite place because it's just so beautiful sitting on the opposite side of the road from the beach and on the second level, so you get these amazing ocean views.
Golden Gate Bridge- my mom used to run the bridge every day from Marin to SF and back. I had never walked the bridge, so we planned to walk one way.
Nap and Go cars - mom, Ali and me all went back to the hotel after lunch but Sam and Jess went to find these mini cars we saw at the Golden Gate Bridge. They said they were really fun, and you could go pretty fast. There like $60 for an hour you can get one car for two people, but they wanted to "race" so they got their own. I was really bummed that I was so tired because it looked so fun.
Trattoria Contadina- this is family tradition most recently my sister Heather 21st birthday party. Prior my dad was introduced to my grandparent for the first time. My mom went there all the time when she was younger for other things as well. The place has been owned by the same family forever our server was the grandson of the couple that started the place as well the son of the one son who tried opening one in Marin. The food is incredible. The queen had the food brought to her yacht when she was in town. My mom also said when she brought my dad to meet her parents he said "Pamela we can go somewhere nice" and then when he got his food he was like okay I get it this is well worth it.
Sunday August 28th
Eagle Cafe- the last stop was at Pier 39. Eagle Cafe was there before it was piece 39. when they went to build Pier 39 they were able to get everyone else to move except eagle cafe so they agreed that they would keep the cafe and literally move it and then set it back down up to the top level. The cafe used to be more of a dive but now is kind of more cute. Piece 39 is known for the seals, so we had to go check them out before we head out.
fly home -we had sold the car in Monterey (we had never planned on driving home the drive between slc and sf is just being from Reno on there is literally nothing) originally we were going to rent a car and return in sf
P.S I met Emma Watson in the elevator