Long time no blog! I recently got back from an amazing trip to Northern California and I am so excited to recap everything that I did. It was a ten day trip and my family and I visited San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Since my family and I did so much while on this vacation, I am going to split my vacation recap into three posts (one per place) so they’re not so long and I can talk about everything we did. This post is all about our first stop: San Francisco. 


We arrived in San Francisco pretty early in the day so we did a lot considering that we woke up at four a.m. East Coast time and were awake for twenty (!!!) straight hours after that… gotta love time changes! First, we checked into our beautiful hotel, The Fairmont San Francisco. After freshening up, we walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf and explored a little bit. 

Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 is a pretty “tourist-y” area, lots of restaurants, souvenir shops, etc. but it was so fun to walk around for a bit. We ate at The Crab House for lunch… highly recommend it! Lots of fresh seafood but there are also plenty of non-seafood options for those (like me!) who don’t like fish. We also went down to the end of the pier and saw the sea lions which was so interesting. They were all just laying on the floating docks… there were probably twenty sea lions on one fairly small floating dock. It was hilarious to see them interact with each other! 

After a fair amount of walking around, we decided to walk down Lombard St. to see the beautiful view. It was breathtaking! Another kind of tourist-y thing to do, but it was totally worth it. What made the view on top of Lombard St. so cool was the unusually clear blue sky. We were able to clearly see the streets of San Fran all the way to the Bay bridge! For dinner that night, we kept it casual and went to Chinatown. It was definnitely fun to visit, but the walk to and from dinner was quite the workout… My inner New Yorker was not expecting such hilly streets. Overall, it was such a great first day! Check out some pictures from day one below: 

View from the top of Lombard St. 

Our hotel!

On our second day, we visited Alcatraz. We took a ferry to and from the island, which was really fun because we got to see the whole city from a whole new perspective. We were so lucky to have another clear day in the foggy city. 
My family did the audio tour at Alcatraz which was the perfect way to see the grounds. It was not as creepy and grimy as I expected it to be… It was very interesting to see how the prisoners really lived and what the conditions were like. The prison has been well kept but also does not look like a museum, if that makes sense. Basically, it has been renovated as needed but overall kept in its original state (as much as possible) since prisoners left. 

My sister and I met a real Alcatraz inmate who was there for the day doing a book signing! 
We walked around San Francisco the rest of the day and just explored. For dinner, we went to a super trendy restaurant, The Slanted Door. It was SO good. I would explain the food as modern Vietnamese… and insanely delicious! It was so good that I, the girl who doesn’t eat seafood whatsoever, ate some shrimp. I highly recommend dining there if you get the chance! It is also set at a great location, right across from the Bay Bridge so we snapped some great pictures that night! 

Wearing: Leather Jacket ; Macy’s | Crop Top ; American Apparel | Skirt ; Free People | Shoes ; Sam Edelman | Necklace ; BP Nordstrom 
Our third day in San Fran, we biked over the Golden Gate Bridge over to Sausalito, a cute little town with restaurants, shops etc. I’m not going to lie, I don’t really like bridges and I’m not the world’s best biker, so biking over the Golden Gate was definitely scary for me. It was insanely crowded and hectic which only added my nervousness… Not my highlight of the trip, but if you like bridges, great views and biking, it’s for you! 
While biking across the Golden Gate wasn’t so fun (for me), Sausalito definitely was. We grabbed some lunch, then did what else besides shop?! I found a great boutique, 2bella, with great clothes at great prices… Very similar to the boutique I work at! I bought a printed kimono, which is definitely not a piece I normally gravitate to, but it is super fun an different (pics to come later in the post!) I also bought a caramel colored, huge cozy cardigan. It is so warm and I can’t wait to wear it once it gets a little bit chillier!
We spent our last day in San Francisco visiting Haight Ashbury St. in the morning, and meeting up with some old family friends in the afternoon. I loved the Haight. It was such a cool area, and despite its bad reputation, it was definitely worth the trip. There were so many interesting boutiques with such unique merchandise, I bought another super cozy sweater (surprise, surprise…) and a hat! I never really wear hats, but I was in this one boutique and tried it on jokingly and fell in love with it. 
Here’s the hat! 
We visited our friends that live in Tiburon, which is not too far past Sausalito. Tiburon is the most adorable town… I kind of equate it to a California-vibe Princeton. It had nice boutiques including Vineyard Vines (!!) and stores like that, but also had some great boutiques and cafes. It was also the most beautiful scenery.. everywhere. Check out this side-of-the-road shot I took on the drive up! (San Fran is on the way left of the photo)

San Francisco was such a spectacular city and I can’t wait to share the next two spots on my vacation soon! Check back later this week for posts on my experience in Yosemite National Park and Carmel! 
Have you ever been to San Francisco? What did you do there? Any questions about my trip? Comment below! 
XO, Nicole 
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