California Road Trip: Day 6

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Hiked up the crazy curving Lombard Street.

Took a bus to the Mission District.

Stopped in a few shops on Valencia Street, including the McSweeney’s affiliated tutoring center 826 Valencia and Mission Cheese

Ran into some bus trouble, but finally found our way to Golden Gate Park.

Did some vintage shopping at Haight-Ashbury.

Walked two miles for some French soul food at Brenda’s, only to find that it’s closed for dinner on Tuesdays.

Took a bus back to our hotel and ate dinner at Indian Curry House.

Walked back through Little Italy to get a cannoli at Stella’s and ate it in Washington Square Park.

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Our second (and final) full day in San Francisco started with a walk back up Columbus Avenue to Mama’s for some highly recommended breakfast. What we didn’t expect was a line wrapping around the corner of the restaurant, and we decided we couldn’t fit that kind of wait into our already packed day. Instead, we grabbed a few pastries from a little Italian coffee shop and headed to Lombard Street. We trekked all the way to the top of the hill, and it was quite a hike. The views of the city and bay from the top were worth it though.

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The rest of the day was all lovely shops and delicious food. The highlights: 826 Valencia, Fellow Barber, Paxton Gate and a perfect sandwich on Valencia Street + Amoeba Records and so many vintage shops on Haight Street. My purchases: a geode necklace for Em from Afterlife, an 826 Valencia t-shirt, a pop-up San Francisco guide, and an embroidered dress from a vintage/second-hand shop in Haight-Ashbury.

We did have one bus mishap between the two districts (meaning we wandered between four corners of an intersection trying to figure out where that particular route picked up and barely missed the one we needed). However, we did make it to our destination. San Francisco’s public transportation is very comprehensive but a little overwhelming for visitors, so I’m impressed we were able to figure out three bus lines in a day.

The biggest disappoint of our stay? Walking all the way to the Tenderloin District for some French soul food only to realize the restaurant was closed. We were able to go through the city center on our way there, though, and saw the gorgeous city hall. (Sorry, by that time we were all pictured out.) We did salvage the evening and enjoyed a really satisfying Indian dinner right across the street from our hotel before walking back to Little Italy for a much-needed cannoli.

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Things I love about San Francisco

1. The architecture. I was so happy to be surrounded by colorful and ridiculous houses all day. My favorites were the ones with gold-painted accents. In the already brown desert that is the Phoenix-metro area, most people take their houses very seriously and paint them some gradient of brown. In San Francisco, I actually saw houses with concrete bows on them. Bows.

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2. The street art. Enough said.

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3. The bookstores. We probably only stopped in three or four, but I was certainly charmed by all the independent new and used bookstores in the city. It seems San Francisco loves literature and literature loves San Francisco. I spotted this poster in our hotel and put it on my wish list.

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4. The food. Pictured is our dinner from our last night, although I don’t think I met a meal in San Francisco that I didn’t like.

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