Weekend in San Francisco (+ vlog!)

August 30, 2019

Last Friday (the day after I finished my second-to-last class ever at SCAD), my mom and I took a 5-day staycation in San Francisco. It was longer than a weekend, but shorter than a week, so I’m just calling it a weekend even though it wasn’t really, but I digress.

There are a few reasons why I love a staycation: You don’t have to travel far, if you forget something, it’s not too hard to go home to get it, and it gives you the opportunity to go to all those places and try all those restaurants you always said you’ll go to, but the whole the-closer-you-are-to-something-the-less-likely-you-are-to-go complex takes over and you end up never going.

Weekend in San Francisco

I’m an only child and up until 4 years ago, my mom was a stay-at-home mom, so naturally we’re very close. We have a business together, my mom takes all of my outfit pictures, and she puts up with all of my anxious Type A control freak antics—believe me, there are a lot of them. She’s the Yin to my Yang, we’re best friends, and all that sappy business.

I moved to the Bay Area from Connecticut now 13 years ago. When we had just moved to California, one of my parent’s friends told me that the place you spend your formative teenage years is the place you will grow most attached to. Coming the suburbs of New York City, I couldn’t believe there could be a city as incredible as New York, but lo and behold, San Francisco stole my heart. It was the first big city I explored on my own without my parents and the city that made me discover I was truly a city person.

Weekend in San Francisco

On Friday, we traveled the long, arduous 20 minute train ride to San Francisco where we checked into our bed and breakfast. We were originally planning to stay at an Airbnb, but San Francisco is quite an expensive city, so all the Airbnbs that were available cost quite a few pretty pennies. My mom found this amazing deal for a charming bed and breakfast in the Alamo Square neighborhood called The Grove Inn.

Weekend in San Francisco
Our room was in the front of the house.

We walked to the Mission, shopped around their cute boutiques, and had dinner at Gracias Madre.

Weekend in San Francisco
Weekend in San Francisco

Saturday, we started the morning off at The Mill.

Weekend in San Francisco
Weekend in San Francisco
Weekend in San Francisco

Then, we did tea tasting at Song Tea, walked around Fillmore Street, had brunch at Jane on Fillmore, and walked around Japantown. I don’t go to Japantown often as it’s not the most easily accessible neighborhood via train, but they have a bookstore called Kinokuniya that is always really fun to check out. As the kids would have said 3 years ago, their Japanese fashion magazine selection is on fleek. I could spend hours ogling over the pretty pictures.

Weekend in San Francisco
Weekend in San Francisco

Our inn was located one block away from the Painted Ladies. We wanted to catch a sunset at the Painted Ladies, but the fog brought in these dark heavy clouds that looked like they were reigning in Armageddon, so there was no sunset to be had.

Weekend in San Francisco

Sunday, took Muni to the Outer Sunset neighborhood for this annual free yoga event at Ocean Beach. We got brunch at Outerlands and saw a movie in the afternoon. I work really hard all the time and have a lot of trouble treating myself to things like movies because my fixation on efficiency tells me my time and money could be spent elsewhere, like working. But let me tell you, I was actually looking forward to seeing this movie more than anything else this weekend. Something about sinking into a cushy reclining chair in a dark theatre and letting my mind be swept away in a visual masterpiece for a few hours seemed luxurious. Something that gets me somber is I think I was culturally more well-rounded of a person when I was in my late teens. I did independent study for high school, so I had a lot of time to explore my passions and immerse myself in the diverse culture of the Bay Area. My mom and I would frequently go to San Francisco and do everything: visit museums, see obscure foreign films, and just pick a neighborhood to plop ourselves in for the day and explore. I miss that.

Weekend in San Francisco

Monday, we went to the SFMOMA. I go to the MOMA a lot, but they frequently switch out their exhibits, so there’s always something new to see. Then, we walked around Chinatown. In high school, there was this small tea shop that’s since closed down my mom and I would visit every time we went to Chinatown. It feels a bit empty without that quaint little tea shop with the soft spoken owner who was so small-boned, she made ME feel like a linebacker. Chinatown is like colors of a child’s finger painting meets random yard sale with all the shops selling anything from backscratchers to lucky cats to I love SF t-shirts to smoke bombs.

Weekend in San Francisco

Tuesday was our last day in San Francisco. We woke up bright and early to go to The Mill again.

Weekend in San Francisco
View from our room on the last morning.

Since we have so much fruit in our apartment at all times (I’m the most guilty as I have so many bananas), we have a bit of a fruit fly problem. I heard that pitcher plants eat fruit flies, so we went to Flora Grubb to get two pitcher plants which will hopefully take care of the fruit flies in a natural, nontoxic way. One last thing my mom wanted to do before we went home was get ice cream at Salt & Straw, so we did that. It was such a chill, loosely scheduled day that reminded me to take more days like that.

Weekend in San Francisco

I have this deeply ingrained masochistic mindset that aside from sleeping, if I’m not working, I’m not putting my time to the best use possible. It’s so easy for me to get wrapped up living in my head all the time, but every once and awhile, I poke my head out of my turtle shell and see the world buzzing around me. Living so close to San Francisco, it’s easy to take it for granted. At the end of our trip, my mom said that traveling with me, just the two of us, reminded her, in her 20s, when she used to travel with her best childhood friend and that is the best compliment I could have ever gotten. Life moves so dang fast all the time and it feels like I’m sprinting just to keep up—maybe the fact that I have approximately 5 million projects going on all at once has something to do with it—but this was a huge reminder to me that the best memories aren’t made by how many all-nighters you pulled in a week or how many items you got checked off your to-do list for the day. You can’t wait for memories to be served to you on a silver platter—you have to make them yourself.

Weekend in San Francisco
San Francisco, you’re a special city.

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