[And welcome to my little blog.]

I'm Amanda! So happy you are here. Grab a glass of wine, read along, and let's be friends.


Sunday, April 3, 2011
So the story of our trip continues... We arrived in San Francisco late in the afternoon on Friday, March 25th.  When Kevin and I were planning this trip back in February we decided it would be fun to have Kevin's parents join us.  Both Kevin and I are lucky to have great parents and a few months ago we put it on our pre-baby bucket list to try to do something nice for our parents that wouldn't be as easy to do once we have kids.  I can imagine a weekend get-away to San Francisco would be quite a bit harder with a baby in tow, so this was the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with Kevin's parents. 

When Kevin and I arrived at the flat, I was relieved to find that it was just as nice as the pictures we had seen advertised for it on vacation rental by owner (VRBO).  Two bedrooms.  Two bathrooms.  Wood floors.  Full kitchen.  And most importantly, clean.  At $195 a night it was a steal (click here for details).  This was my first experience renting a house or condo on VRBO, and it worked out really well.  We definitely felt more like locals in our own townhouse/ flat, and it was nice to have a place to make our own breakfasts and hang out together after a long day of exploring.  If you haven't checked it out VRBO yet, I'd highly recommend it.

For our first day in San Francisco we decided to keep the rental car before relying exclusively on public transportation so we could get to a few places that would be a little harder to get to without a car.  The four of us planned to head directly to Muir Woods National Monument, a 500 acre park full of ancient redwood trees, but after only a few minutes on the road we spotted the ocean and had to pull off to take a look.

The views of the cliffs and ocean were incredible, and Kevin, Dick and I made the trek down about 300 stairs to make it to the beach.  (I found out later this beach is called Baker beach if anyone else is interested in going).  When we got down to the water we were surprised to get an incredible view of the Golden Gate bridge.  Not a bad first look at the Golden Gate, huh?

After our short detour, we got back on the road to Muir Woods, which was about 30 minutes north of where we were staying.  We took the Golden Gate bridge across the bay, which was actually a lot cooler than I expected.  Here's roughly our route (letter A is our flat and letter B is Muir Woods).

The admission for Muir Woods was only $5.00 but Kevin's parents had an America the Beautiful pass which gives them an unlimited, lifetime access to all national parks for them and everyone in their vehicle (you have to be over 62 to buy it.), so we got free access.  Click here for more details on the pass.

Muir Woods was one of my favorite parts about the trip.  It was so peaceful, and the trees were incredible.  Many of these trees have been alive for over 1,000 years.  Crazy. 

After Muir Woods we came back to the flat and walked to a neighborhood Italian restaurant called Mescolanza.  It was a tiny restaurant with not much more than 10 tables and it was soooo good.  We went to some great restaurants during the trip, but this was by far my favorite.  Here is the website, and here are the Yelp reviews.  We used Yelp a lot to help pick out restaurants on this trip.

At Mescolanza we had some amazing pesto gnocchi and salads for appetizers and then Kevin and split the Pasta Fresca (fresh spinach pasta, fresh tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, goat cheese, garlic).  I don't know if I can re-create the dish, but I'm definitely going to try.  Here is a pasta fresca recipe from the Food Network that I found. I plan on using some spinach pasta and adding some goat cheese to the Food Network's recipe.  Anybody ever had Pasta Fresca?  Have any other Italian recipes you'd recommend?

In summary:  Day 1 in San Francisco = awesome.


Aunt Donna said...

I am so happy that you got to spend time with Kevin's parents in such a beautiful location! Muir Woods was one of my favorites also. But we stopped in Sauslito for lunch and margaritas first. Who drove? Scott loved it, I losed my eyes. Those peeps driver 70 MPH bumper to bumper. Driving in SF was probably the biggest challenge I saw, and Scott's most fun time (ex race car driver thing, I guess...). The trip there was hairpin curves, small, two lane roads, drop offs of 1,000 feet two feet from the road (I am a chicken) but it was worth it to see the trees and forest. Wish our trees would last that long!

Stacie said...

JEALOUS! How fun! I noticed, though, that when I went back and looked at your pre-baby bucket list again, there isn't one that says "Bring Stacie on a vacation."

Just making sure you didn't forget that one - it's important! Ha! By the way, call me as soon as you get home and settled - lots to talk about! :)

Andrew said...

Haha, I love how you blatantly called out your parents-in-law ages: "You have to be over 62 to buy it".

Love all the photos of Frisco, especially the beach ones. I would totally move there if it wasn't even further from home.

Amanda said...

Aunt donna-
We had a great time. I totally agree with you on the driving. I already get car sick and the winding roads and cliffs don't do much for me! It was the same in Tuscany when we went to Italy for our honeymoon. Love you!

Amanda said...

Hey Stacie-

It was great getting to chat with you. I think you should blog about all your adventures :)

Oh and I put camping on my pre-baby bucket list. I'm thinking maybe you, Kevin, Brad, Kait, Jake and I could do that this summer. What do you think?

Amanda said...


Glad you like the pictures. I didn't post all the blurry ones.... :) I've been using a nicer Canon Camera that my dad gave to me, but as I'm trying to get used to all the different settings there are definitely a lot of outtakes.

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