San Francisco in 24 Hours

I'm incredibly lucky that I have gotten to see so many new cities since I started my job a year and a half ago.  

If you couldn't tell, I like pictures A LOT. So I think that's the best way to some up where I've gotten to journey. 

(Detroit. Not the most exciting city in the world, but The Big House is seriously incredible!)

(Los Angeles. This was my first trip to the West Coast and it was AWESOME. This night at Venice Beach was picture perfect!)

(Chicago. It was SO cold that I barely got to be outside the entire trip, but I DID get my photo op with the bean and I DID have the best meal of my life at Girl and the Goat.)

(Vegas. I had been here before, but a long time ago. Vegas is, Vegas. It's not my favorite - but it's warm and I like warmth.) 

(Philadelphia. Kind of weird that I had never been here before, and I really wasn't expecting much, but I absolutely fell in love with this city. I'm usually a snob when it comes to New York and no city ever comparing, and while I stand by that fact, Philly was a place I could see myself enjoying for awhile. Such a bummer that I didn't know about NP while I was here - I'm sure it would have made me like the city even more!)

(DC. Definitely not a first for being here but I love history, I love how walk-able it is, there's some pretty delicious food, but WHY ARE THE SUBWAYS SO ANNOYING?) 

(Columbus, Ohio. Random? Perhaps. But the people here were literally the nicest people I've ever met. Everyone was so great!) 

(Santa Clara/San Jose. I was expecting to like it here more than I did, but I was also sick for a majority of the trip so it's probably not fair for me to judge. Their donut game is ON POINT though, that's for sure.)

Travelling for work, in general, is an amazing perk. Especially for someone like me, who really hasn't gotten to see a lot of the country! 

Sometimes, I get caught up in the constant grumbles of my co-workers who have been doing this for years and years. They're married or have kids or have just been doing this for so long that they're over it. In the height of our travel season, it is easy to feel not-so-great. You're tired, you're constantly surrounded by a lot of different personalities, you're eating like crap no matter how hard you try to tell yourself "this trip I'm going to be healthy, this trip I'm not going to drink, this trip I'm NOT going to eat the arena cookies..." 

(Trying to stay active...)

And it's true that by the end of a couple of events you are run-down and tired of hotel rooms that leave you waking up with a cold every morning, and you're tired of delayed flights and airports with no Wifi and of course there's all the weekend plans that you have to forego.  But at the end of the day, look at all that I've gotten to do! I ran up the Rocky Steps and I got my picture with the Bean. I went to a Bulls game, I got to eat at incredible restaurants, I ran a 5K with coworkers, I've visited November Project workouts, not to mention going to the actual events that we're there to put on - which I still find myself tearing up over sometimes. 

So the moral of the story, as I sit here thinking of missing Mother's Day and Father's Day and my mom's birthday, and my sister's birthday, and a slew of NYRR races that I'd like to run this summer, I need to remind myself more often how lucky I am. 

My recent trip to San Jose is the perfect reminder of why I should have zero complaints. I was able to extend my trip by a day so that I could finally see San Francisco! And although we were only there for 24 hours, the trip was pretty damn near perfect - we got to do and see so many things in a small amount of time! So here's my guide to seeing San Francisco in 24 hours: 

1) Rent a car. Yes, I would have liked to walk around and maybe take the trolley, but since we were on a time crunch, having a car was what made all of this possible.  Not to mention our incredible luck in finding street parking throughout the day everywhere we went! Someone was looking out for us. 

2) Golden Gate Bridge. I wish I could tell you the name of the viewing area we went to, because it was great, but alas, I don't know. We started up near the parking lot in a grassy field with this view: 

Then there was a walk down a path/steps (lots of people out running) which we stopped on for a different view (OK the view wasn't that different but we just really like taking lots of pictures) 

The path finished down here with this view:

3) The Painted Ladies. I grew up watching Full House so I naturally went here and proceeded to play the theme song while prancing around taking pictures like a giant tourist. It was well worth it. The Painted Ladies were kind of a let down, they weren't even the prettiest of the painted houses we saw. But the park was nice and there were so many people out relaxing. Probably because you have to walk completely uphill to reach the park. Everyone was ready for a nap in the grass by the time they got there (I'm dramatic, and I really hate hills). 

4) Brunch. We found a cute place called Squat & Gobble and enjoyed some OUTDOOR EATING. 

5) Castro. Unintentionally, we realized we were in the Castro neighborhood and strolled around for a little bit. Some hysterical signs and lively places. This is probably where I would hang out if I lived in San Fran, if we're being honest. Very Village-esque.

6) I had read about a place called Philz Coffee with a MINT MOJITO iced coffee. It sounds like a weird combination, but it was so refreshing! 

7) Union Square. As soon as we got here, it's like I was back in NYC.  The whole area around Union Square is like Manhattan. I kept pointing out streets with the same names and all of the stores were what you would find along 5th Avenue. 

8) China Town. What I would expect from a China Town - very similar to New York. Tons of typical tourist souvenir shops which I managed to go into and not leave with some ridiculous thing that I didn't need. I did take pictures with the greatest monkey statue though.  And turtle.  And lion.  Sorry.

9) Lombard Street. We were scared the line to drive down Lombard Street was going to be really long, but it wasn't at all! It was bizarre but the houses along it are so pretty and the view from the top was awesome too. How do the people who live there own cars? Crazy. 

10) We were going to attempt to go to a speakeasy I had read about, but then I saw the sky starting to change colors and realized we were getting close to sunset. I have a serious obsession with sunsets, and the last time I was in California Emily and I were at Venice Beach for one of my favorites EVER (from the picture above) so I thought we should catch one in San Francisco together. We drove down to the Marina and walked out to the pier for a pretty sunset and dipped our toes in the water. 

11) Ghirardelli. Yes, I did the touristy thing and bought a bunch.The selfie stick was almost left behind on this stop- PHEW CLOSE CALL!!

12) Fisherman's Wharf. Yes a very touristy place, but I still wanted to see it, and while dinner wasn't the best thing I've ever had, we did have some yummy sourdough garlic bread! We were shocked at how early everything closed though! 

13) Mitchell's. Of course my research into San Francisco included extensive reading up on the best ICE CREAM. Mitchell's was the closest one I had read about to Fisherman's Wharf so we headed there after dinner. Mitchell's made my list because they have really interesting flavors like purple yam, avocado and halo halo, which is a combination of all different weird tropical fruits. I ended up getting a scoop of the halo halo and I wish I could describe it to you, but I can't really. It's not fruity, despite being filled with pieces of fruits. You should try it if you ever see it on a menu. I also got a scoop of mint chocolate chip because it's always my favorite. 

14) November Project. This was one of the main reasons I wanted to stay the extra day in San Francisco- so I could check out the San Fran tribe's workout on Friday morning. Unfortunately, my legs were on pretty strict rest, but I jog/walked and did the workout to a STUNNING sunrise, free from any fog! Everyone was friendly and badass and I don't understand how they run those hills. Crazy, all of ya. 

15) Mrs. Doubtfire House. Photo op! 

16) Last stop was back to Fisherman's Wharf to go to the Boudin Bakery. I never realized I even liked sourdough until I was in San Francisco. The breakfast at Boudin's was a great price - I went with the Belgian waffle with berries but the bread bowls with scrambled eggs probably would have been the better choice. If I'm every back, I would definitely like to take a tour of the bakery and maybe even make my own little bread creature (yes, that's a thing that you can do!)

See - told you we got to do a ton! 

If I were to go back, I would definitely plan on more food-related activities. Brunch filled us up so much the first day that I couldn't eat my way through San Fran like I would have liked ;) I would also loooove to do the tour of Alcatraz! 

So there ya have it. Whenever I'm being a grump about travelling please just direct me to this post, tell me to chug my Emergen-C to avoid airborne germs before my next flight, and send me on my way!