I had never gone on a vacation with only one person, so when my
boyfriend and I planned our first trip together, we made sure it would be a good one!
We just returned from our trip, which brought us to San Francisco, Denver, Nashville and back home
over a span of eight days.
Though I was very excited for my trip in the weeks leading up to it, preparing for it was stressful! I was
going to borrow my parents carry-on luggage, but that wasn’t around, so I had to pack a duffle bag instead,and then I didn’t have a backpack which I was going to take as my personal item so I ended up using a big tote bag I have. But I have to tell you, only bringing a carry on was the best decision I could have made. Not having to check and wait for luggage made traveling from place to place much easier, and I didn’t have to worry about my luggage getting lost somewhere.
Besides the flights and the hotel, we didn’t plan many details of the trip. It was nice being able to relax and follow the path where it led us.lying by the seat of our pants if you will. Some parts of life seem to get predictable as you grow older: Payday is always the same day. You go to work the same time, see the same people. You get the point. But with this vacation, nothing is planned and that’s exciting.
We left for the airport and got on our first plane which dropped us in the Atlanta airport for our connection. We ate some delicious food from a place called El Taco and set off to SF.We made it to SF by 4:45 which was almost 8pm eastern time. We went to our very adorable “urban guest house”, a boutique hotel called Sleep
Over Sauce. The hotel was minimal but had all the amenities we needed such as towels, shampoo, and a TV. The best part though was that we were perched over the restaurant called Sauce. Thus the name Sleep Over Sauce.
After stopping at the hotel we made our way to the Fisherman’s Wharf
for some well deserved food. We chose In-N-Out since it’s not on the east coast and we wanted to experience as much west coast culture as possible. The meal was mediocre due to our lukewarm fries, but after a quick fix of getting our food hot out of the oven things were looking up and we were ready to start our adventure.
Jet lag caught up with us and we woke up before sunrise at 5:45am. Which was actually good since we had more time to explore. After grabbing a bite to eat at our hotel, we were off to Fisherman’s Wharf again to explore the shops and the surroundings. We walked along the piers, saw all the ships and even bought a few souvenirs. Then it was off to lunch!
We stopped at place on the Wharf called Pompeii’s Grotto where we each had a different crab sandwich. I got a crab grilled cheese while my boyfriend chose a crab cake sandwich with a basil aioli. Both sandwiches were
mouth watering and worth every penny of the almost twenty dollars each sandwich cost. We then toured Ghirardelli square where the smell of sweets surrounded us, as every wall is covered in a different type of
chocolate.Then around 1pm, jet lag kicked in again and we had to head back to the hotel for a little nap as we were both beat from waking up so early.
When we woke up we planned our next day before heading to dinner. We had dinner at Sauce, the restaurant we were staying above. We started off the meal with drinks and
beef carpaccio which neither of us had had before. It was quite different and very tasty, but the entree was even better. We ordered a kobe beef stroganoff to split since it was a fairly expensive restaurant and the portions were said to be huge.
This was the most delicious meal I have ever eaten!
The beef was tender, the asparagus was crisp, and the sauce was flavorful. Needless to say, I cleaned my plate of every last drop of sauce.
After dinner we headed back to the room and relaxed, hoping we wouldn’t need another nap the next day.
For the third day we planned to go out to breakfast at a French place called Zazie. I got a delicious dish with walnut banana French toast while my boyfriend chose a more traditional meal of bacon, eggs,
and a specialty gingerbread pancake. This had to be my second favorite meal, due to the balance sweet and savory flavors and how they complemented each other perfectly.
After breakfast, we took a bus to the streets Powell and Market, home to the most popular shopping district in San Fran. That’s when we came upon the cable car system which is supposedly the last one of its kind still manually operated in the U.S.It was seven dollars, but it takes you up and down the rolling hills of San Fran, and the riders can basically hang off the side during the ride! It takes you through Chinatown and past Lombard Street before the last stop in Fishermans’ Wharf. Once we got to the Wharf, we ate lunch at Buena Vista where we also got Irish Coffee. Buena Vista is credited for bringing the Irish Coffee to the U.S. and you could tell because it was absolutely delicious. We also both got clam chowder which was equally as delicious and way more filling that expected. Then we went back to the docks of Fishermans’ Wharf to see the sea lions that reside there.
Finally, we walked down to Pier 33 where tours of Alcatraz were being held. The tickets to that tour were the only thing I bought in advance for this trip because they are in such high demand. The tours run in the daytime and the evening everyday and you can check a date and buy them in advance. If you are thinking of this for your trip and the days you want to go are sold out make sure to check the website because they put cancelled
tickets back up on the website.I was able to buy mine the day before we left because two tickets were finally available.
The tour was so fun! We took a ferry to Alcatraz island, walked around the grounds, and toured the prison. We heard about all the escape attempts, the type of living conditions and the type of prisoners that lived there. Afterwards we were wiped out, so we grabbed a bite of pizza from Carmel Pizza and went back the hotel to rest for our final full day in San Francisco.
This day wasn’t so fantastic. I wasn’t feeling well as soon as I woke up, but we thought it would pass. In the mean time we booked a bike tour around the city thinking I would be back to normal by the 1:00pm start time.
I don’t know if it was the pizza or the public transit, but I ended up getting sick about an hour before our bike tour (TMI, but it will all make sense later). After resting up a bit I decided I could manage the 9 mile bike tour over 3.5 hours. I was half right. I felt like I was going to puke most of the ride, but this tour was so perfect. We got to see so much of San Fran by our local tour guide Adam who showed us so much in a short amount of time. I just wish I had been feeling better for the trip. After I got back to the hotel I still wasn’t
feeling better and now I was sunburned to boot I went to sleep to try and help my body combat whatever was going on. I didn’t exactly want to fly in a plane like this.
After waking up and not feeling great, but not terrible, we headed to the airport. This was incredibly easy and I thank the San Francisco public transportation for being punctual, frequent and easy to understand. Then we headed to Colorado where we met up with some friends, settled in, and then got dinner at Lodos. I wasn’t able to eat a lot, but my boyfriend got elk Mac and cheese and said it was great! Then we hung out and chatted before going to sleep for the night.
We woke up and had breakfast together and then went to Red Rocks which is a natural amphitheater where a lot of concerts are held in Denver. Everyone was working out and being active and enjoying the beautiful views Colorado has to offer. After exploring downtown, we had to head to the airport for the next part and final destination before heading home, Nashville! We met our friend Mike at the airport around 11pm, so after we
arrived in Nashville we pretty much went to sleep in preparation for the next day.
When we woke up, we wanted to enjoy a southern-style breakfast, so we drove to a bistro named Jackson’s. I ordered a peach mimosa and breakfast sliders. The sliders were two biscuits for the bun with sausage egg and cheese as the filling as well as hash browns. It was quite the meal! The meal left me full for most of the day. After that we walked around the small town outside of in eastern Nashville and visited a few small shops. Then we went food shopping and made dinner all together.
We were finally getting used to the time difference so we all woke up late and decided to eat at Sonic for lunch. Not very southern, but we were in the mood for a cheap meal, especially since we were going somewhere special for a midday snack. After lunch we headed to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream where I got Almond Butter and Lemon sorbet. It was a surprisingly delicious combination! This place is a must visit if you go
to the Nashville area and you have a sweet tooth.
After enjoying those delicious ice creams, we visited a popular Nashville brewery called Yazoo (yeah-zoo) where they brew a ton of different beer! I ever enjoyed a few varieties and I’m not an avid beer drinker. It was a really great experience to learn about the production process and their struggles with scaling up in a small space.
Finally we hit downtown! We hopped around to different bars and listened to lots of great live music, saw some great performances, and had an all-around great night!
The next day we headed home very early and relaxed the rest of the day to recoup before heading back to work on Monday.
I had such a great trip! I encourage everyone to travel whenever you have the chance and take a few
days to just relax and do what you want. I’m not saying get on a plane and travel to the alps, but I think it’s good to get out there and try something new once in a while.
Check out some of pictures from the trip below and tell me about some of the adventures you’ve had this summer!