Once Maria’s two days at the Stitch Fix Tastemakers event were over, we got to enjoy one more day as tourists in San Francisco. But, even more exciting, we had plans to check one of our items off of our Double Date Bucket List! We have been online friends with Alli and Eric of Life As Us for a couple years now, but we finally got to meet them IRL.
We’ll get to that fun double date later. Let’s start with our touristy activities in the City by the Bay.
Being Tourists in San Francisco
Both of us have been to San Francisco before and already seen most of the major tourist spots. Maria and a good friend of hers went there a couple years ago and I went there way back in sophomore year of high school. Since we had already been tourists in San Francisco before and seen the main attractions, we didn’t have any specific plans other than maybe going to the Presidio and China Town. With those vague destinations in mind, we started out from our hotel to get some breakfast.
I found a likely place to get breakfast, but it had a line out the door and halfway down the block. Instead, we headed to a quick breakfast place just down the block with the delightful name of “Homeskillet.” As Maria will tell you while she rolls her eyes, I love puns. So when a restaurant’s name has a great double entendre like that, I’m pretty much sold.
But this restaurant has more than just a great name; it has some great food, too. I don’t know how there wasn’t a line out the door to Homeskillet, too, because it was delicious.
Just look at that cheesy goodness right there. That’s the California Love sandwich: scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, along with havarti, pepperjack and cheddar cheeses. It was a great start to the day.
While we ate breakfast, Maria told me that she heard there was something Star Wars-related in the Presidio. With those two words, she had my attention. I love Star Wars; it defined my teenage years. I whipped out my phone to look it up and it turns out that Lucasfilm has studios in the Presidio. Thus, our next destination was set.
After a quick Uber ride and a bit of wandering around, we finally found the main entrance for the Lucasfilm studios.
Notice anything in the background there? Maybe it’s a little better with a clearer shot.
Yup, it’s Yoda! A Yoda fountain, to be precise. I was already nerding out.
When you walk in the door, this First Order Stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Force Awakens is there to
assault greet you. The lobby has a few other life-sized Star Wars figures, plus bookshelves loaded with other Lucasfilm memorabilia.
So, of course, I had to get photos with the Stormtrooper.
And Darth Vader. Who wouldn’t want a picture with Darth Vader?
I could go on endlessly about my love of Star Wars, but you’re not here to read about that. Besides, there really wasn’t a ton more at the Lucasfilm studios. These are actual working studios and the public are only allowed in the main lobby. We poked around for a little while and then decided to head on to a new destination.
A short walk away from Lucasfilm is The Palace of Fine Arts. Built for the 1915 World’s Fair (and rebuilt in 1964 to make it more permanent), this structure is breathtaking. For one thing, it’s gigantic. When you walk into the rotunda and are struck by the sheer scale of it, you can’t help but feel small.
But even more than that, the whole thing is just beautiful. I can see why the people of San Francisco decided to keep the Palace of Fine Arts around rather than demolishing it (it wasn’t originally designed to be permanent). The statues, reliefs and the gardens around the rotunda were wonderful, charming and completely unexpected.
After the splendor of The Palace, we decided to keep walking and headed toward the waterfront and Crissy Field for a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
It was a little breezy along the beach (as you can see from Maria’s hair blocking my face), but the sun was out full force and, surprisingly, there wasn’t a hint of fog to be seen. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day.
Having already experienced the Golden Gate Bridge first hand, we decided to head in the other direction, towards Fisherman’s Wharf. Since it was such a nice day, we walked so we could check out the houses in the Marina District, a fabulously expensive area of San Francisco. To set the scene, here’s a photo of some of the typical houses in that area.
There are three houses there, but it can be a little difficult to see where one ends and the other begins. The grey house to the right is actually two one bedroom apartments. One of them is 800 square feet and sold a week ago for just a shade under $1,000,000. As of this writing, the photos are still available on Zillow if you’re curious to see an absolutely beautiful San Francisco apartment. The house on the left is 950 square feet (the same size as our Royal Oak house) and is estimated at about $1,500,000 on Zillow. The house in the middle? $1,900,000! That’s crazy!
After all of our walking, sightseeing and window shopping for houses, we were hungry and thirsty. We stopped to get lunch at Ghirardelli Square along with some delicious Mexican Cokes.
While we ate, we realized how close we were to the famously winding Lombard Street. We’d both been there before, but it’s just such a fun street that we decided to go see it again.
While we walked there, we saw lines of people waiting to get on the trolley at the bottom of the hill on Hyde Street. Unfortunately, we didn’t put two and two together and we found out the hard way why all those people decided to wait for the trolley rather than walk. That hill was steep!
Thighs burning, we finally made it to the top. You can get a fantastic view of the bay and the city down below as you stand atop Lombard Street. The street itself is pretty picturesque, too. I kept feeling like I was shooting Maria in some old Spanish village in these shots.
After the quaintness of Lombard Street, we walked over to Fisherman’s Wharf to see the sites there. It appears to be quite a popular destination, but Maria and I were getting tired from all of our walking, so we didn’t spend much time there.
Before we left, we took enough time to check out the Musée Mécanique, the largest privately owned collection of vintage arcade machines. It was quite interesting to check out some of these antiques. There were little puppet shows, fortune tellers (like in the movie Big), early 3D photos, air hockey (I think that one wasn’t quite as antique), and surprising number of old-timey peep shows.
Having walked all over the city and being just a little bit tired, we caught an Uber back to our hotel to relax for a bit and get ready for our evening out on the town.
Our Double Date with Alli and Eric
Feeling refreshed and all spiffed up for our night out with Alli and Eric of Life as Us, we headed out into the early evening. Eric suggested that we meet at The Library Bar, which was nearby to our hotel. So we headed out the door into the early evening in San Francisco.
We got to the bar and I felt right at home. There’s nothing better to me than a small, cozy room with a lot of books on shelves nearby.
There was a small jazz band playing softly in the corner, the bartenders were prompt and very nice, and it wasn’t too crowded. Eric hit a home run in choosing a nice bar to start the evening with a couple cocktails.
We spent quite a while chatting and getting to know this wonderful couple in person for the first time. We heard all about their kids, and school, and Alli’s job at Ebates.com, and Eric’s mortuary practice. They are fascinating people and so easy to talk to.
Now here’s the funny thing: you’d think with two blogging couples together in the room, there would be a lot of photos taken. But you’d be wrong. We were all talking so much that we barely thought to take any pictures. So don’t be surprised that there aren’t a ton of photos of all of us; we were having too much fun to remember to take them!
Fortunately, Allison did capture a great candid moment in Instagram Stories.
You may not know this, but Maria and Alli first became friends on Instagram. Alli’s trademark Instagram photos are her #dresswithus photos that she usually takes with her daughter KC and her son RD. They’re adorable and you can see them on on her profile, @lifeasallison. Maria adored the photos so much that she messaged Alli and they both quickly bonded over the popular social media platform.
Since Maria finally got to meet Alli in person, there was no freakin’ way that Maria was walking away without taking a #dresswithus selfie with Alli. And she got her wish.
After our pre-dinner drinks at The Library Bar, we headed towards our dinner destination. On the way, we walked through Chinatown. I had never been there before and I was enthralled. It’s quite a beautiful place at night, with the lights all out and lit up.
For dinner, Alli and Eric made reservations at È Tutto Qua, a fantastic Italian restaurant where Alli and Eric seemed to be some of the favorite customers of the manager.
Dinner was delicious, the company was great and the atmosphere at the restaurant was one-of-a-kind. We simply had a really good time.
After dinner, we went to Bix for dessert at the bar. It’s such a popular place that all of the tables were taken and we could easily understand why. It’s basically a very fancy speakeasy. Low lights, classical decor, a peppy jazz duo near the bar. It was gorgeous. Unfortunately, we again got so caught up in conversation that we forgot to take pictures.
After our dessert, Alli and Eric escorted us back to our hotel. It was a fantastic evening with two generous, fascinating, cool, beautiful people. We were so happy to successfully check a double date with Alli and Eric off of our Double Date Bucket List and we really look forward to doing it again. If you are curious to learn more about Alli and Eric, they run a great blog about their lives in San Francisco and they are both very active on Instagram as @lifeasusdotcom and @lifeasallison.
With that, we capped off our stay in San Francisco and caught a flight back to Michigan the next morning. It was a quite the whirlwind trip. We loved having the opportunity to jet set out to California for a few days and we are so thankful that we decided to stay for an extra day as tourists in San Francisco. It was the perfect opportunity to finally spend time with our wonderful friends.
Now that we’re back, everyone has been asking where we are going next. We honestly don’t know, but we promise to take you along, wherever it may be.