Thursday, August 1, 2013

Honeymoon in San Francisco


The third day, our first priority was to talk to Riley.  As soon as we woke up, we called and got to see and talk to her for about thirty minutes.  The previous time we'd seen her on Skype, she cried and tried to reach us through the computer, and I totally lost it.  I was worried about upsetting her again, but this time, she was busy and happy, so she didn't mind us not being able to hold her.  It was so freaking awesome to see her face!  Being away from your baby is just bleh!

We were recharged after our little visit and geared up for another exciting day!  Since we'd had such bad luck, we decided to skip breakfast altogether and go straight for some beer!  We'd set up a tour of the Anchor Brewing Company for that morning, and headed down to learn all about their unique style of beer making called "steam brewing," a tradition that is over 100 years old!

Bright eyed and ready to tour!
Tour de beer!
The tap room!
Hey, look!  A giant vat of beer!!
One for me, and one for you!

Beer and love.  What could be better?
When making the wort for beer, you heat the grain and hop mixture to boiling and then you need to cool it down fairly quickly.  Its usually done with ice, but in San Francisco in the years before prohibition, there was no better way to drop the temperature of boiling wort than to take it up on top of the brewery and let it cool overnight in open vats on the roof!  Steam would lift off the heated liquid into the brisk, San Francisco evening air, leading to the steamy nickname.  Most of the steam breweries closed permanently after prohibition, but Anchor held on and continues the tradition of open air fermentation to this day (though in a much more sanitary and controlled manner).

Open air vats in the sealed fermentation room!  A little more hygienic than putting them on the roof...
We learned all about the jumbled history of the brewery and its (now) signature style in an hour long tour with a super charismatic and funny tour guide, Jarret.
He was AWESOME!  He studied to be a radio host in school and had an absolutely fabulous voice.  The whole tour was cool, but the highlight was when we got to go into the hop room, which Jeff LOVED.
Hoppy Husband!  (You see what I did there?)
Wafting, wafting..
Then we toured the rest of the factory!

The office of someone important!  Probably...
Gigantor storage containers of beer!
Just a little taste...
A beautiful assembly line!
At the end of the tour, we got to taste all their beers.  Jarret was very generous with his pours.  It was an awesome start to the day!  Beer breakfast FTW! 
Back in the tap room!
Friley really enjoyed some of the limited release beers...
Jeff took this one for Tommy.  Sorry, Tommy...
Hello, friend!
I don't always drink beer.... Oh, wait.  Yes I do.
Once we'd finished imbibing, we headed down about a block to a place that Jarret swore by - Market and Rye.  That guy knows his stuff, let me tell you!  This was by far the best meal of the trip - and the best burger of Jeff's entire life.  And he's had a few burgers in his time.  :)

Glorious sticky bun!  It was as good as it looked. 
Very happy husband!  They had Anchor Brewery on draft!  Yowza!
So excited to eat!!
The burger of glory!  Imagine angels singing when you look at this, because that's what it tasted like!

Deviled egg sandwich?  Yes please!!
These fries were to die for.  And so was the ranch dressing that we drowned them in!
After gorging ourselves on total awesomeness, we headed down to the SFMoMA.  We'd seen the New York rendition and wanted to see how the San Fran version compared.  It was much much smaller, but it contained some pretty awesome pieces!  On the way, my feet decided to stop cooperating with me.  We, once again, utilized the glorious app, Lyft, and got a ride with a super nice guy.  The building itself is a gorgeous art piece.  It manages to draw your attention in a city completely filled with unique architecture.  Love! 
Super pretty, light filled entrance!
The installation above the stairs!  So neat!
Oh, Duchamp!  I'll always love you and your pissy sense of humor!
Love, true love!
People could add their own art to a little inlet filled with small sheets of paper and pencils.  This was one of my favorite parts of the whole museum!  People are so funny, weird, and creative!!
Whoooo are you?
There were a lot of really interesting photographs of New York City in the early years and a cool artificial intelligence exhibit where a computer had been programmed to respond to anything you asked it.  Jeff asked it to tell him a joke (of course)!  I can't remember the joke, but I think it involved goats.  It was awesome!  :)  There was some really breathtaking artwork, and the building felt so open and bright that we liked it almost as much as the MoMA in NYC, even though it was 1/4 the size (though nothing can beat the 5th floor of the NYC MoMA - it was seriously one of the best things I've ever seen).  Yay for a beautiful place filled with beautiful things!

After our busy morning, we were bushed, and my feet were almost completely out of commission.  We headed back to our hotel to rest for a few hours.  On the way, we passed by a chocolate shop that looked splendiforous, so we stopped in, ya know, just to take a look around...  My wonderful hubby bought me a few truffles, and I was in choco heaven!  Thanks husband!
Playing nice for the camera...
CHOCOLATE ATTACK!  I may have gotten a little carried away...
We made it back to the hotel about midday and got back into our pajamas.  It was so nice!  We got to talk to the buggy again and laid in bed all afternoon.  It actually felt like a vacation for a minute there!

Once we'd recharged, we headed back out into the sunshine to have dinner and a few drinks at 21st Amendment Brewery - the place Jeff was most excited to visit.  He loves their beer - we can get most of their stuff back home, but there were several specials that were only available in CA, and he'd never had any of their brews on draft. They're only a few blocks from the Giants stadium, and we had tickets to see our Nats play the reigning champs!  I love when things come together - our team just happened to be playing in San Fran the week we'd booked our flight!   Obviously, the place was totally packed with Giants fans.  We got drinks while we waited for a table - we barely had room to stand, and the atmosphere was stagnated severely by the number of bodies in such a small space.  Once we sat down, the experience improved ten fold.  The food was amazing and so was the beer!  Unfortunately, they don't do samplers on game days, so Jeff didn't get to try everything, but he was able to try the few that he was most excited about.  Number one on that list was Hell or High Watermelon on draft with a big huge watermelon slice!  It was GLORIOUS!

Friley quite enjoyed it!
And so did Jeff!
Yum, yum!
I enjoyed it, too!
Girly beer FTW!
Their desserts are also amazing.  I love this place! 
We hung out at the bar through the beginning of the first inning.  Things were already looking bad for the Nats by the time we reached the stadium, and the weather was as cold as the 8-0 loss the Giants handed us.  We took our seats within a swarm of rabid Giants fans.  They were so fun!  These guys really love their team, as we really loved them.  The field was so gorgeous.  It is right on the bay, so you can see the water and sky rise up just beyond the score board - you can also feel the bay wind whip at you with a vengeance!  We bundled up and watched our team lose stoically.  We were so excited to be at a game that we didn't really care about the score, or even the cold for a while!  :)

What a view!
Happy and cold!
Pretty entrance
Getting colder...
Eventually, the cold got the best of us, and we left a little early.  We headed back to our hotel and got into bed by 9.  While we briefly considered heading back out to do something exciting, we decided to just accept that we're very old and boring and get some much needed sleep!  It was an absolutely perfect day!
Friley says, "Goodnight!"

Day four was our last in the city - we flew out that night, so we were just kind of flitting about, fitting in what we could.  Our first stop was breakfast - finally!  We headed up to a coffee shop at the end of china town with some really good reviews.  The breakfast sandwiches and coffee were pretty good, and the views were amazing!  There is so much gorgeous architecture in this city, it's ridiculous! 
Pretty coffee!
Prettier building!
Satiated, we headed up to see the Painted Ladies - an iconic San Fran site from the opening scene of Full House.  We sat ourselves on the grass in the park across from the homes, relaxed, and skyped our bug!  It was a perfect, sunshiny, relaxing morning.
Friley enjoying the view!
View blocker!  How rude!
Wearing my Mother's Day present from Jeffers!
Everywhere you look, (everywhere you look), there's a handsome husband!
So pretty!!
When you're lost out there and you're all alone, a light is waiting to carry you home!

All that relaxing made us hungry, so we headed up town to the Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery - another local brewpub about which we'd heard fave reviews (and our bartender friend, Isaac had highly recommended).  On the way, we passed by this little park and went on another urban adventure to explore it!  We ran into an older couple walking their dog and the man told us a series of silly jokes to help us guess the dog's name.  I still don't know what to call the poor thing, but it was a beautiful pup!  Haha!  They were really fun and nice!

Go here if you go to San Fran!  It's a lovely little retreat!
So pretty!
The pub was everything we'd hoped it would be.  I got fish and chips, and Jeff got a burger (shockingly).  The food was glorious, but the beer was even better.  These guys are beer geniuses, and are super nice to boot!  One cool thing about San Fran is that everything is sustainable.  The Gastropub had washcloths to dry your hands instead of paper towels.  You just threw them in a bucket when you were done to be washed later.  Also, no air conditioning (not necessary, I promise) and no ice in the city!  Anywhere!  All the garbage cans were recycling, and compost in addition to "trash", and most of the buses were electric.  It was so interesting to see an entire city so dedicated to being green, and to pull it off so well without pretentiousness.  LOVE!! 
Happy Husband!
The day's selections
The awesome menu
Inside the restaurant
Jeff's new mantra
Jeff's tasting!
YUM burger!
So excited!
The tab came in a book!  HOW NEAT!
I love when he is happy!

After our glorious meal, we walked through the Haight (an awesome, hippie-esque village) toward Golden Gate Park, another huge, beautiful green space on the Pacific end of the city.  You could spend an entire day walking through this place, but we wanted to see the DeYoung Museum and the Japanese Tea Garden, so we headed toward the center of the absolutely enormous park.  The DeYoung was a cool museum with a lot of artwork from all over the world.  They had an extensive collection of African artwork that was incredible!  My favorite piece, though, was a giant photograph of perfectly arranged atoms!
THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!  In an art museum, no less!  SO NEAT!!!
Runners up were the portrait of George Washington quilted out of one dollar bills:
Hail to the chief! 
And this amazing church made out of bullets, gun parts, and bones.  It was captivating.  We walked around it and stared at it for like 10 minutes.  We just kept finding more interesting things about it.  Loved this piece! 
There were a ton of really incredible exhibits here - we were on the fence about going, but I highly recommend it if you're in the city!  So so cool!  When we'd finished there, we walked over to the Japanese Tea Garden, but it turned out to be more expensive than we wanted.  We took a few pictures from outside the gate and decided to head back toward our hotel to have a few drinks before we picked up our bags and headed home.
The gate to the garden!
Inside the gardens!
Tired tourists on a bench!
We'd found a place on Sosh called 620 Jones that was just down from our hotel and had a huge rooftop bar, so we headed there to grab a few drinks and some appetizers.  It was a little too cold to sit outside, so we got comfy inside and ordered some pretty awesome comfort food (mac and cheese and fries), a cucumber/pear martini for me, and a beer for the hubs.  It was all pretty awesome.  On a side note, this place had the most amazing bathrooms I've ever seen.  I love them.  No joke, I would go back just to use the bathrooms!  SO COOL!  They also had neon signs on the walls everywhere, and it gave the low-lit interior a really cool vibe. 
Do I look excited?  It's because I'm getting ready to eat!
Conversation area
My husband is so good at photographing neon.  I, on the other hand, am not!
Our delicious appetizers!
After a drink, we decided we wanted a change of scenery, so we took a little friendly advice and headed down the road a few blocks to a place called Jasper's.  It was super neat, a little less pricey, and the drinks were AMAZING!!!  I ordered some deviled eggs, because I love deviled eggs more than... well, most things ever, and was so so excited to eat them. 
They look delicious!
As it turned out, gourmet deviled eggs are not so good. 
But I powered through anyway.  I'm a beast!
So my food experience was not epic, but the drinks more than made up for it!
Love this man!
Husband face!
He's tough!
I love this drink.  It's my drink soul mate.
Tiny beer mugs!  SO CUTE!
Tiny mug or giant husband?
Giant husband!
This was drink number three.  At this point, I could no longer feel my feet.  Or any other extremities for that matter!
Happy wife!
Happy husband!
We sat by the windows so we could look out on the street scene and catch one last glimpse of the city.  It is such a beautiful place.  Our last memorable view was of a man standing on the street corner across from us with a FREAKING PARROT ON HIS ARM!  We tried to get a picture, but this was all we could muster.  We took it so we would remember parrot man!  So far, our plan has worked!
I swear, there's a parrot on his blocked arm.  Amazing.
Once we finished our last drinks, we picked up our bags, caught the train, and made our way back to the airport!  We had an absolutely amazing meal at the terminal, believe it or not!

Glorious pizza!
Even more glorious nachos!  This is how I smile when I've had three drinks... Note to self, never have three drinks again!
We made it to our flight about 5 minutes before they left, and headed home to see our buggy!  Babies have the distinct ability to make coming home from vacation just as exciting as going on vacation.  We were so excited to see her (especially me).  She didn't really seem that impressed by us being home at first, which nearly broke my heart, but she was back to her normal, excited self within 5 minutes, and we were a whole unit once again.  Being together as a family - no place on earth can beat that.  I know it sounds cheesy as hell, but it's just true. 

Thank you so much to Mimi and Pop Pops for watching our little one and letting us go on our amazing baby-moon!  It was so exciting and relaxing and just what we needed to reset and head into the new chapter of our lives.  In closing, we love you, San Francisco!  Thank you for being exactly what we needed! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all she wrote!  Goodnight all!

Places to eat:

  • DONE! That little Italian place in Ellett Valley
  • REOPENED!! DONE!!!! Mountain View Restaurant (Sadly this place closed before we could go... *sad face*)
  • Yobo's
  • Giordanos Pizza
  • Hot Doug's
  • DONE! The Columbus Grill

Places to visit:

  • DONE! Nashville, TN
  • DONE! Skyline Drive
  • DONE! NYC!! Take us to the MOMA, Sadie!
  • DONE! West Virginia! Mawmaw's house! OH YEAH!
  • DONE! San Fran-freaking-cisco!
  • Las Vegas
  • Chicago to see the Fat's latest play and eat a hot dog!
  • Europe (yes, all of it)
  • Tokyo/Kyoto, Japan