San Francisco Part #1

Its been over 2 months since I went to San Francisco with my husband and I can’t believe how fast that time has gone. This year is just flying past. It was my second visit to this wonderful Californian City, I went for the first time in 2006 and once again it didn’t disappoint. We went for 1 week and loved every second of it. Even though it has been so long since I went I thought it would still do a little photo post. I took so many photos it was very hard to narrow them down.

We normally fly from Manchester and connect in London but this time we found a great hotel mystery deal which included a nights stay before the flight & parking for 8 days for £60. The mystery hotel turned out to be The Marriot near Heathrow so we drove down, had a relaxing night the night before flying and took the airport shuttle to Heathrow the next morning. This was a much more relaxed way of flying to the states. Normally our flights from Manchester are really early but doing it this way we got up at a normal time and had breakfast in Heathrow.

We were really impressed with the Heathrow departure lounge (much more so than the SFO one which was awful). From designer clothing & makeup to fancy whisky and nice places to eat, it really wasn’t a hard place to spend a few hours before flying. I can never resist a little duty-free shopping, esp when it comes to makeup!

Flight to SFO was straightforward, we flew Virgin Atlantic again. It’s been a few years since we last flew VA as we have mostly been visiting Europe for the last few years. My husband is quite tall so we pay for extra leg room so being 5ft tall I have ALOT of room. The food on Virgin is always so good, I can’t be the only person that enjoys plane food?!

On arrival in SF we went straight to the hotel. Normally we stay at major hotels, it saves any disappointment on arrival and you kind of know the quality to expect. However we have recently started staying at Independent & boutique hotels. this trip was no exception and we stayed at the brilliant Hotel Diva, in a Junior Suite. Trip Advisor highly rates this hotel. The decor is amazing & a little filthy (very sexy hotel). They didn’t have a hotel bar but they did have an on site Starbucks & restaurant. Perfect. Also they left us a little gift inside the safe but I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

The hotel was in an excellent location, just one black from union square & almost opposite Lefty O’Douls. Really easy to wander into town for a bite to eat. That first night we had a wander around. It had been 7 years since we last went to SF so it took a little while to get our bearings. We soon got the hang of it.

We went down to fisherman’s Wharf the next morning. We wanted to book a trip to Alcatraz as we did this in 2006 and loved it. The Alcatraz tour has had a big revamp and has been given its own pier and visitor centre. This has obviously increased the popularity as we couldn’t get tickets for the next 10 days. it was fully booked up. So my advice would be to book these tickets from the UK before you go. Just glad we saw it last time or it would have been a major disappointment.

Painted Ladies

California

Jack in the Box

Fisherman's Wharf

alcatraz

Loui's Diner

Haight Street

Haight Street

Tram

Downtown San Francisco

Street View SF

View Alcatraz

We tried to do all new things on this visit, things we didn’t get chance to do last time, which I’ll cover in later posts. We visited Haight Street & the painted ladies, we hired bikes & cycled the coast/golden gate, Walked from Union Square through North Beach, Japan Town & we went out to bars in the evening (something we have never been able to do due to Jet Lag kicking our butts). We love just walking around neighbourhoods and off the beaten track exploring and finding small places to eat and drink and relax the day away. San Francisco is perfect for that as the architecture is so pretty and there are lots of cafes and Vegan restaurants, we were worried before hand that we would struggle finding Vegan options but we had no trouble at all.

San Francisco is such a laid back City, there is no stress and you can take it at your own pace. The people were so friendly, we met some characters! I’d go back again for a third time in a heartbeat.

Weekend In London

I had a wonderful time in London & was so proud of my brother running the Marathon in 3:24 his PB time. The weather was so nice & often there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I took a fair few photo and I thought I’d post a few below.

Laduree London

Gary & Me

The Needle

The Mall

Gary running the Marathon

Admiralty Arch

Trafalgar Square

Tube Station

Liberty

Family

Tower of London

Laduree Macaroon Shop in Covent Garden / Gary & Me on the train to the Marathon / The Needle on a sunny day / The Mall / Gary running the Marathon mile 17 / Admiralty Arch / Trafalgar Square / Tube Station / Liberty / Mum, Gary and John / The Tower of London

Bill’s Cafe Restaraunt

I knew whilst I was in London that I wanted to visit Bills. I’ve seen so many cute posts about it & heard nothing but good things. So I thought the day before my brother ran the Marathon would be the perfect time. I went with my husband, brother & mum, none of us had been before.

I took loads of photos whilst I was there, I may have been a little excited! There are a few Bill’s in London and decided to go to the one in Covent Garden Wellington Street. We made a great choice, it was a lovely restaurant so cute inside and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. They have paid great attention to detail and we would recommend it 100%.

Bill's

We ate there for breakfast and the menu was fab. All of us enjoyed what we ordered and it was very fresh and super yummy. I would love to go back for Dinner next time.

Bill'sBill's Cafe Restaurant Bill's Food

Guacamole Eggs and beans on toast (brothers) / Blueberry Pancakes, Banana & Strawberries and maple syrup (mums)

Bill's Cafe Smoothies / Soya Porridge with banana & hazelnuts (mine & it was so good)

Bill's Covent GardenBill's Cafe

Have you ever been to Bill’s – let me know what you thought and which one you visited

St Andrews

Whilst I was in Scotland recently my husband took me out to dinner in St Andrews. It was a sunny but very chilly evening. Its so nice to pop over there for dinner and a walk as the sun sets. Its so pretty, rich in history and right on the East Coast of Scotland. We need to visit more often thats for sure.

St Andrews

St Andrews 2

St Andrews 3

St Andrews

St Andrews

St Andrews is quite a small town but is full of stunning architecture and coastline if you have never visited then I highly recommend you do at some point.