9 Aug 2013
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.
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.