West Coast Story

I’ve been back from California for a day now, and I must say I’m suffering from a little post-vacay depression!

I flew out of San Francisco Monday afternoon.


Said goodbye to the California landscape and quickly saw the snow-capped mountains!



I sat next to an adorable elderly gentleman who offered to take my picture. Said he hadn’t used a camera in 40 years!


My body is all kinds of screwed up from the three hour difference between Eastern and Pacific time. Not to mention, Daylight Savings happened while I was away. Ohyes, and my calves are screaming from walking the hills, and my back is effed from lugging around a heavy hiking bag!

Le sigh. I think it’s time to relieve some of the finer moments of California :)


The Foodbuzz Festival ended Sunday morning with a farewell brunch, leaving us a whole day to explore the city. Unfortunately, this was the only day it rained!!


Suki and her boyfriend were nice enough to bring Holly and I on our own little driving tour of San Francisco.


First stop, obviously, were the Full House houses. Err, I mean the Painted Ladies.


LOVE the Victorian houses in San Francisco. I oohed and aahed over the architecture there the whole time.


The next most important touristy stop? Trader Joe’s!


We don’t have Trader Joe’s in Canada, so we went to an area in San Francisco dubbed “Trader Joe’s Heights.”

My suitcase was already bursting with Foodbuzz swag goodies, so I couldn’t get much. Just what I could fit in my arms! (details of what these goodies are to come in another post)

Afterwards, we stopped by Baker Beach to get a spooky view of the Golden Gate Bridge.


San Francisco is known for being a foggy city, so I felt this view was actually quite appropriate.

Suki is a fellow Star Wars nerd, so we stopped by Lucas Arts to see a Yoda statue. “Size matters not…”


The bridge is nice of look at, but of course I also wanted to go over it!


We’d originally planned to walk it on Sunday, but the weather kinda of nixed those plans. So we opted for the dry car instead :)


More gorgeous views of the bay!


Going to California made me miss living by real water. I grew up next to the Atlantic Ocean, and these Great Lakes here in Ontario just don’t cut it.


I miss the ocean!!

The rain stopped long enough for us to wander around on the other side of the bridge, which is a really cute and upper class beach town called Sausalito.



We conveniently stopped next to an excellent burger joint in Sausalito just as we were getting hungry.


A no-frills kind of place, with a simple sign saying “Hamburgers” over the door. Hamburgers Sausalito is just burgers, fries and pop. My kinda place.



Plus, the Soup Nazi was here!!


I got a lean burger with everything but mayo.


Ohyeah. Even after eating amazing food all weekend, sometimes nothing hits the spot like a burger!


We wandered for ice cream after, stopping at a place called Lappert’s.


I was too full for a bowl, but still asked for a taste of a flavour I couldn’t pass up…


Date ice cream!! I am obsessed with dates (second favourite sweet only to chocolate). It was a pretty frickin’ good bite.

Tour guides!


Our last stop on our San Francisco tour was Ghirardelli Square/Fisherman’s Wharf.


We received a lot of free chocolate over the course of the festival, so none of us felt the need to buy any at the store.


But that didn’t stop us from swinging through just to get the free chocolate they hand out to everyone who walks through the door!


Peppermint marble chocolate.  Do I even have to say it was good?


Fisherman’s Wharf, while touristy, was still a neat little area of the city with tons of shops, and of course great food!


Be it real crab…


…or sourdough crab ;)

I didn’t know this before, but San Francisco is famous for its sourdough bread. We stopped by the famous Boudin Sourdough to check it out.

The one thing I regret from my trip is that I didn’t get chowder in a sourdough bowl. We ate so much over the weekend that I really just could not fit it in my tummy. Just another excuse to go back!

And of course, to buy this hat too ;)


Growing up near the ocean, I’ve seen my fair share of seagulls. But the ones at Fisherman’s Wharf were the biggest I’ve ever seen. Twice the size of the ones in the Northeast!



We did a quick drive-by of Lombard Street. I still have memories of driving down it when I was a kid – and the crowds of tourists were out of control!


Now that I’m home, it’s strange to think that I just spent a whirlwind weekend in California.



I have a sneaking feeling I’ll be back on the West Coast soon enough though. Besides, there’s that sourdough chowder bowl I still have to get ;)

My other Foodbuzz Festival/San Francisco recaps:
California Dreamin’
The Bakery That Changed My Life
All Good Things Come To An End
A Food Lover’s Paradise


Question of the Day: What American city is at the top of your list to visit? I know everyone wants to gallivant around Europe and such, but I think there are so many cool places in the States I still have to visit! Top ones include: DC, Austin, Boulder, New Orleans and Seattle.

Posted on November 9, 2010, in Fun, Restaurants and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. GAH! Seattle has chowder in bread bowls! And it is really really good!!

  2. I didn’t even try bringing my meat through customs … but I should have because they didn’t ask me a thing, and they didn’t search my luggage.

    I would love to visit the following American cities very soon:
    – Seattle
    – San Diego
    – L.A.
    – And I want to go back to NY

  3. Great photos! They make me miss San Francisco. I’ve only been there onc, but I WILL go back.

  4. I really want to go to Seattle and Boulder, CO. I feel like I would just fit in there…hahaha

  5. ahh the full house houses!! the first time I went to san fran, I was about 8 and I asked my mom to take me to the full house house, and I didn’t understand that there wasnt an actual house and it was a set hahaaa i was so sad, I cried!

    Love all of your recaps looks like you had the BEST time!

  6. Maybe next year for the festival for me!

    I have lived in Boulder (and got married there). Nice city. My hands down favorite is New Orleans, though. Gritty, food heaven, beautiful, historic, and like nowhere else. Our dream is to have a vacation home there. If family wasn’t up north – we would be living there.

  7. Oh it looks like such a fun end to a great weekend! I need to go back to San Francisco, too. To eat sourdough, see Alcatraz, go to yoga again, see the painted ladies, etc. These is just too much to do and eat and see and eat (again)!

  8. Looks like you had a fantastic weekend even with the rain :)

    I love Seattle, planning a little road trip there soon (there’s a BSG exhibit at the EMP and I’m really just a big dork) but for cities I want to see that aren’t a day trip away: Boston, New York, DC, and New Orleans. I did enough of the West on road/camping trips growing up :)

  9. I’m so jealous of you, suki, and hollly! I would hope you come to visit LA soon! Sophia and I will be waiting! I would love to visit new orleans, i hear its a foodie paradise.
    Seriously those shots are priceless, get them on a postcard!

  10. yeah, those are full house houses – i won’t call them anything else!!!

  11. incredible pictures, i love san fran so much

  12. Well, now I want to go back to San Fran like no other, but as far as cities I’ve never been, I want to go to Seattle, Portland, Austin, New Orleans, and…Montana, ha.

    Oh and you clearly need to come back and experience Southern California. Specifically, San Diego. Blog Her ’11, anyone??

  13. great photos from the little mini tour! i especially like the one with the bridge in the full window and the moon roof! nice contrast. :) i’ve been to most of the major cities in the US, but i definitely want to revisit a lot of them. it’s a different experience traveling for work or alone or when younger.

  14. love your post! and all those shots with you girls jumping..who ever was behind the camera gets an A+ for action shots!

    american city…NYC of course is great but just exploring the HUGE and great state i live in: California…I plan to spend the next 50 years doing it :)

  15. Looks like a fabulous end to your trip- I can see where the depression would be setting in!!


  16. OMG I’m SOO happy you took photos of the Full House houses, because I’ve always wondered if they actually exist!! Thanks for the proof! :)

  17. SOOOO FUN! I’m so bummed I couldn’t go this year but it looks like ya’ll had an absolute blast! :) Glad you had so much fun!

  18. That sourdough crab is the cutest.

    I’ve been to lots of cities in the states including San Francisco, Seattle, up and down the California coast, Nashville, Memphis, NYC, Detroit, Buffalo (ha), Erie, Sarasota… but I’d LOVE to visit New Orleans.

  19. Maybe San Francisco, because I haven’t been yet and it seems like a foodie haven. I love New York and always want to go back.

    Re: TJ’s, I went there while in San Diego a few months ago and was totally blown away! Did you try Two-Buck-Chuck? It’s shockingly drinkable!

  20. I’m from D.C. so naturally that is always at the top of my list! My two very favorite places are Savannah and New Orleans. They are the best mix of history, beauty, fun, and food! :)

    I am a very East Coast girl but your San Fran pics make me want to venture West!

  21. Two places on my “must visit” list that have yet to be crossed off are San Fransisco and Seattle. Soon, I hope.

  22. You took some great shots! Looks like you had a fabulous time. I can’t wait to hear about your TJ’s goods :)

  23. I think San Fran might be at the top of my list!

    And PS – how crazy high is Suki jumping in that photo WHOA!

  24. I am so bummed that I didn’t stay all day Sunday! I am glad you got to see the sights :) I miss you already–I am determined to get into Canada somehow!!!!!!

  25. Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzel nuggets are always a good choice. They might be my favorite snack food!

  26. I have to say, the thing that I may be most jealous of reading all these recaps is the sourdough bread! When I was a kid, my dad used to take frequent business trips to San Fran and he’d always bring back a boule and we’d fight over it. I think it’s my favorite kind of bread!

  27. Oh my God Susie San Fran looks so much like Halifax!!!! Unbelievable. Seriously, glad you were could visit all the same spots we went to when you were a child without having trip over people dying of Aids. I remember I did not want to let you out of the car at the Full House park cause there was so many addicts shooting up. Congrats to San Francisco for surviving the late 80’s early 90’s….

    • Hahaha, I *guess* Spring Garden is on a hill like San Francisco. The city is still pretty dirty with garbage though, and a lot of mentally ill and homeless people on the streets. Or as one blogger put it, “creepers” in the BART stations.

  28. AHHHHH! The Full House houses!!! LOVE it!!!!! I want to live in a house like that one day!


  29. i love your trip recap posts, and all the amazing food pictures!

    although your to-visit list is ballin’, i think you should add las vegas. believe it or not, its not all about gambling and getting hammered.
    it’s beautiful, super hot temperature-wise, with great shopping and food.
    AND. it’s pretty cheap to go there.

  30. i miss you already. that was SO MUCH FUN on sunday!

    it’s a good thing we have new york city in april…

  31. Fantastic pics Susan! I think my fav has to be with you all in the lobster hat :D

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