One of my resolutions this year was to keep my room somewhat tidy... but that one's going nowhere, so let's chat about my other, funner goal: to see more of San Francisco.
On weekends, my absolute favorite activity is wandering around a neighborhood, stopping into stores that lure me in with delicate jewelry displays or a striking dress in the window, or a cafe I recognize from a fellow SF blogger's Snapchat. The problem is, I always tend to head towards Hayes Valley or the Marina, two neighborhoods that I know and love well.
After accidentally sleeping through multiple morning alarms on Saturday, Leah and I sheepishly woke up dangerously close to 1 o'clock. In the afternoon. For shame. With our grand plans of an ambitious hike scrapped, we decided to head over to the Embarcadero and check out Super Bowl City, where all of the events and free concerts (Alicia Keys! One Republic!) and promotional activities for Super Bowl 50 will be taking place next week.
Crowds everywhere, good-looking cops and alert snipers at the ready, metal detectors every which way, and lots of social media booths prepped for the Big Day. You can even zipline across a pop-up model of the Golden Gate Bridge!
While it was very cool to see the excitement building, I also took the chaos as a sign to lay low in my apartment next week and sample an array of dips that I'm requesting be available within arm's reach.
Sunday, we were much less sloth-like and rose at a decently acceptable hour.
I managed to convince Leah that a make-up hike was absolutely unnecessary... and that instead, we should take advantage of the sunny weather and go check out The Mission.
The Mission is a neighborhood that I'm not at all familiar with, though I've popped over occasionally for brief pit stops at the likes of Bi-Rite Creamery, Boba Guys, and Urban Putt.
I can say with confidence – I'm now addicted.
Could it be because of Tartine Bakery? We joined the line snaking around the corner, tempted by the pleasant scent of butter wafting onto the street from the ovens, and debated over which pastries to share.
We settled on a morning bun, and an almond croissant, and oh!
The hype does not lie.
Crispy edges, flaky crust, buttery bun flecked with orange zest.
A dusting of sugar atop a delicate croissant encasing dense layers filled generously with almonds.
Or could it be the masses of people laying out under the sun in Mission Dolores Park, sprawled out on blankets, mimosas and sandwiches in hand?
Dolores Park is the place to be on lazy Sunday afternoons in San Francisco. In fact, one of my roommates says: there's nothing to do in the daytime in SF except drink beers at Dolores Park.
And although I'll disagree with her thought that there's nothing else to do, I will concede that drinking beers in the park isn't the worst option out there. Judging by the sheer number of college friends I ran into while there, well... it seems to be a popular sentiment.
Once we hit the colorful streets of the Castro, we doubled back in search for coffee...
(Okay, wouldya just look at this goodness? Irresistible!)
But instead, we ducked into Dog Eared Books for a quick browse and then quickly lost track of time. The bookstore is tiny, but filled with treasures. Leah headed straight for the books about medicine and science, and I tucked into the history corner first before idling over to travel writing.
You know, it's interesting. In Barnes & Noble, I find myself flipping through bestsellers and whatever's shiny and new. But there's something about a charming and well-loved independent bookseller that always has me hankering for stories from the past, and tales from afar.