San Francisco was on its very best behavior when Lauren was in town a couple of weekends ago, practically preening with her radiant sunshine and light breezes, the likes of which we hadn't seen prior (dead keen on suffocating heat, SF was) nor since (all about that rainy, moody vibe now).
Obviously, we had to take advantage!
We set off on a long morning walk from my apartment, strolling along the Embarcadero. Our conversations mirrored the thought patterns of a puppy in a park populated by squirrels and toddlers and Frisbees: cutting each other off mid-sentence, giddily exclaiming over juicy gossip, and making sure all topics were covered. So goes a reunion weekend after a year apart!
By the time we reached our destination, the iconic Ferry Building, we were ravenous. On any day, the Ferry Building is bursting with the tastiest, freshest, most artisanal of foods, from the best Vietnamese restaurant in the city to famous oysters to the most reputable, dependable of breads and the loveliest of pastries. But on a Saturday (or Tuesday/Thursday), the goodness multiples thanks to the endless number of vendors that make up the best of farmers' markets! Oh, it's heaven.
Lauren and I beelined it to Dandelion Chocolate, where she decided on a classic hot cocoa that adorably came with a slot in its sleeve for a biscuit. I chose the frozen hot chocolate topped up with whipped cream: truly obscene. Slurped it down in two seconds flat.
Now craving some salt, the two of us shoved and shimmied through the crowds inside of the Ferry Building, at long last reaching the light at the end of the tunnel:
Cowgirl Creamery for a bowl of its piping hot turkey macaroni and cheese, which we shared on a bench facing the Bay (Bae) Bridge.
At that point, we ran into several problems.
One, I needed Lauren to try the porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti, which is as scrumptious as the lines for it are long (they're really, really, really long). However, we were too stuffed to attempt to down the humongous portion, or even half-portion. Plus, we were at a loss of what to do for the rest of the afternoon, given that I'm a terrible itinerary-maker when it comes to anything other than where we're eating.
We pondered our dilemmas, batting around a couple of ideas, until we realized that the solution was literally right in front of us. A ferry! We could jump on a ferry, presumably to Sausalito, and even grab a Roli Roti sandwich for when we inevitably get hungry over there. But of course!
And so we quickly purchased ferry tickets and our precious sandwich, idled away some time by sampling and buying a couple of juicy pears and crisp apples, and then boarded the
And then we realized that our 1:25pm ferry coincided perfectly with the Fleet Week Blue Angels air show that had started promptly at 1:00pm. Lauren and I had stumbled across the practice session in the Marina the day before, but it was a little hard to see all the goings on with barbed wire and loads of people blocking the view.
From the ferry, our view was completely unobstructed. In fact, with the entire skyline in sight, as well as both the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges and Alcatraz, it was all the more picturesque. The precise formations and daredevil dives and dizzying swirls and twirls seemed all the wilder. When they spelled out "Welcome to Fleet Week" in the sky, it was as if it were for our eyes only.
The Blue Angels are a bit hard to spot in these photos (they're the white, hazy formations that look too wispy to be clouds), but let me assure you... it was a phenomenal show. Fleet Week is an unofficial holiday in San Francisco–everyone's up on rooftops in the Marina tempting the Blue Angels to fly just a tad too close, but I think I've found the coolest view of all.
Once we disembarked in Sausalito, we found a grassy little park in the shade where we plopped down, enjoyed some live music thanks to a group of college kids with a guitar, and dug into the Roli Roti, delicious as ever.
Neither of us had set foot in Sausalito before, and now I'm wondering why.
It's full of charm, exactly what you'd imagine a small seaside town to be like: ice cream shops with lines out the door, bicycles for rent, gorgeous cottages up on the hills. It'd be the perfect weekend getaway for anyone in the city seeking some quiet refuge. Absolutely lovely.
We walked to one end of the waterfront, pointing out the unbelievable views of San Francisco across the bay, and then doubled-back allllllll the way to the other end, where we each fetched an iced coffee from Philz in preparation for the ferry home:
Can you believe this scene right here?
I obviously still can't.