San Francisco, CA

Last fall we spotted tickets from Portland to San Francisco at a low low price, and against better budgeting judgment we snagged them for late January. It was a good excuse to visit my sister and to have something to look forward to, post-holidays. How to fun to have an already-paid for vacation sneak up on you!

I was a little nervous to take an 8 month old on an airplane, but it was a short flight, and she did just fine (phew). We took her all over the city, and she did great at that, too. We visited touristy Fisherman’s Wharf to see the cable cars, sea lions, and more. A sunny day found us out at Ocean Beach for cinnamon toast on a baguette, and some windy ocean views. This was Edda’s first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean, so we made sure to show her the waves and water, though she was more interested in gumming a coffee cup lid.

Since my sister has lived there for over 10 years by now, San Francisco is like an old friend, one I even spent a whole summer with years ago. I’m still a visitor in the city, but I start to find my favorite memories peeking around corners and saying hi, while always finding the constant change of cafes, stores, restaurants, and views thrilling. I’ll never catch up. And that’s okay.

It was so fun to bring the little one to the city and start to look at things fresh with her. I pictured many more trips as she grows: pointing to the sea lions, toddling along Lands End, discovering the mysteries of the Exploratorium. And eventually I’ll send her off to visit her aunt and uncle by herself and she’ll find her own version of the city, and her own memories to catch later.

If You Go:

Recommending one or two places in San Francisco is a bit ridiculous, but here it is anyway.

Fisherman’s Wharf: Very touristy, but still fun for a spin. Try some clam chowder in a famous San Francisco sourdough bread bowl, watch the sea lions cavort, or catch a boat to Alcatraz.

Java Beach Café: A giant warm baguette slathered in butter and generously doused in cinnamon-sugar? There’s no way your homemade toast is this good. The cafe serves plenty of other options, has a patio for sunny days, and is steps away from the sandy beach.

Lands End: The best views of the Pacific Ocean, the rocky coast, and the Golden Gate Bridge are at Lands End. Take a hike along the windy ridges to explore further, or copy us on this quick trip and just snap some pics!