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Friday, September 28, 2012

24 hours in San Francisco

This past Tuesday, I flew to San Francisco for 24 hours. The reason for my trip was to give a work presentation, but luckily my twin sister also lives there, so we turned it into The World's Shortest Vacation! Here's what we did...

My sister Lucy and her husband Paul live about a half hour south of the city, so of course I crashed with them.
As soon as I arrived at 3:30pm, my sister picked me up at the airport, and we went on a hike. Their suburb is peppered with little wooded trails with beautiful views.
Lucy and Paul originally bought this giant stuffed bear for their baby niece, but then realized that they were being overzealous and it was a little big for a newborn. So they kept it for themselves (and secretly love it). When I went to the guest room, he was chilling on my bed, which made me laugh.
I also spotted this Spy's Guidebook, which was one of our favorite books growing up! It was such a flashback. My parents would gives us these books before going on overnight flights so that we'd stay busy on the plane. I can tell you from experience, a spy's guidebook is the RADDEST book ever for a 9-year-old.
Later that evening, we went to visit my best friend Brooke, who lives in the neighboring town. I helped put her ADORABLE toddler son to bed and taught him how to say "dude," which he then said every three minutes for the rest of the night. After he was tucked in, Brooke busted out some delicious white wine from Whole Foods.
Lucy then brought over pizza from Positano, including this eggplant, artichoke, arugula, prosciutto and burrata combo. It was such a great night, and we were so busy chatting we forgot to take photos.
Early the next morning, I went into the city to give my presentation and then flew back to NYC. During my trip, Toby chilled at home with Alex and our babysitters. They texted me lots of photo updates, including this adorable one of soccer practice. (Apparently Toby wouldn't let go of his coach's hand:)

When I first met Alex, he strongly believed that vacations should be at least a week. He wants to get into a rhythm, relax, have time to breathe. But over the years, I've tried to convince him that SHORT trips can be just as awesome. Quick getaways, weekend jaunts, mad dashes...they're thrilling and whirlwindy!

What do you think? Don't you love San Francisco? And do you believe in the value of short trips, too? Or are you think vacations should always be long and leisurely? xoxo

(Top photo from iPhone Wallpapers)

93 comments:

Jessica said...

I will take a short trip over no trip any day! And I adore San Fransisco! I visited Marin County, north of SF, and fell in the love with the beautiful landscape. Can't wait to go back!

Shruti Kapoor said...

Hi, the hike place looks really cool. I dislike 1 day trips. Specially if they are all the way to CA. You spend so much time in the air that it's a bit tiring to adjust for just a day. Glad you had fun though, the pizza looks delicious :) Btw your sister looks just like you!! How cool!

Mo (New on U) said...

We are moving to San Francisco from the east coast and are totally overwhelmed! There are so many different neighborhoods and the rental market is so competitive, I can't imagine how we'll find a place. The details of your trip got me excited for the adventure though!

Alina Valero said...

i have the same giant bear! my boyfriend bought it for me before we remembered we live in a tiny studio on the UES. I like longer vacations if the point is to relax but sometimes just a quick change of scenery is all you need to refresh!

www.itsalina.com

Julienne said...

This is a fun post--thanks for sharing! :)

The Cyclists Wife said...

Yes, lucky for us it's only an hour away. And whoever told you not to call it "San Fran" is right. We call it "the City". :) Glad you enjoyed your trip!

myheartscontentblog.com said...

SO sad...I live about five minutes north of San Carlos and I didn't see you! Darn it! Glad you had a good time. You should move here.

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

I use to believe in longer vacations and now that we work for ourselves, I cherish even the shortest of them!!! I know how you feel about SF - we have been trying to leave but never do!! Denise - Chez Us

Fancy Pants said...

Who doesn't love a long vacation? Of course they're nice, but I'm with you. Sometimes a quick jaunt is just what the doctor ordered.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed by "Getting back in the groove" when I'm back from longer trip.

Morgan Liti said...

Looks wonderful! We spent last weekend in SF for my birthday and it was AMAZING! So much good food. And I miss Blue Bottle Coffee's soy lattes dearly. :(

Morgan
seemomogo.blogspot.com

sumslay said...

I think i actually prefer shorter vacations....I think my average is 4 days, but hey, 24 hours is good too. I see the point about relaxing, but it's pretty amazing what you can get done if you don't have a long time. Also...confession...the older i get, the more I enjoy just being home. I NEVER thought I'd be like that!

The Cardinal Planner said...

It sounds like you had such a nice time. I love SF! It's about an hr away from Palo Alto via train, but I try to visit when things aren't too busy with classes. That pizza looks amazing! And from what I've heard, Trader Joes has delicious wine...

Erika
www.thecardinalplanner.com

megan said...

I love San Francisco so much. I went to school there and moved back to L.A shortly after I finished. I definitely left a piece of my heart in that city. At the time I was so sad to be leaving but wanted so badly to get back to LA weather. Looking back, I just didnt have the right wardrobe. HA! I say I would move back if my husband could find a job up there making a ton of money so we could live in the city and send our son to private school.

owo said...

A few years ago, I took a spur of the moment 4 day trip from LA to Istanbul to surprise my then fiance for his birthday. It was an awesome romantic whirlwind and since I was a bit out if it, felt dreamier too. It was also nice to not have to adjust to any jet lag when I returned and had to work the next day. I am now a huge advocate of short jet set trips anywhere in the world. I'm usually an obsessive trip planner and the spontaneity of no plan made the trip that much more fun!

Nikol Schiller said...

My sister lives in SF and I live in Austin and I agree with you- taking frequent short trips can sometimes be better than one long visit. Her apartment has begun to feel more like home since I visit so often!

Liz Lauren said...

san fran awesome!


http://lavieenliz.com

emelsealoving said...

Adorable!

beth said...

I live in San Francisco and took a lightning speed trip to North Carolina over the weekend (also with the added bonus of seeing my sister/best friend). I vote that quick trips are a great adventure!

Isn't it funny how just a few days away is quite enough to make you remember what a gift home is.

newyorknonsense said...

I've always wanted to go to San Francisco, but have never been to the west coast. Short trips can be great though. A little zap of fun and difference from the norm always perks me up.

Cara said...

I love SF. I'm going there this afternoon for the weekend and MOVING there in 6 weeks!

Circa Style said...

I go to San Francisco twice a year because my two closest friends relocated there. I'm actually going again next week. I love that city!

My fiance and I like to take several short trips (2-4 days) in combination with one long trip (5-9 days) each year). So much fun!

lollingabout said...

We just went to San Francisco a few weeks ago and had so much fun! Here's our trip: http://lollingabout.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/travel-san-francisco/
We try to do a mix of short and long vacations. Sometimes we just can't afford to be gone for a week, but something is always better than nothing!

SteffanyF said...

Heya!
That wine is actually from Whole Foods, not Trader Joe's. I only know because I buy lots of it, being a broke newlywed in San Francisco with a roommate. It's only $3! Yes.
I love, love, love San Francisco. The rental market here has just EXPLODED in the last three years because of the burgeoning tech industry-however if you want to buy a place it isn't so horrible. My husband and I keep debating whether or not we should make the move to Oakland (a very common conversation for people my age here :) but I just can't do it. I love the city too much. Plus then we would have to commute-and being able to walk to work is the best thing ever.
So glad you had fun! I've spent time on the east coast (Boston and Baltimore) but San Francisco is my home, no question about it.

Diana Acosta said...

After graduating from college my boyfriend and I moved to Omaha, Nebraska, mostly to be close to his family... upon moving here (we currently live in Omaha) I told him I would happily live in Omaha for a year and then I would chose were we move next... and I've chosen San Francisco! Im originally from Texas and he is from Kansas and we went to college on the East Coast, we are just missing some Cali to complete us! So as I trudge on through my year in Omaha (no hate to anyone from Nebraska, I am discovering some pretty cool neighborhoods, just slowly) I keep images of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific in my head as inspiration. We're coming soon San Francisco!

Ashley said...

So glad you had a good time! I grew up right by San Carlos in a little suburb called Belmont, and although I live in Santa Monica now, I will always think of the Bay Area as home. And the hiking in the area really is great!

Nomadic D. said...

San Francisco is an amazing city. I lived in the Bay Area for 7 years and loved every minute of it (well, ok, the weather not so much). As for short trips, absolutely, I think they can be a great way to reenergize and refresh without taking too much time out of regular life. Like hitting a quick reset button.

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

his little lady said...

Sometimes all we need are just those short little vacations. And San Francisco is definitely the place to get away too. LOVE that place :)
xo TJ

Christy said...

Short trips certainly have their perks- if that's all you have the time for and you've got the money, go for it! The Bay Area is a great place to spend a few days, too- and of course it helps having friends and family out there :)

I still remember the most delicious sundae ever from my last time in San Francisco six years ago, at Ghiradelli Square!

Erin P. said...

First of all, the picture of your sister and her husband is the cutest! They look so happy together that I can't help but smile dorkily at the picture-not to mention that you and Lucy both are naturally gorgeous! I lived away from my twin sister for about a year and the short trips we got to take to see one another made our relationship that much better! It makes you truly appreciate the time you have with them, regardless if it is 24 hours or 4 days.

Erin M. said...

I live in Redwood Shores and do all my shopping in San Carlos. So close! Glad you had a good visit. That hike looks familiar to me.

As far as quick trips, I'm open to all trips, but have had some experiences of taking shorter than desired trips because of time constraints and still feeling like they were really good trips. Especially now that kids are going with us, more than a few nights out of our normal beds and I'm pretty tired.

Elsa de Diego said...

Awesome! Thank so much for this (I LOVE your travelling posts). As for short trips, well, in the last year, i have done two times Miami-Dusseldorf, to spend 3 days in Bonn, and also Miami-Vegas and Miami-LA to spend 2 days on the West Coast. The red eye from the West Coast to the East Coast, kills me...and the day I arrive I am out...They are tiring, but totally worth it. I'd rather spend 1 week on the destination than 2 days, but I'd rather spend 2 days than 0 days. XOXO

Christina said...

you girls are beautiful and the pics are great from your trip! wheres the bear from? i love it!!

Darcee said...

Short trips are fun in their own crazy, chaotic way!!! I live one town over from your sister (Belmont)!!! Small world:)

junebug said...

That first picture of Lucy and Paul gave me butterflies in my stomach. They're so cute and LOVEy. And that picture of Toby with his coach just melted my heart. Yay for any vacation you can get!

June Allison Ramos said...

Short trips (long weekends) are the way to go! Although I wouldn't mind a week or two-week long vacation once in a while.

shoegirl said...

Oh gosh, I miss the San Francisco! We've been in Germany almost three years now and while I have little desire to move back, I get definite pangs where I miss it so much it hurts. It's been over a year since we've been back... :(

I think quick jaunts are great. Here in Europe, we can easily have a weekend in any number of other countries. It's so great. That said, I think it's crucial to get in at least one nice and long (2+ weeks) holiday once a year so you can get your relaxation going.

darnie said...

I'm always going away for 3-4 day weekends every couple of months. It's a blast and it always fun to see another city. Luckily I have girl friends from other cities and we share a room and go see our favorite musician play. SO FUN!!

ClosetCravings said...

What a shame that you only had 24 hours to enjoy yourself. I can't get over how much you and your sister look alike. That pizza looks so yummy too. =)
Satisfy Your Cravings For Celebrity Style and All Things Stylish and Sweet

Meadow said...

Looks like you made the most of it - great pics! I think the ideal vacation is between 1 and 2 weeks. One week can seem a bit short since it always takes a couple days to get out of work mode, but by the time 2 weeks rolls around I am itching to get back home, see my cat, missing cooking our own food, etc. I do love quick jaunts too - we went to the mountains for one night back in July and it was a lot of fun. Long weekends away are great too. Something to look forward to and break up work.

Amanda said...

I started reading your blog when I lived in NJ and picked up things about NYC from you. I moved last year to SF and bought a house in San Carlos. I'm thinking your walk with your sister and brother-in-law was in Arguello Park. Looks like home. I live at the top of the hill above the park and the trail that goes all the way up the hill lets out right by my house. My husband and daughter will walk that today when he picks her up from kindergarten. She turned down the princess crown braid this morning but says I can practice it tomorrow!

Shannon Buell said...

My husband commutes from Santa Cruz up Hwy 1 and into Redwood Shores 4 days a week. We have been debating a move to that area and have been told to consider San Carlos. The hike looks beautiful and the pizza delicious, hmm... Glad you enjoyed your trip.

Lady Calgary said...

Your sis has awesome glasses!

michelletranny said...

That pizza looks delicious! It's interesting that you found Whole Foods' two buck chuck competitor to be palatable. I'll have to give it a try!

Shan said...

Love that $3 Whole Foods wine! My boyfriend and I are calling it our "house wine." Ha! :)

Stephanie said...

Sounds like so much fun! I love last minute quick trips! I am not usually spontaneous so they make me feel like I'm being so adventurous :)

Briana said...

Short trips are great but I have never taken one THAT short, especially after flying across the country. It looks like you had a wonderful time in SAN FRANcisco (not San Fran, of course ;).

I MISS being able to buy wine at the grocery store. Why does California have to be so damn cool?!

13bees said...

i never thought you and your sister looked =that= alike until I saw that top pic. wowza!

LindseyD said...

Any vacation is a good one :) Best to mix it up I think. Week long relaxing trips are great, but you need good site trips, time with friends. There is so much too experience I try to take all I can get!

Unknown said...

i love how short trips feel so spontaneous! that rush of packing everything into a whirlwind couples days is great for the soul!
x.h

minidesignco.com

onechicklette.com said...

I would also hold the soccer coach's hand. :-)

marcus / cait said...

Oh my gosh I live in San Carlos and love that Sofia Loren pizza from Positano!!! I hope you enjoyed your trip!

domonique matthews said...

I have so much to say about this!! first off, i love san carlos! we live in a neighboring town. and positano is my favorite italian in san carlos, don't you love the inside, looks like they decorated it straight from west elm. and on the note of short trips! absolutely!! my husband and i have been on 3 short trips in the past 6 months and each has been awesome! we have 3 kids so it's a trick to get someone to watch them all for any longer and really it's just enough for us. nyc twice this year and az once. we pack it all in and feel like grown ups with a life outside of our kids again, then we fly home and can't wait to see all 3 smiling faces! the best. and toby...too cute!

Trina said...

How funny, I live one town over from San Carlos too. Close proximity to hiking trails *and* the city is one of the major perks of living on the peninsula. Although may I humbly suggest that next time you're in the area and have time for more than pizza takeout, head to Divino in Belmont for Italian. Or Osteria Coppa in San Mateo, specifically for the antipasti and pasta.

SF residents would probably title this post "24 Hours in the Bay Area." Before I moved here I once got schooled by someone who said most emphatically that south city (South San Francisco) was most definitely NOT San Francisco, and San Carlos is even farther down the peninsula than SSF. Outside of the Bay Area, though, probably nobody cares that much. :)

marcus / cait said...

Oh my gosh I live in San Carlos and love that Sofia Loren pizza from Positano!!! I hope you enjoyed your trip!

The Slow Pace said...

Wow! You did lots of things just in 24 hours!
I looove long holidays, but I prefer short getaways, long weekends for instance. It's a refreshing way of forgetting your daily routine but not too muhc. That's perfect for me because I love routine :-)

Jocelyn Pascall said...

While I love long vacations (who doesn't??) I am a FIRM believer in the weekend getaway. My husband like to do quick little trips when we feel like things are getting a little crazy at work. It's the perfect way to unwind.

jessd6 said...

Oooh, that Whole Foods wine is pretty good! I had the Three Wishes pinot noir and probably drank a whole bottle myself. Looks like it was a great trip!

Shawnee said...

lucy is so gorgeous, like you! looks like a perfect quick trip:) ps i adore the girl's street style as well in your above link. LOVE. xoxo

Elsa de Diego said...

Love it too!!!!!! :) xoxo

McKenzie said...

A short trip can sometimes be better I think! You end up really valuing the time you have there and make the most of everything!

http://currentlylovingblog.blogspot.com/

Scout and Rice said...

Short trips are fine if they are sans toddler - we recently had a weekend in Portland and it turned out to be more stress than it was worth. I would love to have a 24 hour stay (or a weekend) on my own somewhere though, or just with my husband. :)

me said...

I used to work with your brother-in-law! It's such a small world! Glad you had a great time in the Bay Area; thanks for sharing!

~Janel

Keith, Michelle and Sadie Too said...

I'm a physician. My time is so limited that 2-3 day vacations are the norm. I love how you call them Mad Dashes! I'm about to make a whirlwindy trip to London for just two nights. Wish me luck. I just love your blog, BTW.

A/C said...

It's by far my favorite city! I got married in Golden Gate Park 3 weeks ago! I think it might be one of the best places for a quick trip! So much to do in such a tiny place!

c & b said...

Born and bred: San Francisco.

I must concur with Trina about the technicalities of SF locales. Marin is NOT San Francisco, likewise, neither is the peninsula, lol.

And please, not "Frisco", not "San Fran.". Just San Francisco, SF, or The City will suffice.

Kara said...

We are going to San Francisco for a long weekend in a few weeks and I am beyond excited! We have been multiple times so I feel like there is less pressure to do touristy things and we can truly just enjoy the city. Your posts about your previous trip have been great guides.

This time we will also have our 14 month in tow so we are planning on taking your advice and hiring a sitter so we can have a night out. Know any good ones? :)

Erin Williams said...

You're making me so homesick- I grew up in the Bay Area (north, in Sonoma County) and oh, how I miss it. It looks like you had a great trip though! And well done on avoiding the dreaded "San Fran" faux pas :)

Re: Short trips- I agree! This past summer my boyfriend and I were both going to be in Europe at the same time (me visiting a friend, him working) so we met up in London, took the train out to Brighton for an afternoon of riding pier rides and taking in a concert, then back to London the next morning and along on our separate ways. It felt so spontaneous and exhilarating!

Aya said...

That photo of Toby with his coach makes my heart swell.

Ana said...

ha! I lived in San Carlos for two years! Such a great town!

Jillian said...

I love short trips! As long as you can take the attitude of not needing to do everything on the list, and just enjoy it, that is. :) My boyfriend and I spent a weekend in Baie Saint Paul, QC and it was amazing.

Dana DeVolk said...

Always wanted to go to San Francisco. I enjoy both long and short vacations. I PREFER longer ones but the short ones are fun too. I just recently went on a short vaca to the Smoky Mountains where my cousin got married! It was just for two nights but was so much fun! It was also gorgeous. The mountains were ALMOST as beautiful as my cousin in her gown... but that's hard to compare to. (C:

<3 Dana @ This Silly Girl's Life

Maureen said...

I live in Belmont! Looks like Waterdog Lake, no? Glad you enjoyed your visit to our little neck of the woods :)

Truett0620 said...

long and leisurely! I have got to get in the groove to have a real relaxing vacation :)

mary {figwittage} said...

I would lOVE to live in San Francisco and it almost happened, almost. My brother-in-law is moving to the Bay Area next year and I cannot wait to visit him... a lot :) Short holiday trips can be great! The more days, the better. x

Jennifer said...

I was staying with my sister and her husband in SF (Laurel Heights neighborhood) from last Friday through this Tuesday, meeting my sweet 10-week-old niece Penelope Sue (aka Penny Pie, Peanut, Pumpkin...). Some people think it was a short trip, but as much as I would have loved spending a longer time with them by the last night it really began to feel like it was time to head home and let them get back to their normal routine. I just have to start planning my next visit immediately!

Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

OMG if that book is the one I think it is...I've been looking for it for 25 yrs....I had either that book or one really similar when I was young and I thought it was the greatest book ever ever ever!

Liz Thompson said...

Awesome that you love shorty vacas:). Maybe it is a female thing? We had to miss our long summer vaca this year and I can't convince my husband a short one would be better than nothing....

Gretchen said...

I've always kind of thought vacations had to be about a week...especially ones which involved flying on a plane. Seeing all of your amazing posts though, with weekend trips to europe and overnight trips to San Francisco etc. have inspired me!

Sammi said...

Sounds so lovely :)

I am in the midst of doing weekends away through europe at the moment, luckily i live close enough to airports to be able to go whenever I like really.

Emikos Werid Unexplained thoughts said...

Hi! I want to say that, that is my favorite whole foods wine. And that I love the spur of the moment get aways because it helps you take on things when you get home. It's fun! I also can't wait to go to San Francisco next month its one of those trips. You seem to come back in a different state of mind and being .

Angelica B. said...

I flew to Oakland last week for a quick less than 4 day trip. Went and took pictures of the bridge. Puttered around Haight St. I was a great time. If you can get away, then it counts as a vacation, even if it's short.

rusty {rambles} said...

Oh man, you gave me such a happy childhood flashback, seeing that book. It was such a favourite! My husband has informed me that Keri Smith's 'Finish This Book' is the adult equivalent, so I'm gonna get sleuthing! ;)

Rebeka said...

I've never thought of a vacation needing to be long, but I get that. Alex definitely has a valid point. I just think a week long vacation isn't always do-able, so short ones will have to fill in the gaps between the long ones.

Cheer up, Old Bean! said...

I love San Francisco! It's my favorite city! I would happily spend just 24 hours there! :) I believe any trip no matter how short or how long is beneficial- sometimes you just have to get out of your usual environment!
Leah
www.cheerupoldbean.blogspot.com

Tyckled Tales said...

I'm one of the rare folks born and raised in San Francisco. Call me biased, but there's definitely nothing quite like this city. Glad you got to have a taste of it even though it was so short. Trips are what you make of it - what your intentions are. Sounds like you had a great time, so although it was short, it was a trip worth doing!

Danielle said...

My husband and I went out to Cali for a wedding last month and spent 3 days in SF and surrounding areas... We fit A LOT into 3 days and it may be my new favorite city! Here were the highlights: SFMoMA, Wharf Aquarium, Winchester House, Pfeiffer Beach at Big Sur, Muir Woods, movie at Castro theatre, walk down Golden Gate bridge, tea in the Japanese tea garden in Golden Gate Park. 3 days. Then we took a half day in Yosemite. I am a firm believer in short getaways.

Stephanie said...

I'm glad you had a great time! My best friend and I lived and died by those books growing up. We had 'drops' all over the place! And secret codes in case they were discovered of course.

Hi There! said...

great post and hubba, hubba, mr. soccer coach!

Jackie B. said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time! Sometimes a quick get away is just what you need. -jb.

http://madewithlovebyjackieb.blogspot.co.uk/

Micheal Gibbs said...

Oh Great i thought you spend really good time and doing some interesting stuff.

NLP Course

Micheal Gibbs said...

Oh Great i thought you spend really good time and doing some interesting stuff.

NLP Course

Kaylee said...

Stay but in bright, soft colors. To a deep red as steers quickly from entire wedding outfit.
Designer Bridal Gowns

Dorothy Gorczyca said...

Love SF! We just wrote a travel guide to some of our fave places to eat there! Visit our lifestyle blog, Gorgeously Wed and Ever After at www.gorgeouslywed.com

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