Day trip to SF

Hello! Happy June. It’s been over a month since my last blog post. Oh my, time flies! The end of April and May brought wedding season, lots of shoots (that also need to be blogged), my wife’s 30th birthday, more weddings, and now here we are! My birthday is tomorrow, but we celebrated on Saturday with an adventure to San Francisco. 

I was in SF for a wedding over Memorial weekend for the first time in over a year (can’t believe it was that long). I wanted to spend a day in the city while not working and visiting new (to me) places. Anna planned a day trip for us which included a visit to the California Academy of Sciences, a picnic at the Dutch Windmill at Golden Gate Park, a stop to dip our toes in the ocean at Ocean Beach, the 16th Ave tiled steps, fortune cookie factory, and dinner at a Michelin star rated Restaurant Mister Jiu’s

We left Sacramento around 8:30am on Saturday and made it to Golden Gate park just after 10. Leaving early is key to avoiding Bay area traffic heading info SF, so it was nice to make such good time. The parking gods blessed us with a spot walkable to the Academy of Sciences. The Academy of sciences was super cool and included an underground Aquarium, Rainforest dome, and Planetarium. We obsessed over jelly fish in the aquarium, got way too sweaty chasing butterflies and listening to parrots in the rainforest, and nerded out over the space film we watched in the planetarium. There were also penguins, a stunning pendulum that never stops moving due to the earth’s rotation, a living garden on the rooftop, and lots more! 

We strolled through the Shakespeare Garden and got a chocolate dipped ice cream cone before making our way to the Dutch Windmill for a picnic. We found a perfect corner to set up our picnic lunch with a lovely view of the windmill. Anna spoiled me with some of my favorite snacks, and made me a lovely little flower crown out of the tiny daisies that grew from the grass everywhere. I forgot my shutter remote so we took some self timed photos before packing up and heading to the beach. The windmill was just a few minute walk to the beach, so we made our way down to the shore and put our feet in the cold ocean. I grew up by the ocean, so it always makes me feel at home being by the water. 

After nearly freezing our toes off, we walked back to the car and drove a few miles to the 16th Avenue tiled steps. I’ve seen photos of these steps before, but had never visited them in person. It’s over 160 steps that have beautiful mosaic tiles, that lead you from the sea to the sky. It’s a neighborhood community project, and volunteers helped put it all together and keep the surrounding gardens maintained. The stairs are surrounded by a ton of succulents, cacti, and other foliage which makes for a beautiful site. It was busy with walkers and photo takers, but was worth the stop for the views!

From the steps, we headed to China Town to the Fortune Cookie Factory. It’s free to visit and you can make a custom fortune for just $1. After we customized our fortune cookies, we strolled around China Town, people watching and finding the red lantern lined streets. We walked some more and built up an appetite. Anna came across Mister Jiu’s, a modern Chinese restaurant, so we stopped for dinner. We munched on pork buns, a scallion pancake, pot stickers, and dirty rice. It was delicious! We found out after that the restaurant is Michelin Star rated, which made us feel extra fancy. 

Our hearts and bellies were full after our birthday adventure trip to SF. I’ve been busy with client work and hadn’t taken photos for fun in a while, so I enjoyed having my camera with me. Thanks to my lovely wife, Anna, for planning such a fun and relaxing trip to the city and making me feel extra special as I embark on my 32nd birthday. Adventures with you are my favorite, and I’m feeling so thankful and so loved.

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