Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Nor-Cal weekend Part 1 : San Francisco

Roaming the halls of the Legion of Honor
        Happy Friday! Today I'm excited to share snaps from my recent weekend trip to Nor-Cal! Mr. Lovey's been living in San Francisco for the past several months, finishing up a fellowship. With my current job, vacations and full weekends are few and far between --- last weekend, I finally had a chance to head out west! We spent some time touring the region, enjoying some of the usual and more unusual sites. I thought it would be fun to share my experiences with you on Cute and Mundane today!

        By the way, California weather always throws me off with its lack of seasonality! (I think I was the only person on the plane to Cali wearing a down parka and Uggs). I found that a combination of my favorite J.Crew cashmere boyfriend sweater and Lululemon Jet Crop Slims made for a Cali-friendly combination. I had also indulged in a Patagonia Better Sweater in Birch White, which was a great weight for San Fran weather. (As an East Coaster originally, I'm more North Face, but seems like Patagonia's the way to blend in out west...). But anyway, on to my travels...

The breathtaking view from Twin Peaks
1. Twin Peaks - What better way to start the day than with coffee and a view? Mr. Lovey lives up in the hills, so we started the day off with a bird's eye view of sky, water, and city. The view above is more residential, if you turned leftward, you'd see more of the San Francisco skyline.

(Side note: it was quite nice to enjoy an iced coffee in the middle of December...)

The Monet's at Legion of Honor have a wonderful pastel, ethereal feel.
2. Legion of Honor - I had hoped to explore a little bit of San Francisco's fine arts scene, so we decided to head to the Legion of Honor Museum. It's a smaller museum, located in the more elevated NW region of SF. (The nearby views of the Golden Gate bridge are pretty fantastic as well).

A closeup of Monet's Water Lilies 1914-1917.
       My favorite Gallery featured a few very pretty Monets (yes, even for Monets!) I especially loved the Water Lilies at Legion of Honor. I've seen a number of versions of Monet's water lilies hung elsewhere (in fact, Chicago's Art Institute has an impressive collection of Monet works), however I loved how this particular one had such an ethereal, optimistic feel.

A closeup of Monet's Waves Breaking 1881.
        I was also struck by Monet's Waves Breaking (of which you can see a partial closeup of above). I don't think I've come across a Monet like this previously. I'm intrigued by how much motion is in frame. It's so pretty, yet so different from his other watery still lifes!

It's an upward hike to Cliff House (from the beach, at least)
3. Lunch at Cliff House -  For lunch, Mr. Lovey took me to Cliff House, on Ocean Beach. (It's a fitting name, as you can probably appreciate from above!) As a Marylander at heart, I'm a blue crab proponent, however I thought I'd give Dungeness crab a try. We had Dungeness Crab crab cakes, as well as in the Cioppino below. (I'm feeling a little hungry now, reliving the photo...)

         Incidentally, I learned that Cioppino originated from San Francisco! I love Cioppino and have enjoyed it on previous occasions but had assumed it was a typical Italian dish. Regardless, it was a delicious meal, enjoyed with the accompanying wave-side views.

A closeup of our Dungeness Crab Cioppino.
           Here's a look at Ocean Beach, while headed back down the hill! To me it looks like a typical picture of white surf near the shore, until you realize the scale! The waves pound the shore with such force that all the sheets of surf appear white with froth.

Looking down on Ocean beach. To give you an idea of the wave scale, you can see all the little footprint indents to the left!
4. Dinner at the Plant Cafe - The last time I visited San Francisco, I remember stopping at the Plant Cafe. The idea of organic eats tickles the Whole Foods junkie in me. Inadvertently we ended up stopping at the exact same Plant Cafe in the Marina district. I'm kind of obsessed with their Plant Burger; it's soft and fresh, unlike your typical frozen veggie burger. I like to get the Wasabi version, which comes with sauerkraut and wasabi, and a raspberry vinaigrette side salad.

Fish tacos and a 'Plant Burger' at the Plant Cafe.
5. The Golden Gate Bridge (near Planite Granite) - The two of us love climbing, so we stopped at the San Francisco branch of Planite Granite, which is Mr. Lovey's usual. Luckily, Planite Granite is just a short walk away from a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge! It was really nice to enjoy this SF mainstay from the docks.

A near-sunset view from the docks. (On the other side, you could see Alcatraz).
         Well, that wraps up Day 1! To summarize, I'd say that Starbucks, Water Lilies, ocean surf, cioppino, and plant burgers make for a good day, any day. I'll have a few more photos from my NorCal travels to share, so look for those soon!

          Thanks for reading! What are some of your favorite things to do in SF? I'd love to hear so I can plan for the next chance I have to go back!

Love, Dovey.

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