San Francisco Road Trip

stormy Tucson afternoon
There is something about the Tucson monsoons that seems to teleport me to another city. The air is cool and moist, the sky bubbles with giant clouds, and even the birds noises heard in the neighborhood seem a little more diverse. The rainy afternoons, and all the Twitter chatter about #SDCC, makes me long for California.

The most recent trip Adam and I made to the Golden State was to explore San Francsisco last March. Thanks to Memolane I can relive all the highlights and brag about the awesome food and drinks we had.

In my everyday life, I’m driving around in a little 4-cylinder, with out of wack alignment, and a missing hubcap so it’s safe to say that for any road trip to be successful, an alternate mode of transportation was to be had. We’ve really become a fan of renting cars for any road trips, even if they are just to Phoenix and back, because of the worry free driving it provides. The cost was also very reasonable. A couple tricks that help us save when renting a car are picking it up from an airport location, returning the car to the same city, and always opting for the economy model. We’ve been upgraded to a compact model on occasion, at no additional charge because they ran out of economy cars.
Our trusty stead for this adventure was a Ford Fiesta. I can say that I’ve never driven a car with less than 400 miles on it, but this car was brand spanking new. So that was pretty neat.
After a quick stop at Chipotle to avoid any unnecessary hunger fights, we were well on our way to Long Beach via the PCH, where we would stay for one night, then be on our way to Oakland/Fremont.

Once we got to Oakland, it was off to find some tasty delights. Upon the recommendation of a friend, we ended up at Coach Sushi. Now I’m not sushi conosur, but this cute little Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, has been my most favorite ever. The space is tiny, so expect a wait on busy nights, but know that it’s totally worth it. The best part of this experience was the bottomless Sake that you drink out of a square cedar box. Said bottomless Sake is served up by the most adorable Japanese man out of a giant Sake bottle. He roams the restaurant floor, ever vigilant and never letting your cedar box run dry. In fact, the only way he’ll stop coming by to fill it, is if you just stop drinking it. Needless to say, it was a fun dinner, and the quality was the best this desert girl has ever tasted.

After a night in Fremont with my aunt, we headed out once again on the last leg of driving before arriving in San Francisco. Highlights included breakfast at Zachary’s Restaurant in Santa Cruz, Going to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and riding the same roller coaster that was in the Lost Boys.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk SwingsWe stopped for another quick photo-op near a lighthouse at Pigeon Point, then it was straight on through to San Fran.

Our HQ for the next few days would be the Phoenix Hotel. A little hipster motel in the Tenderloin district that used to be your run of the mill motor lodge. It’s now filled with rock n’ roll inspired art and sculptures, and features a great restaurant, Chambers Eat + Drink.

Our time in the city included a healthy mix of tourist stops and off the beaten path adventures. Golden Gate Park, Botanical Gardens, dive bars, all you can eat dim sum, the most amazing French soul food at Brenda’s, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge, Incanto, the SFMOMA, Twin Peaks, more dive bars, and late night Grubstake. We did so much exploring on foot. I was worried that parking would be a pain, but it was never really an issue, and renting the tiny Fiesta was definitely a good choice.

We know there was so much we didn’t get to do, so it was so so sad to have to leave. To cushion the blow, Adam planned some fun activities on the way back. We got to experience the Monterey Bay Aquarium before heading back to Long Beach. It was such a nice aquarium.


There was a long trek ahead, to make it back to Long Beach, but I’d be lying if I said we didn’t like turning the music in the car up loud and having our own personal dance party on long drives. This definitely helped pass the time and keep us awake. After a short sleep and refueling at Rosco’s Chicken and Waffles (amazing waffles, chicken, and greens) we were once again on the open road. This time our destination was Phoenix, to see Radiohead.

Are you exhausted after reading this? I’m exhausted recounting all of this, and you can bet we were exhausted by the time we arrived in Phoenix. So like true road warriors, we took a quick nap in the car in the parking lot, and enjoyed the show. When it was all said and done and we were back in Tucson, we couldn’t have been happier to sleep in our own bed again and be greeted by Killa.

I can’t wait to plan another trip back to San Francisco. ❤

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