My boyfriend and I recently celebrated our one-year anniversary with a romantic day in San Francisco! This time last year, I planned a special picnic and we traveled to Berkeley to visit the botanical garden and the rose garden. On the same theme, I decided to repeat that tradition, but didn’t tell him where we were going. First, I prepared a breakfast scramble with avocado, smoked salmon, and scallions. Then, we packed a picnic and hopped in the car!
When I first discovered Land’s End, I was having a Thanksgiving break by myself two years ago and just wanted to stop in the Bay Area for a cup of coffee. I set my GPS to the outskirts of the city. Little did I know it was for the little refreshment area and gift shop at Land’s End. I fell in love with the park instantly.
My boyfriend and I drove into the city via the Golden Gate bridge, then went to the park. I was concerned about parking but people come and go in the area so much that we only had to circle around a few times. Parking in San Francisco isn’t easy, so it seemed like a miracle to find a parking lot with no fees and no time limitation. I couldn’t have picked a lovelier day: the sky was blue and clear and you could see for miles. This photo is of the former Sutro Baths, a saltwater public swimming pool that burned down in 1966.
Afterwards, we strolled towards the Cliff House, a cliff-side restaurant, then kept walking along the beach. We meandered to Golden Gate Park, because I wanted to check out the North Windmill, and made a surprise discovery: Beach Chalet restaurant. Since we had been walking for a long time we decided to get a drink and split the Ahi Tuna Poke appetizer. It was a rice-free poke with taro chips for dipping. Definitely one to try at home! He had a beer, which they make in-house, and I had a glass of 2016 Rabble ‘Mossfire Ranch’ Rose of Syrah from Paso Robles. Warm weather always calls for rose, in my opinion, and it wasn’t too heavy alongside the tuna since it was a dry wine rather than being syrupy sweet. I loved the fresh strawberry notes.
We finally made it to the windmill and continued back up the hill to walk around the park. The moment I had been waiting for arrived: when my boyfriend could see one of the best views of the Golden Gate in the city! I remember when I turned the corner at this park and saw the Golden Gate for the first time. I was a single lady back then and couldn’t wait to share it with someone and I finally was!
After all that walking, it was time for our lunch: roasted chicken legs, salad, apples with cheese, and prosecco.
Next it was my boyfriend’s turn to surprise me because he spontaneously decided we should to go to Coit Tower in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. I hadn’t even heard of it, having only lived in California a short time. Of course I loved it when I realized it was Art Deco! The inside was particularly beautiful because it was covered with murals. The tower was named after Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a sassy trouser-wearing, cigar-smoking socialite/gambler who was practically a mascot for the city’s fire department. She bequeathed money to the city she loved so much, and they named this tower in her honor.
It was nearly sunset, so we decided to explore the area at the base of the tower. Little did we know we stumbled into Little Italy! We didn’t get to explore too much, but decided to get a bite to eat at Sodini’s. Pretty much every restaurant was wheat city (not a complaint, just an observation—Italian food can be tough to navigate when you are gluten-free), but I did have some choices. I got polenta covered in tomato sauce and some steamed mussels. My boyfriend got ravioli with pesto, though I didn’t get a picture. I got a good ol’ Chianti to drink and my boyfriend had a Valpolicella I can’t remember the winery or the vintages of the wine, but they were decent in both taste and price.
I get a kick out of the photo of the restaurant because the lady in the front seems to be making an impression of Lady Gaga.
As we walked to the car (all uphill) we captured the most wonderful sunset view of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the piers and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It was the perfect way to close our lovely day in the Bay.