I have only traveled a couple of times with a companion. Most of the time I go anywhere I head out by myself. This weekend I was supposed to be in New Orleans to celebrate my best friend’s birthday, however circumstances prevented those plans from coming to fruition for me. I ended up with a long weekend off work, and last minute my friend Alexa and I decided to book a trip to the Bay Area.
I have family members in Oakland and with an hour and a half flight from Seattle, it made for the perfect quick trip.
Here are the highlights!
Oh my god. I don’t know how I have lasted this long without getting TSA Pre-check. Alexa bought the tickets, so I got to piggyback onto her pre-check. We zipped right through security. Didn’t have to take off my shoes, unpack my toiletries. Nothing.
I just went through the scanner, x-rayed my bags and was on my way. We had so much extra time we stopped for a pre-flight mimosa. And by mimosa I mean it was not even 8AM and the only place we could find was a wine bar and we had straight up champagne. Cause we were adults on an adult trip who can drink champagne at 7:45AM if we want.
Also, why is the wine bar open before anything else at the airport?
First Fridays at Oakland Museum.
When we arrived on Friday, we decided to stay in the area as neither of us had spent any time in Oakland. My Cousin recommended we go to the museum that night. Turns out First Fridays are a pretty common occurrence at museums across the country. This is not the case in Seattle, where it is too rainy any cold most of the year to accommodate such an event. A street was blockaded by a long row of food trucks which led down to the museum, where a stage with live music was set up. There was even a dance demonstration and adults and children of all ages, sizes, and colors danced together. There was great local food and it was an all around awesome introduction to Oakland.
We also grabbed some dinner at Jack London Square, which is by the waterfront. We sat in the sun and soaked up some vitamin D. After several months of gloomy, rainy, PNW weather the 70 degrees was a warm welcome.
Day two we awoke to sunshine again and started bright and early. We took our time getting ready and met up with my cousin to go to brunch at Portal. Turns out, Brunch in the Bay Area doesn’t start until 11AM. As in most restaurants don’t even open until 11AM. This results in long lines forming before they even open their doors which was just plain weird. I am used to brunch/breakfast places opening early… I mean, its breakfast food, right? Don’t some people want to eat it at breakfast time?
Anyway, we luckily got there early enough to snag a table and sat outside on the patio with a view of the water. I don’t think I have sat outside on a patio in the month of February in the 28 Februarys I have been around for.
The food was absolutely perfect as well. Their menu features classic breakfast fare with a hipster twist. I had the Portral Plate, which was eggs, potatoes, and a choice of meat. Simple, and exactly what I needed. They also, and most importantly, had bottomless mimosas. You know your girl got drunk at brunch becasue I never drink, let alone in large quantities. At one point after using the restroom, I smacked myself in the face with to door on my way back to my table. Not sure if anyone saw me and at the time I didn’t really care.
Anyhoo, Portal was fabulous and if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend checking them out!
After brunch Alexa and I drove into San Fran to try our hand at consignment shopping. Another group of friends did some consignment shopping when they visited the city and found some great pieces. For us however, after multiple stops, we had little luck. Other than a single jacket (which I cannot take credit for, Alexa definitely found it) we didn't find any hidden gems to take home.
One thing we did take in though was the scenery. I’ve been to San Francisco once before and had forgotten how stunning all of the buildings are there. The rows and rows of unique, colorful houses on hill after hill. I could have driven around looking at them all day.
As it became dark we tried to catch a view of the sunset when we passed by a hill but couldn’t make it to a good spot. We walked through the edge of a city park and when it was getting to close to dark, we began walking back to the car. We passed a sign that said “beware, coyote sighting.” Just behind the sign were two full grown coyotes trapsing along the path. We high-tailed it out of there and headed back to Oakland.
One day three, my cousin took us on the ferry from Oakland to San Francisco. This was one thing that was recommended to us by multiple people to get a good view of the city before we left. And boy was it worth it. Even though the view on the way back was supposedly better, even the way there was spectacular. We got a view of the Oakland bridge as well as Golden Gate. We passed Treasure Island, and stopped at Pier 39. We also did the touristy thing and stopped to say hi to the sea lions.
We made the theme of the weekend Brunch and headed to Horse Feathers for some grub. Definitely more hipstery that Portal, but pleasant. They didn’t have bottomless mimosas though, but no one is perfect.
We sat for at least and hour or two chatting about life and I don’t think I have had that much uninterrupted girl time in a long while. It made my heart happy to share laughter and thoughts over wonderful food and drinks with the sunshine spilling over us.
Our last stop in the city before boarding the Ferry back to Oakland then heading back to Seattle, we perused the Ferry Terminal for a little while. There are all kinds of shops and restaurants there. Definitely great place for tourists to pick up some local items to bring home. It actually reminded me a lot of Pike Place Market, except indoors, smaller, and doesn’t smell like fish.
We stopped for one more glass of champagne outside on a patio and Alexa and I soaked in the last bits of sunshine we could before heading back to the wintery gloom waiting for us in Seattle.
The Ride Back:
We hopped on the ferry back to Oakland, and turns out the everyone was right. The view of San Francisco on the way back was spectacular, especially on that day. There were no clouds and it was perfectly clear out. You get an amazing, long view of the city on the short ride back to Oakland. You can even get a glass of wine or beer for the ride.
I got to spend some time reflecting on this wonderful little trip. On one hand, it was super short; Arrived on Friday morning, departed Sunday evening. However at the same time this was a little reset to charge my batteries. It was enough to make me feel refreshed, but not so long that I truly missed home by the time I came back. Maybe one more day would have made it absolutely perfect.
Spending the weekend with two of my favorite people, my cousin Genny and best friend Alexa made my heart full. I can’t wait to take more little trips like this throughout the year and continue to dedicate my time to seeing more of this little planet.