Where in the world do I begin?
(warning: loads of pictures ahead! my apologies for the iPhone photo dump, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much time editing!)
If you missed last week’s post on the day we arrived in San Francisco, have a peek: Living and Loving Life in San Francisco, and also a glimpse and a bit of history of where we stayed: Marvelous in My Monday.
It has only been a week, and yet I feel like a lifetime has passed! Marc and I flew home from San Francisco late last night and were both right back at work already today. I feel that I have missed so much, but being away from everything, just the two of us, was exactly what we needed.
Sitting down to write about our trip is incredibly tough. It’s definitely going to take a few posts. We filled our days with exploring parts of the city we’d never been, driving inland to see smaller towns, the country-side and wine country. I can barely remember what we did two days ago, let alone last week!
What I do remember? We ate.
Yes we ran, walked, wined, and shopped… but we made up for it by eating delicious food.
Staying at Cavallo Point Lodge, we didn’t have the same routine as we usually do in Maui. We didn’t have a complete kitchen to make full meals but we did have a mini fridge, tea kettle, wine bottle opener and a Keurig.
So the day we arrived in San Fran, we stopped at Trader Joe’s near Fisherman’s Wharf and stocked up on granola, chia seeds, trail mix, almond milk, bananas, yogurt and almond butter. All of this made for perfect, easy breakfasts for our hot, sweaty, delightful runs in the Marin Headlands. I found a great gluten-free, vegan granola with great ingredients, unfortunately buying nut milk and non-dairy yogurt isn’t always so ‘clean’. I found the best that I could!
Our typical day was pretty simple, but filled with quite a bit of sightseeing. The first few days we started our morning with a coffee (the first I’ve had in a long time)! While the coffee was brewing I threw together a chia seed pudding with chia, water, almond milk, vanilla 22 Days Nutrition protein powder and trail mix for myself. What a great mix! Happy to have found 22 Days Nutrition, I was quite impressed with the taste. Marc had cereal with almond butter, bananas and almond milk or yogurt. Super simple. We’d catch up on a few emails from family and just stare at the view from our balcony.
Quiet, lovely. No distractions.
We’d then head out for a run. Last year I focused on yoga at the lodge because I was injured and just needed a rest, but this time I had to run those trails! We drove a quick few minutes to a trailhead up the highway and parked. Marc would run a few minutes with me and then he’d be off on his merry, speedy way and meet me along the trail on his way back after about an hour. We’d hop back in the car, go back to the lodge and shower/get ready for the day of exploring. The last few days we didn’t want to take up too much time so we got up, had a banana with almond butter and went for a run right away. Then we’d punch in where we wanted to go on our GPS and got moving!
Lunches were usually pretty light. The first day we got to San Fran, we did the quick run to Chipotle (for me) and In ‘n Out (for Marc), purely out of convenience and hunger. He needed his fix, it was perfect to get it out of his system right at the beginning!
Tasty salad bowl. I tried the new shredded tofu, but should have just stuck with the grilled veggies. You just can’t go wrong with grilled veggies!
We also hit up Cafe del Soul in Mill Valley, and had brunch one day at The Plant (unpictured) in the Marina District. We had some leftovers from Cafe del Soul for one of our lunches, and the rest we just grabbed a smoothie, a juice, kombucha, and/or a snack bar. Oh, and a couple of quick stops at Whole Foods in Napa
I had done my research before we left Calgary of all the restaurants we wanted to hit up, and Judahlicious was on the top of the list for breakfast or lunch. It was a bit off the beaten path for us, but we wanted to spend some time in Golden Gate Park and it was just minutes away. Another discovery of a district we’d never been to!
As we drove through the neighborhood we felt it had a bit of a cottage-feel to it, kind of like we were at the beach. Of course we soon found out it was because we practically were! Just a few blocks down was a HUGE beach we never knew existed.
Glorious little slice of heaven! And the food…
Judalicious was incredible. I had the Dahnu Wrap and Buzzed juice… whoa, that juice packed a serious punch! Marc had the Sem Sandwich. He thought that it was a bit strong, as vegan food can sometimes be, but he loved it! We wished we could have gone back again, but didn’t have the chance. Next time we’d love to go for breakfast!
We knew we definitely had to keep breakfast and lunches light, because dinner was the meal of the day! Oh. My. Word. There is nothing like the food in San Francisco. Nothing. In fact, all of the photos I even thought to take on this trip were of running on trails and the food.
Dinner on our first night, was The Plant in Pier 3 on the Embarcadero. We discovered it last year, and knew that it would be on our list again.
It did not disappoint! I decided to throw caution to the wind and try the Chef’s Palate special. Very interesting, the flavors were incredible; though I was grateful that we shared the spring roll for an appetizer, it was lighter than I had hoped for. Forgot to take a shot of Marc’s dinner, but he had the California Plant Burger. A favorite for sure.
The next night was Copita. Ahhhh, Copita!! A wonderful, authentic little Mexican restaurant in Sausalito. Again, we had stumbled upon it last year, but they went above and beyond what we remembered. Actually, the owner of the restaurant came by to chat and see how we were enjoying the food. I had to tell her how impressed I was to see written on the menu that the entire menu is gluten-free! No questions needed to be asked, everyone knew the importance of how to serve the food. She told me that she just found out she was gluten intolerant about a year ago and had to change the menu to show how important it was to her to see everyone enjoy every single item. Incredible!
We loved it so much we went for dinner there again a few nights after.
Yes, I had the exact same dish. Why mess with perfection?? One difference, we both had to have the margarita this time… no words.
Another restaurant I had heard about and had to try, was Herbivore. Sadly this was our least favorite place to eat. Perhaps it had to do with what we ordered, but we both felt that too much of the menu was faux-meat which isn’t safe for Celiacs, plus I’m generally not a fan of that kind of thing anyway. What we did order seemed pre-made and just not very flavorful. The lemonade and the steamed kale were certainly delicious, but we’re not entirely sure we’d go back.
As we explored the city throughout our stay, we came across a few fabulous little juice pop-ups, which were everywhere!! They were a juice-lover’s dream, even Marc enjoyed them. As we walked around the different districts, it seemed there was at least one juice shop in the area, even in the financial district. There are even more opening in the next month or so, more places to visit next time!
This pop-up is a juice bar by day, wine by night… genius!
But my favorite? Juice Shop!
You better believe those adorable bottles were stuffed in my suitcase and brought home! I hope that this catches on more here in Calgary. I’ve already seen a few new places pop up here, but we have a long way to go.
We had hoped to go to Gracias Madre for our last taste of Mexican food, but the night we tried to go there was absolutely no parking on the streets. We weren’t comfortable with the area, so we decided to turn around and go back to The Plant on the Embarcadero. Great decision because I was able to finish off our trip with a delicious meal I had a year ago. Again, it did not disappoint!
Of all the places we have traveled, San Francisco rates at the top of my list for the variety of gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan places to eat. Even if you are none of those, there are plenty of places to eat that focus on local, sustainable, clean, whole foods. I was amazed at the sheer amount of restaurants filling the streets, all with outside patios just jam-packed no matter the time of day. Such a vibrant, happy city!
Regardless of how much we felt we ate, I don’t regret one single bite. I practiced intuitive eating and just savoured the experience.
Did we eat a lot of dessert? Oh yes. Was there a good amount of wine, cocktails and beer consumed? Absolutely! But never to excess, always thoroughly enjoyed. I think we ran and walked most of it off anyway
Surprisingly enough, not worrying about getting the perfect amount of greens in, or making sure each bite was full of nutrients to balance the day, I felt fabulous! Completely stress-free. If only I could let that seep into my every day life. I’m gonna need to work on that.
Many of you know that Marc and I celebrated our 12th (!!!) anniversary while we were there, on May 5th. We celebrated at the most incredible restaurant that I have not yet talked about. Honestly, it needs its own post. I haven’t had time to edit the photos, so please stay tuned, it is well worth the wait I promise you. If any of you have heard of Millennium, you know we were in for an incredible culinary treat!
Neither of us wanted to leave San Francisco, we feel a connection that we have never felt anywhere else. Thankfully we know we’ll be back, we treasure the time spent and look forward to exploring more soon!
Whew! Time to get back to catching up on… well, life (and sleep)! I had naturopath appointment earlier tonight; I got my ELISA food sensitivity testing results back. Wow… many changes happening for the next month. I’ll be filling you in on that once I get a handle on it!
In all honesty, it does feel good to be home.
What is your favorite food indulgence when you travel? Is there a certain spot you return to time and time again?
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