San Francisco

Last month we took a trip to San Francisco.  My cousin moved there last December so we'd talked about visiting later this year depending on whether we could afford it and still had enough annual leave after Mexico.

We booked the flights about 3 months in advance and paid around £300 each with Virgin.  We thought this was a pretty good deal and it was, the only catch being we still had to add luggage on (£45 per bag each way) and could only select our seats 24 hours in advance of each flight.  This is the economy light option they now offer and if you don't mind taking the risk it's a pretty good option especially if you only plan to take one suitcase between you like we did.

The accommodation, however, was a bit more expensive for what we got and worked out around £900 for a week in a 3 star hotel in the centre.  It was basic but a really convenient location so I would happily recommend it on that basis.  It was called the Herbert Hotel on Powell Street.

San Francisco is a pretty busy city with lots to see and do so we knew we had to be super planned and organised in order to fit everything in.  I wrote an itinerary in advance to make sure we did everything we went to and attach it below.

Day 1

3.45pm – land in San Francisco

4.45pm – take BART yellow Antioch to Powell St station

5.15pm – check in to hotel

6.15pm -  head out to dinner

Day 2

Explore Nob Hill and Mission.

Day 3


Day 4

10am – take cable car to Ferry Terminal Building

10.30 – get breakfast from Farmer’s Market

11am – walk to Pier 33

12pm – take ferry to Alcatraz

2.30pm – take ferry back to Pier 33 and walk to Pier 39

3.30pm – walk to Fisherman’s Wharf

5pm – take cable car back to hotel

7pm – go for dinner/drinks

Day 5

10am – breakfast in Union Square

11am – walk to Civic Centre

12pm – climb Fulton St towards Alamo Square to see Painted Ladies

1pm – lunch

3.30pm – climb Folsom to Bernal Heights Park

5pm – take the BART back to hotel

7pm – go for dinner/drinks

Day 6

10am – go for breakfast

11.30am – take BART blue to Dublin/Pleasanton from Powell St

12pm – take bus 14 to Jack London outlets from E.BART

4.30pm – head back to hotel

7pm – go for dinner/drinks

 Day 7

10am – take cable car to Lombard St

10.30am – walk to Hyde St, hire bikes (Blazing Saddles)

11am – cycle along water towards Fort Mason, down to Marina Boulevard

11.30am – stop at Palace of Fine Arts

12pm – continue along San Francisco Bay trail

1pm – grab lunch near Crissy Field

2pm – cycle across the bridge to Sausalito

3pm – park bikes near Marina and explore

4pm – catch ferry back to city

4.30pm – return bikes and head back to hotel

7pm – go for dinner/drinks

9pm – comedy

Day 8

11am – check out of hotel, get brunch

1pm – head to airport

5pm – fly back to London

We also visited some really lovely brunch places so I have listed these below too in case you ever visit:

Lapisara Eatery
Taylor Street Coffee Shop
Boudin Bakery
Dottie's True Blue Cafe
Gott's Roadside

One thing I feel like I do need to point out about San Francisco is the huge homeless problem they have but not just homeless people sleeping rough but mentally ill people on the streets.  It's so sad and quite shocking.  I did really love this city though, it has a really cool vibe.

Have you ever been?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Things I've Learnt Since Being Engaged

If you read my Mexico blog (here) or follow me on Instagram (here) you will know I got engaged earlier this year and am slooooowllllly planning my wedding.  So I just wanted to point out a few little things I've noticed in the last 6 months of being engaged.

People Will Want All the Details

Not just the details of the engagement although I have told that story so many times now (and it's not a complaint) but all the details of the wedding too.  I'm not a super secretive person and am happy to share my plans if people ask but I do also want there to be an element of surprise for my guests.  I think nearer the time when the details are more finalised I will tell people they just have to wait and see!

Be Organised

We got engaged 6 months ago and I'm not planning to get married for another 2 and a half years.  I want to be super organised, take my time over things and really just enjoy being engaged.  One of my friends actually pointed out to me that being engaged and being a fiance/having a fiance is only ever temporary so we really should enjoy it whilst it lasts.

Don't Invite People Too Early

The downside of having a long engagement is that there will be people in 3 years time that we are no longer in contact with, there will also probably be new people in our lives that we will want at our wedding.  So, don't send your invites out too early.  It's fine to create a guest list well in advance (we've already done that) but we don't plan to send our invites out until 6 months before the big day.

Dress Shopping is Exciting

I thought it would be stressful because I'm so fussy when it comes to clothes and every finer detail but it's actually super fun.  I kind of already know the style of dress I want but I think I will make appointments at all the big designer dress shops anyway just to have a fun girly day playing dress up with my mum and sister.

Will I Change My Name?

For me it's a yes.  I know not everyone wants to change their name these days and some men even take the women's name now but you just have to do what's right for you.  I'm quite traditional so I think I will change my name and I've also never been that keen on my maiden name!  However, professionally I will keep my maiden name as my reputation is connected to that name so I don't want to lose that.

What did you learn after getting engaged?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

How To Bring The Holiday Home With You

Don't you hate it when you come back from a really fun trip and just feel depressed?

This time last month I was in sunny San Francisco having the time of my life trekking through Yosemite and exploring Alcatraz.  Fast forward to now and I'm sat at my desk in freezing cold London!  So this got me thinking, how can we continue that holiday feeling when we get home?

Re-live the memories

Thank God for smart phones because now we can re-live all our memories just by scrolling through our phones.  Looking at photos and uploading them to Instagram, re-watching Insta-stories and reliving the magic.  Even printing them off and putting them in an album if that isn't too old fashioned for you!

Re-create the holiday

Why not try to do some of the things you did whilst you were away but in your own city?  When we were in San Francisco we went for brunch every morning at a different place, visited a comedy club one evening and took walks in the park.  These are things we can do here in London so we are now trying to go for brunch every Sunday followed by a walk in Greenwich Park!

Get planning your next trip

I know this isn't always feasible but the best way to get rid of holiday blues is to have something else to look forward to and it doesn't have to be another holiday, it could just be a visit to the theatre or dinner with friends.  As January is coming up we are going to look in the sales for flights to Stockholm and New Delhi for next year!

How do you bring the holiday home with you?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren