Vacation Recap: Part II: San Francisco, California

As promised, here is part two of my recap of Jaime and my recent California vacation.  (If you missed it, you can read part one here.)  After spending a few days in the Sonoma and Napa area, we headed back to San Francisco for a few days.  I’ve already shared a bit of serendipitous crafting that I did at the Asian Art Museum so I just wanted to share a few additional photos of activities we enjoyed in San Francisco.

San Francisco - View from de Young Museum Tower

On our first full day in San Francisco, we decided to take the bus to the Exploratorium.  We had a bit of an impromptu city stroll after we got off the bus way too early.  As a result, we didn’t get to the museum as early as I would have liked and I’ll admit that I was a bit worried about the crowds as our visit fell on the 4th of July and the museum’s free day.  When we got to the museum there was a loooong line, but since we had signed up for free tickets online earlier that morning we just pulled up the tickets via Blackberry and were able to skip the line. I’m so glad I took a few minutes to register for the tickets as it saved us A LOT of time! The Exploratorium was crowded but there was so much to see and do that most of the time we were able to wander between exhibits without having to wait for an exhibit to free up.

We were so busy exploring the museum that I forgot to take photos until the very end of the day when we were in the seeing and mind areas.  Many of the museum exhibits were hands-on science experiments—with explanations—that probably wouldn’t have photographed all that well anyways.

This is a pretty well known optical illusion, but I still find it interesting.  Is the photo below of a vase or face?

Exploratorium - Vase or Face?I also thought that this drinking fountain—yes, it is a drinking fountain—in the area of the museum on perception was interesting.  The sign indicated that the toilet had never been used as such and the water was drinkable, yet not many people seemed to be using the fountain.  Would you drink from this fountain?

Exploratorium - Drinking FountainThe science nerd in me had a great time at this museum and the crafter in me enjoyed perusing the DIY books in the museum shop.  Also, the Exploratorium website seems to have a lot of ideas regarding things to do and make.  I’ve been trying to improve my photography and may just have to try their “Tiny Pants Photo Challenge.”  

After the museum, Jaime and I wandered around the grounds of the Palace of Fine Arts. 

Palace of Fine ArtsWe finished off the day with dinner at Trace.

Speaking of food, Jaime and I also enjoyed having dinner at Per Diem and sharing a dessert at the Luce bar.

Dessert at Luce Bar

We also enjoyed grabbing more casual bites.  I liked the pumpkin curry at Coriander Gourmet Thai so much that we ate lunch in the Westfield food court twice.  Jaime and I shared the two entrée plate with a side of brown rice, which made for a filing yet relatively inexpensive lunch.  We also picked up cupcakes from Bristol Farms, which we enjoyed with tea in Golden Gate Park.

CupcakeWhile in the park, we visited the Japanese Tea Gardens.

Japenese Tea GardenJapanese Tea GardenJapanese Tea GardenJapanese Tea GardenWe took an elevator up to the top of the de Young Museum Tower, where the view of the city was breathtaking, and popped into the de Young galleries about an hour before closing to see glass art by one of my favorite artists, Dale Chihuly.

View from de Young TowerOn our last evening in San Francisco, we went to see magician Peter Morrison at the Marrakech Magic Theater. The theater and lounge were very intimate and we enjoyed interacting with the magician as he did card tricks.

San FranciscoI also spotted these gorgeous thread balls.

                    Temari Ball Temari Ball Temari Ball

There wasn’t any information accompanying the balls, but from what I can tell from a quick internet search they are called Temari balls.  Definitely adding these to the list of projects I’d like to try one day.

On our way home, we had a layover in the Salt Lake City airport, where we picked up dinner to go from Cafe Rio.  We had picked up lunch at Cafe Rio on our way to California and the tortillas and mint limeade were so good that I wanted to go back.

Cafe RioHomemade tortillas and mint limeade are now at the top of the list of things I would like to learn to make.  Anyone have a recipe for flour tortillas or mint limeade that you’d like to share?

We brought a bit of San Francisco home with us in the form of mini apricot cakes from Restaurant ANZU, which we enjoyed while sitting on the couch while going through our photos and reminiscing about our trip. I’m not a travel expert, but these are some of things I enjoyed in San Francisco.

Apricot Poound CakeHave you been to San Francisco?  If so, what are some of your favorite things to do there? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

I was not paid or perked for this post.  I just wanted to share some things I enjoyed during my vacation.

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Vacation Recap: Part II: San Francisco, California — 2 Comments

  1. Check out Rick Bayless’s website (and cookbooks). I’ve always been tempted to try making tortillas but have never actually gotten around to doing it. And if you ever have a layover in Chicago, check out his Mexican food stands in both O’Hare and Midway – best airport food I’ve ever had.

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