Travel Diary: San Francisco Edition

What ever happened to predictability? The milk man, the paperboy, evening TV? You miss your old familiar friends waiting just around the bend.

Everywhere you look // everywhere // there's a heart // a hand to hold onto.

If you can't finish every word to that song, stop what you're doing now and leave. Kidding. Sorta. Is there any human born before 1993 who wasn't a Full House fan? I doubt it. Anyway, I'm back for a whole 72 hours before I'm off again for a week of more travels. I spent the last week in San Francisco for a work trip and while I (think I) love San Francisco, I've only ever been for work. This time was no different, but what was different, was that I made a concentrated effort to see the light of day and check a few things off of my SF bucket list. Alcatraz? Check. The Painted Ladies? Check, check. 

The first half of my trip, I had a co-worker with me, which is always good because it means fewer lonely dinners and solo trips to the bar. It also helps when you do want to get out and explore and just don't want to be alone. The second half of my trip, I checked into the most amazing hotel. I was surprised to see it listed as a preferred hotel in my company's travel directory. After looking at the pictures, I was sold. Next time you're in San Francisco, definitely check out The Alise. 

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When you're on a work trip in San Francisco on Halloween, it's only right that you find time to go to Alcatraz. I'd only seen the island from a distance, so I was pretty excited to actually go explore. The walking audio tour is really interesting, though, I found myself wishing Alcatraz had a more haunted history... you know, because Halloween. It was a neat experience anyhow. And definitely something to do at least once. 

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I'd been dreaming about the best Irish coffee since the last time I had the best Irish coffee. No, really, The Buena Vista makes a mean Irish coffee. We had one at the bar and one to-go. I know California alcohol laws prohibit consumption of alcohol in to-go cups, so I was curious as to how this worked. The most awesome bartender ever simply handed us a mini bottle of Irish whiskey, instructed us to put it in our pockets, and sent us on our way with coffee to-go. It made for a nice Uber ride back to our hotel. 

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After the first 3 nights, I started the second half of my week with a move to a new hotel. The Alise was literally the cutest hotel I've personally ever experienced. It's located a few steps from the Tenderloin, which I know from experience is pretty sketch, but if you stay on Geary, you shouldn't have much to worry about. I mean, after all, I made it down the block at night to go have terrible ramen alone and survived. 

The Alise is one of I believe seven(?) "Stay Pineapple" hotels. The pineapple is apparently a symbol of hospitality, and these guys have certainly nailed it. While my room was pretty tiny, it got the job done. And mornings were just so much better waking up in a Instagramable room. 

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I found some time to cross another thing off of my bucket list. I'd never seen The Painted Ladies, so after some serious talking myself into it, I got in an Uber and had him drop me off for all of 20 minutes. Life's about experiences, right? Even if Alamo Park is under construction and the experience doesn't last very long. 

I definitely need to plan a non-work-related trip to San Fran in the near future, but for what it's worth, it was a pretty good time. It's typically pretty tough to find time to explore cities when you're there for work, but I think I will try to do this more often. 

What are your San Fran must-do's? Asking for a friend. ;)

xo, 

Aquia