San Francisco for Two Days – Day 1

A few years ago, I wrote a post reflecting on marriage. At that time, my children were teens. This year, on my anniversary and I reflect once again, the situation has changed. My children are now young adults and they can drive themselves where needed and they can survive without us and they are expected to be somewhat responsible for themselves.

So, my husband and I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to celebrate our anniversary with a weekend trip to San Francisco. What a treat. We flew to Oakland on Hawaiian Airlines and stayed at the Clift Royal Sonesta near Union Square. We chose Oakland airport because for this last-minute decision, the fare to Oakland was half that of flying to San Francisco. We found that Oakland airport is convenient because it isn’t as large as SFO and so getting out is so much easier and faster than navigating a large airport. We arrived at 8 p.m. and since we had plans for that evening, we caught an Uber into the city.

We checked in to the Clift Royal Sonesta next door to Curran Theater. It was recently renovated and I recommend the hotel for its convenient location and for its fun bar in the lobby called the Redwood Room. Deaner, my classmate from Hilo met up with us at the Redwood Room for a catch-up session filled with lots of laughs! We got there around 9 p.m. and easily found a table. Good thing we went when we did and got our table! It quickly got packed. We loved the vibe and the service there.

As always, despite a late night, I woke up early. I think I would have slept in a little more but my husband set his alarm for 8 a.m. for some reason I can’t remember anymore. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up and visited Trader Joe’s (first visit) for some fun stuff while my husband slept in. On my walk back to the hotel, I came across a deli across the street from the hotel that serves shakshuka for breakfast! I’ve never had shakshuka before but have been wanting to make it so I was excited for the chance to eat it. I went to the hotel, convinced my husband to wake up and get breakfast with me at David’s. We both enjoyed our breakfast–it was a little busy so it took a while for our food to come out but it was worth the wait. Yummy food and generous servings! In fact, kanak attack hit and we took a nap after breakfast. Good thing the restaurant was right across the street from our hotel. After a quick nap, I again was in the mood to eat and my husband agreed to share a plate with me at Halal Guys conveniently located near my hotel. This is one of our favorite food truck stops when we visit NYC so I was very happy to get a taste of it in SF.

After the snack, we walked to Trader Joe’s (my second visit) so I could get even more goodies to bring home for the kids. After dropping the bags off at the hotel, we caught an Uber to Japantown to go shopping at Nijiya. We came across a street fair with beer and food booths. I wish we didn’t have dinner reservations so that I could have tried all the food options but it was still a fun time. We bought a few things from Nijiya and walked to the hotel from Japantown.

We had dinner at Piperade in downtown SF which my friend Lisa Atkinson (Paradise Handpies on IG) recommended to me. I took a piperade-making class during the pandemic and wanted to try Basque cuisine. This restaurant did not disappoint. We met Chef/owner Gerald Hirigoyen who was so friendly! The food was delicious and my favorites of the evening were the mushroom tartlet, piperade, and the basque custard cheesecake. If you go, find a group to go with so you can order everything. And say hi to Chef Gerald! What a wonderful and packed day we had. Living Hilo Style in SF.

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