Monday, July 21, 2014


Earlier this year, I went on the trip of an absolute lifetime to America.

M needed to make a work-related visit to San Francisco and he needed to be there a week.  We found out mid December and he asked me to go with him and suggested we make a trip out of it.

I was scared.  I am not good at being in or around planes and my seriously anxious personality did not want to find itself waking up in another country, so remind me to tell the story of how saying yes and getting myself on that trip pretty much changed my life.

For now, I am sharing with you photographs from our first stop - the beautiful San Francisco.

I was alone most of the time we were in San Fran as M was working.  I did get to hang out with his colleague's wife a little which was lovely as she is lovely (lucked out!), but as she was heading straight home after that week she was keen to shop and get gifts (they have two gorgeous children), where as I was street wandering for 5 days.

Here's a little snapshot of my time in SF..

This shot was taken a few hours after we got off the plane - 24 hours of no sleep, a crazy cab ride to the hotel (the cab drivers in San Fran are INSANE), a quick shower and a wander to stay awake (it was midday, I'd been up 30 odd hours). I was in utter disbelief that I was actually in America.  Like a dream.

Next day.  Victoria's Secret.
So much cheap pretty lingerie.

Seals sun baking at Pier 39.

Beautiful San Fran from the Pier.
This was our first full day there and M didn't have to start work until tomorrow, so we walked and walked and walked.  It was amazing.
I really think discovering a new city by foot is the best way to do it (unless it's just too far).

I just loved this building.

Steam coming up from grates in the road.
M was very amused.

The most insane houses, and it's more expensive to live in San Fran than New York.
Many of the gorgeous houses have been split up into apartments because not many can afford the multi-million dollar price tags.

The Botanical Gardens.
There was a designated area in the gardens for the homeless where they were 'allowed' to be.
There was, for me, a confronting amount of homeless people in SF.  I've never been out of Australia before this so it was really eye opening, especially as a lot of them, if not most of them, were people just like me.  Some with young children just on the street reading to them.  There were workers on the street that seemed to be hired just to move the homeless along, and security at every shop entrance.
I wasn't expecting it but in a strange way I am really glad I saw it, even if it really upset me (I cried a fair amount over it).

The most amazing wall art ever, just in a car park.

We stayed at the Westin San Francisco Market Street.
It deserves a plug for it's AMAZINGLY comfortable beds.
I was nervous as M's workplace chose the accomm and I'm usually a bit insanely controlling when it comes to where I will sleep in unfamiliar territory, but I wouldn't stay anywhere else now.  Great breakfasts, GREAT beds, and leave $1.00 in your room for the best room service you could ever imagine.

We didn't get to the Golden Gate until the last day (when M had some free time - I waited for him) and it was freezing and raining.  We got there via crazy cab driver #2, stopped, took a photo, and left.  It's a bridge.  A red bridge.

Market Street.  Around the corner from our hotel.

I just thought this 'Tad's Broiled Steaks' place was pretty much what I thought every food outlet in America would be like.
Man I was ignorant and had no idea.
Food, especially in SF, was amazing.  So many vegie and vegan, healthy options.  So cheap.  So fresh.
Super surprised and was scared to leave SF in case the rest of our trip wouldn't offer up the same amazing eats.

The seagulls were HUGE.
Can you tell?
The first time we saw one was on our walk a few hours after we landed and we were all, 'Are they that big or are we tired??'

Of course I have ten thousand photos of foods.
How beautiful are these mushrooms?
At the market inside one of the pier buildings - it had a name I can't remember.

M enjoying the best Max n Cheese ever from 'Cowgirl Creamery'.
Seriously, if you like cheese and are in SF, DO NOT miss this place.

Amazing wholemeal croissant.
Holiday food is the best food.

San Fran was a massive surprise.  Such an eco friendly city (most if not all of the cabs are Prius', there are electric buses everywhere etc), and the food was just amazing.  I was in a foreign country for the first time exploring alone and I felt super safe almost everywhere during the day (I didn't wander at night alone)

If you're visiting, I recommend;
- A drink at Local Edition (one is all I could handle)
- A quick bite at the Westfield Foodcourt (off Market Street) - amazing selection of food! Or Wholefoods.  You CAN NOT come to America as a person who loves food and not love Wholefoods.
- A meal at Anchor & Hope (if you love seafood), Pazzia (if you're a home sick Italian)  or, if it's a special occasion, Michael Mina.
- As I said, a stay at the Westin Market Street

Have you been to San Fran?

We then went on to New York, Vegas and Hawaii.. which I'll write about soon.

Can not WAIT to start planning the honeymoon for next year!  Travel is everything.  I am so glad I now understand why people say that.

Nat x


  1. I've been to San Fran twice, and I'm now looking to move there in the near future. Out of your restaurant recommendations I've only tried Pazzia and really liked it too. It has been over 2 years since I've been to SF though.

    I'm glad you got over your anxiety and enjoyed yourself! I had something similar with my first visit (my first trip out of Australia!) and now I'm having finding-a-job-and-moving-overseas anxiety!

    1. Hi Amelia!
      Firstly you made my day being my first comment on this new blog. Thank you for reading!
      If you like seafood definitely try Anchor & Hope - Michael Mina was amazing food but quite stiff - it was a part of M's work commitments and partners were invited.
      If I was moving overseas I'd be getting anxiety too! Amazing step though and very exciting =) If I were to move to anywhere in America I'd probably start with San Fran (from what I have seen). I loved NYC but it's pretty crazy and I'm not sure I could live there as a first step.

      All the best with it all would love to hear how it goes!
      Nat x

    2. I've been subscribed to and reading your Lemon Butter and Lemon Living blogs before this one too. I don't always comment, obviously, but I do read them all! I have to remember to show you some more comment love occasionally :) x

      Yes, San Fran does feel very comfortable and familiar (as you commented below) and I love that it does have that healthy city vibe to it, unlike what we read about typical American food! In contrast, when we stayed in New York our hotel's idea of "breakfast provided" was sweet, sugar-laden pastries and donuts. The only healthy option were some sad looking green apples.

    3. Oh yay, thank you Amelia! I appreciate it xx

      I heard that about NYC breakfasts! But luckily the first day we were there my friend took us to an amazing little cafe right near her apartment with loads of healthy food, then we found a bakery kind of place (it was a chain) down the road that did an awesome smoked salmon/soft boiled egg/sourdough type brekky and pretty much ate that all week. It was a chain.. I think it was Le Pain Quotidien?

  2. I've never been to San Fran and it was never on my radar but those pics look great. Might have to slot it in when I eventually do a US trip!

    1. Hi Rhiannon! It wasn't on my radar either (in fact, none of America was except for NYC), but I was pleasantly surprised. It kind of felt comfortable and familiar straight away which was good news for me being a bit nervous!
      Nat x