SF Staycation Part 2: Craftsman & Wolves, The Presidio, & Japanese Tea Garden!

Happy Sunday or Monday or Tuesday… or whatever-dayuvthaweek this post finds ya!!! Just want to take a second to say thanks for reading- still boggles my mind that ya would take a second out of your day to read about what’s happenin’ in ours. I just finished my first draft of one of my huge semester papers, so I’m finally going to finish up our weekend in SF! So let’s get to… shall we?! You can find part one here! Saturday February 16th, we woke up early (around 7 am) to beat the morning breakfast rush and traffic.

It was my Dad’s birthday, so I took some time talking about him with DJ and in our family group text… just remembering the amazing man he was. My brother said my nephew now recognizes him in pictures, which just melts my heart <3 His birthday is usually one of the hardest days of the year for me, missing him horribly…. but I knew that he would want us to just smile, laugh, and have tons of fun. So that’s exactly what we did- it ended up being a full wonderful day I’ll never forget!

To start with, I grabbed a cup of free bitter coffee from the lobby as we set out for the day. I couldn’t even take more than a few sips- it was awful, haha- and I’ll drink just about anything that resembles coffee. Luckily, I knew I’d have plenty of time for coffee to come- so I wasn’t too worried about it 🙂

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Here is a peek of the gorgeous Ferry Building on our walk over. There are so many parts of SF I love- but the Embarcadero might be my favorite!

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I always use the Transamerica Pyramid as a reference point in the city too. I love the architecture of it!

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Alright – time. to. grub! First place on the bucket listCraftsman and Wolves.

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This little cafe is filled with soo many goodies! DJ and I first tried the vanilla glazed donut with biscotti crumbs on top- OH my…. it was a perfect donut. They also have an apple cider one I would love to try at some point!

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This donut was so warm, yummy, doughy (but not undercooked), flaky & just hit the spot. And of course, I unashamedly dipped every bite into my latte. Mmmmm!

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Now for the grand finale- the Rebel Within!! This egg centered muffin specifically was what we came here to try & it did not disappoint. I will say it actually surpassed my eggspectations. Also, whatever salt they served it with was ridiculously goood & the touch of pickled carrots were a lovely accompaniment.

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We scurried out after finishing up our first course to try out breakfast treat numero dos.. at this point it was probably about 9:45 am, the rush usually starts at 10/10:15, so we were doing good on time!

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I usually don’t venture somewhere twice simply because there is an overwhelming amount of goodies to try in SF. But I couldn’t pass up introducing DJ to B. Patisserie– the best bakery in SF without question. You may remember it from when Amy and I went on her bday!

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Mainly, I wanted to make sure he tried their famous Kouign-Amann.

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DJ raved about how great it was after the first bite… even without my standard prompt of, “Soooo what do you think”?!

Also, they have little mini Kouign Amann keychains you can buy that I was just smitten with. I didn’t get one, but maybe next time!

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Anddd on to the next place! As we walked back to the car I had to capture the bright pastel home fronts & lovingly decorated doorsteps.

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Another place we’ve wanted to check out is Lovers’ Lane in The Presidio. First off, I did not realize how massive “The Presidio” (former U.S. Army military fort) was! It is home to the Walt Disney Family Museum as well as many other commercial buildings. I thought “The Presidio” was only a little tiny hiking area… I didn’t realize it was basically a small city of its own.

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Anywho, after some serious issues finding where exactly Lovers’ Lane was, we finally found it! It’s not a hoax after all!

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We hiked the stunning tree lined pavement portion for a while…we couldn’t believe how quiet it was. It was hard to believe this was actually located in The City. There were very few people on the trail as well.

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We hiked around a while and couldn’t seem to find the exact location of the iconic swerving logs and tree path.

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I showed DJ those pictures linked up top from Google Images, and he suggested we off trail a little to locate it, so that is what we did…..

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And we found it!!! Check check off that list! It was such a unique little spot & such a nice breath of fresh air from the craziness of the actual city. If I lived in SF I’d have to come here often.

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Next up.. Golden Gate Park!!! I was shocked how huge it is. To give you an idea, it is 20% larger than NYC’s Central Park!

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We found some free street parking, then immediately searched out some restrooms (that’s always the struggle when visiting The City)… I will force myself to limit my fluids through the day just so I don’t have to go to the bathroom, haha. We then set off to hunt down Strawberry Hill. We were accompanied by stunning lake views & blooms along the way.

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We eventually spotted the storybook adjacent bridge that crossed the river to Strawberry Hill.

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We hiked to the top and soaked up the spectacular views that surrounded us. We couldn’t believe this true sanctuary existed in the middle of the city?! Too cool.

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My adventure partner <3

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After hiking down the hill, we walked past the Golden Gate Pavilion. This pavilion was a gift from Taiwan and houses beautiful plants and birds, such as the Blue Heron.

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Next Stop: The Japanese Tea Garden! We surpassed visiting the tea garden in Portland and San Diego, so we agreed we probably should at least visit it here.

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WOW. This place is stunning. It was raining while we were there, but the rain added such an element of serene beauty.

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Also, we saw this oddly vertical bridge we just had to climb over.

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Not sure why this picture distorted the back of DJ’s neck… Professor Quirrell???

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Ahhhhh <3 It’s the type of place that just forces you to take a big deep breath & relax for a moment.

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And that about wraps up our first half of the day. I’ll cover the second half of the day in a separate post!

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to a tea garden?
  • Any big plans for March?

xo <3

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74 thoughts on “SF Staycation Part 2: Craftsman & Wolves, The Presidio, & Japanese Tea Garden!

  1. A vertical bridge, swerving log walks and a Japanese tea garden? Ah-mazing. I didn’t even realise that vertical bridges even exist, I’m going to have to put that on my bucket list. I love how adventurous you are 💖

    1. Awww glad you enjoyed this & the vertical bridge was too interesting! Hope you get to see one soon 🙂 Have a great week!

  2. Oh gosh, these photos are amazing!! I would so love to visit the tea garden. I never have been to one. What a serene, gorgeous place. I also love the egg muffin and donut. Both sound phenomenal! Can’t wait to read part two!

    1. We were blown away by the beauty of the Japanese Garden– it was sooo beautiful, definitely worth it! I sooo wish I could take you to this cafe- it was so your cup of tea, or cup of jo’, whichever! So much yumminess. Thanks for stoppin’ in, Kori!

  3. This is amazing! I have only been to San Francisco once and would really love to go back! It was one of my favorite trips we have ever taken as a family. Thanks for sharing all of your pictures! They bring back so many happy memories <3

    1. Awww Hi, Hayley!! It’s a special place isn’t it? 🙂 Glad this brought back some fond memories & hope you’ll visit again soon! Have a great week, dear.

  4. I love reading snippets of your life… you’re always so upbeat and lovely that it puts a massive smile on my face to read! Also: HOW DO YOU ALWAYS FIND THE BEST FOOD? So, so jealous!xx

    1. Aw, Mia!!! Thank you sooo much! Reading this just made my morning <3 And to answer your question- I literally use my free time researching foodie spots, lol! Have such a great week :)

  5. Your first two breakfasts look delcious. Donuts can be so good and the one you picked just looked perfectly cooked.

    Also maybe I’m a slight history nerd but it’s crazy to me the Presido was founded in 1776 which is the same year the US was established (duh). But we didn’t even officially think of California as part of the good ol’ USA until almost 75 years later. Who knew it was so large! I thought it was like a portion of woods with a couple trails in it. Strawberry Hill and the Tea Garden look absolutely gorgeous!

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to a Tea Garden but I kind of feel like I have on a family vacation when I was younger. The big plans for March are not working full days on Friday woohoo! My company gives us some leave early hours every quarter and I have one carryover vacation day that I have to use up before the end of March so I figured just spread them out and enjoy less than full Fridays for the month.

    1. It really was so perfect!! I love square donuts too!

      Ohhhhh I did not even think about that- how fascinating!!! I’m so glad you noticed that- I wish I was better with history, because it adds such great context for everything!

      And I thought the exact same thing about Presidio too- I am shocked that these mini communities exist right in the center of the city!

      Oh my gosh- that is so exciting about the early Fridays!! woohoooooo!! Enjoy, girl 🙂 !

  6. Wow I’d love to go to San Fran! I’ve only been drinking coffee for like 2 years but I’ve become such a coffee snob, looks like you got some good cups after that bitter cup 🙂

    1. Hehe- yess when you start having really good coffee it’s hard to go back to the “instant” tasting stuff. Hope you can visit SF someday soon- it’s a wonderful place 🙂 <3 Have a great week, Rosie!

  7. What beautiful photos! And that food! Yummmmmm! I can’t wait to read more about the rest of your day. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Tea Garden but after seeing your photos, I’d love to!

    I can’t think of any big plans for March. My nephew/godson turns 2 at the end of the month so that will be an exciting day! I can’t decide what to get him for his birthday because I just want to buy him everything lol.

    1. Hi, Em! Glad you enjoyed 🙂

      Awww that’s sooo exciting about your Nephew <3 Is he Peppa Pig obsessed like my niece & nephew that are around that age?! Have a great week ahead & thanks for stopping in :)

      1. I don’t think he knows about Peppa Pig yet but he is absolutely obsessed with Cars! He watches the movies all the time and has a lot of Cars items. Luckily it isn’t as popular right now so we’ve been able to find Cars toys for cheap prices!

      2. Oh yessss !!! Cars is another big one! Amazon has a really cute Cars pillow my nephew loves actually if you need any ideas 😉 have a great week, Em !

    1. It was so good! I love the square donuts for some reason. And Right?! Fun little quirk among many in this city . Have a great week, Ralph!

    1. Aw thank you soo much, Kimberlee!!! <3 <3 I'm so glad it brought back fond memories for you too :)

  8. Another beautiful and fun-filled post – you and DJ covered some ground, including the pastries at the pastry shop. Interesting how they stand up the scones (or was it pieces of cake – I think cake would tip over) in the pastry shop. Everything looked so good and it wasn’t even bread! (Our downfall.) I have been to the Golden Gate Pavilion and the Japanese Tea Garden back when I went to California in 1980. It was one of the stops on the tour I took there. I was in a tour group and we started the 10-day tour in San Francisco (stayed in Burlingame) and spent three days in San Franciso, traveled down the coast and ended up in L.A. the last three days – and one day in Tijuana.

    1. Thank you tons, Linda!!! Oh yes I think they are scones- I have yet to try those, but always need an excuse to go back 🙂

      hehe- if it was all bread I’d be in trouble 😉 We have Boudin Bakery in town, & that place is all kindsa dangerous- such amazing sourdough!

      Ah I love that you have been here! Burlingame has some awesome restaurants too I’ve been wanting to check out soon. That sounds like such a wonderful trip- thanks for sharing with me 🙂 Have a great day!

      1. We used to have a rustic bread place and they backed their bread in these huge ovens – it was the best bread and you’d drive by and just have to go in and get a loaf (any loaf). They never had any customers though, despite being in a busy part of the business district – they were pricey and the loaves were good, but very small. They went out of business – unfortunately for them, probably better for fitting in my clothes. 🙂

      2. oh I love that!! Sounds like a wonderful place. The real large ovens for baking bread are the real deal. I’m so surprised they went out of business! I am grieving them closing & I never even tried it! But yess, alas, probably best for the way clothes fit, lol.

      3. Fresh … just butter and crusty bread – to die for. We had a produce market made these mini baguettes with parmesan cheese and garlic and they were so in demand, that people would line up for them – they only had oven space to make so many at a time and they didn’t take order. One batch out and bagged, next batch in the oven. My mom and I would stop there and get one for each of us and one to share, with nothing on it, on the way home. You couldn’t resist the smell in the car – it is like walking into an elevator where someone has french fries … must have now!

      4. Oh myyyyyy I can nearly taste the bread through your writing!!! I know exactly what you mean about the must-have-now of a fresh fry- wow, I am salivating over the thought of that bread!!! What fun memories with your mom too 🙂

      5. I have not had it in years – we’d usually run errands on Saturday mornings, and now that I work from home, I can do some errands during the week … I lump them all together and salvage my weekend that way. They don’t open til later during the week. My mom had a doctor right around the corner and we had Saturday appointments. We were bad with them – no self control. 🙂

      6. Oh I seee. That makes sense! I like to run my errands on week days too!

        Haha I feel like it would be inhuman to have any self control around those delicious sounding carby gems!

  9. Wowww, what gorgeous photos, Mackenzie!! That tea garden looks so serene and zen. What a beautiful place to visit!!
    Also, I’ve never seen a soft-boiled egg in a muffin before and that looks amazing and so tasty. What a genius idea, lol!

    1. Thanks so much, Courtney! Zen is a GREAT word to describe it 🙂

      It really was such a wonderful treat- I just don’t know how they get the egg in there?! Thanks for your sweet words & stoppin’ in!

      1. Me too! I would so love to know how they got the egg in there and so perfectly cooked. I mean…the muffin is completely baked through while the egg yolk is still a bit runny. So clever!!

    1. I know Rossy, another blogger, posted about the Portland one and it was simply stunning and definitely motivated us to check this one out! I’ll have to visit that one too sometime 🙂 thanks for stopping in, Katy!

    1. Hi, Ashley!! I hope you can visit a tea garden soon! I realized this past year that many big cities have them!! Thanks for stopping in- have a great Thursday 🙂

  10. Oooo that egg filled muffin needs to be in my belly now! It looks so wonderful. ♡ & those keychains are too cute lol, how did you even resist?!

    The Tea Garden is absolutely enchanting. ♡ That vertical bridge is crazy & that photo really meseed up his neck! What the heck?! 😂

    1. You would love that muffin!!! I have no clue how they get it so perfect cooked !

      I knowww I have got to go back to get one of those keychains ASAP!

      Hahah I love that you commented on that picture. It reminded me of professor Quirrell with Voldemort on the back of his head 😂 I think it was the lighting but who knows- I gotta keep an eye out for that one 😉 thanks for stopping in, girl! ❤️

      1. Mmm, that muffin did look like perfecton & yeah, seriously so creepy!! I hated Professor Quirrel, I think that was Voldy’s worst form hahaha.

      2. Agreeeeeeeddd! Although that was such great writing by JK Rowling. I never saw that coming when I was younger, and I remember being amazed by the that plot twist!

  11. It is so easy taking time to “visit” you Mackenzie! You have a fun packed blog and posts. Your Dad I know is so proud of you . He is surely looking on your life as a young woman making her way in the world to the best of her ability. I have never seen egg muffins, would be interesting to try. I love the pasteries from B pasterie! Nice you found the tree path and swerving logs. I love the tour around golden gate park so pretty. When I lived in Central park when you got in so far it was like you were in the countryside, strange but true. Thanks for sharing, Terri xo.

    1. Aww thank youu, Terri!!! Wow this just made my night- so kind of you to say- nearly brought a tear to my eye! <3 <3

      I think B. Patisserie is the #1 bakery in SF- it's just unbelievable! It's a good thing I don't live too close cause that'd be dangerous!

      Ohhh yess ! I remember when we visited Central Park a couple years ago I was blown away by the massive size and beauty of it considering it was smack dab in the city. Thanks for stopping in 🙂

      1. You are so welcome Mackenzie! It is good I don’t live too close to a bakery also. Central Park is a gem when trying to escape the pressures of NYC living. Happy Tuesday, Terri xo.

    1. Thank you tons, Deborah 🙂 I really appreciate you stopping by! The egg muffin was phenomenal- even surpassed my expectations- but it’s a mystery how they get it in there so perfectly cooked?!

  12. It looks like there’s so many amazing things to see!! Thanks for taking us along Mackenzie. That egg muffin sounds delicious! Other than the trip we just took, no real plans for March outside of spring cleaning and watching the youngest’s high school soccer games. 🙂

    1. There is even more than I realized! I could not believe the size of GG park!

      Spring cleaning always feels so guuuud! can you believe we are in the Spring season already?! Good luck to the youngest on the soccer season! 🙂

      1. I’ve never been more ready for sping to appear!! lol. Thanks! They are off to a good start for the season. 🙂

  13. Your breakfast noms sound and look delish!

    What a fun day! I love hiking and/or walking, and it looks like you both found a really cool area to explore.

    1. The egg muffin is something I would drive to the city just to get alone! So gooood. & Yesss so hard to beat hanging out in nature!

    1. AW I’m really glad this brought back great memories 🙂 I can’t believe we’ve lived here THIS long and only just checked it out. Thanks for stopping in, Jess!

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