How beautiful are these textiles?! I am in love! A few weeks ago, I flew in and out of SFO. If you have ever flown in and out of SFO, you may already know that our airport has an amazing museum program where they rotate special exhibits throughout the terminals. I have to admit, I normally walk past the majority of the exhibits when I am at the airport. I tend to focus on getting to my gate, or if I am arriving, I focus on getting to my ride or baggage claim. This last time was different.
Instead of traveling with my entire family, or alone for business, I was only with my now college-age daughter. We arrived early for our red eye flight, so my eyes began to wander as we walked towards our gate. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted the beautiful textiles on display in the SFO Museum “From Pineapple to Pina” exhibit. Wow! This was in an airport? What???
I quickly gravitated towards the exhibit, much to the confusion of my daughter. She wasn’t aware of the SFO Museum since I usually walked right past it. I am so glad we stopped this time! The textiles are absolutely amazing. Can you believe these delicate and intricate fabrics are handmade and woven out of pineapple leaves thread? It really is mind-blowing.
Next time you take a trip through SFO, arrive a little bit early and give yourself time to enjoy the exhibits throughout the airport. You never know what magical exhibit you might find! You can learn more about the SFO Museum and this exhibit at SFOMuseum.org.
‘Tis the season to go to the beach! If you are local to the San Francisco Bay Area, when was the last time you took a beach day? Sometimes we think of the beach as a place to go to relax, but unfortunately, the summer months bring in a lot of people at the beaches, making them anything but relaxing.
Unless you want your beach day to be filled with activities, you might skip the beach and opt for a spa if you are looking for peace and quiet. Well, maybe that means you don’t know about Rio Del Mar Beach in Aptos!
I’m not trying to spoil the place, but I don’t think tourists will suddenly flood Rio Del Mar Beach if I post about it. Unless you live in the Bay Area and truck in your own picnic, there isn’t anything here for tourists to see. It’s just a beach.
Rio Del Mar Beach is a quiet yet large beach in Aptos, just south of Capitola. While many beach going locals talk about heading to Capitola in order to avoid crowds in Santa Cruz, an even better way to avoid crowds is to head a little further south on highway 1 and go to Rio Del Mar.
This isn’t a beach made to handle a ton of people, despite having a ton of clean sand and space. Rio Del Mar Beach is set up like a local, neighborhood beach. The parking lot is small, and if you end up not finding a space, you will have to park in the neighborhood. If this happens, please oh please be respectful of the neighborhood! Park your car without blocking driveways and adhere to any parking signs that have been posted. It’s better to park a few minutes away than to block a driveway or break a parking rule.
Once you legally park, you can walk over to the beach and enjoy it’s peacefulness. There is a lot of sand, which equates to tons of space for spreading out your blanket. There are a few restaurants in town, but they are small, and you should dress in regular clothing to go. I recommend bringing a cooler with food from home to eat while on the beach.
There is also a really cool, cement boat off a small pier which has been sinking for years. Every time we go to Rio Del Mar Beach the boat is a little farther down in the sea. It’s pretty cool to see, and fun to walk over to and check out.
As always, I recommend going early! The earlier you go, the better chance you have of getting into the parking lot. I also recommend taking a day off work and going on a weekday. This will give you a more peaceful experience.
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Summer vacation is already halfway over! Enjoy it and go to the beach!
You don’t always have to get on a plane to play tourist. Sometimes, enjoying the tourist attractions in your own hometown can be just as much fun! Plus, you don’t have to pay for a hotel. Love that!
We decided to take the kids to San Francisco for the day and play tourist. As most locals will attest, we had never taken our kids on a cable car or to see Alcatraz. Usually these are things we locals do when we have out of town guests, or on a field trip as kids. The first time I went on a cable car was when I was in college, and there were kids who weren’t from here who wanted to go on one. Those of us who were from here, had never ridden one! Us locals are missing out!
Riding on a cable car is fun, plus, if you have a fast pass, it works on the cable car! Why not give it a whirl?! I know, I know, as locals we see that awful, daunting line for the cable car filled with tourists. Who wants to stand in that? Well, let me tell you, you can avoid the line! If you go at 9am when cable car service starts, you can avoid standing in a long line filled with tourists, plus, you are more likely to get a coveted outside seat! Love that!
We rode on the cable car twice. I sat outside the first time, and then inside the second time to give the tourists a whirl. Either location is fun. Why not use your fast pass for a little fun? Might as well!
After we took a joyride on the cable car, we took the F Market up the Embarcadero and walked over to Hillstone for lunch. Now, if you are local, you may remember this place as Houston’s. It’s the same restaurant with a new name. I highly recommend getting something with French Fries or getting the French Fries on the side. They are so good! Out of everything we ordered, the focaccia and the crispy chicken sandwich were the best. Highly recommend!
After lunch, we walked across the street to Pier 33 where you can catch the boat to Alcatraz. I recommend making reservations ahead of time just in case the time slot you want is popular and gets sold out.
I have only been to Alcatraz one other time, and it was when my dear friend from the mid-west visited me. I couldn’t believe I had never been there before! So, this was only my second time going! Isn’t that crazy?! My kids had never been, so they had fun touring the prison grounds and learning the history of the prison and the island itself. Wear your walking shoes and allow yourself time to not only tour the prison and the island, but to enjoy the museum. There are also some great areas where you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco and the east bay. If you are lucky, and the fog burns off, it is very pretty!
We were definitely tired and hungry after spending time touring around Alcatraz Island. So, to complete our staycation San Francisco day, we decided to take our kids to Tadich Grill. After all, it is the oldest restaurant in the city, and it survived the 1906 earthquake! Yup, it has been in business since 1849. It has survived two pandemics too! Love!
Everything we ordered was delicious. You cannot go wrong at Tadich! Be sure to make a reservation, especially if you plan to go at peak times.
If you are local, or from out of town, I hope you enjoy these sights San Francisco has to offer. You will have a lot of fun and learn some history too! Love that!
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