casual style


Playing tourist in the city

staycation san francisco

3 picture perfect spots in San Francisco

There are very few things in San Francisco us locals can never do on a summer Saturday: casually walk around the Golden Gate Bridge, explore underneath the bridge, park in front of the Palace of Fine Arts, walk around without crowds, and park in front of the Painted Ladies and snap photos.

These are popular tourist activities, and locals normally visit them during the off season-or really early in the morning before the tourists wake up. While I am not celebrating the current lock-down, it does cut down on traffic, and allow for some stress-free activities we normally would not think of doing on a summer Saturday when there isn’t any fog.

We arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge parking lot-the one right in front with only twenty-five spaces-at 9:30am on Saturday morning. The fog had already burned off, and it was a perfect day for sight-seeing. I had to pinch myself when I got a parking spot inside the main lot-which is always full on summer days.

Excited about our parking spot score, we paid the fee and started our walk across the bridge. But don’t get too excited: just because we scored a fabulous parking spot, didn’t mean everything was going to be smooth sailing. One minute of walking on the bridge, and the police stopped us. There was “police activity” on the bridge, and the walkway was blocked off. They wouldn’t tell us what happened, but when we saw five squad cars, and a fire truck, we knew something bad was up; so we changed course, and took a walk underneath the bridge instead. This was a really good hike since it is very steep going under there!

We walked to Fort Point underneath the bridge, and snapped photos; just like tourists would do, next to the water. It was really fun! The last time I was there, was for a field trip when I was in grade school, so it was nice to bring the kids to a place which is normally crowded and eagerly avoided by locals.

The Palace of Fine Arts is leftover from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. When I was growing up, it was the Exploratorium. They moved the Exploratorium to the piers, and now I think of the Palace of Fine Arts as a tourist attraction. I haven’t been there since the it was the Exploratorium! It was weird walking around and looking at it, instead of walking past it to grab a good place in line to get into the Exploratorium. I don’t think I really ever took the time to enjoy how beautiful the structure is!

Another summer miracle, was grabbing a parking spot right in front, on a late Saturday morning, during the summer, on a non-foggy day. I really needed to pinch myself! It was fun showing the kids around the Palace of Fine Arts, and my oldest daughter really loved all the ducks!

After wandering around the Palace of Fine Arts, my husband suggested we go take pictures in front of the Painted Ladies. I protested. “No way!” I said to him. “It will be full of tourists, we won’t be able to park, and we will get stuck in summer tourist traffic.” He laughed when I said that, and assured me the city was free of tourists right now. Resigned, I got in the car and drove our family to the Painted Ladies.

I ate my words when we found a parking spot right in front. No joke, I parked in front of the apartment building next to the Painted Ladies, without waiting or circling for a spot, on a sunny Saturday in July. Now I realized I must be in the Twilight Zone.

My husband was really excited, and directed us across the street to the park so we could take the perfect, touristy family photos. An iPhone photo-shoot happened. It was very surreal. I have never been able to park and actually look at the Painted Ladies. I would normally avoid the entire area, and if I got stuck near them, and I do say stuck, very colorful words would flow out of my mouth as it would normally take me ten minutes to navigate out of the tourist-traffic-heavy area. Since my husband also grew up in the Bay Area, he understood the novelty of the situation; hence his excitement.

My “playing tourist,” and very comfortable, outfit details:

So there you have it! We were actually able to play tourist in San Francisco without hitting any traffic, crowds, or parking issues. I am still pinching myself to make sure it was all real.

If you are local, definitely plan a staycation day in the city! It’s the perfect time! If you are not local, these are three beautiful spots to check out when you visit our beautiful city. If you visit during peak tourist season, just take an Uber everywhere. It will eliminate any stress from trying to park. Take lots of photos, and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


Summer 2020 swimwear capsule

summer beach outfit ideas

Summer swimwear capsule from top left: straw tote (customize your own saying!) / black swimsuit / blue tie dye swimsuit / hat (old, also love this one) / black flip flops / denim cut-off shorts / grey v-neck tee / gold chain bracelet / bold gold earrings /

Things are starting to open up-a little bit! There are a few beaches near me which now allow us to sit and relax on them. In addition, lap swimming is allowed for fitness at my gym. So for summer 2020, I opted for two one-piece suits so that I can swim laps for fitness, and also use them on the beach. Love utility!

While these suits are one-piece, and can be used for lap swimming, they are also super cute! As a former competition swimmer, I am picky about how a one-piece suit fits because I need to be able to do all four strokes in it, as well as safely do a flip-turn between laps. These two suits fit really well, and they don’t move around on you. So while they look like fashion suits, they can double as lap swimming suits. Love that!

If you are in the same boat as me, where gyms are still closed but lap swimming is open, check out my swim workouts! There are seven workouts to get you on your way to swimming for fitness!

Of course a straw tote is perfect for the beach, and it will complete a swim or beach look. Add a hat to the mix, and your fabulous self has arrived. 😉

Shop my summer 2020 swimwear capsule online:

Are you excited to get back in the pool and swim for fitness, and also get back on the beach this summer to relax and enjoy some sun? I know I am! I can’t wait to close my eyes, and listen to the ocean. It’s so calming, and exactly what we all need right now!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy


Starting to reopen

casual summer outfits bucket bag trend 2020casual summer outfit ideas

wearing: bold gold earrings / pink fabric mask (I wore this the entire time, only removed it for a few photos when no-one was around) / black and white top / bucket bag / gold and blue bracelet / gold cuff / gold chain bracelet / black linen joggers / black slide espadrilles /

Things are starting to reopen! My daughter had her 8th grade graduation over live-stream at the end of last week. Since we were not able to take her out to a restaurant with family and celebrate, we picked up take-out food to enjoy at home. This was the first time we picked up take-out since the lockdown. It’s so nice to start to see things reopen here!

Despite things starting to reopen, it is definitely weird out there! We picked up macarons at Cocola, which is located on Santana Row. Most of the shops were boarded up, with restaurants open for take-out only. There was a handful of people taking a walk down Santana Row, with about 90% of people wearing masks. I wish everyone would wear a mask so we can get through this easier! But I digress. . .

It was so nice to actually go to Cocola. We waited in line outside, six feet apart from other people. They allowed one person inside at a time. It was clean, quick, and easy to pick up their delicious macarons for my daughter. She was so excited and happy to enjoy her favorite treat from Cocola as we celebrated her graduation.

Later in the day, we picked up sushi from Sushi Heaven in Saratoga for her celebratory dinner. They had a huge table blocking the restaurant off from the public. It was really well organized. They handed me my order and I paid, all while staying feet apart and wearing masks. This was the first time I didn’t cook dinner since early March! It was so surreal.

Shop my casual summer look:

It is really nice to see things starting to reopen around here. I think we are one of the most locked down areas in the country. I see my friends in other states dining out, and going about their business as if nothing happened. I cannot wait until we get there. Until then, we are enjoying the tiny little things that reopen slowly.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

san jose street style