travel style


Alcatraz Island and a Cable Car

alcatraz federal prison tour san francisco

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!

hillstone san francisco

pictured: green handbag / sunglasses /

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!

wearing: sunglasses / statement earrings / navy tie sleeve tee / gemstone bracelet (under $50, local designer) / summer nail polish / green handbag / G buckle belt / dark wash skinny jeans / sneakers /

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!

Thanks for stopping by,

XOXO
Cathy


Tempe Arizona recap

casual spring outfit ideas

Wearing and squinting into the sun: statement earrings / yellow and white stripe tee / cross body bag / G buckle belt / spring nail polish / boyfriend jeans / golden ring / platform sneakers /

During ski week, we took a quick trip to Tempe, Arizona. Much like our Boulder trip, it was quick, so we didn’t do a lot of site-seeing. What we did do, was enjoy the weather and eat at a lot of really good restaurants! Another thing we loved; Tempe didn’t have a mask mandate when we were there. It felt weird at first, but we loved shedding our masks!

Sushi and ramen from Shady Park in Tempe, Arizona

The city of Tempe is integrated into ASU, so there are plenty of affordable and delicious restaurants within walking distance of a hotel. We stayed at the Westin Tempe, which was right in the middle of town and had a rooftop bar where you could watch the dessert sunset. Love!

Our favorite restaurants included Zipps Sports Grill, and Shady Park. Zipps offered American casual fare and I enjoyed a veggie burger with onion rings. Shady Park was a Japanese restaurant which had really good sushi and ramen. If we ever return to Tempe, we will eat at these two places again! I highly recommend!

We took a walking tour around town and found many architecturally significant buildings, which was really fun. I loved the Frank Llyod Wright theater on the ASU campus, and the Tempe City Hall. If you love architecture, this is a great place to check out!

Wearing: statement earrings / black tee (sold out, also love this top) / cross body bag / spring nail polish / G buckle belt / wide leg jeans (old, also love this pair) / platform sneakers /

I wish we had more time in Tempe, we were only there for a day and half. I would love to return someday and check out their hiking trails and historical spots. It’s an easy place to travel to from the Bay Area, and the weather this time of year is perfect!

Have you ever been? What did you enjoy?

What was in my Tempe Arizona suitcase:

Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned! Spring capsule launches on the blog next week!

XOXO
Cathy


Boulder Colorado recap

cu boulder historic building
how to dress for the snow

wearing: earrings / lined leather gloves / spring nail polish / foldable jacket (has hood, which I took off for the picture) / long sleeve black top / cross body bag / wide leg jeans (sold out, also love this pair) / G Buckle belt / faux fur boots (on sale, avl in other colors) / (I’m wearing my mask outside because it kept my face warm in the negative 1-degree weather! haha)

Snow! My kids had ski week last week so we decided to take a couple of quick trips to states they had not visited before. Plus, I have only been to the Denver airport, I have never set foot on Colorado soil before! So, we decided to head to Boulder for a couple of days.

This was my first time on an airplane since the pandemic hit. I was a little nervous, but everything went smooth. I wore a KN95 on the plane and brought a package of masks with me since the mask mandate differs from city to city. Here in Santa Clara County, we still have to wear masks everywhere, so I had no idea what to expect in other areas. Boulder seemed like it was half-masking. Restaurants had masks until people took them off to eat, and business seemed as if they were optional. They were optional in our hotel.

Well, you know you are from California when you leave 70-degree weather and land in negative one degree weather. No joke, the temperatures toggled between 3 degrees and negative one. To say it was a wee bit cold, is an understatement. Brrrr!!

My daughter wore two pairs of sweatpants, and I layered up! We felt the cold but were able to manage it. I even drove in snow. haha, yay me!

Since we were visiting Boulder, Colorado, we had to check out Aloy Thai Cuisine. This Thai restaurant was featured on Guy Fieiri’s “Drive-in’s, Diners, and Dives.” It sounded really good, so it was the first place we ate at when we arrived on the first day. We had fun walking from our hotel in the snow. Yes, we were those tourists making footprints in the snow and laughing the whole time. I think a few people thought we were nuts. haha

aloy thai boulder colorado

Aloy Thai Cuisine had a large menu, and thankfully our hotel room had a refrigerator because we definitely overordered and had to bring food back to our room. We enjoyed the pot stickers, chicken satay, BBQ chicken, Pad Thai, Fried Rice, and a noodle soup with chicken in it, (I forgot the official name). The food was delicious! Guy Fieri was right! Our favorite dish was the chicken satay, which had the best peanut sauce I have ever tasted. Yum! If you visit the Boulder area, be sure to stop in, this restaurant is amazing! The other places we ate at didn’t really wow me. Maybe Aloy Thai Cuisine spoiled me. It was so good!

Normally we do a lot of sight-seeing when we go on vacation, but this time around we used our ski week for a couple of quick trips to just get out of town. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of activity ideas to share, just snow, and yummy Thai food!

I will give a shout-out to this jacket. It is a packable jacket which was ideal on the plane since it rolls up really small and fits nicely in my backpack. If you plan to fly somewhere that is cold, I highly recommend this jacket!

What was in my Boulder Colorado suitcase:

Stay tuned, I have one more trip to share!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

the buff breakfast lunch boulder colorado