I left my heart in San Francisco

It’s true, I did. I don’t know what it is about this city, but I just feel so at home there. From the moment that we started our descent into the city and looked down below to the landscape beneath us… Those all familiar butterflies of returning to my favorite city leapt into my stomach.

Every time I visit, it seems that I purposefully leave out items that I have on my agenda, just so I have a reason to come back. (ride a cable car, make the trek up to wine country, visit the secret slides, bike/walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, visit the Ferry Building…) All must-do’s in my book – but never quite enough time to do them all in one visit.

I visited a few years ago (after college) with a strong thought of moving here. The reality of not having any money, or a job in such an expensive city deterred me. Actually now that I do have a steady job, a savings account and a lot of stability – moving here isn’t really realistic either. It really comes down to the money. Which breaks my heart. But at the same time I’m not exactly willing to trade in my two-story house with a backyard, two-car garage, plenty of street parking, and my front loading washer and dryer for a tiny 1-maybe-2-if-I’m-lucky-bedroom-apartment with no garage, no parking, and highly overpriced rent. The older I get, the more I realize it just isn’t worth it. Even if I did make it happen, I don’t think I’d be able to live the lifestyle that I would want. The dreamer in me can not stop plotting and scheming up ways to make a move to San Francisco a reality – then my logical side (heh hem, Luke) kicks in and brings me back down to earth.

As much as I love this city, I think I’ll keep it for long weekend trips every few years or so. It will become the city that I visit and continually fall in love with time and time again. Each time I return its incredible views, amazing restaurants and steep hills will make me fall head over heels again.

I’ve reserved a special place in my heart, just for you, San Francisco.

You can check out what we ate during our trip – because a trip with me isn’t complete unless you revolve your itineary around checking out the yummiest restaurants in the city Le Zinc, Delarosa and Tacolicious.

And a few pics from some previous San Francisco trips… 2006, 2010

San Francisco: Le Zinc

Well, we tried to go to Tartine Bakery but the line was wrapped around the building each time we drove by – so I quickly realized that it wasn’t meant to be on this trip. After driving over to a different district, we literally stumbled into Le Zinc. And we’re sure happy we did. We were all “ohhhing” and “ahhhing” over the French flavors. At one point Mike even said he might have just experienced the best eggs benedict that he’d ever had! That’s saying a lot for a guy that only orders eggs benedict.

FRENCH OMELET: with onion, cheese, potato, mixed greens
EGGS BENEDICT: poached eggs, Canadian bacon, English muffin, hollandaise sauce
Just a simple fruit salad
VEGETABLE ‘BRIK’: crispy Moroccan crêpe with feta, red bell pepper, niçoise olives, tomato
EGG ‘BRIK’: crispy Moroccan crêpe with ham, cheese, egg & spices
P.S. – I promise we did more than just eat on our weekend in the city. It seems that every city we visit, I have to scope out the best food places – can’t help it – I’m a foodie.
Check back on Monday for the best San Francisco shots – I’m saving the best pictures from our trip for last.

San Francisco: Delarosa

I can’t remember how I heard about this place – but its been on my list of must-go places for a few months. We got super lucky and walked right into an empty table for four. We were quickly seated and our food came out shortly after we ordered. It was so good. The prices weren’t bad either – it was more Portland prices than San Francisco prices. If I lived here, I would obviously be here every week – I liked it that much.

Arugula and fennel, shaved parmesan
Potato, rosemary, gorgonzola and radicchio pizza
Classic Margherita pizza
– Photos © Holly Carman –

San Francisco: Tacolicious

Right after we arrived in town and had a few cocktails at Mike and David’s house, we took the bus/muni over to T-Lish for some more drinks and tacos. I follow a few people on Instagram that live in SF and every single one of them had posted pictures of their T-Lish tacos over the last few months – so I wrote this place down and vowed to go have a taco (or few) of my own.
House Margarita

1. fried local rock cod cabbage, tangy crema
2. traditional carnitas
3. butternut squash, poblano peppers, chicories, spicy pepitas
4. shot-and-a-beer braised chicken

Get a seat outside and enjoy a pitcher of margaritas and a few platters of delicious tacos with some friends. You won’t regret it!
– Photos © Holly Carman –

Bachelorette Party: Arizona Version

A few weeks ago I went to Phoenix to visit two of my favorite girlfriends. When I arrived, they picked me up at the airport, we went to Pei Wei for lunch & they spilled the beans on a little secret that they were keeping from me.

That secret is that they were going to throw me a surprise bachelorette party – the Arizona version! How lucky am I that these are my friends?!

We went shopping in Scottsdale that day, looking for some fun clothes/accessories to wear out that night. And that night we checked into the Saguaro Scottsdale, got all dressed up and had a few drinks before headed out to Old Town. The girls surprised me with a veil & a bride sash to wear & a tickle feather to carry around with me! I was also given a deck of cards with crazy dares listed on each card – like get a guy to show you his underwear, get a guy to buy you a shot, etc… I’m a pretty easy person to embarrass, so this did just that! It ended up being such a fun night out dancing & drinking with some of my favorite girls.

The next morning I snapped a few shots of our awesome hotel – I’m kicking myself for not getting more shots, this place was amazing! Next time I visit Arizona, I’m definitely staying here again!

^^Some of the only evidence that I have from our evening out – my tickle feather!^^

City by the Bay

We’re headed to San Francisco on Saturday! We’ve had this trip planned for a few months, but it just now hit me that we’re going in less than a week & we haven’t done any planning, except to find someone to watch Gracie while we’re gone (thanks, Abby!). We’re staying with Luke’s old boss & his partner in the Noe Valley/Diamond Heights area & they already have a few fun things planned for us. Then I plan on spending the remainder of our time wandering around the Mission looking for yummy food. (Any recs? Send my way!)

My computer wouldn’t let me upload pics from our last trip to the city, so here are a few snaps from 2006 when my cousin & I took a spontaneous road trip down to SF & stayed for a week. We were both bored & unemployed so we decided to drive down to San Francisco, just for kicks. I didn’t have much money & was afraid to look at my bank account when we got there – when I finally did & realized that I had more money than I thought – we stayed a few extra days in the city. Oh to be young & in your early twenties again…

– Photos © Holly Carman –

Treats @ St. Honore Boulangerie

Yesterday Luke and I found little ways to thoroughly enjoy our Sunday. We enjoyed it so much that we dreaded the Monday return to work even more than usual.
We started off by visiting St Honore Boulangerie for a sweet treat and a cup of coffee. I purchased our treats with some leftover Christmas money from my dad. I’ve been selectively spending this money as I want it to go towards an experience, or something that I can keep and remember. Luke and I had a nice little chat and drooled over the delicious pastries  and yummy sandwiches there. We chatted about what it would be like to visit Paris someday and treat ourselves to the little cafes filled with baked goods, pastries & coffees. Someday *le sigh*.
After the Boulangerie we took Gracie for a walk on 23rd and stopped in my favorite market to pick up some fresh pasta and sauce for dinner. We also hoped on over to Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co., an interior store I’ve been wanting to check out for quite some time now. I loved everything I saw, but unfortunately my wallet did not agree. A girl can dream.
– Photos © Holly Carman –