New Year, New Adventures

8:42 AM

Ending 2015 with a grateful heart champs and starting 2016 cursing the champs!

Normally, my entire family gets together for the first day of the year. But this year they all decided to travel...all to the same city, apparently! HAHA! This means that we were left to our own devices. It felt really odd, because my family has a party every holiday and we just didn't this year...out of nowhere.

So, knowing that, I planned a fun little day trip to the City (San Francisco, for those that don't use this lingo) for J and I. Eater SF and Yelp were awesome in helping me plan a few activities for us to do. Knowing my personality, I wanted to try to be more relaxed and go with the flow, rather than plan everything to a "T" (even though J won't plan, anything).

My relaxed version of planning a day trip consisted of basing it off of one stop I wanted had to make. I also wanted to pick a couple of potential places to visit, touristy, but still cool spots that were near the aforementioned location. Then I wanted to pick a food spot in the same area that J would like, since he was going along with the plan. I happened to be talking to my co-workers about it and one of them mentioned a spot that her old coworker owned. So, that was where I'd take J, because it was Asian food, his fave. Everything was in the Marina/Cow Hollow area and fairly close together. Over the years I've spent some fun times in this neighborhood, from Halloween to various work trips. I'm kinda familiar with the area, but was excited to try new places.

So here was my list:

Must Do: Wrecking Ball Roasters
Eat: Chubby Noodle
Touristy: Lyon Steps, Crissy Field, or Palace of Fine Arts

Before it was even the 1st, we decided we'd go with the flow and get-up-and-go whenever we got up. We didn't even really decide what we were doing for New Year's Eve, until the day of. That being said, the champs headache was real in the AM, so we took a little longer to get out the door. But I was practicing my 'relaxed planner mode' so it didn't but me (that much). PS - A cham-bong is pretty fun, maybe a little too much fun.
Our first stop changed from our coffee spot straight to grab something to eat. So, the Chubby Noodle is one of two locations in the City, I just chose this one because it was in the Marina/Cow Hollow area. We scored a sweet parking spot and walked in. I didn't know anything about this spot, other than it was Asian food and that the pork spare ribs were bomb. However, unannounced to us it was a brunch only situation. We didn't realize this until after we ordered a la carte and they started bringing us a few dishes we didn't order. It got really awkward and we felt awful. We were trying to deny dishes and they kept handing them to us. After we put it together what was going on, we felt like real ass holes! Basically you get 90 minutes to order up to 15 dishes and 4 cocktails fro $37/person. 
Now we were stuck with dishes we didn't order, but did eat because they kept insisting we have them. But we didn't want to keep eating and drinking and paying for their dim sum brunch menu, we just wanted the few items we ordered, which we did eat AND then some...we were stuck - eat our hearts out since we may have to pay $37/each or just stop eating and hope they only charge us our original order. After all was said and done they just charged us only for the items we originally ordered. They were also really cool about it too, even though we felt awful.
Since everything was super close to one another we walked to the coffee spot, Wrecking Ball Roasters. I'll be honest, I was on a mission to go here not because of the coffee, but because of the infamous pineapple wallpaper. Okay, 'infamous' may be dramatic, but I guess you could say it's a bloggers must do then. Although I'd already had a coffee and lunch, I still ordered a coffee. Cause really, who goes into a shop to just take a selfie? I had a hard enough time taking a selfie with my coffee, I could have never done it without one. Yes, I blog, but I don't have the balls like some/most of these other bloggers who take pics without a care in the world. I still get shy and look for disapproving, judgmental eyes. I want to politely tell them, "its for the blog!"HAHA, but I still do it anyways. I happened to find a selfie of a blogger friend in Sac on their wall. The soy mocha was tasty, but I really just wanted my picture with the pineapple wallpaper...and I got it, well a few more than one!
Then we sent to Lyon Street steps. I used Yelp to get there, which was super easy. We started at the lowest section of stairs, then climbed up those which were about 165 steps to the next set of stairs. J noticed we could have driven to this location and gave me a hard time about having to climb the first set. We checked out the "Public Heart" that is on display here, then climbed up the last set of stairs. Here, J also noticed we could have driven and parked here too. This is where the view is, it over looks the water, the Palace of Fine Arts, and a tree. Seriously, someone needs to cut down that damn tree, then the view will be perfect. I made J walk up the last steep hill, just in case there was a better view we were missing, even though he said I was wrong. Which I was and heard about it. After a few pics, we headed back down.
I really wanted to go to the Palace of Fine Arts, but J said he'd already been there. Honestly, I can't remember if I've ever been there or now. And I knew he'd probably complain about being cold at Crissy Field, so I threw out a new suggestion - finding the spot that uses liquid nitrogen to make ice cream. Good 'ol Yelp came in handy and I found Smitten in less than ten seconds. It was close to where we were and our meter said 'Free Parking,' it was meant to be.
The line was literally out the door, but when fairly fast. The menu isn't huge and it's pricey, but that wasn't stopping us. I went simple, vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone with brown sugar caramel. J ordered Berry Crisp - Truly Smitten Sundae: Vanilla ice cream, oatmeal cookies, strawberry prosecco sauce, and homemade whipped cream. It was pricey, $15 total, but it was really good. I didn't think there would be enough caramel, but it was so flavorful, it didn't need to be more. Given that flavor and the buttery goodness of the waffle cone, I was in heaven.

On our walk to Smitten I happened to see a dessert bar, didn't think much about it. Then when we were enjoying our Smitten I mentioned to J that we should go there. On our way out he started walking toward it and who I was I to argue? We ended up going in I couldn't leave empty handed. Everything was so cute and I'm a sucker for cute. The macaron I tasted wasn't my fave, but I decided to get two cupcakes to-go. On the way out we saw a sign about winners about Cupcake Wars and being on the Food Network. Random surprise win for us. Cupcakes tucked away, full bellies, we headed home for the day.

I couldn't have had a lovely first day of the year. I would have preferred to go to one more of the other spots, but I knew J has his limit of being adventurous. There are plenty of other times to make our way to the City to go and visit those extra places. We are so different, yet I appreciate that we both go out of our way to make each other happy. He goes along with my day-trip adventures and I go along with his homebody ways. It was different from what I'm used too, but I started the new year just what I hope 2016 will be filled with -- love, adventure, and good food!
Merry 2016!

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