Monday, July 25, 2011

My trip to San Francisco

As I said before, my trip to SF was fab... I literally did not have enough time to do everything I wanted! I went with my two little sisters (when I say little I mean 25 and 21) and we had a blast.

Don't read if you don't want the blow by blow ;p Also, if by chance you felt like this post was not long enough and did not have enough pictures then go to my flickr... you'll at least get more pictures!

We ended up leaving on a Friday (after I had put in a full day at work) and catching a red-eye flight. The only bad thing about this is that I can NEVER sleep on planes, and we were go go go from the moment we landed at 6 am to 9 pm that night; I was reaaaally tired the first day/night! We ended up buying the San Francisco City Pass for $70, which provides you with free transportation on the Muni buses and cable cars and also allows you to go to a bunch of attractions for free. I'd definitely recommend getting this pass!

The first day we went to Golden Gate Park to look at the Bison (so cool!) and walked through the park to visit the Japanese Tea Garden and the California Academy of Sciences. Unfortunately, you had to pay for the Garden and since we have them in Hawai`i for free, we skipped it. However, the Academy of Sciences was soooo cool; They had indoor lagoons and tidepools and rainforests that were super awesome (You walk on a pathway and the sharks and rays and stuff swim between the pools under the path!) . They also had penguins, rays and jellyfish, and an albino alligator! The Academy was by far my favorite attraction that came free with the City Pass, and if you're ever in SF, you should check it out :)

California Academy of Science mangrove lagoons

California Academy of Science Phillipines Reef

From there we ate a Russian Bakery (the Cinderella Bakery... their mascot was a kawaii matryoksha!) and tried to visit Kawaii Corner. Although Kawaii Corner was okay, they were quite small and I think we have similar things here in Hawai`i (so that was a bust; I didn't buy anything). Then we caught the bus back to Haight and Ashbury (amazingly crowded... not like I remember it at all) where I visited Mendel's, scores of vintage shops and Amoeba Music! Is it just me or is it a bit more commercial than it used to be? We ate gigantic delicious burritos for dinner here and were unfortunately too full to eat Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

We finally made it to our hotel in Japantown in the late evening: Let me just say that Hotel Kabuki is awesome! They have Japanese style baths and the staff/ decor/ rooms are really nice. Plus, you can't beat being sandwiched between two of the main Japanese malls!

The next day we caught the bus to the Exploratorium (very cool) and then walked to Renegade Craft Fair... it was my first Renegade, and it was entirely coincidental that we were in SF at the same time as the fair! It was very crowded even though it was the last day, but also very fun and a good learning experience. I didn't end up buying anything but it was still totally worth going to.

From there we went to the wharf (also extremely crowded) where we were supposed to catch a free cruise to the Golden Gate Bridge (see those passes are awesome!) but we took one look at the line and decided not to. Instead we ate the prerequisite bread bowl and clam chowder for an extremely late lunch, which we then topped off with a Ghiradhelli brownie sundae! Then we caught the bus to Union Square where we were able to squeeze in a really quick look around (basically we popped into Urban Outfitters and H&M) before things started closing.... it was already 9:00!

The next day was our last day and we stayed in Japantown because our flight was leaving at 3. I loved Japantown so much; I honestly could have spent my whole trip just shopping around there! The food was delicious too... every morning we ate at Anderson's Bakery and on our last day we had shabushabu... yummm!! I did 90% of my shopping on this day... Japantown rocked my socks off! Sooooo many cute stores... although my favorites were Daiso and Ichibankan; I wish we had stores like this in Hawai`i!!! The bento/ crafty sections were to die for! I literally spent $60 in Daiso, which is amazing because it's pretty much a dollar store! But I got sooo much good stuff. I loved Japantown :)

From my $20 "surprise" bag from MaiDo... totally worth it!
Stuff from miscellaneous stores: Kinokukiya, Mendell's in Haight and Ashbury, Urban Outfitters and H&M (don't laugh... we don't have them in HI!)

My stuff from Ichiban Kan! I especially love the panda seasoning dispenser, stickers and nail polish!

My loot from Daiso! Good finds: rolls of felt clovers, pretty felt (better quality than the ones in craft stores here) metal purse frames and chirimen cloth!

I wanna go back to SF right now :)


  1. I went to SF last month (have yet to sort through all of my photos to post..) But I went to the Japanese Tea Garden and skipped the California Academy of Sciences. I loved the Exploratorum as well.

  2. Hee, I was in SF earlier this month, and my haul from Daiso looks very similar to yours. :D

  3. Sounds like an awesome trip!! :D (hehe I was actually JUST checking out your pics on flickr, and then I saw your post!) I spent a day in Japantown a couple years ago and it was awesommme. (I went to a lot of the stores you mentioned! Did you get to go to the purikura/sticker picture place :D?) I hope to go back one day!!

  4. I was there in February this year.... reading your blog post I wanna go back right now, too <3

  5. Wow Holly! Looks like you had an amazing time! :) I only live like an hour away from SF, but it is one of my favoritest places in the world! In fact, I just went there yesterday! I would like to suggest some things you missed out on. I probably went to SF 10 times this year! :) I would suggest renting a bike and biking across the bridge. That's lots of fun! If you ever go back, be sure to visit the amazing museums! :) I hope you had fun in CA!

  6. Omigosh you guys you will not even believe how much fun I had! I SAW that Pratima, when we were at the wharf but we ran out of time... part of the City Pass included SFMOMA but we ran out of time again! (We'll have to make it longer than 3 days next time!)

    You would not Candace, but the Purikura place was all boarded up! I was so bummed because it would have made my trip super complete :( But I still had a lot of fun!

  7. Oh my goodness- Holly, we were totally staying at the same hotel, probably around the same time! I loved Hotel Kabuki and Japantown too :) We also got the CityPass! I actually just did a post about the food we ate in SF!

  8. omg what!!! D: I wonder if maybe they just moved :O?? cuz I looked 'em up on google and they still appear to be posting on twitter and FB!!/pikapikasf

  9. For real Stephanie? I LOOOOVED it all! Heading over to your blog to check it out :D

    Yeah Candace, there were big wooden doors that were closed and all the other stores were already open... so I dunno? I wanted to go super bad! Maybe next trip!

  10. Awwwwwww Holly FAIL! We were in Japantown on a Monday, and Monday is when they're closed. Boo! (but at least they aren't gone!)

  11. I have been to SF a few times but I've never checked out Japantown! I will remember to next time! Oh, and Holly I have those exact same kitty stickers that you got from Ichiban Kan!! SO CUTE :D

  12. hey holly:o)
    i'm glad you had a good time in san francisco!!! daiso and ichibankan are my FAVOURITE stores!!
    now i have to limit myself to monthly trips b/c for a while i went every week=too much $$.renegade was cool but i too didn't buy got alot of kawaii cool stuff:O)

  13. i used to live in Northern California but now we're in Arizona. just went back last month and probably went to Daiso at least three times! also Ichibankan in Japantown of course and BTSSB. purchased a domokun bag and tons of bento and craft items, too! glad you had fun!


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