Adventure Time: Alcatraz Island

On Tuesday, Grant and I decided to play hooky and go a date to Alcatraz Island. I've always wanted to go to Alcatraz not only because I've never been, but also because there was an exhibit by Ai Wei Wei that's closing on the 26th. We reserved tickets online and took the F trolley to Pier 33 to board the ferry. I wished I was able to be in the bay more often. The view from there is so pretty. 

The kite below was definitely my favorite piece of Ai Wei Wei's exhibit. The colors of the kite were so beautiful and inspiring. 

Ai Wei Wei at Large exhibit on Alcatraz

The installation below was also really cool. It was all made of lego. I can't wait to have my house one day or have an opportunity to make a giant lego installation. I would to do some cool lettering. 

Ai Wei Wei at Large exhibit
Windows on Alcatraz

After looking at the exhibit we went to the Cellhouse to do the audio tour. The cell block is kind of gives me chills as I thought about all the things that happened there and the stories that were told on the audio tour. I really enjoyed the audio tour and would highly recommend it. 

Alcatraz cell block
Solitary confinement on Alcatraz
Mini window with a view of the San Francisco skyline

The hospital is not part of the audio tour, but was interesting and a little creepy to walk through.  

Hospital on Alcatraz
San Francisco skyline

After Alcatraz, we decided to continue being tourist and went to Boudin at Pier 39 to get some clam chowder in a bread bowl and Trish's Mini Donuts. Skip the churros and get the fresh and warm mini donuts. We tried a churro from a stand and it was no good.

Trish's Mini Donuts at Pier 39

We walked around with our donuts. They didn't last long. :) We found some musical stairs. I haven't seen them at Pier 39 before but remember there was a The Fun Theory sponsored by VW did this back in 2009 in Stockholm. They're really fun to walk up and down cause a note is triggered at each step.

Musical stairs at Pier 39

And of course we didn't forget to pay the sea lions a visit. They're so silly. I loved watching them hop all over each other, bicker, swim, and look up at the sky. 

Sea lions at Pier 39

Such a fun day in San Francisco! I love playing tourist in this beautiful city. I've lived in SF for 5 years now, and I still don't feel like I've done everything I want to here. Until my next adventure, have a fantastic weekend!

Southern Oregon

It's always nice to get out of the city ever once and awhile. This past weekend I went to southern Oregon for a little retreat. We drove up there and stopped at Black Bear Diner. I've never been to one before, but the portions are huge, the food is good for late night nom noms, and I really admire their dedication to bearifying everything.

After about eight hours on the road, we arrived in Central Point, Oregon. We stayed in our friend's parents' house and got to explore the area a little.

The next day we went to Caldera Brewery & Restaurant in Ashland. They had very delicious and interesting beers. I got the Rose Petal Imperial Golden Ale, and although I love most things rose, I was a little skeptical, but ordered it anyways. It was surprisingly yummy. They also had a toasted coconut beer, a roasted hatch chili beer, vanilla beer, ginger beer, and more! I enjoyed their beers and their walls full of beer bottles. 

beer.jpg

The next day we went to Crater Lake at Crater Lake National Park. There was a ton of snow up there. I was not prepared for the snow, but it made the place a little more magical. If you're ever nearby Klamath County, I would highly recommend a visit to Crater Lake. It's gorgeous, and it's the deepest lake in the US, based on it's maximum depth. 

The next day we explored the grounds around the house. There were pear orchards, a river, and lakes.

View of Lower Table Rock through a pear orchard

View of Lower Table Rock through a pear orchard

Rogue River

Rogue River

Lake with a bear cloud in the sky!

Lake with a bear cloud in the sky!

You can see a couple more pictures on my Instagram.

Oregon is really beautiful, and it was nice to have some time to explore and soak in its beautifulness. Until next time Oregon! For now, it's back to San Francisco for three and a half days, and then off to Europe for two weeks!

Grand Rapids

In the beginning of September, I traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a friend's wedding. I had never been to a Michigan and was excited to explore a new city. I packed a ton of prints and was ready to brave the warm and humid weather. 

packing-gr

We decided to stay at City Flats Hotel. The hotel was clean and modern with helpful staff.

cityflats

 My favorite part of the hotel was that it was so close to MadCap Coffee. I loved their Cafe Miel and Ryan, one of their baristas, was great and gave us a good list of recommendations of things to do during our stay. We ended up going to MadCap every morning while in Grand Rapids.  

madcapcoffeee

We had about 3 days to explore the city. Things I noticed while staying downtown were that there weren't any convenience stores around, people don't really live downtown, and lots of beer.

Some of my favorite places from the trip were:

MadCap Coffee - get the Cafe Miel

Cvlt Pizza - get a pizza

Have Company - a cute general store

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park - fun place to explore. I love the greenhouse.

Hunt & Gather -vintage goodies with a cute dog. 

Founder's Brewing Co - get the Rubaeus on nitro

Love's Ice Cream -get the almond crossiant ice cream

Cvlt Pizza

Cvlt Pizza

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Hunt & Gather

Hunt & Gather

Have Company

Have Company

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

And the reason we were in Grand Rapids in the first place:

lawedding

Happy Wedding Alec & Laura! Thanks for having us. It was a beautiful wedding.

We had fun exploring Grand Rapids. Good food, beer, and times were had. Until next time Michigan!