the chef and i are on our flight home from what will likely be our last vacation as a family of two. we’re 25 weeks along in this pregnancy and though i might move a little slower than normal, we packed a lot into this trip! we flew into san francisco and spent the last nine days roadtripping up the west coast to seattle, stopping to visit family + friends — and drink all the decaf lattes we could find.
one very pregnant lady, a super patient husband and a convertible mustang; san francisco, berkley, mendocino, the redwood forest, eureka, portland, and seattle; too much food, miles of walking and hours of this american life… all while carrying around about 20 extra pounds!
october 15: san francisco
steven and i spent the day with his sister cami and her husband hong in san francisco. we started at the ferry building farmer’s market, where even after eating breakfast we managed to fit in two more meals: blue bottle liege waffles and lattes, raw oysters and smoked beef sandwiches.
we spent the rest of the day walking around lower haight shopping (pictured: the perish trust) and stopping at cute coffee shops, like the mill, where we got more lattes and the sf food of the moment: artisanal toast. i’ve been on a huge cinnamon raisin bread kick ever since.
october 16: berkeley
sunday we went to church with cami and hong in oakland, then spent the day in berkley — where first and foremost, we visited danish mid century heaven at mid century mobler. it was awesome to see so many beautiful pieces of furniture in one place!
we spent the day eating and walking around downtown boutiques. i don’t know what other people do on vacations, but steven and i eat and shop. a lot. we stumbled upon the cutest bluegrass band in berkeley — two of the band members were under the age of 10 and a third was only about 14. they were so good. we stuck around and listened to a few songs.
we also had dinner with about 30 members of steven’s family who live in the bay area. it was so nice to spend time with so many people we don’t get to see very often.
october 17: san francisco > mendocino > eureka
on monday, we picked up a rental car to start our road trip to seattle. our plan was to spend the first night in eureka with a few fun stop along the way. we mentioned we’d be driving through the redwood forest, and the super kind lady at enterprise upgraded us to a convertible for free! score!
we drove the coast the whole way up, stopping somewhere between san francisco and mendocino at the cutest little drive-in hamburger restaurant. do all pregnant women obsess over french fries, or is it just me? i was in heaven.
mendocino was so cute. steven and i thought it felt a like the martha’s vineyard of the west coast. like, someplace you could definitely see oprah vacationing for a long weekend, wearing all white, drinking red wine and definitely not spilling it on herself like i probably would. anyway, lots of huge cliffs overlooking a very tumultuous pacific ocean. steven got right up to the edge. i did not. it was beautiful. i took a lot more, better pictures on my regular camera that i might get framed… one day. ; )
a few miles up the coast we stopped in fort bragg to check out glass beach. the whole beach is covered in recycled, rolled glass instead of sand. even though it was high tide when we were there, it was beautiful! the light really glistened on the glass.
october 18: eureka > portland
most of tuesday was spent in the car. we continued up the coast, driving through the redwood forest, stopping at one of the huge trees you can drive through, and of course eating. we listened to a lot of podcasts and a lot of dashboard confessional. we kept the top down in the forests, even though it was 55 in some part! brrrr!
october 19: portland
obviously, in portland you drink coffee. so we did. so many lattes. the first: stumptown. i had a honey latte the baby was kind enough to hold for me.
we spent the day shopping at kitchen stores, boutiques, book stores and vinyl shops. we got to have lunch with a few more family members, visit the international rose garden, and then found some more lattes.
we were pretty tired from our long drive so we took it easy at the living room movie theatre. i usually feel guilty for going to the movies on vacation, like we should be exploring more. i mean, you can go to the movies when you’re bored at home. but the theatre was comfy, the concession stand sold cookies and i was carrying an extra 20 pounds.
after the movies we stopped at voodoo donuts, and i’m sorry every other human on this earth: i don’t get the hype. it was dirty, the people who worked there looked dirty (and were a little grumpy), and the donuts didn’t even look that good. steven had three : )
october 20: portland > seattle
we had a huge breakfast at pine state biscuits to gear up for our super long day on the road. it was pretty delicious. also: i seriously loved portland. our airbnb was perfect, the neighborhoods were so cute, there were so many cute places to shop and eat. omg the food. if you’re in portland you have to go to ate oh ate, this really cool hawaiian place. we had the best macaroni salad, really good tuna and kahlua pork and musubi. yum.
when we got to seattle, we had what was definitely my favorite meal of the trip at maneki in japan town. the restaurant has been there for 107 years, and i’m pretty sure the tiny bachan who was working as the bartender has been there just as long. every single thing we ordered was delicious. i would eat there once a week if i could. the cold vinegar salmon was my favorite. or maybe the spicy avocado salad. yum yum yum.
october 21: seattle
one of steven’s best friends from his home town, richard, lives in seattle with his wife and three kids. they got a baby sitter and spent the day being tourists with us!
we had brunch, then went to pike place market. it was a little dirtier than i thought it would be. man, i really think everything is dirty these days. maybe it’s a side effect of pregnancy, but i might also be becoming a germaphobe. either way, it was pretty cute: we bought some spices, watched them throw the fish and stuck gum on the gum wall.
everyone says you have to see the troll, so we grabbed sandwiches and went to eat under the bridge. the troll was pretty weird, but i loved watching steven and richard climb on it!
after, steven and i visited the chihuly glass museum. it was pretty beautiful. tens of thousands of carefully crafted pieces of glass, hard to believe it was all the work of one guy. the museum is right next to the space needle, so that was fun to see.
something i didn’t know existed: starbucks reserve. it’s this insanely huge starbucks in seattle where you can try new, off-menu items. we tried a cold brew flight, comparing regular to nitro. i think we both liked regular better. we’re boring.
finally, another hawaiian dinner at poke to the max. man, i can’t get enough poke. or macaroni salad. or seaweed salad. i saved some and had it for breakfast on the way to the airport the next morning. sushi breakfast is my favorite.
finally: we totally lucked out on all of our airbnbs. they were all perfect. if you’re planning to go to any of these places (or just like looking at airbnbs), check out these three. i would recommend them – especially the portland studio – again and again.
- eureka, ca airbnb: it was pretty slim pickings for great looking airbnbs anywhere in the redwood forest area. we searched for old fashioned bed and breakfasts, but they were super expensive ($350-500/night!) and looked like old doll houses, which is a little creepy. this airbnb was great. way cuter in real life than it shows in pictures, as well. lots of light, large bathroom and the softest sheets ever.
- portland, or airbnb: there were a lot of incredible options in portland, it was so hard to choose! but i’m so glad we picked this space. the hosts were sweet, and the studio was amazing — everything about it was curated so perfectly. i could have lived there! the bathroom was our favorite part — large shower, heated floors, beautiful sink and wood countertop. this place was perfect! i wish the owners would come decorate my house! : )
- seattle, wa airbnb: this airbnb was in the basement of the renter’s home. it was decorated beautiful, full of mid century furniture and touches. we loved the large kitchen area and the fact that there was a tv in the bedroom. it was a little out of the way from downtown, but was also a lot less expensive than downtown rentals and a lot cuter.
what’s the best airbnb you’ve ever stayed in? we need suggestions on where to take our first vaca with baby!