Petaluma and San Fransisco Treats

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Updated November 24, 2018
Petaluma farm

This summer has been a bit of a whirlwind. We’ve been wandering up the west coast since leaving Mammoth Lakes. And honestly, it was hard to leave. We had gotten used to the cool breeze and the amazing sunsets. There is just a sense of ease and relaxation there. We’ve visited some pretty great spots so in order for us to remember we’ll start with our first stop on the west coast of California.

We made our way over to Petaluma where we stayed at a friend’s farmlet so we could explore the area.

farmlet parking

Of course our first place to check out is usually the local market. Ada and Jax found the ‘jackpot!’

mexicoke jackpot

I was able to get 10 limes for just one dollar, but let's be honest, I was more excited to find MexiCoke. I was so happy to have found this place, but then realized that just about everything was in Spanish and I had no idea what most of the items were, and in the meat case there were chicken feet and a tongue of some animal. I tried to ask questions but she didn’t speak English and I couldn’t recall my freshman year Spanish (sorry, Senior Maxwell) to communicate with her. It’s now on our list to learn Spanish as a family. At least enough to know what some grocery store items are!

It was quite hot that week in Petaluma to not have hookups so we ventured to the coast as often as we could. While we found several cool places to cool off, let me just tell you that if Bodega Bay isn’t on your list of places to visit, it needs to be!

Img 6939 Img 6954 bodega bay amazin bodega bay beauty Img 4451

The hike out around the rim was just incredible. Every few yards the scenery would change into something even more incredible than the last view we stoped to stare at for a good 5 minutes. Although very windy, it’s worth the drive out to spend a few hours exploring, just remember to bring your jacket! You could even pack a hammock to enjoy this really cool spot that’s not far from the parking lot, you’ll find this huge mass of windblown trees that would make the most epic hideout for kids. We were kicking ourselves for not having hammocks and a good book to enjoy here. 

tree hide out

We took a day to drive out to Point Reyes to see the lighthouse. I hadn’t anticipated how busy it would be. Be prepared that when you get out of your car, you will be attacked by tons of lady bugs and they’ll stay on you the until you’re back in your car and you’ll most likely find them in your clothes a few hours later! We parked in the lot and made the mile trek out to the lighthouse. Make sure you take the hiking trail out to the light house instead of walking on the road. It was probably the best part of the whole trip!

hike to point reyes lighthouse

One of our favorite things was just seeing how quickly the fog was moving. On the way down the steps to the lighthouse we had a great view of the coast but by the time we headed back up, we were already engulfed in the thick fog.

walking to point reyes lighthouse point reyes lighthouse point reyes fog

If you make the trip to Point Reyes, make sure you stop by the shipwreck! You’ll see it from the road and while there’s not much to do or look at, at least it makes for a fun picture!

point reyes shipwreck

The main reason we went to Petaluma in the first place was so we would have a short drive to visit San Fransisco! We have been wanting to go here for so long. Jonathan had actually gone to the city several years ago for work, and he went on and on about how great it was so we were eager to see for ourselves.

We got up before the sun in order to drive to the bridge in hopes of watching the sun come up. However, this was the view at sunrise…

san fran sunrise

At least we tried. We drove to another spot at the base of the bridge just to get a closer look at the construction.

san fran bridge cold in san fran

It just boggles my mind all the work and hours and labor that went into making huge bridges like this one! So impressive. We found a great little place to park (FREE) for the day so we bought our transit passes and headed into the city. Thankfully a sweet lady that follows our journey on Facebook offered to help us with an itinerary. We used her suggestions, combined with a few things we had already planned, and we were able to cram as much as we could into one long day! 

We visited Land’s End and the Sutro Baths. If you go to the city, make sure you visit this place! It was so peaceful and beautiful first thing in the morning.

sutro baths exploring sutro baths sutro baths 2 sutro baths 3 sutro baths 4 sutro baths 5

You can read more about what the Sutro Baths were here.

Walked around Gheridelli Square.

ghir square

We walked out to Pier 39 to see the sea lions. They were a noisy bunch. It was really fun to watch them interact with each other.

sea lions

Two little guys kept pushing each other off the platform and yelling at each other. Glad to see our kids aren’t the only ones who argue!

We bought the most amazing sourdough bread at Boudine Bakery.

boudine bakery

It was so fun watching them make the loaves. It was such a work of art. This time we ordered the crab loaf but the kids have already decided that next time we go back we’re ordering the alligator loaf. I’ve already researched what it would take to ship some of it to us wherever we are! Maybe my Christmas gift…to myself.

We walked around and found a store called Paxton Gate. It was so weird and awesome. I used to love visiting shops like this but now it just bothers me because I have no place to put all these cool things I find. I guess it’s good I’m not spending money on frivolous things but sometimes I find some really cute stuff that would love to put somewhere. But then I remember I have literally no room to put them in! See, living tiny does have it’s downsides…it’s no longer fun to shop at fun stores. 

Jonathan was able to get in touch with a friend from High School and met up with him for lunch in the Mission District. We had the most amazing burrito at Taqueria El Farolito.

taqueria el farolito

Woah, that delicious, and it was so fun to meet the famous Richard Huffaker. Thanks for taking time out of your day to meet up with us, Richard!

After that amazing burrito we walked over to Dolores Park and let the kids run around and then we played in the grass under a tree and almost got peed on by someone who didn’t have a leash on their dumb dog. We totally would have taken naps there on the hill if we had a blanket to lay down. We took some time to recharge ourselves and our phones! We thought ahead and brought along our Goal Zero charger since Jonathan’s phone battery hasn’t been holding a charge like it should.

goal zero san fran

I still get giddy every time we are able to charge anything with the energy of the sun (especially our home!).

After chilling out in Dolores Park, we headed down the street to Bi-Rite Creamery. Anytime you see a long line out of an ice-cream shop, you just HAVE to stop!

bi rite icecream

We were so glad we did. I highly suggest you get the strawberry balsamic but seriously, everything we sampled was amazing. The long line was very justified.

By this time, it was mid afternoon and we had hoped to stay to see the Conservatory of Flowers light up at night, but we just were too exhausted. We had been up for so long, walked all over the place, ate so much delicious food that we were all just ready to get home. 

Our trip to San Fransisco was one we will always remember, though. I thought it would be similar to visiting New York but I’m so glad it wasn’t. It was so much better. We loved this city and it’s definitely on our list to visit again!

Thanks so much to Dave and Anne for letting us stay at the farmlet. It was the perfect spot to see that portion of California. 

Next we head up the west coast and meet up with some friends that we haven’t seen in almost 2 years!


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Ashley Longnecker

About the Author

Ashley Longnecker is the fiercely independent tattooed and dreaded half of Tiny Shiny Home. She's a woodworker, photographer and maker of delicious baked goods. She loathes schedules and makes every day an adventure.

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Posted September 19, 2017

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