DAY 1 of 3 | SAN JOSE

We decided to keep this more of a chill day so we settled in, drove around the city a bit and just relaxed with family. For dinner we ate at Aqui. I ordered the quesadilla and guac because ‘why not’ and I was stunned. Such a fresh and authentic taste! Nothing fancy, just good food. I recommend ordering to-go and enjoying on your couch with your fav Netflix show (if you’re a homebody like me).

Sunset in San Jose.



First stop, breakfast at Bill’s Cafe. We shared the Banana French Toast and the Banana Pecan Waffle, too much yummy goodness in one sitting.

Banana French Toast at Bill’s Cafe.


Next, Alcatraz Island. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it turned out to be very interesting. I highly recommend doing the audio tour: it’s great because you’re able to see and learn about everything, but you can pause at anytime to take pictures or just do your own thing. The island also had amazing wildlife and stunning views of the city.

This was the closest thing to a window in the Prison.
Hallway leading to the Library.
Alcatraz Island’s lighthouse.
Remains of the Warden’s house.
More former homes on the Island.
And here’s us! If you look closely you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

It was schorching hot this weekend in California due to a heatwave, which we are convinced we brought over from Miami with us (ha!) Any-who, after completing the audio tour and enjoying the breeze on the island we caught the next ferry back to San Fran. We walked over to Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, and had dinner at Fog Harbor Fish House. There was a bit of a wait so we went down to the pier to kill time and see some wildlife.

Look at the sea lions on the second dock!

Soon after we were seated, drinking ice cold water (yes we were excited about this, it was 110 degrees I kid you not!) and Strawberry-Basil Mojitos. Dan, his dad, and I all shared: a Caesar Salad, a Whole Dungeness Crab and the Mixed Grill – which was our ultimate favorite dish from this trip. Easily the most delicious salmon I’ve had in my entire life! The picture, which you probably caught on my Instagram story, does not do it justice but…

Mixed Grill at Fog Harbor Fish House.

After a long day of sight seeing, walking, and eating we decided to head back home to catch some zzz’s for day 3.


First stop, lunch at Sur. We shared the Sur Combination Platter (pretty much anything you can think of, deep fried), Fish & Chips, Veggie Ravioli, the Big Sur Burger, and more fish. My favorite part was dessert (surprise, surprise), but seriously do yourself a favor and say yes to the Bon Bon’s – if you saw my Instagram story you know why.

Oven-Roasted Veggie Ravioli at Sur.


Next, Monterey Bay Aquarium (pro-tip: bring your Student or Military ID for % off entrance fee). Any other Pixar fans out there? Supposedly the aquarium in the movie Finding Dory was somewhat based off of Monterey Bay!

Probably because it was Labor Day Weekend, or simply because it’s summer and all the kids are out of school, but man was it busy in here! Truthfully felt as though there should have been an exhibit labeled “Humans/Homo sapiens” there were kids running around, throwing tantrums and yelling. Basically everything you shouldn’t be doing in a museum or anywhere really.

Not mad about it though, we stepped outside to get some air and I got to catch up with some old friends 😉

Cute little birds and sea lions part 2.

We continued walking through the aquarium and finished within an hour. Probably could have been a whole day thing, but for reasons previously mentioned we did the fast-forward version. I would definitely go back on a slow day and take my time at each exhibit, it really was beautiful! We walked around town and saw a little bit more of Monterey, the bay, a few shops and then headed over to Carmel – the cutest little town ever! It was a little cooler hence me wearing long sleeves, but I was really looking forward to bringing out the boots this trip (when you live somewhere hot year-round you need to take advantage! Next time for sure).

Just hanging in the cutest little town ever.
Seaside Beach in Carmel.


And last, but certainly not least (!) dinner at Mission Ranch. Cocktail service starts at 4pm and dinner at 5pm. They don’t take reservations it’s all first-come, first-served (pro-tip: get there by 3:45pm to secure a table). I know it sounds awfully early for dinner, but the amazing food and ambience is well worth it! Plus, it’s also a prime spot for weddings which adds to the aura of romance and makes for a great photo opp after drinks and din!

Misson Ranch.


Thanks for catching up with me, friends. ‘Till next week!

XO, g

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