August 12, 2019

San Francisco Cousins Reunion Trip

It's been over a month since my cousins reunion vacation in San Francisco but I'm finally recapping it! You're probably wondering why it's a "reunion" when I mention all my cousins who live in Jersey constantly. But for this trip, it was us, plus our cousins in Australia and LA. So it was 15 people total, which included 8 cousins, 5 spouses and 2 kids. We'd never done a group vacation like this before and when I proposed it over a year ago, everyone was in. At the time I didn't fully realize what it would mean to be in charge of said vacation (note: I have a post coming soon with tips on planning one). I'm not gonna lie, I felt super frustrated half the time I spent planning and I was worried I'd want to strangle them after a few days. But that wasn't the case at all! All the stress was worth it to see their happy faces, knowing how much they were loving the trip (which they told me constantly). We genuinely loved being together and that first morning back home, I actually felt sad waking up in my empty apartment without them. 

We spent 5 days in SF and here's what we did!

Day 1
We arrived in SF! It wasn't easy to find a house in the city to accommodate all of us so we decided to look at Daly City which is still close! This Airbnb was perfect! It exceeded my expectations and everyone was super happy with it. Our first night was about settling in, catching up and eating In-N-Out for dinner.

Day 2
It felt right to kick off exploring with the Golden Gate Bridge. There's a lot of trails for walking plus you can walk across the bridge if you so choose. We ended up only walking a part of it but we still spent a good two hours in the area, probably because we took a ton of pictures everywhere. From there, we went to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch (Sabella & La Torre + Crab Station were our faves), snacks (Trish's Mini Donuts are a must) and shopping along the piers, particularly Pier 39.

Day 3
Alcatraz is a must if you're visiting San Francisco. I've actually been to SF multiple times before, twice for work and once for fun with a friend so I'd done Alcatraz before and knew my cousins needed to see it. It's a short ferry ride and just a really interesting place to check and learn the history of. Plus it's conveniently near the Ferry Building Marketplace, which we went to for lunch afterwards. If you like having a lot of options when choosing lunch, you definitely want to see this place.

Day 4
This was the day I was excited about for multiple reasons – we'd get to venture out of the city and do something outdoorsy by hiking Muir Woods and it was the perfect time to wear the family shirts I made for the trip! I'd never been before and it was a beautiful (albeit slightly scary) drive up with amazing views. Then the woods themselves were just amazing. It's a really easy hike and we walked along the path for a couple miles at a leisurely place, which was great for us to talk the entire time. For lunch, we went to Chinatown and ate at Hong Kong Clay Pot Restaurant. I loved the food! Plus they were super accommodating for a big group like ours. The only downside is parking (but that was the problem almost everywhere in SF). We walked around afterward, made a quick pit stop at Lombard Street, and then headed back to our place to celebrate my cousin's birthday with a surprise party.

Day 5
Our last full day in San Francisco! And probably my second favorite day after Muir Woods. Our group split up, the "older" cousins went to Napa (specifically, Castello di Amorosa which they loved) while the rest of us wanted to see more of the city. We started off at Baker Beach (another new-to-me spot!). It was so calming to walk along the beach, get our feet wet and take photos of the incredible view. From there we headed to Mission which is my favorite area in SF. We went to La Taqueria for burritos (which I am still craving) and Mission Pie for pie and coffee (so freaking good). Then we headed to Aquarium of the Bay, which wasn't just for the kiddos! We all enjoyed it. Finally we ended our day with Swensen's Ice Cream and a drive down Lombard Street.

***

The next morning, we were up bright and early to go to the airport and head home. But those five days passed by so quickly! We all couldn't help feeling sad on our last night and basically said we'd do another vacation like in 3 years. Which means I have 3 years to prepare myself for planning but I can honestly say that I'm 100% looking forward to another trip like this one. 

Have you ever done a big family vacation before?
And have you seen any of places in SF?

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