Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vegan on Vacation in Cool Cali Part #2

Hello San Francisco!  It has been my dream to go to this city ever since my grandmother told me it is her favorite city in the entire world!  The Golden Gate Bridge was massive & quite impressive & exactly what I expected it to be as we cruised by on a cold day in a convertible!

Now I knew this city by the bay is known for it's foggy days but it still took me by surprise everyday when the fog rolled in & the temperatures dropped by at least 10 degrees!  I definitely had to add & strip layers all day long.

But the fog did NOT take away from this stunning city full of steep hills & bay views.  Like most of California, there are so many organic farmer's markets, healthy people exercising everywhere & recycling & composting is commonplace!   This feel of this city hit me straight in the heart!

And I left my heart in San Francisco! Ha ha he he :)  Not really!  But I did fall in love with so many things like...

Pier 39 with all the loud seals sunbathing their fat, blubbery bodies!  It reminded me of all the seals I would always spot in Santa Barbara!

The view of Alcatraz was really a sight to see.  It was really windy with choppy seas the day we were there so we didn't take the tour but it was cool even seeing it off in the distance.

And the convertible was put to good use once again when we drove down the famous-crooked-filled-with-hairpin-turns: Lombard Street!  Nothing like this in flat-flat-flat Miami, Florida.

Cable Cars!  This is one of the things I was most looking forward to doing in San Fran!  A little bit of history rolled up into Eco-friendly public transportation - love it!  This was a must-see or rather "must-ride" but the $6 price tag was a tad bit steep... But I was a tourist all the way!

Shopping in Chinatown was a highlight for us!  After hitting all the high-end expensive shops, Chinatown was a blast because everything was fun & affordable & the tea shops were amazing!

For all of my foodies out there... I discovered the best Vegan restaurant in the city, maybe in the state!  This place is special... Millennium was out of this WORLD!

I started off with a summer squash, basil cashew purée soup that was so decadent & rich - you would think it was cream based!  You know I'm a soup freak!  I could eat soup every day of the week & I'm still dreaming about this soup!

 Heirloom tomato & melon salad with red leaf lettuce & almond cheese.

Pistachio-crusted roasted eggplant with zucchini, butter beans & artichoke with Israeli couscous.

Coconut curry with Asian eggplant, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, griddle cake & sprout salad.

After ALL that amazing specialty vegan food, the next day required a run on the beach at Half Moon Bay in Venice Beach.  But the Pacific Ocean is toooooo cold for this Atlantic Ocean girl!

Time for tree-hugging in Big Sur!  The hiking in the mountains was so inviting & spiritual... You really do feel so close & connected to nature.  We hiked for hours, it seemed never-ending, but the views were just breathtaking!

But the highlight of my whole California extravaganza vacation may have been staying at Post Ranch in Big Sur because we stayed in a treehouse!!

If you ever get an opportunity to visit this resort, JUMP at the chance, because the grounds overlook the ocean, there is a vegetable & fruit garden on the premises & they are devoted to eco-sustainability through recycling & repurposing. I told the workers that they may have to drag me out of my treehouse kicking & screaming at check-out! 
(And I really wasn't joking!)

Look at this restaurant built into the mountain overlooking the Pacific!  Sierra Mar is NOT known for being Vegan but any great chef worth his/her salt can accommodate & dinner here was NOT a disappointment.

After spring salads & tons of red wine, we dug into roasted veggies: mushrooms, brussel sprouts, asparagus & green beans.  This was better than any surf & turf dish in the place!

And the after-dinner relaxation was just as perfect as the meal.  Heaven.

The beaches in South Florid sure don't look like this!  There was actual purple sand here!  We had another one of our picnics with wine AGAIN, right here in this spot before it was time to say goodbye to my newly adopted utopia & head home.  I could not believe how much I connected to California!  This trip will NOT be forgotten... In fact... It will be repeated very soon!

Aaaahhhh... These are my California Dreams!!


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