This morning, we went for a long walk through the streets on the east side of Mission Avenue. We found the Balmy Alley murals off of 24th Street and walked through the alleyway. They were beautifully painted and so detailed. We met a man named Tony, who was sitting in the alley with his black chihuahua named Waffles. He was smoking a joint and drinking a beer (typical San Franciscan) and was such a nice guy! He said good morning to us and we started chatting about the murals. He told us that he was a history and cultural arts major in college and he shared some of the alleyway’s and particular mural’s history. It was interesting and he was really cool!
We continued walking around that side of Mission, which definitely had much more of a Hispanic influence than the area of the Mission we are staying. There were taquerias all over the place, as well as other independent markets and shops with a Latino vibe. A lot of the store signs were only in Spanish. It was a quiet walk in the morning, but when I was researching my trip I read that it can be a pretty sketchy area at night (basically anything east of Mission Street, including the area near Folsom and 24th Streets). On the walk back to the Mission, we stopped at Sidewalk Juice at Folsom and 24th and had a mango berry smoothie to share, which was delicious!
We got back to our Airbnb apartment and then walked to Gracias Madre for lunch, a vegan and organic Mexican restaurant on Mission between 18th and 19th Streets. We met my mom’s friend from an online photography group and her family here. They had driven here from Sacramento. I ordered the chilaquiles and mimosas which was all delicious! The restaurant was very busy, as we came during brunch, and they managed to lose our order. After awhile of waiting, our server offered to give us a free round of drinks (yay, more mimosas!) and fresh warm tortillas with guacamole and salsa. I definitely didn’t mind waiting, as we got to chat and eat more! When the food finally did arrive, it was amazing. I would highly recommend this restaurant.
After spending a few hours at Gracias Madre, we said goodbye to my mom’s friend and took the MUNI #22 bus to the Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow neighbourhoods. The views from the top of the hill at Broadway and Vallejo and Fillmore and Steiner were amazing! We walked to the house that was featured in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire at the corner of Broadway and Steiner. It was pretty cool and looked exactly like it did in the movie, minus a couple of trees in front of the house. Underneath one of the trees, was a memorial to deceased actor, Robin Williams. There were a bunch of smooth rocks and people had written messages on them and placed them under the tree.
We walked around the Pacific Heights neighbourhood, mostly on Vallejo and Pierce Streets. The houses were not Victorians but they were newer mansions and were beautiful! The hills were so steep to hike up! We walked to the top of Alta Plaza Park to admire the views from there as well. It was gorgeous. There are so many places to get a good view in San Francisco. The Pacific Heights area was very nice and I will definitely make time to explore it more in depth next time I am in SF. We then took the 22 bus back to the Mission.
We walked to Bi-Rite Creamery for the fourth time since we have been in San Francisco (just a little addicted!) and got some more ice cream! Their ice cream is the best I have ever had… It is so creamy and I love the unique flavours that they have and the fact that it is homemade. I tried the malted vanilla again and the salted caramel. They are both amazing but I think I prefer the vanilla a little bit more. We also picked up some breakfast ingredients for tomorrow’s early morning at Bi-Rite Market. We spent the evening relaxing at the apartment, browsing the internet and resting our very sore legs!
I can’t believe we leave San Francisco to go home tomorrow morning. It has been a wonderful trip and I am definitely planning to come back and explore more.