Posts in Travel
Must Do, See and Eat in San Francisco || Travel Guide
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Matthew surprised me with a trip to San Francisco for our wedding anniversary and we loved every second of it! I wanted to create a list of things we enjoyed doing, seeing and - most importantly - eating!! It's such a diverse city and rich with culture so be sure to add it to your bucket list!! All locations mentioned will be linked to google maps. You're welcome. ;)

Before we jump into it here's a few tips! We stayed in a darling AirBNB in Oakland, but if we could change one thing about our trip it'd be to stay in the city so we didn't have to cross the bridge every day. It took a lot of time from our day and we just didn't feel as safe as we would have liked to. There were some amazing restaurants we got to try in Oakland though, so not too mad about it! We didn't rent a car and just took an Uber or Lyft if we were tired of walking, which I would recommend because parking is crazy! Plus, they have those cameras that take pictures of the plates and mail you traffic violation tickets. No thanks! They have great scooters you can rent for $1 with an app on your phone to ride around the city and we had so much FUN doing that! Make sure to check the weather before packing to make sure your prepared! It turned out to be a LOT colder than we expected and I was so glad I brought my heavy coat with me! Okay, now that we've covered some of the basics, let's jump into the fun stuff!! 

 

MUST DO + See:


Fisherman's Wharf:

We loved walking around Fisherman's Wharf! There's street performers everywhere that are entertaining and a fun way to pass free time. They also have a vintage arcade called, Musée Mécanique that is CRAZY! There's lots of seafood and amazing restaurants to try as well!! This was Matthew's favorite spot of the trip. Watching the street performers do their thing. 

Ghirardelli Square:

Just down a ways from the wharf is Ghirardelli Square. You HAVE to go check it out and try some of Ghirardelli's famous ice cream creations and sample their yummy chocolate! I had the BEST rocky road ice cream in a waffle cone! I never got any pictures of the things we ate because I was too excited to eat them to think to take a picture. Hahaha! Story of my life. There are other fancy restaurants and shops, too! We saw a few street vendors at the park there and you can board the cable car to take you downtown!

Golden Gate Bridge:

Have you really been to SF if you didn't see and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge? I mean, come on!! It's even more majestic in person! I couldn't believe how massive the bridge really is!! I have a fear of heights and bridges can sometimes give me anxiety because of that, but I felt very safe the entire time! Watching the maintenance workers walking on the outside of the bridge? Not good for my anxiety. Haha! 

Baker Beach:

Another great view of the Golden Gate Bridge is from Baker Beach. WARNING: You are very likely to see nude men laying, roaming, and splashing around on this beach. Go early in the morning to avoid them if you can! Because it really is a beautiful beach and view of the bridge!

Pier 39:

This is probably the most touristy part of SF, but it's adorable none the less! Total beach carnival feels. The funnest shops, eateries, attractions and most delicious fresh fruit stand where Matthew purchased the best mango of his life. It was nearly the size of his head!!! No joke. There are also seals that come chill on the docks. They stink and they're loud, but it's still quite the spectical! Ha!

Original Cable Car:

One more time: Have you really been to SF if you didn't ride the Cable Car? We almost skipped this one and I'm SO GLAD we didn't! It's the LAST cable car of it's kind still running, in the entire world! The cables that move the cars actually run underneath the streets. It's nuts!! You can hop on it in multiple locations, but we decided to ride it from Market + Powell to Pier 39 where we had our anniversary dinner date that night!

Chinatown:

Okay. We totally felt like we stepped into China when we got here. Try to enter through the Dragon Gate and get a picture in front of it! There are tons of shops and places to eat here. We bought some Chinese fruit cake that was...interesting. Haha!! But I love trying new things and experiencing cultures this way! Especially through their unique foods!They only accept cash there, so make sure you bring some if you want to buy trinkets and yummy food! I'll share the restaurant we tried and loved further down on this post! 

Alcatraz Island Tour:

This was HANDS DOWN my favorite part of the trip. We took a cruise ship over to the island, and as soon as we set foot on it I was completely blown away with it's beauty! The natural aging of the buildings told a story and the landscape was absolutely breathtaking!! I seriously took hundreds of photos. This isn't even all of them. We did the audio tour of the actual prison, and it was crazy to think about all of the prisoners who once lived there. I don't want to spoil any of the tour, but I'm telling you, you have to check it out!!

Mission District:

This area felt like we walked into little Mexico! Matthew and I love some good authentic Mexican food and it was everywhere! Our favorite that we tried is listed below. There's Mission Delores Park that has a stunning view of the city and a fun playground for kiddos. We also stopped to see the oldest church in SF that was built in the late 1700's, but later found out we took a picture by the big newer one next door and missed the old one completely. Haha!! If I learned one thing over and over again on this trip, it's that I have no sense of direction in unfamiliar places. 

Painted Ladies:

Am I the only one who thought Full House was filmed in one the painted ladies??? I was a little bummed to find out that wasn't the case and that it was over a mile away. Still, these houses are beautiful and we took a nap on the grass of the park across the street. Walking the streets of SF is tiring man! The architecture and character of the homes there was amazing. You really have to walk the streets to really take it all in!

 

MUST EAT:


La Taqueria:

Again, no photos of the food because I was starving at every stop! Haha! The burritos at this place literally made me cry tears of joy. I hadn't eaten in 6 hours and this food gave me LIFE. We didn't speak to each other until our food was gone. I wish we had the time to go back and have some tacos, but it didn't end up happening. DEFINITELY try it!

Nopa:

The BEST food we ate while on our trip. Our neighborhood friends ended up being there at the same time (go check out Tauri's blog post for her trip experience) and they suggested we meet up for dinner here. BOY am I glad that they did!! Fancy, tasty food in a super fun atmosphere. I savored every. single. bite. Seriously, still dreaming about it.

Tony's Pizza:

We stopped in little Italy for some legit Italian pizza. I love a good authentic margarita pizza and this one met all of my expectations! They offer some cool speciality drinks at the bar there as well. We tried a non-alcoholic mango flavored ginger beer and it was SHARP. Pretty sure I asked Matthew multiple times if there was alcohol in it because the ginger was so strong! Hahaha! 

Fog Harbor Fish House:

This is where Matthew and I had dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Matthew had a filet mignon with crab on top and I had their famous clam chowder in a bread bowl. It was all to die for!! Then we had a free dessert to share. Heavenly! The view of the bay and the company were the best part though. Best 7 years, growing older and experiencing life with this guy!!!! 

Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop:

The day we went to the square to get some ice cream it was cold, and the line was LOOOOONG, but it was well worth the wait!! It did not let us down. If you're lucky, you can watch them make the waffle cones while you wait for your order and they'll even let you try one. I think I owe that to Matthew's charm. It's definitely one of the many perks of being married to him. 

Aunt Mary's Cafe:

Okay, so this isn't in SF. It's a darling brunch place in Oakland, and it was BY FAR the best breakfast we had while on our trip. Probably even made the top 5 overall. Seriously yummy, and original breakfast food. They also had pies that looked incredible, but I was so full from our meal we didn't get a chance to try some!

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Bi-Rite Creamery: 

Ice cream, again. What can we say? We like to indulge ourselves while on vacation. Somehow the wait was extremely long here as well on an even COLDER day! It really convinced us that it was as good as people say it is. I loved the location near Mission District with this cutest little ice cream cone outside the shop! 

Hawking Bird: 

This is another Oakland eatery. Our host highly recommended trying this place out because a friend of hers who is a Michelin star chef opened it! She suggested trying the chicken fat rice, and once again it did not disappoint. That was another night I was starving and it REALLY hit the spot!

House of Nanking:

This was the super delish Chinese restaurant we picked to eat at in Chinatown! It's the tiniest little place, but has lots of charm! The staff was super accommodating and the food was awesome! I just wish we ordered more eggrolls. 


And that's a wrap! Those are some of the highlights from our trip and we 10/10 recommend them! If you end up going to SF and visiting the spots in our guide we'd love to hear what you thought! Have you been to SF and love something we missed on the list? Add it to the comments so future readers can see your recommendations, too! 

Shout out to Kristin Welker for all of the amazing recommendations she sent to us out of the goodness of her own heart! Love you, girl! 

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Modern Farmhouse Bungalow || Airbnb Review

Back in October we were planning a quick weekend trip to Idaho and decided to look into Airbnb for the very first time. When we found this listing, we knew we had to book it right away! This incredible Modern Farmhouse Bungalow is on a 5 acre property just outside Twin Falls, ID. It was super close to the falls, and the most relaxing atmosphere for our weekend away. The hostess was very thoughtful and had breakfast, drinks and a basket of goodies waiting for us at the house when we arrived. Their property is absolutely gorgeous! In the backyard there were chickens, goats, two dogs, and a pond full of ducks. It was a true farmhouse experience and it exceeded every expectation I had!

What we didn't quite expect was the immersive experience that Airbnb offers. For two days, we felt like we were living the farm life. We ate at all the local restaraunts, and enjoyed all the wonderful scenery that Twin Falls has to offer. (See our favorite scenic views, here.) It was everything we could have dreamed and more. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a special reader discount! 

Book an Airbnb using this link and get $35 dollars off your first stay of $75 or more! I hope you love it as much as we did! 

*This post contains referral links. All opinions are my own.*

Shoshone Falls Park and Perrine Memorial Bridge || Twin Falls, Idaho
Shoshone Falls Park and Perrine Memorial Bridge || Twin Falls, Idaho || Travel, Waterfall, Beauty, Nature, Must See

This photo right here. It's probably the best I've ever taken of a landscape. I feel like it's almost National Geographic worthy. Talk about heart eyes! I wish the day hadn't been so bright, or they all might have turned out like this.

Regardless of what I was able to capture on camera, Shoshone Falls Park is breathtakingly beautiful. When we drove up to see the falls, you could here the water spraying down the rocks. Stepping down to the lookout deck was a moment I'll never forget. Getting so close to the falls and feeling that mist was spectacular. I'm probably overusing adjectives right now, but being there was almost as healing to my soul as walking on the beach next to the ocean. 

What is it about water that is so calming? Watching it, hearing it, smelling it. I don't really know, but I can't seem to get enough of it. Another thing I can't get enough of, fall foliage. The park next to the falls was bursting with color. This place was so much better than I had even imagined. We will most likely be visiting again. 

Another great tourist attraction in Twin Falls is the Perrine Memorial Bridge. It has lookout points underneath the bridge where you can get a lovely view of the Snake River. I was even able to catch a shot of a BASE jumper about to land and a boat cruising toward us. The boat shot is my second favorite scenic photo of the trip. (Still learning, guys) And of course I had to share a photo of my man wearing our baby. The most attractive thing, ever. Just scroll to the bottom and you'll understand. 

This vacation was seriously so good for Matthew and I. We are even more excited to explore new places together. What are your favorite places to travel? In and outside the U.S.? Leave a comment and let us know what to put on our BUCKET LIST! Lots of love!

City of Rocks National Reserve || Malta, Idaho
City of Rocks National Reserve || Malta, Idaho || beauty, nature, settlement, immigration, wonder, majestic

Back in October, Matthew and I were able to spend a weekend in Idaho and I am just now getting around to editing the photos and sharing them with you. We usually go to California with my family, but felt like we needed some time away as a couple. Turner stayed home with Grammy Salter and Grey came along for the ride because he is seriously the happiest and easiest baby ever. I had found an Airbnb (a post about that coming soon!) and the sights Idaho to offer. After discussing it together, we decided on three places. City of Rocks, Shoshone Falls Park, and Perrine Memorial Bridge.  City of Rocks was the beginning of our journey. We took a small detour to drive through the reserve on our way to Twin Falls. When we started coming upon the rocks, I couldn't believe my eyes.

I felt like I had stepped into a world described by J. R. R. Tolkien. The misty skies gave it the most eerie and simultaneously serene feeling. I LOVED it. It was raining the whole time and the dirt roads were so muddy. Basically it was extremely dangerous and we were a nervous wreck whenever we were in the car. Haha! Still, SO worth the drive. Although I can't speak for my chauffeur. Sorry, Matthew.

But there was such a story being told in this place. So many people had traveled through this reserve and some of them had made it their home. It was incredible and I'd go back there in a heartbeat. Maybe when it's not so slippery...

Our visit to Shoshone Falls and Perrine Bridge will be up on the blog tomorrow, with Airbnb details on Saturday. Sign up to my subscription list if you don't want to miss it! Lots of love!  

White Water Rafting || Snake River, Wyoming
White Water Rafting || Snake River, Wyoming

This week Matthew and I had the opportunity to go river rafting in Wyoming. We were invited by one of his coworkers and I'm so glad we went. It was extremely beautiful up there and such a fun adventure. I'm somewhat of a thrill seeker. This experience was definitely a thrill, except the part where my husband fell overboard. I could have managed without that one, but it definitely gave us a good laugh later! 

It's always nice to be out in the great outdoors and disconnected from the rest of the world. We figured out that it was the first time in 5 years that Matthew had been disconnected from cell service, internet and data. It'd been about a year and a half for me since I went to girl's camp. It's so peaceful when you just sit and relax among God's great creations. Every thing holds such apparent beauty.

The group we went with had to be the most laid back, down to earth, and genuinely nice people I've ever met. I learned a lot about river rafting during our four runs. The major thing I learned is that in order to hit all the rapids correctly we needed to read the river and decide what looked like the most promising route. We needed a leader to call out the way we needed to paddle, so we could all be on the same page. There were multiple times where different people were calling out different things, or not following the directed paddle instructions, myself included. It led us into waters we didn't want to be in. 

We all had to paddle forward in sync to get out of certain situations. When we were not working together we couldn't get where we wanted to go, like that time we hit the cliff broadside and Matthew went overboard. Our raft was not balanced on this run we had 4 on the left side and 2 on the other.  It also had a lot to do with preparation. In order to avoid the cliff that the current pushed into we needed to look ahead and be prepared to paddle before it was too late. 

It had me thinking how similar river rafting is to our lives. 

In life we need a person who can see ahead of us, who knows the path we should take and can guide us through it using a leader's voice. We need to find a good balance in our lives so we don't find our rafts flipping over. The currents are often the easiest route to take, but if we are not careful it can lead us to dangerous cliffs and we may even be lost in deep waters. However, there are others around us who can help lift us up. We have teammates who coach us through the hard parts of the river and do it with a laugh and a smile. When we cheer each other on instead of criticizing each other we help each other return safely ashore. We look back at what was hard and realize it taught us to be stronger. It helped us gain experience for the future. 

So as we go down this river of life, I hope I can always remember to paddle forward. To remember the things that a loving Heavenly Father, Holy Ghost and prophets have told me. I hope I can be a form of rescue to those in need, that I can lift others around me and cheer them on when they meet rough, deep waters. My family is my team and together we can endure to the end. I am so grateful for the gospel, for the beauty of the world around us, and the opportunity to ponder what this life is all about. 

It's amazing what you can learn when you just sit and listen. 

I hope everyone had a great week!

Signature || Cheree || A Dash of Salter