Vacations are vital to recharge, reconnect and just take a good break from the same ole, same ole! I was so happy that we planned a family vacation to San Francisco before baby comes. I was tired of looking at the same Dallas every day, doing the same thing and going the same places. It was high time to experience a change of scenery!
Our brother in law and his girlfriend have lived in San Francisco for about four years now. We’ve visited the city about two years ago and had a great time exploring. So when my brother in law called and said he was going to pop the question and wanted the family to be there, of course we said yes!! San Francisco, here we come!
It can be a bit stressful planning a family vacation. Ticket prices, accommodations and how to get around are always the starting point. I was extremely happy to partner with Mazda on this trip and be offered the opportunity to drive the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring during our time in the city! I knew we needed a vehicle that would allow us space and the ability to be comfortable. After all, we are traveling with a 3 year old and a pregnant lady who needs to be able to sit back and relax at the drop of a dime. The Mazda CX-5 is a crossover vehicle so there was just enough space to do just that. But, if you have a very large family, this vehicle is not for you. Especially if you have more than one car seat, it will be a bit tight in my opinion!
So lets get started on my travel diaries shall we? I also posted videos of my trip on my Instagram sharing the highlights of each day. So be sure to head to my Instagram and click on the “Travel” highlight icon to see everything in action!
Travel Diary Day 1:
We arrived in San Francisco at around 10:30 am that morning after a 3 hour flight. This flight was also my first experience of having to take Camille to the bathroom on an airplane. Not fun folks!! Squeezing me and her in that little closet with this belly was the worst ever lol. Anyway, after we landed we picked up our Mazda and immediately headed to brunch. We were so hungry! We ate at Rusty’s Southern Restaurant and the food was pretty good. Not amazing, but good ya know?!
After which, we headed to the Golden Gate bridge! This is where my brother in law wanted to propose! We were in charge of scouting the perfect location for him to pop the question. That took about 2 hours because of traffic and a lot of the roads to get to the Golden Gate were closed. But, we finally found the spot for everyone to meet and he popped the question. Oh and she said yes! If you want to see the proposal, head to my Instagram to check my “Travel” Highlights!
Travel Diary Day 2:
Sunday morning we headed to Sausalito for brunch and to check out the area. I always heard that Sausalito has gorgeous views and is the cutest little boat town. We ate at Bayside Cafe and it was delish! They also serve fresh pressed juices (I ordered the carrot & apple- so good), coffees and shakes too. My blueberry pancake were huge and I couldn’t finish it even though I tried. I thought it was so cute that they served Mickey Mouse pancakes for the kids too! Eric thought it was a bunny lol!
After we ate, we walked around and checked out the house boats. There were so many to see! The owners really take great care of the decks with flowers and unique art work. It was to be appreciated! I really wished we could see the inside of one of the houseboats. I would love to stay overnight just for the experience!
Next up was the Marin Headlands. I wanted to take Camille to the Marine Mammal Center. I didn’t take any pictures here, but you can see a snippet of our experience on my “Travel” highlights on Instagram. The Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands is a rescue center for seal and sea lions. We learned a lot about how the center rescue the animals, how they treat them and saw a few of the sea lions too! It was funny to see the sea lions escape some of the care takers who were trying to give them their medicine.
Let’s chat about the Mazda shall we?
Oh, I can’t let the blog post go on without sharing a little bit about the Mazda CX-5! Again, this is a crossover vehicle that seats 5. I wouldn’t recommend it for large families, especially those of you with multiple car seats, you would need a SUV for that purpose. If you are traveling with a car seat, this vehicle does offer the LATCH system which made it very quick and easy to secure Camille’s car seat. The car seat LATCH system is great for peace of mind that your child car seat is safe and tightly secured while you’re hitting the road. This checks off my safety concerns as a parent for sure!
But, lets talk about how gorgeous the metallic red paint is? It reminded me of red candy apples! The 2018 CX-5 offers metallic finishes and other paint options as well. I’d personally would go for this red, its beautiful! This vehicle pretty much has everything you need. It offers Navigation, rear view camera, great sound system and the power rear lift gate system. Also, The Mazda Connect System is easily accessible and visible so that you can keep your eyes on the road. It allows you to easily access your navigation, music and radio functions. Unfortunately it does not have Apple car play feature!! Which, as an iPhone user, is a necessary feature for me in my car to have access to my music and google maps features. Otherwise, this vehicle suited our needs for our daily travels.
After we completed the tour of the Mammal Center, our next stop was the Point Bonita Lighthouse. The Point Bonita Lighthouse is still an active lighthouse and is at the Southwest tip of the Marin Headlands. There is a .5 walk that is pretty steep before you can access the lighthouse, so be sure to be prepared with comfortable shoes before you go! Unfortunately, once we got to the trail, there was a sign up stating the lighthouse was closed for the day. So we just walked the trail towards the lighthouse and walked back. Let me tell you, my thighs and legs were burning!!! Those inclines were no joke. I definitely got my work out on. But, it was worth it to see the views and the waves crashing against the shore!
Travel Diary Day 3: The Painted Ladies, Lombard Street and Ghirardelli Square
We started the day off with brunch at Brenda’s French Soul Food. Food was very good and the beignets are huge! I would share more about the food and ambiance of the restaurant, but one of the servers were quite rude. It ruined the experience for me so thats all I have to say about that. Lol.
Anyway, after brunch we headed to see The Painted Ladies. You guys know what The Painted Ladies are right? The houses in the opening scene of “Full House!” These houses are known for their feature on the show and of course, the gorgeous Victorian architecture. They are a tourist attraction so you will also see people stopping by to take pictures. We didn’t get to see The Painted Ladies when we visited San Fran two years ago, so it was on my list of Things to Do. I was glad we stopped to check these ladies out!
What made it really enjoyable is that its across the street from Alamo Square, which is a beautiful park and picnic area. We let Camille enjoy herself at the playground for a while which made her a happy camper. Be sure to check out my Travel Diary video on the Travel Highlights section on my Instagram to see more! The views from The Painted Ladies are beautiful and worth the stop to enjoy and take in the city. I would suggest even packing a picnic to eat on the hill and enjoy the sights while you’re there as well!
After the park, we headed to Lombard Street, also known as, The Crookedest Street in the World.” I’m not gonna lie, we were all a little nervous because the street to even get to Lombard Street had a VERY high incline. But, after we went down the hill, it wasn’t so bad. It really is a crooked street and is filled with people walking the street or at the bottom of the hill taking pictures. It was a fun, quick stop to check off my things to do list without even getting out of the car. So I do recommend experiencing it at least once.
Our last tourist stop was at Ghirardelli Square. Friends, you must go so you can stop by the original Ghirardelli Ice Cream shop! I had a Ghirardelli Salted Caramel Sundae when I went to Vegas last year with my husband. It’s AMAZING! So anytime we are on the West coast, we MUST stop by Ghirardelli. Ghirardelli Square is basically a square with shops, restaurants, and great views to enjoy as well. We got our sundaes at Ghirardelli and it was worth all the calories and sugar! So good! Camille had a great time eating most of my sundae too. I tell you, when you’re a parent nothing is yours anymore! She always reminds me that I should share with her. Go figure!
I hope you enjoyed this travel diary as I shared with you some of our stops on our last family vacation before we become a family of four! This trip meant even more to me knowing that soon, things will change again in the Green household. So it was important to experience new scenery and create moments with Camille as our family of three comes to an end. Again, check out my travel diary videos on my Instagram to see more. I know you will enjoy it!
Do you have any family vacations coming up soon? Where are you headed? I would love to know!
Disclosure: Alwayz Fashionably Late may also participate in sponsored posts. This post regarding my Mazda CX-5 experience is sponsored. Please trust that all views and opinions provided are my own! I strive on being completely honest with my readers and audience!