Color Factory San Francisco

On our last morning in San Francisco, Topher and I spent our time at Color Factory.

As someone who spends a lot of time on Instagram, I found a lot of the colourful American’s that I follow were posting a lot of photos from something called Color Factory in LA. Curious, I took a look and it was an art installation created by Oh Happy Day that looked amazing! Unfortunately it was a ticketed only place that was all sold out.

Then all of a sudden, I noticed that it was so successful that they decided to open another one in San Francisco during September when we happened to be there on honeymoon. I signed up to the mailing list and when tickets went on sale I pounced like the colour hungry blogger that I am and scored two tickets.

One for me and one for my black metal loving, colour hating husband. Evil laughter ensued.

Topher was willing to come as it was something that was important to me but he was convinced that he wouldn’t enjoy it.

I knew I would love the place as soon as I stepped foot on these rainbow stairs. 

color factory - rainbow stairs

color factory - wall

Had we not just stuffed ourselves with beignets at Brenda’s an hour before, I would have been all over the free cookie you got when you entered. Damn delicious beignets!

color factory - monochrome

The first few rooms were more of a wander round and take pictures and selfies kind of deal and not so interactive. Unless you count the orange cheezeits I walked through while filming. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

color factory - orange

color factory - blue bubbles

color factory - disco room

This room is where the fun truly began. Giant felt tip pens. As you can see, the people before really really can’t stay inside the lines!

color factory - colouring room

I now know what feels like being a Borrower.

color factory - colouring

We both really enjoyed this ribbon installation. It just looked like a curtain on Instagram but in fact it was a giant square of ribbons that you could walk through.

color factory - ribbon wall

It was so dark in the middle that I had to turn on my flash!

color factory - lost in ribbons

color factory - neon smily

color factory - polaroid room

Topher loves confetti.

color factory - topher confetti

color factory - diane confetti

Topher actually had a great time in the confetti room making confetti angels. I learned that you shouldn’t make confetti angels without zipping up your cross body bag. Let’s say I may have accidentally brought some confetti home with me…and also dropped a little in all 3 hotels we visited afterwards! Oops.

color factory - topher and diane confetti

The giant yellow ball pit was by far our favourite room. And it was the last room too. I lost track of how long we spent in here – so many silly photos and videos. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a ball pit.

color factory - yellow ball pit

color factory - topher stuck

color factory - diane jump

color factory - topher jump

Afterwards we were given tiny ice creams and sent on our way.

color factory - ice cream

I had an amazing time – it was so fun!

I also picked up a pamphlet that explained that they had done mini installations throughout San Francisco as part of the Color Factory. We then realised that we had already seen one in Chinatown a couple of days before and had no idea there was a connection. Look below.

color factory - chinatown

I wish we’d known that before coming as it was our last day and we would have looked out for them. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll be online somewhere.

So after picking up our suitcases from the hotel, we headed back to the airport to pick up our rental car so we could head South. Stay tuned for the next chapter of our honeymoon!

Here’s where we’ve been so far:

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

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San Francisco Food: What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

San Francisco Food – I loved it!

With only a couple of days to sample as many different SF eats, we did our best. The only thing I know that we definitely missed was trying a burrito as apparently the city is quite famous for them. It was on my list but it was on the day that we got sunburned and went back to the hotel early. So we’ll have to leave that for next time.

Once again I’ll remind you that my husband Topher can eat for days while I get starving and then can usually only manage a small portion (boo!).

As for this time, take a look at everything we ate:

Boudin Bakery

What’s a first time trip to San Francisco without visiting the historic Boudin Bakery. Being a seafood lover I had to get the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. I did have reservations about not being able to finish the whole thing as I saw loads of people leaving their bread bowls but I had no problem at all.

San Francisco Food - boudin bakery

It was so delicious and Topher and I really wanted to take home some chocolate bread too but decided against it due to the sheer amount of other food we needed to consume that weekend. If I ever come back to San Francisco, I’ll definitely be getting this again. Topher had beef chilli in a bread bowl and wolfed the whole thing down. I had a taste of it too and it was nom!

San Francisco Food - clam chowder & chilli

Mr Holmes Bakehouse 

First thing in the morning, we set off to line up for Mr Holmes Bakehouse as I wanted to try a cruffin. One thing to point out with San Francisco, they love queuing for stuff. If something is good, there will pretty much always be a line so keep that in mind! We arrived at about 7.45am on a Saturday morning and the place was due to open at 8. There were about 5 people in line ahead of us and more people joined behind us.

Unfortunately, cruffins don’t actually arrive on the premises until 9am. I didn’t know this until reading the signs outside as at the time of researching I’m pretty sure it didn’t say on their website. They now have a countdown clock on their website so you can figure out what time they arrive. Boo. We had another bakery to hit so I just picked a churro croissant instead.

San Francisco Food - mr holmes bakehouse

You can see them to the left of the green dipped croissants. It was amazing and I don’t even usually like croissants. Topher had a savoury danish which he said “hit the spot”. Croissant in hand, I turned around ready to get my instagram shot with the pink “I got baked in San Francisco” neon sign but it was turned off. Broken? Or the staff couldn’t be bothered to turn it on? Not sure, I felt stupid asking so we left.

I was a bit miffed but it wasn’t the end of the world and I got a tasty pastry so we headed off to our next target bakery.

San Francisco Food - mr holmes pastries

B.Patisserie

I had heard great things about B.Patisserie’s Kouign Aman (pronounced Queen Aman) pastry but nothing prepared me for the piece of heaven I tasted. I could have had a whole plate of them. Dough, butter and sugar have never tasted so good! Topher had a chocolate pastry which he really enjoyed.

San Francisco Food - b patisserie pastries

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

On the hunt for carbohydrates after our busy morning, we finally reached The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen where the smell of cheese greeted us. Topher found himself overwhelmed with all the choice but I knew what I wanted. The mac n cheese grilled cheese. Doesn’t that sound like carb heaven?

San Francisco Food - Grilled cheese interior

San Francisco Food - grilled cheese sign

San Francisco Food - grilled cheese wall

It was everything I thought it would be and more!

San Francisco Food - mac & cheese grilled cheese

Topher finally decided on the Reuben Adams which is essentially a pastrami sandwich and he loved it.

San Francisco Food - pastrami grilled cheese

We also had a side of garlic fries as we were starving. They were tasty and I really liked the dip that came with the

San Francisco Food - garlic fries

Ten Ren Tea

This wasn’t a planned stop but while we were strolling through Chinatown, we had a craving for bobo tea so we stopped here. Turns out it’s quite a famous chain. Topher got a coffee one and I got a red bean one. Delicious! Topher was really impressed that they would make it to your specifications too so he got a super strong one. They were perfect for cooling down as it got quite warm that afternoon.

san francisco food - bubble tea

Tadich Grill

In the evening we headed out for our fancy meal of the trip, Tadich Grill. It’s a seafood restaurant that was established in 1849! As you know, I’m a massive seafood fan so I couldn’t miss it. They don’t take reservations so you just have to turn up and wait.

San Francisco Food - tadich grill

We got lucky and got seated straight away despite the long queue because we were willing to sit at the bar. If you want a table, you have to wait and it looks like you may have to wait awhile.

The majority of the bar is used for diners, so we hopped onto our barstools and discussed the menu.

San Francisco Food - tadich interior

Topher had fish which I don’t remember what it was. Trout perhaps? Whatever it was, he ate it all.

San Francisco Food - fish

Topher finds my love of seafood funny as every time we go to a restaurant that serves it, I have to pick the dish that has as many different kinds of seafood in it as possible. Yes, yes, I like to eat the ocean. So of course, I picked the famous Cioppino which is a tomatoey stew sauce with clams, prawns, scallops, white fish, shrimp, crab meat and mussels. They even give you an attractive bib to protect your clothes. It was so tasty! I managed to eat the majority of it but had to forgo most of the garlic toast that accompanied it.

So if you love seafood, I definitely recommend this place.

San Francisco Food - cioppino

Humphry Slocombe

An ice cream shop that is known for it’s interesting flavours, I had to give Humphry Slocombe a try. It usually has a long line but as we arrived not too long before closing at their Ferry Building location, there were only a couple of people in front of us.

San Francisco Food - humprey slocombe

Topher of course had the Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee flavour and I tried the Harvest Graham and Honey Milk which was pretty tasty. Out of the two ice cream places we tried (the other being Bi.Rite which is further down), Topher says that this place was his favourite. I’m not sure which I prefer. Guess I’ll have to come back and try again!

San Francisco Food - humprey slocombe ice cream

Tartine

Another early start and another queue before opening time, we stood outside Tartine Bakery. I’m glad we did as when we sat down with our purchases, the line was down the street. It did move quickly though.

San Francisco Food - tartine exterior

I of course had to have their famous Morning Bun which is pastry with cinnamon, sugar and candied orange. I think this may have snuck into first place on the pastry front for me. It was incredible. Topher had a savoury scone and a chocolate hazelnut tart which he also enjoyed. He did agree that we would have to come back one day to try one of their massive pain au chocolates though. Those things were huge!

San Francisco Food - tartine pastries

Cha Cha Cha

Lunch was at the Haight District branch of Cha Cha Cha – a Caribbean, Cuban tapas place that serves awesome sangria. The interior was super quirky!

San Francisco Food - cha cha cha interior

Say hello to my only alcoholic drink of the holiday! This sangria was really nice.

San Francisco Food - cha cha cha sangria

Topher had the spicy chicken sandwich.

San Francisco Food - chicken sandwich

And I had the steak sandwich.

San Francisco Food - steak sandwich

As good as our sandwiches were, the highlight was definitely the side of plantains. Even Topher was picking away at them and he claimed to not even like plantain!

San Francisco Food - plantain

Bi-Rite Creamery

Be prepared to queue! We weren’t helped that this was a super hot day so of course everyone would be after some ice cream. I would say we queued about 20 minutes – 30 tops, I kind of lost count after awhile as I just wanted to sit down at this point.

San Francisco Food - bi rite creamery queue

So we finally reached the front and went for two scoops each (we earned it!). I got black sesame and ricanelas (snickerdoodle) and Topher got ricanelas and the ritual coffee toffee. I really loved mine. Maybe this was my favourite? I think Topher preferred Humphry’s because the coffee flavour was a lot stronger. I would recommend trying both places so you can pick your own favourite.

San Francisco Food - bi rite ice cream

Brenda’s French Soul Food

I finally got my beignets! And they were awesome. Once again we queued up before opening time and there were only a few people with us. Probably because it was a Monday morning.

San Francisco Food - brenda's exterior

San Francisco Food - brenda's interior

So we decided to share everything and went with some french toast and a beignet flight where you get to try the plain, chocolate, apple and crawfish beignets. Obviously start with the crawfish! All of them were delicious and we were surprised at how big they were. We could have probably just had those and been happy.

San Francisco Food - beignets

But of course we made the mistake of ordering the french toast as well which also turned out to be huge. It’s like a loaf of bread! They were incredibly delicious but I could only manage one slice. Topher did his best and finished the majority but even he couldn’t clean the plate. Oops! I would definitely recommend this place though. The beignets were to die for.

San Francisco Food - french toast

Ike’s

I’d heard good things about this sandwich place so for our last meal in San Francisco, we headed over.

San Francisco Food - ike's

The menu was extensive and there’s something for everyone. They even cater for halal and vegans. I was so happy to see a meatball sandwich that had only beef meatballs so I ordered the Michael Jordan which has meatballs, marinara sauce and pepper jack. It was so good but as I was still full from breakfast I could only eat half of it. I really don’t remember what Topher had but he finished the whole thing so that tells me that he liked it!

San Francisco Food - meatball sub

And that’s it for our food adventure in San Francisco. 

Check out what we got up to while we were there (apart from eating of course!)

And see part one of our Honeymoon where we visited New York

And what we ate!

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San Francisco Honeymoon Travel Diary

Our flight to San Francisco landed early afternoon on Day 3 of our trip.

We hopped on the BART train into the city as the airport is no where near the city and we were met with this:

San Francisco - fog

It still the outskirts but my oh my was there a lot of fog. I was expecting fog but it doesn’t look particularly pretty does it? We also didn’t have a good time getting to our hotel. There were hills of course and hobos a plenty. It seems like San Francisco is one of those cities where you can easily walk through good and bad streets very quickly. But not letting this deter us, we checked into our hotel and headed out.

San Francisco - hotel

We figured we’d start with an uber touristy afternoon and catch a cable car on Powell Street up(or down?) to Fisherman’s Wharf. The sun had reappeared by this point and though we were tired, it was pretty exciting. We purchased a 3 day Visitors transport Pass each that would give us access to the cable cars and buses and we were off. It was a bit of a wait for a cable car but we finally got on one that had space.

San Francisco - powell street

Despite dreaming of hanging off the side of a cable car, Topher didn’t want to do it at this point so I happily obliged!

San Francisco - diane trolley

Fisherman’s Wharf was as expected, rather busy and full of tourists but we had a great time. After food we wandered around the shops and found it a whole lot more pleasant than we found Times Square in New York. At least the shops seemed a bit different than the usual chains. I’m sure these were chains too but they were a bit more out of the ordinary for us.

San Francisco - fishermans wharf

We had originally wanted to go up Coit Tower (pictured below) but decided against it due to the fog. I’m glad we did otherwise we would have been shattered!

San Francisco - coit tower

We also decided to just look at Pier 39 from afar as I’m sure you can see the big crowd there. We were just across the way and could see and hear all the sea lions! On sunny days it gets packed apparently.

San Francisco - pier 39

You may scoff but we decided not to do Alcatraz. I did ask Topher if he was interested and he wasn’t. I wasn’t really either so we went to the Disney Family Museum instead. I was happy enough to just get a photo of it. If you do plan on touring Alcatraz, be sure to book far in advance as you can’t just walk up on the day.

San Francisco - alcatraz

Our final stop of the afternoon – evening at this point was Ghirardelli Square, home of the famous chocolate headquarters (at least until the 60s when they moved and the square was made into a historical landmark). We nipped into the shop and I got myself a pumpkin spice flavour hot cocoa. Nom. It was getting quite cold at this point so the hot drink was definitely appreciated.

San Francisco - ghirardelli square

After waiting in the cold for ages for a cable car, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

Day 4

We headed out early in search of pastries on our way to the Disney Family Museum. Aren’t the houses so pretty?

San Francisco - architecture

The Walt Disney Family Museum was opened in 2009 by his daughter, Diane Disney Miller and is all about the life and legacy of Walt Disney. Being a massive Disney fan, I had to give it a visit.

San Francisco - disney family museum

I had an amazing time wandering round and reading everything. I know it’s silly but it was kind of emotional – it’s crazy to think that a man who failed so many times just kept going and achieved everything he did.

San Francisco - disneyland model

This may be a bit random but I loved it and it was new information to me. During the 30s and 40s, Walt wore hats but in the 1940s he started wearing his hats in a very careless manner. His wife Lily hated them and after a bull fight in Mexico, tried to toss his hat into the ring. Walt managed to grab it before she could and as a birthday present, he had the hat bronzed into the shape of a heart and filled with her favourite flowers!

San Francisco - walts hat

After the museum, we walked up to the Golden Gate bridge which luckily despite the fog, we could just about see.

San Francisco - golden gate bridge

San Francisco - topher & diane

Then it was a bus towards Lombard Street, the bendiest, twistiest road ever! Lombard Street is actually a super long street, the bendy part is just one small bit. We jumped off the bus as close as we could and hiked up this huge hill to get there.

San Francisco - road to lombard

Since we were so tired, we didn’t walk down Lombard Street – Topher just stood on a wall to get this shot!

San Francisco - lombard street

After lunch we walked through Chinatown which is the biggest one outside of China itself.

San Francisco - chinese lanterns

San Francisco - cable car

I especially loved all the street art we saw.

San Francisco - chinatown

San Francisco - chinatown street art

San Francisco - chinatown gate

san francisco - transamerica building

Finally, we popped back to the hotel for a much needed rest before heading out for dinner in the evening. Topher finally got the courage to hang off the side of a cable car!

san francisco - topher trolley

After dinner we walked to the Ferry Building Market Place for dessert.

San Francisco - night time

Pretty!

San Francisco - ferry building market place

Day 5

We caught a bus to the Mission District for breakfast and saw even more street art.

San Francisco - mission district

Then it was another bus to the Golden Gate Park for our Segway tour with Golden Gate Park Segway Tours!

San Francisco - japanese gardens

I was really looking forward to this as I’ve always wanted to ride a segway. I didn’t realise that it’s all quite techy and you don’t so much as drive the thing as it actually reacts to your body. You lean forward and it goes forward, you lean to the side and it goes to the side. It’s like an extension of your body. I was worried about falling off but it turns out that it’s really hard to – you only do if you bump into something so it’s very important to have your own “bubble”.

All the segways were named and this was mine!

San Francisco - segual healing

The first couple of minutes were so weird but after that it was so easy. Topher and I had a blast. He actually said he didn’t want to walk ever again!

San Francisco - segway

Our tour guide was awesome too. He was a native from the Netherlands and came over to San Francisco the year before the Summer of Love when he was 17. He played in a band which opened for the Grateful Dead one time too! On the tour we not only whizzed around but we learned a bunch of history about the place as well. Like I had no idea that the Golden Gate Park is manmade. It’s actually built on top of sand!

San Francisco - conservatory of flowers

Hippy Hill – They were having a free opera concert there that day.

San Francisco - hippy hill

Tired out and slightly sunburned from the unexpected weather, we headed for lunch and a wander around the Hippy Haight District.

San Francisco - hippy street

San Francisco - haight district

We finished off our day at the Painted Ladies as what’s a trip to San Francisco without seeing them?

San Francisco - painted ladies

Day 6 was our last morning in San Francisco and that was spent at the Color Factory which I’m doing a stand alone post on next week so stay tuned.

The next post will be what we ate in San Francisco.

Check out my other US Honeymoon Adventures:

New York City Honeymoon Travel Diary

New York Food – What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

San Francisco – What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

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Honeymoon Plans Part 2 – San Francisco

Onto part 2 of the beginnings of our honeymoon plans. Yes it’s well over a year before we go but what can I say, I’m a planner! See Part 1 for our New York Plans. Unlike New York, we only have 2 full days to spend in San Francisco (with two half days on top) so we’ve got a lot less time on our hands. San Francisco has been a dream of mine for years and it’s the only one out of the three destinations that I have never been to before. So Topher and I get to explore it together for the first time. Excited isn’t a strong enough word.

sanfranact

Anyway, in terms of activities the main three priorities for us are The Golden Gate Bridge, then Topher wants to visit Alcatraz and I want to visit The Disney Family Museum. You may or may not have noticed my extreme disney love so a trip there is a must. Besides that, it’s going to be a lot of wandering around and eating! I want to see Chinatown and Golden Gate Park too. No plans as to where we’re staying yet. Maybe we’ll airbnb it since it’s the birth place of the site? Unless anyone has any great recommendations?

sanfranfood

Anyway, important stuff now – food! Again, we’ve got a few places in mind. Absolutely no dinner plans though – these are all breakfast, lunch and snacks. So purely based on pinterest searching I’ve found a few places including Tartine for a famous morning bun and Brenda’s French Soul food for beignets. Ever since I saw the film Chef I have been craving beignets like mad! Maybe finally I’ll get to try them? For lunch I’ve heard great things about Ike’s Place sandwiches – nothing better than an amazing sandwich, am I right? Unless we’re talking grilled cheese because then there’s nothing better than The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. Then for dessert it’s going to be the battle of the ice creams. In the blue corner is Humphry Slocombe which is known for their ingenuity when it comes to flavours. And in the red corner is the tried and tested Bi-Rite Creamery who have a snickerdoodle flavour that satisfies my need for cinnamon all day everyday. And randomly I have a sweet shop on my list called Miette that looks so instagramable I could squee. Sorry Topher!

Have you ever been to San Francisco? Any tips?

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