Lobbies & Robbers & Bearnaise, OH MY!

Happy happy Thursday to yas! I’m currently sitting outside in my little basket, drinking an avocado smoothie & eating protein choc. chip cookies while watching the sun come up over the mountains. I am utterly content on the heels of having two incredibly hard days in the hospital. I received a couple of timely texts from DJ’s family that meant the world and gave me the boost I needed to make it through. I am so doggone blessed to be able to call DJ’s family my own. And now I am pumppped to share this past weekend with ya’ll!

So, DJ and I are celebrating our anniversary in about a week here, but this past weekend was the only one that lined up for us to celebrate! We kind of considered Tahoe our anniversary trip, so we decided to do something more local in SF- a staycation if you will!

We staycayed at the JW Marriott hotel in SF. The lobby’s interior was gorgeous!


We like to try out different hotels because each one brings a different experience. Even though this hotel had the best amenities (great fitness room, awesome food pantry, bathroom, etc.), DJ and I agree Le Meridian and the Fairmont surpassed this one by far at a similar price (although we did grab those two on Groupon!). SO if you are looking at staying in SF, consider those two options before JW Marriott. Our fridge was missing & a light was out. Plus the overall aesthetic and experience was better at the other two!


For dinner we walked to Alfred’s, just about a mile from Union Square.


Holy maloly- this place was the bomb dot com. Open since 1928, the moment you step in, the giant chandeliers put off an old fashioned, classy ambiance that throws you back in time. The hostess and servers were so friendly. The food- man, oh man, the food was too good! They are also famous for their cocktails.

They served the the butter in the shape of a flower- now that’s a fancy first! I have never seen this done before, but I am convinced the butter was extra tasty!


We started with their shrimp cocktail and tater tots. These were the fanciest gosh darn tots we have ever had with creme fraiche & smoked trout roe. I do think the appetizers were overpriced, but all in the name of a fantastic experience, right?! I say the tots were good- but the shrimp cocktail is where it was at! If we go back I would love to try the smoked black cod!


Our main courses were absolutely exquisite. I told DJ this may have been one of my favorite fish dishes. (I feel like I always say this, but honestly- this was out of this world!) I had the Petrale Sole with a lemon caper butter sauce. It reminded me of a lemon picatta chicken my mom used to make for us growing up. It was perfection. Mouth watering perfection.


DJ ordered their filet with baernaise sauce. I tried the sauce and it was heavenly.


I think our favorite part of the meal (or close second, because the fish may have been my fave) was the creamed spinach. It was maybe the best we have had. It came with bacon bits on top, but it was easy for me to just eat around them. The panko breadcumbs on top mixed with the perfect amount of savory and herb created a flavorous explosion that is hard to even describe. If you are in SF, stopping by Alfred’s for their creamed spinach alone is a must.


It was a perfect anniversary dinner!


As we were walking back to the hotel we saw the craziest thing. There was robbery (orchestrated by a couple) who ran into one of the shoe stores lining the road near Union Square. We heard the yelling and when we turned the corner we saw shoes & boxes flying everywhere and the woman and man arguing aggressively with the store owner…. things started getting physical. The owner was chasing the woman, and the man of the two was quickly to the defense. They were essentially in the middle of the road, but closer to the side that we had to walk. Along with a few other cautious people, we walked toward the scene hoping we could get past without any issues. As we got within about fifteen feet we saw the man of the pair reach behind him into his backpack. DJ and I immediately turned around and sprinted back toward the other side. He easily could have been reaching for a gun, and we weren’t in the mood to be in the center of a downtown SF shooting. We ran back toward the corner and decided to cross the road and take the scenic route back. The guy didn’t pull out a gun, it was a pole of sorts (not sure what exactly), but he started chasing the owner with it. Finally we heard the police sirens and kept trying to peep from other side of the street to watch the action. Sociology at it’s best. #bystandereffect #citylife


The whole experience really worked up a sweet tooth for the two of us. We decided to grab dessert at none other than our faveeeeee…… you can probably guess- CHEESECAKE FACTORYYYY!!!!!


It was a bit of a wait, but well worth it. I am a firm believer of not going to chains when in a big city with unique options- but I might break the rules sometime for this one. The restaurant is located on top of the Macy’s tower with tables overlooking Union Square. We peaked out while waiting for our cheesecake and the view was tremendous. Plus, cheesecake factory. Ugh, too stinking good.




On the way out DJ said to me as we passed the whole crowd waiting in line, “Too bad they ran out of cheesecake” and some guy overheard saying “Oh man!!!!!”. It was too funny, but I really hope this didn’t stop the guy from getting his cheesecake!


We went back to the hotel and nommmed down on our Cheesecake (Oreo Dream Xtreme for DJ and White Chocolate Raspberry for me (and maybe watched a bit of Game of Thrones on my little iphone screen because we were both hard core craving it). Guys, this show though…

In the morning I ran a few miles and then we walked to Dottie’s True Blue Cafe, a famous breakfast spot in SF.


The line was insaneee. I think we waited about an hour and a half before finally getting in.


It is pretty small, not a lot of tables, and the service is super slow. If you go here the things to order are their baked pastries. We ordered full meals and they were ok, but crazy overpriced. We would have much preferred Sweet Maple any day. BUT their baked goods looked absolutely incredible, and the coffee was delishhh.


DJ had their pancakes- he said they were aighhht, just not the best.


I had an egg white omelette with lots of veggies and feta cheese. It was great- tasty as it comes, but it was the most expensive omelette I have EVER had. I do have to say, the jalapeno cornbread with pepper jelly was the highlight. I think I could have just ate that alone. I didn’t leave a crumb on my plate of that little guy. If you do find yourself at Dottie’s, it’s a must!


Overall, it was a good meal, but Sweet Maple STILL takes the cake as the best breakfast/brunch spot in SF for us. We have yet to try Mama’s (which is supposed to be epic).

After breakfast, we shopped around Union Square for a bit!


DJ suggested we go to Baker’s Beach (He always has the best ideas). We have actually not been to this beach since moving here. We were both craving Big Sur or Monterey for our getaway, and this helped us give a bit of a fix.


We just hung out, climbing on the cliffs, sitting in the cool breeze, gazing upon the Golden Gate and serene bay and talked about everything. There are so many questions, and confusion, about what our next step in life is… about where we would want to move next, about what we still want to accomplish and experience while we are here, about the emotional rollercoaster we both have been on in the past year. We talked about how this is just a season- that we won’t always be seeing each other for a total of thirty minutes each week. But how long will this season last? I think we are both realizing as young twenty-somethings that life is not a clear linear path and rarely do plans actually happen as planned. I’m just thankful we have this journey to figure it out together. This was time we both needed, and I was so very thankful for it.

Hope you all had the best weekends!

Blog Birthdays:

Shooot, I am so late to these but a BIG, MASSIVE, happy birthday to

Samantha @ artofbeingfabulous on July 29th. Sam is nothing short of inspirational. I mean her blog name basically says it all: she has perfected the art of being fabulous! She has the best travel tips, recipes, fashion advice, and tons of great tips for overall well being. In a nutshell, her blog has everything you could need. So thankful for you and your sweet comments always, Samantha! BIG happy birthday to you, dear!

Heather @ Polyglotjot on July 30th. Guys! She is one of the very first bloggers I followed-  she shares everything from WIAW posts to life updates to her whole pregnancy, to amazing recipes and everything in between. Each post is AWESOME & leaves you mighty hungry! She is also just so genuine, and has became a dear friend. Happy birthday, Heather! I so love all our conversations <3

xo <3



62 thoughts on “Lobbies & Robbers & Bearnaise, OH MY!

    1. We truly are lucky! It’s kind of fun feeling like we “know” the city now. But the fun part is is there is ALWAYS more to explore. We have yet to go toward the Berkeley area (I think that’s where some of those awesome restaurants were that you posted about recently?). Thanks for stopping by, Kalpana!!! <3

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Natalie! And I always LOVE when I see a comment from you!!!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing in this weekend with us 🙂

  1. Oysters on the half shell == Just stop there as we love them You guys are such a beautiful site together and warms our hearts ​ LOve you and miss you glad you are not here this summer as we have not had summer yet rainy and cool God bless you both Gramma

    1. Heheh I had a feeling you would notice that 😉 We love you and miss you SOOO much. Sending big, big hugs!!! God bless you two, Gramma <3

  2. Mackenzie! I want that filet and Béarnaise sauce! NOM! One day if I’m rich the decorator of The Cheesecake Factory can decorate my home. The view from the one in Santa Monica is to die for as well. I like the chocolate martini and the banana cream pie cheesecake. #grownupheaven

    1. I say that you make a trip sometime and we go back just for the filet and bearnaise! And right?! Sheesh Cheesecake Factory knows what’s up!!! Ahh I wanna go to Santa Monica so bad- BTW- where in California did you live when you were here?oh. my. goodness. Chocolate martini sounds to die for! Is it their actual chocolate martini or a cheesecake flavor?! I haven’t seen that one ! But I love that # ! hahha

      1. The chocolate martini is a martini – it’s def chocolate milk for grown ups! 😀 Paired with cheesecake is Heaven on earth!

        Last time I lived in Long Beach but I was in Orange County before so I’ve lived all over that. Like 20 years ago I went to elementary school in Sacramento. *takes breath* I’m like some kind of a CA gypsy!

        I say I take a trip too! I’ve got so many things to do and see there yet!!!

      2. Ooooo I MUST try this!!!!! And those are all such awesome places to live- There has always been a part of me that is curious to move to So Cal. Being a CA gypsy does not sound so bad at all!!!!

      3. It’s really a great life. I highly suggest San Diego – it’s my FAVORITE!!! Anything you wanna see, eat, do, you can! And there are AMAZING hospitals down there that people come from all over the state to go to.

      4. Girl, I was JUST talking to someone about this yesterday!!!!! I am genuinely considering going to San Diego before Texas now. 😍😍 I at least need to visit ASAP ! We’ve been here too long without visiting ! Do you have any favorites there?!

      5. Yes it’s way better than TX! Go to the Gaslamp district for hotels, food, and drink. Take an uber for maybe 20 mins to La Jolla to go kayaking in a cave with some sea lions! Plus the Chargers and the Padres are there. Also Hillcrest is amazing! So is Balboa Park. Dude- there’s way too much to see. Go for like a week!

      6. Ahhhhh I’m taking so many notes right now! 😍😍 thank you tons for the amazing suggestions. I think the next time I get a few days off I’m going to try to plan a trip

  3. What a weekend!! I’m glad all went well with that roller coaster robbery thing that happened!! You two be careful… Stay far away from shoe stores!! LOL

    *Big hugs!* xx

    1. LOL! you always make me laugh! This might be an issue considering that DJ is a big shoe guy, and I’m, well, a twenty three year old female, so shoe loving is basically in my DNA- but we will do our best 😉 hahah. Hope you have a great weekend, Cyranny!!!! XO

      1. OMG! We are in trouble…. Can’t you two just shop online???? LOL

        Have a lovely weekend too, Beautiful 🙂 xx

      2. Bahaahaha, guess we will just have to start online shopping instead (For some reason that sounds sorta dangerous too 😉 ). XO

      3. 😉 I’ve seen a trick for that… you put your credit cards in water, and put that in the freezer. When you decide to buy something, the time it takes to get the cards is enough to calm the compulsive need to buy 😛 xx

      4. LOL!!!!!!! Golly, where has this trick been all my life?! I have a feeling I would have saved quite a bit of money over the span of time… good thing I know now…. 😂

    1. Aww, so nice to see new readers!!! Thank you tons for stopping by and I cannot wait to follow along with your blog as well, dear <3 Have such a great weekend too! 🙂

  4. Thank you for the sweet trip down memory lane having stayed at the JW Marriott as well and still craving that delicious cheesecake (we made sure we went each roadtrip!), we never made it to “Dottie’s” due to those long line-ups but hung out at the Taylor St. Cafe, a hole in the wall joint that served really tasty breakfasts!

    1. No way!!!! That is TOO cool! I’m glad you enjoyed this post 🙂 And I am totally adding Taylor St. Cafe to the list. I’m actually going to loook it up as soon as I send back this comment- we loveeee trying new breakfast places! Thank you for the suggestion and sweet comment. I hope you have the best weekend! XO

  5. I am so jealous! Lol. I stayed really close to the Union Square area. I was a couple of blocks away. These photos are great, Mack. Happy Anniversary! San Francisco is always so breathtaking. 😍 Have you been on a cable car ride? How about Lombard Street, the crooked street.

    1. Awww! I hope you got a tinnnny bit of an SF fix through this. Whenever I get fed up with the traffic and such I actually think of you- and I’m like “I should let Lisa know she doesn’t want to actually move here” lol. Buttttt traffic is probably the only big con. Anywho- where did you stay?! And no we haven’t done the cable car yet- definitely need to do it before we move. And YESSS- lombard street is such fun, plus all the houses are actually so pretty and decorated nicely with flowers along it! Love it!!

      1. Lol. Well I wouldn’t drive there! We went on the bus and the underground thingy. I forgot the name of it. We also did a lot of walking. We stayed at the Fitzgerald Hotel. It’s ok. It feels like you’re staying at a house. It’s on Post Street. The restaurant next door is BOMB! It’s an Italian restaurant called Fino. It’s pricy but worth it! The Obamas went there. The cable car is fun! We also went to Chinatown one day.

      2. Oh that sounds really neat though! I may have to look into that- you know we always love trying something new! And ahhhh I’m going to look into Fino RIGHT NOW! 😍😍 Chinatown is ALWAYS an experience too- Im always in sensory overload there. Hahah

  6. Looks like it was an awesome weekend! That lobby is beautiful!! And how exciting..or scary..to walk up on that robbery. I think it’s so fun that you have such a great city to explore! And, happy anniversary! I always love all of your pictures! They always make me want to come see your city!

    1. Hey girl!!! It was such an interesting experience FOR SURE. Have you ever been to Sf?! I have a feeling you would absolutely love it. Thank you for your sweet anniversary wishes!!

  7. What a perfect celebration! Happy Anniversary and God bless in all the years you have ahead! (we’ve been married 42 years now and highly recommend it!) Our kids live in SF and we’ll be up in a couple weeks– going to check on the Dottie’s Cafe. Thanks!

    1. Aww thank you!!!! WOW – 42 years?!?! Congrats to that- how amazing!!!!! I love that you are coming up here! Enjoy!! Let me know if you need any suggestions at all 🙂 I say Dottie’s is amazing as is Sweet Maple! Cannot go wrong!

  8. It looks like an amazing getaway. Happy Anniversary!! Glad you were able to avoid the robbery scene! The hubby and I are total Game of Thrones fans. It just seems to get better and better! 🙂

    1. It was such a fun time! Thank you for the sweet anniversary wishes 🙂 Ahhhh Game of Thrones is so stinking good. We are only on Season 3 too! I hear some epic stuff just went down in the most recent episodes!

  9. I’m so glad you’re okay and that you’re both safe and nothing happened. Crazy to have witnessed a robbery when you’re out to have fun. But anyway…. what an amazing looking hotel, I would love to stay at a fancy hotel someday LOL. Also the food looks DELICIOUS and so fancy! LOL.
    I love cheesecake so much, I haven’t had some in a while and I’ve been craving it for weeks!!! ahhh!!!
    And it sucks you guys don’t see each other for very long, even though you both live together, BUT, you guys make the best of your time together and I think that’s fantastic and amazing! 🙂 keep your heads up, better things will come to those who wait 😀

    1. Hahah thank you, dear! ‘Twas too close a call for comfort! Girlll- GROUPON! It’s your best friend. We find so many steals on nice hotels that we wouldn’t just buy regularly!! And isn’t Cheesecake the BEST?! Do you have a favorite flavor at the Factory?! I always love asking people this question hahah. Thank you for your sweet, sweet encouragement! I hope you are having a beautiful week, Rossy!❤️❤️

      1. I do have groupon but I haven’t checked it because I haven’t gone anywhere. I supposed it could come in handy with restaurants too LOL
        And can you believe that I’ve never been to the cheesecake factory?! I know, shame on me. I’m just never on that vicinity haha

      2. Yesss! Some of our favorite restaurants we have discovered via Groupon!!!!! And noooo 😳 ROSSSYYYY! I think you need to stop whatever you are doing and go get it NOW. It’s a life changer!!!!

      3. LOL I will do my best to make it by the end of this week, maybe hubby and I can finally have a dinner date by ourselves without the munchkin 😀

      4. I sure hope you were able to make it 😉 If not I am going to have to keep bothering you until you do or I will just send you a slice myself! Lol!

  10. I’ve been sooooo MIA from blogging but I had to get on here to see if you had posted anything! Obviously need my Mack fix 😉 You’re little staycation to SF makes me miss it so much, but I am so happy that you and DJ were able to plan a trip to get away! That petrale sole with the lemon caper butter sauce looks amazing!!!! I’m certain I would’ve ordered the same thing! Oh yesss bring on the Cheesecake Factory, I feel the same way about going to chain food places when there’s good local spots to be had but idk, Cheesecake Factory may be THE exception! They really genuinely have such delicious cheesecake. Sometimes its best to stick with what you know, and you won’t leave disappointed! Bakers beach, I think we went there on our way to get to the Golden Gate, I’m assuming its the only beach really that close to the bridge? If so- we loved it there… I wanted to linger around there for longer except we were on a mission- but the views from that point were glorious!
    Ugh, I’m in my late 20-somethings and I’m still soooo confused about what the next step is going to be…We actually did come to some conclusions like we completely nixed CA altogether. I feel so strongly that I want our next move and step to be something more permanent and CA just wasn’t going to be; even though the adventure and experience would’ve been great. But we’re still in this limbo because we’re uncertain whether we stay here for longer or make the move to TX sooner in place of CA….the decisions *sigh* As I just give you my life update via a comment lol Nevertheless, I know you and DJ will figure it out, you guys are such a great dynamic duo together- you guys both have a great head on your shoulders and such bright futures ahead!!! <3 <3 Sending love and hugs!!!

    xo, JJ

    1. Hi Love! I don’t know how I totally missed this comment! Sorry it has taken so long to respond! Oh mannnn do we have a lot to catch up on!!! GIRL- next time you are here we will have some incredible local food followed by some even more incredible cheesecake from cheesecake factory ! It’s sooooo insanely good. I think I might be slightly addicted. And when I saw your post I was wondering where you were that you were able to get that close and such good pics! Makes such sense now! Love it there- so peaceful and beautiful.

      And Ohhhh my goodness JJ! I am SO excited for you! Even if you nixed Cali, I know you will still come visit us 😉 But if you move to TX or stay in Boston, or move to Timbuktu, just remember- there is no wrong decision. There is a beautiful adventure awaiting you wherever you go (or stay!). I know it’s super stressful now, but it will all fall into place! I’m just thankful you share it with us <3 Thank you for your sweet words. It's crazy to see where we all are in just a couple years from now- even a year! Sending you sooo much love! <3

  11. Happy anniversary! As a native San Franciscan, it’s so fun and refreshing to see you and DJ exploring my city. I work a couple blocks from Union Square . . .actually heading there on my lunch break today! And just like you I love Cheesecake Factory. I almost always order the country salad (beets, green beans, goat cheese, walnuts -SO GOOD) and dessert to balance it out, haha!

    1. Awww thank you, Susie!!! I had no idea you lived right here! WHAT!? How fun. What are some of your favorite spots around SF?! And yessss- I hope you had an awesome lunch. I have to ask- favorite Cheesecake factory flavor?! I must know. Mmmmmm that salad sounds to die for. Definitely checking that out next time. I have a hard time veering from their tuna tartare and vegan burger, but you might have me sold!

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