SF Tourin’ & Big Basin Hikin’

Heyyy yaa! This post is going to be heavily picture laden- but not as heavy on the words (at least as much as usual 😉 ). This week has been busy running around getting ready to go back to Ohio this weekend, BUT I am going to try to squeeze this post out before we take off!

Soooo where did we leave off? I believe it was Thursday the 22nd… DJ and I headed to BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings) in the evening to meet up with his coworkers. It was a blast, and I can’t wait to see them all again for another get together mid July.

Friday the 23rd kicked off a tremendous weekend. I started the morning (as I have every morning) with some avocado toast using Oren’s Hummus Shop whole wheat pita, hummus, and mashed avocado with pink Himalayan salt & pepper. I can’t get enough of this.


After an Insanity workout, DJ and I headed to Santana Row to do some shopping for him. I was thankful I didn’t have to look for anything for myself because I am overrrrr it! But I always love going with DJ just to tag along & have an excuse to find a cup a jo’ somewhere.


In the evening we drove into SF to attend our Church’s annual conference called If Not For the Hand of God at the Regency Ballroom. We had Mack Brock in the house & a ton of phenomenal speakers over the weekend. Every second was incredible. My notebook is filled with pages and pages of wisdom and conviction from these Pastors.


I also loved getting to see my sweet friend, Tammy, if only briefly Friday night!


DJ and I woke up around 6 am on Saturday morning, the 23rd. We decided we had enough time to try to squeeze in an awesome breakfast before a busy jam-packed day.


I have wanted to try Kitchen Story for a while- it’s one of those well known “Must try” brunch places in SF.


We were seated immediately since it was only 8 am on a Saturday (give it 2 hours and you are looking at least an hour wait).


DJ tried their millionaire bacon. The last time he had the bacon was at Sweet Maple. We had to see how this stacked up.


I had the Primavera with egg whites, spinach, mushrooms, and blistered tomatoes, a croissant, and rainbow potatoes. Such a wonderful start to the day!


DJ had their ricotta pancakes and said they were some of the best he’s had in the city.


Overall, we both agreed we still liked Sweet Maple better… but it was a fantastic breakfast nonetheless.

We attended the first session of conference at 9:30 am, then during the lunch break we scarfed down a couple complimentary sandwiches and decided to explore.


We stumbled across Japantown, a destination in the city we have never been before.


I’d love to come back and try some of these restaurants.


After the afternoon session, we decided to go to the 16th Avenue Tiled steps- a tourist spot we have never explored.


Apparently there was a lady stealing plants from the steps, and they had a picture “shaming” her for stealing. It seemed both ridiculous and hilarious.

After the steps we went to Twin Peaks. You may remember I went on my own a couple months back, and I knew DJ would love the views.


He had no clue I was taking these pictures of him, sorry deej! Hehe.


Last on the list for the day was Haight-Ashbury street… a step back in time to the 60s. It is known for being the origin of the hippie culture.


We decided to stop and grab a quick bite to eat to tide us over before heading home. We went to the first place we saw- Magnolia.


DJ had their house burger.


I decided to just have the house salad- I wasn’t super hungry since I had been nibbling on snacks I had in my purse all day- any other grandmas in the house?! I have food on me at ALL times.


Haight-Ashbury is also known for the Piedmont Boutique with the flailing-out-the-window-legs. What a hoot.


It truly felt like a step back in time… one of the craziest streets I’ve ever been on. Everyone was exceptionally friendly though- I will say that..

Sunday morning, the 24th, Tammy and I went on a loooong hike at Big Basin in the Santa Cruz mountains!


I’ve been wanting to do this hike for a while and finally a good time we both could go!

I have never seen Redwoods in person before and was BLOWN away. I have never seen anything so gargantuan in my whole life.


We had an hearty laugh over this form we had to put on our dashboard. This just instilled allll the confidence in us!


We set out to do the longest hike the Berry Creek Falls- Skyline to the Sea-Sunset loop.


Take a look at this bee hive!!!


The falls were stunning, located about five miles deep into the hike. The pictures cannot do them justice.


Whoever said “Don’t go chasing waterfalls” was just plain wrong.


Is it a Black Bear? Nope, it’s a MACK bear.


We hiked from about 10:45 am to 4:00 pm. It was a phenomenal and strenuous hike (the sign did not lie). The weather was perfect and the views were breathtaking. No greater therapy than nature.

Monday I cleaned up the house, did a load of laundry, and ran some errands. In the evening I made butternut squash pasta with lemon, garlic, and olive oil topped with sprinkled parmesan, a quinoa medley, and I also decided to make stuffed jalapeños for DJ (with Monterey cheese blend, white onion, and bacon).


Tammy came over to watch the Bachelorette and we snacked and chatted. So thankful for the time we were able to have together this weekend! As the show started, I had this giant salad that I’ve been eating on repeat this week with a black bean burger, tons of veggies, hummus, and balsamic vinegar.


Yesterday, the 26th, I spent the day getting together packages to ship that I sold on Ebay and Poshmark. I also went for a nice long eight-miler. It’s so funny around here- I swear we have two springs… the flowers go into full bloom early in spring then die then all of a sudden bam.. have a full bloom again. Not mad one bit about it.


Today, the 27th, I knocked out a little bit of the remainder of my to-do, meal prepped for when I’m gone next week but DJ is home, and started packing for Ohio! Anyone have any fun weekend plans you’re looking forward to?!

xo <3 submark

45 thoughts on “SF Tourin’ & Big Basin Hikin’

    1. Thank you SO much, Dr. Dinardo! I was so excited to see your name pop up in my notifications. I always tell people that is the GREATEST compliment when someone enjoys a cup of coffee or tea while reading 🙂 Coffee time is sacred!

    1. It was incredible! I have never done such a long hike- but it makes me wanna do many more. The air was soo nice and fresh. So calming. Have a great weekend, Nikki! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  1. Did you really walk up to Twin Peaks in those shoes?! So impressed haha.

    Definitely a grandma with snacks as well! Alex used to makes fun of me for it haha. Then he realized that having snacks is better than being hangry.

    Aren’t redwoods absolutely incredible? When my family and I saw them years ago I remember just being in absolute awe of them. When you think about how old they are and still growing it’s insane! Nature really is something.

    Slightly random but how do you like insanity? I’ve noticed you post about it a few times so I’m curious!

    This weekend, Alex and I are heading to Chicago! We’ll be there for 5 days and I can’t wait. We’re going out with my friends one night then seeing family the next day. Plus we get to go to my grandparents who live on a lake which will be so fun. Oh and my birthday is next week. We’ve got a busy few days haha. I hope you have a fabulous time in Ohio!

    1. LOL, girl it was a TRIP. People probably thought I was a nut, but it was such an impromptu decision, I was like oh wellll.. I just prayed I didn’t fall (and am very surprised I didn’t considering my track record).

      yaaaasss – that is the exact reason I keep the snacks around- the hanger has came forth far too many times.

      Ahhh I LOVE insanity. I started when I was a senior in high school and have been doing it since- so about seven years now (woah that’s crazy it’s been that long)… but I do it maybe 2-3 times a week in between my runs. It’s a tremendous full body workout & I can just do it at home.

      Woooohoooo! Ahhhh I cannot wait to read about your trip! Safe Travels and gosh, have so much fun. Going out on the lake sounds like perfection and happy early birthday. So excited for you! Enjoy enjoy enjoy!!!

      1. I’m shocked you didn’t fall either! Those stairs look less than even haha. But anything boys can do, girls can do while wearing heels 😉

        Do you own the DVDs or something? Sorry for all the questions! I just need some strength workouts and want to find something that will stick.

        Thank you!! Safe travels to you as well <3

      2. It was hilarious trying to go down them. Definitely took me double the time! And heck yaaaaa I love that!

        I do ! And totally worth every penny. Highly recommend! They have a workout for every day – strength, cardio, plyo, etc!

        Thanks, gf!

  2. I don’t even know where to begin!! What an amazing week of food, friendship, and fun. Your breakfast toast combo sounds so very perfect. That pita looks delish! I love that you and Dj try a variety of brunch restaurants – my fav meal! Your croissant and whole dish looks lovely. Those stairs!!! {heart eye emojis} That district/street looks super fun but different! All of your photos from the hike look stunning, girl!! They seriously should be framed. I’m so grateful we now have such amazing cameras in our phones. We truly live in a weird era of being engrossed in social media, but at the same time, I’m grateful for technology as it has connected us despite living so far apart. Thank you for sharing this with us! XO

    1. Tehe- it was wonderful. Sometimes I am just blown away at how much we can fit into just a few days. Some weeks I feel like have so little compared to just a couple days.

      I hadn’t had a croissant in forever and forgot how tasty they were! We have a famous place on my SF bucket list that has matcha, chocolate, and a churro croissants that I am dying to try! And seriously- is ANYTHING better than brunch?! I live for it. That sounds super basic, but I don’t care- just stating facts haha.

      Isn’t it amazing what our phones can do?! There was no service at all during the hike and I kept telling Tammy how nice it was to be entirely disconnected. Then again occasionally would wonder what the heck we would do if there was an emergency (I guess that’s where the dashboard survey comes into play, ha!).

      Thank you for reading 🙂 Have a beautiful weekend!

      1. Basic & proud! Brunch love always & forever.

        It is amazing! It’s nice to be forced off of them, but yes, gotta have service in the event of an emergency!

        I hope you have an amazing weekend as well!

    1. Aww! Thank you! I LOVE making new friends in this wonderful community. Thank you for stopping by, and I cannot wait to explore your blog too. XO

  3. MACK-bear! hahahaha What a fantastic hike!! I loveee hiking. You had some delish eats & that area looks really unique! Definitely seems like you might run into some….odd people there lolz but always fun to go somewhere funky from time to time, just when it’s sunny 😉 I’m planning to go to my nephew’s track meet in the morning, a twinkie date at our fav brunchy coffee shop & maybe the lake & mountains squeezed in this weekend!

    Happy friyay!

    1. Tehehe. It was an AMAZING hike! And girllll SF is swarming with unique individuals 😉 . Keeps things interesting for sure! Ahhh what a PERFECT weekend- everything fun! See now, if you had a blog…… lol.. I’ll let off the peer pressure soon! Hope you had an awesome fourth!

      1. Lolz! I really have considered it! But then I get distracted & never spend the time looking into it. I guess my name would have to be “Random Kaci” since it would kind of be all over the place. Ha!

  4. I am so excited that you are going back to Ohio for a visit! Yay! LOVE BWW And I know I have said it before but avocado toast is everything!
    That conference sounds amazing and yay for seeing friends! 🙂
    Oh my avocado! That breakfast looks ah-may-zing! Now I am starving!
    Oh my word HOW did I miss those steps? They are stunning!
    LOL I LOVE sneak attack pictures! They are some of the best candids!:)
    Ahhh girl you are giving me ALL the feels with these SF posts! And the Redwoods are amazing! Your pictures oh my word! They could be framed and put in a museum!
    I am putting that hike on my list! It looks incredible! (also could I be using more basic words right now? LOL) I hope you have an amazing time in Ohio sweet lady! You’d deserve it! <3

    1. Avocado toast is truly EVERYTHING. That should go on a tshirt. And I actually haven’t ever seen them before and we’ve lived here for two years! Next time- they are an easy peasy thing to knock out. And WOW- thank you!!! Framed is a compliment alone, but a museum?! THANK YOUUU! Putting a big ole smile on my face- the size of redwood (eek even I’m cringing at that joke- lol). Ohio was absolutely incredible – I cannot wait to share. XOXO

  5. Mackenzie! Your purse is so big, you look so tiny next to it in that first photo of you and Tammy lol. So cute!! I also love the photo of you & DJ! 😍
    The breakfast looks good even if it didn’t end up being better than your usual spot, it’s always cool to try somewhere new. Japan town?!? I need need need to go there!
    Oh gosh! Those tiled steps & Haight-Ashbury street are both so incredible! I can’t believe that lady was stealing flowers LOL.
    I’m curious what they sell in that boutique with flailing legs!?
    All of the photos from your hike are just breathtaking. That’s insane that you have to fill that paper out in case you don’t return! I’d prob head home right after seeing that form lol!
    You made those stuffed jalapenos?!? Oh my, they look restaurant worthy!
    Anyways, I’m done now lol have a nice time in Ohio!!! ♡

    1. LOL!!!! You crack me up- I read DJ your comment cause he asked me why I was laughing. Thanks girl– Deej and I haven’t had much time together lately so we treasure those moments we do! My sister told me when she was here last year and they went to Japan town they had the meal ever- I was amazed at how beautiful and clean it was compared to the rest of the city and every. single. restaurant looked delicious. I think it may be our next date night. I’ll keep you posted (LITERALLY) *eye roll* hehe. I have no idea what they were selling in that boutique, but I guarantee it’s interesting, right?! Great marketing piece- haha.

      Ahhhh not sure anyone could give me a higher compliment than restaurant- worthy. Especially from a fellow foodie like yourself, girlfriend! Thanks for stopping by! XOXO . Have a great weekend. 🙂

  6. I just love that photo of you and DJ before breakfast. You guys look so happy! And speaking of breakfast, you’ve officially inspired me to try avocado toast! I’ve literally never had it before, and I just added avocado to my grocery list so I can give it a try 🙂

    Hope Ohio is awesome!

    1. Thank you so much, Allie!!! <3 We haven't spent a ton of time together lately so we treasure every moment! Ahhh YAYYYY! Oh my goodness- let me know what you think. I love it over nice crispy toast or pita bread with 1/2 avocado, a tbsp hummus, and sea salt/pepper. I CRAVE it when I wake up first thing in the morning. It was SO nice being back in the midwest. I miss it so much. Nothing like it <3

  7. Hi Mackenzie! It must be exciting to “go home ” to Ohio. Excited for you. Buffalo wild wings is a great place to eat and with good company even better. That avocado toast looks so yummy , I need to learn from you! I am glad your conference was so good, It is always nice to get inspiration in our faith going forward. You always find the best breakfast restaurants! Such a cute morning pic of you two! Japantown will be a great future adventure for you. The tiled steps are amazing!! So much work went into them , very pretty, also pretty is your hair walking up them! Nice to get a few inconspicuous pics of DJ, I love the B&W one of him and the faint view of the bridge in the background. What a wonderful hike you girls went on. You are so brave standing and sitting on that log !! It is nature at its best. such beautiful pics of the flowers ! I look forward to hearing of your Ohio trip, hugs, Terri xo.

    1. Hi Terri!!! I truly cannot say how nice it was to be back in OH. There truly is nowhere like home. Avocado toast is my addiction as of late- I crave it the first moment I wake up in the morning, with a cup of coffee- perfection. I realize that 80% of my favorite food photos are breakfast- just our favorite meal of the day! Agreed- I am planning on making Japantown a next adventure for sure.

      I love those pictures of DJ too <3

      It was a tremendous day and hike- and probably one of the most difficult I've done besides the Grand Canyon!

      Can't wait to share OH <3 It was a very special weekend. Hope you have a beautiful weekend to come! XO

  8. ok, those ricotta pancakes look AMAZING!!!
    and Japantown?!!! WHAAAAAAAAAAA?!!! Tiled-steps?!? Twin Peaks?!! Ughh, I must go there! I’d love to add the hike to my itinerary too but that would be too much with our little one.

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