I had the most boring happy hour birthday crawl by myself in San Francisco.
I’m a lightweight which makes any type of bar crawl impossible.
On my birthday I found myself in San Francisco alone. I flew out mid-day with Jake meeting me after a work conference later that night.
My grand plan was to wander around the general vicinity of my hotel and happy hour hop.
San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. The rent and property prices are insane. It’s not unusual to see happy hour cocktails go for $12. This is unheard of in the Twin Cities. Despite the high cost of living, there are plenty of more affordable food and beverage options around the city.
Here are a few happy hour specials we found within walking distance of Union Square.
These two meals in San Francisco especially stood out.
North Beach is a neighborhood that’s like a little Italy. It’s located between the Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39 area and Chinatown. Where the neighborhoods merge is an intriguing intersection of Asian and Italian restaurants.
As first time visitors, we felt overwhelmed at all of the dining options. We had such limited time that we wanted to make sure we didn’t fall into a tourist trap.
With all of my research, recommendations from people we met along the way, and gut feelings as we walked by a place, we were left to choose our own adventures.
The Li Po Lounge is a mood.
The inside is dimly lit and there is no food. Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine” hummed in the background, followed by Puddle of Mud’s “Blurry.”
The sign advertising the signature Mai Thai listed three types of rum, “Chinese Liquor” and pineapple juice. “Are we supposed to pick one of the rums?” I asked Jake. “No, it includes them all.”
Bourdain featured Li Po Lounge in his San Francisco episode of The Layover. Toasting him in a place that he loved with a drink that he liked felt very important. This Mai Tai here felt more like a quest.
Disclosure: The Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreational Area and The Drive In Restaurant portions of this post has been sponsored by the St. Croix Valley. We paid for our own meals at The Vegetarian.
Spending a day at an aerial challenge course is not something I would have ever chosen to do on my own.
Earlier this spring, the St. Croix Valley invited me to visit the area, sending me a package of gift certificates and brochures to provide trip ideas.
One of the items provided tickets to try the aerial challenge courses or zipline tours at Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreational Area which functions as a ski resort in the winter.
I invited two friends to try the Aerial Challenge Courses at Trollhaugen. The course consists of over 100 platforms arranged in six courses ranging in five difficulty levels. Two of us were less comfortable with heights while the other was not bothered.
Because of the time it takes to gear up and learn how to use the equipment, guests should make reservations. Each admission fee includes three hours on the course. Reservations also ensure that the courses don’t become overcrowded. We arrived for the first tour slot at 10 a.m.
As summer turns to fall, I’m continuing to drive to and from Rochester about twice a month.
I wrote about our search for breakfast in Rochester earlier this year.
This month entailed two trips to and from Rochester. On work days, we’re in a mad rush trying to race back to work. I decided to take it easy after my last visit.
The restaurant I chose to visit on my way home was Brava, a restaurant serving East African food.