San Fran with Kiddos Recap (pic overload)

 It’s been a couple weeks since we got back from our San Francisco/Napa trip for the fourth of July and today i’m sharing some snap shots from part one of the trip (the SF portion) with some major pic overload. To be honest it’s probably for the best that I had a couple weeks to recuperate before sharing our experience with traveling with two kiddos! lol 
 We truly love to travel and didn’t want that to stop because we have two babes now. We have never been on a vacation or away from our kids overnight (minus the 24 hours we were in the hospital when I was delivering Luca). I would love a vacation alone with my husband butttt were both pretty bad when it comes to leaving our kiddos over night with someone. Who knows maybe we will do a staycation eventually when meme comes to town but we’ll see 😉 It’s definitely not always an easy task taking them with us everywhere but we do love being able to share all these experiences with them! So here we got with a little SF recap….
Traveling with kids is hectic anyway you slice it! You can plan and prep as much as you like but at the end of the day you can never really know how its going to go down. I do my best to try to book early morning flights and when Ava used to nap I would try to look for flights based around those times too (bc lets be honest dealing with an overtired toddler is a handful just on your average day a home) but sometimes the times aren’t available or the cost of that particular ticket may be to expensive etc. So you just have to do what you can and just roll with it. I think that should be the mentality of your trip “just roll with it”. I’ll admit I am a bit of a control freak (not the best quality to have when you have kids and need to let some sh!t go 😉 but it’s so key to just try your best to relax and know it’s not going to all be perfect. 
We have traveled a ton with Ava and i’d say at around age 2 it got much better because she was heavily into the iPad stage (yes aka the babysitter and i’m not above it lol). We kept it stocked with new games and shows etc. I also packed lots of snacks, suckers for desperate situations when I felt a serious melt down in the works and little random mini toys to bring out when she starts getting bored and the “are we there yets” start. Those are more for the longer flights we’ve taken back east and to Cayman in the past. This flight to SF was golden because it was only 45 minutes! Can I get a “Hell Yes” for short flights!
This was Luca’s first trip and he was 5 months old. In my opinion a great age window to travel because they’re not mobil! He was such a gem (on the flight there! On the return home…to be continued 😉
 Our first trip flying with Ava was around 7 months and she was already crawling so things got a little harder because when they’re crawling they want to move and expend energy and the last place you want them crawling is on an airport floor (yuck!) Luca was such a trooper and pretty much just rolled with everything!
We took the first flight out at 7am and my travel style these days is all about cool comfy sneaks (details below), distressed skinnies and my big ol’ travel tote that was more packed than my actual carry on 😉
Ava’s Sneaks and AC/DC tee from Target but sold out now
My Denim // Sneaks (now on SALE) // Elizabeth and James jacket from years ago (Similar look for less version HERE!) // Travel Tote (more budget friendly option HERE)
Hotels are a big part of traveling that I love! My husband could pretty much stay anywhere but I tend to splurge a bit more because I love getting to stay at fun/fab places and getting to come back to clean and cozy room is the best! I know people say you don’t spend a lot of time in your room but now that we have kiddos we’re definitely back in our rooms a lot earlier than we used to be. I have stayed at The Clift hotel before (pre kiddos) and it’s definitely one of my favorites in the city! Last year we stayed at the St. Regis and the rooms were super nice but very pricey and small. This Deluxe Suite at The Clift was HUGE and a lot less than what we paid at St.Regis. So I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re planning a trip there! I absolutely LOVE the decor (Phillipe Starke has done a ton of hotels and restaurants we frequent when traveling and always love his unique edgy style if you’re into that sort of thing)!
This hotel is definitely a lively/hip place but it was also very accommodating for us with kids! They had a crib and rollaway bed available for us upon arrival (and waived the charge). We also requested “a quiet room” which was on the 15th floor so you couldn’t hear much of the street noise at night or the bar area downstairs that tends to get lively after hours.
Tons of windows in our suite with gorgeous city views in all! 
 Ava helping Luca Settle in 😉
The closet..I need this size in my house please!

and my little shadow helping me photograph the ‘Ho da tel” 😉
This little love! Ugh that smile…melt meeee!
We brought our own pack n play because we needed it for Napa but the hotel had this one set up for us upon arrival and was perfect!

After dropping off our luggage we went to meet up with my bestie that lives in the city to grab some sweets from Tartine and then off to let the kids expend some energy at Dolores Park with a pretty view of the City!

I’ve said it before but it’s so nice traveling with friends that have kids too. My best friend lives in the city with her adorable little ones and to see these kids play and grow up together is so heart warming! When you travel with your littles all the things you have mapped out on your agenda pretty much go on the back burner. They become the priority and the majority of your decisions for the trip revolve around these little crazies 😉 There were a million in one cool places I had on my list to check out and try but i’m realizing it just really doesn’t work that way these days. 
You can try to squeeze things in here and there but it’s just tough. I was dying to check out Mr.Holmes Bakehouse for their amazing “Cruffins” but the line is around the building an hour before they open and they usually sell out within hours! I also wanted to do brunch at Dotties but again with lines forming around the building it’s just not happening with two little ones (and an even more impatient husband when it comes to food lol). So you just kind of do what you can, when you can! So for someone who usually has a list made of places to see and try it’s a hard adjustment to let that go BUT you just have to roll with it. 
The to go yumminess from Tartine did not disappoint!

We went to Bourbon Steak for dinner with our friends and as always the food there is AMMMAZING! After an early am of traveling and long day of running around with kiddos, give me some fab cocktails (and truffle fries what what) with my girl and our crazies and all is right again in the world 😉
Back to our fab hotel at night! The RedRoom bar in our hotel is lively spot and great place to grab a drink but sadly it was up to the room for bath and bed because we had already pushed our babes to the limit with a super long dinner.
This famous ginormous chair in the lobby
Ava taking full advantage of having this couch all to herself 😉
The infamous SF fog rolling in! 
This fab mirror needs to come home with me! 
I just love all the charm of the buildings in SF. This was the stairwell in our hotel… lets just say I was hoping the elevators didn’t go out of service while we were there 😉

Luca was really a trooper this trip but lets just say Ava had her share of melt downs. Sleep was a little rough with her because she was OVER tired on the daily and fought bedtime hard a couple of the nights. I’m not going to lie it was pretty stressful but we tried to roll with it as best we could.

and then here she goes happy as a clam the next morning lol. This one loving the city and going on her morning Starbucks Run with daddy 😉 Look at that grin!  
We only spent two days in the city and of course i’d love to have taken them to see the golden gate bridge and other tourist spots but it was a busy holiday weekend and they’re just too young for that right now. I know we’ll be back in SF again so as they both get a little older i’ll add those to our list when they can appreciate it a little more. 
So on the next day we took the kids to the California Academy of Sciences.  Dinosaur bones, reptiles, aquariums, butterfly jungles…needless to say this place was a hit! 
If you’re looking for something to do with your kiddos they’ll love this place! 
Bed head and pancakes in bed 😉

Miss priss spying all the American Flags in the city from each room 😉 (Her little open back top HERE)
A quick, causal and amazing lunch at Tacko! It was seriously some of the best tacos we’ve had and I would eat here on the regular if I lived in the city! 
A quick stop to admire the beauty of this city! 

It was a quick couple days on the go in the city and went by in a blink but I hope we made some special memories for our babes! Next stop…. Napa and will do part 2 of this post later this week!

Also if you’ve been to SF with your kiddos and have places you love to take them please share! I know we’ll be back and i’m sure other moms reading this post would love tips too!

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  1. Love! I am in San Fran all of the time for work and we always stop at the Red Room for happy hour cocktails and apps. One day, if I ever make it there for leisure, I will have to actually stay there. It looks fabulous!

    Summer Ann
    Simply Summer Ann Blog

  2. On your next trip, there is a children's discovery museum right off the golden gate bridge that is perfect for toddlers and has amazing views of the bridge throughout! Makes for some great photos as well 🙂

  3. I love this! You should do YouTube videos. Would love to see your hair and makeup tutorials as well as your everyday life with the kids. I will be traveling soon with my hubby and daughter. Any advice for plane and airport travel?

  4. That Ava is just the cutest thing I've ever seen with her crinkle nose and bed head and pancake breakfast! As much of a stresser as it is to travel with kids, it's so fun introducing them to new cities and places. My hubby and I always pack a bottle of wine to down after ours finally fall asleep if we are in the same hotel room:) Makes for an easier nights sleep if you catch my drift!!

  5. Oh gosh Andee, I can relate to the hectic travel with a little one! We flew to Hawaii from Phx when my daughter was only 6 months old and she was an angel. It was the most perfect flight and I couldn't believe it went so well. Then the flights got progressively harder the older she got. We have a trip planned next month and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous lol! This will be the first flight she gets her own seat and we have an iPad & headphones, so I'm hoping it goes better than the last few trips.

  6. What a fun trip. I love the pic of you and Ava making silly faces in the bathroom mirror:) We do that all in the time in our family.

  7. I commented earlier but am not sure if it went through on my phone. I have a question: when you travel with little ones, do you just go to bed when they go to bed? Do you stay up and try to be quiet and not turn on any lights? Or did they have a separate suite where you could check on them but close the door?

    I love San Francisco, btw, and would love to live there when I can afford it. Looks like you had a great tour of it.

  8. okay we are too much alike! I giggle every time you open about something because im over here like, "yep, Me too!", anywho, we were nervous to leave our litttle guy (when i see we, i mean ME) for the hospital when our daughter was soon on the way.. so i toughened up and decided we needed to start practicing having a night away so our little guy could get use to it and know we were coming back. So we did a little babymoon staycation and left in the morning and came back the next afternoon. He loves his time with his Mimi so i knew he would be most comfortable with her. if you guy decide to do a staycation (which i highly recommend that time away with your hubs) then maybe have your littles play with their grandparents often the weeks leading up. I know thats tough if they dont live close by, so maybe they could come out here for a few days prior while ava warms up. It was soo nice to get away on our babymoon, we felt like newlyweds, so refreshed and able to do whatever we wanted again wihtout a schedule. It was rejuvinating for us as individuals but more importantly so amazing for our marriage. just thought id share our experience. LIttle man did great and didnt even care we were gone, its always us mamas that struggle with it more!

  9. Lovely post and amazing photo's as always. We returned from a road trip along the West coast last month with our three year old daughter. San Francisco was one of my favourite places! We loved going to Pier 39, which although was really touristy, was lovely just to sit and watch the sea-lions, my daughter thought they were hilarious! The aquarium there was really great too and it wasn't too busy and big enough for little legs to have a good run around! x

  10. I am always happy to read about when you travel with your babies. My husband and I love to travel as well and didn't want that to change once we had kids. We just returned from a 4 week trip to Europe with our 8 month old daughter and it was wonderful! We had lots of challenges, but like you said we just rolled with them. Now we have precious memories and photos of our little family to last forever.
    We too had early nights and was sure to allow for some time each day for the baby to play on a blanket in the park. Luckily Europe is loaded with beautiful parks.
    Thank you for sharing!

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