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Boardies, tank tops and sandals were the essentials of the outfit Steve expected to wear in Northern California. But on a Friday in July in San Francisco, we were in jeans and long sleeves with more layers in our backpacks. He even bought and later wore a denim jacket from Taylor Stitch."We've been lied to," he said, speaking for everyone who hasn't grown up along the Pacific Ocean. We were in the city known for its consistent fog. 

It's taken me a while to post photos from our California adventures early last month, simply because I started work three weeks before we took a trip. I used my time off to enjoy time with family and Steve as well as let this new season of life in Colorado sink in.

Hiking, fishing, eating, drinking beer, somewhat surfing and relaxing marked the majority of our time there. We were ready for city sights, so started our day browsing the Mission District before heading on foot closer toward the water. Here are our favorites from the day: 

1 // Four Barrel Coffee opens up in the back to a production area where staff are examining coffee beans: sniffing, stirring, packaging. And you can't watch it all over a cup of espresso at barstools that look out over the area. 

2 // Taylor Stitch has these tall, tall shelves stocked with tailored shirts and jackets. Panels of fabrics decorate the walls and they have a smaller selection of women's clothing. This is where Steve found the Outside magazine-recommended Moto Jacket.

3 // Dog Eared Books is a corner shop with teal window casings, so it's tough to miss. For my birthday, Steve bought me The Journalist and the Murderer, a study of the ethics of journalism, including the relationship between writer and source.

4 // Black Sands Beer is a year-old brewery that serves food and a small selection of brews. The bartender was welcoming to us and said he even plays music in Denver every once in awhile. From the website, it even looks like they teach home brewing.

5 // Off the Grid. We found it. I had heard of this place years ago when I was interning at a magazine and I never had time to check it out. Street food vendors line the place's perimeter, tucked by Fort Mason Center off Marina Boulevard. It's in this abandoned fort and judging by the turnout, it's no longer really off the grid.

6 // City Lights Bookstore was a must see. I remember thinking how cool it was that outside the store were these book sculptures, hanging open, blank and upside down above the street corner. Words covered the sidewalk, making it seem as though the sentences had been spilled off the pages.

7 // Mission Bicycle Company 

8 // 826 Valencia


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