The only thing that could make spending Mother’s Day in San Francisco any more magical, is exploring the city for less than $200! We love love love to go on adventures. And we go on a lot. It’s one of the main reasons I started my blog. Being young parents, traveling goes hand in hand with budgeting, and it’s important to find even the smallest ways to save money.
One thing I feel that you should know about my life is that I am a Virgo, and Ryan is a Libra. I say this because if you look up our zodiacs, you would see the perfect description of our personalities.
Me: a detailed planner, control freak perfectionist, caring but closed off earth sign
Ry on the other hand: full of energy, romantically impulsive air sign
This brings a lot of balance to our relationship. I’m the anchor, he’s the clouds. Sometimes I need to learn to let go, sometimes he needs to be reeled in. No matter what, he is alwaysÂ full of amazing (spur of the moment) surprises.
Take Mother’s Day for example. I thought we were going to spend it on the beach eating burgers. Saturday I was babysitting my cousins when he called me at 6pm and said “what do you want packed in your bag, I just booked a hotel room in San Francisco I’ll pick you up from there.” I naturally started panicking about money, time management, and packing. But he, being my cloud said, “Dont stress, I bet we can take this trip for less than $200.” So I sent him a 3 outfit packing list and off we went.
We are road trip warriors, so a 6 hour drive at 8pm is not a new or tedious thing to us. We booked a hotel about a 30 minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge. I think San Francisco is a really confusing city (seriously some of their roads are triangle shaped and taking left hand turns is terrifying) and from a map, staying in the outer suburbs looks far. Really it’s a super easy drive and both times we’ve visited we stay in the same general area and pay about a quarter of the price ($45 for the night!) as you would closer to Fisherman’s Wharf. And our hotel was SO cute! It was an older building and had a super vintage feel. They still had the “color t.v.” neon sign out front, aluminum floors, and this beautiful gray and yellow color scheme.
Our true destination for the day was the Legion of Honor for their special exhibit Â Monet: The Early Years. Seriously guys he knows me so well I could die. This museum is amazingly beautiful. The scenery from the front entrance is amazing, the architecture is astounding, and the gallery spaces are very open and airy with a pretty diverse collection. One thing I will say: the parking was atrocious. Like we drove around for an hour and almost just drove home bad. We ended up parking at the bottom of the hill and making the 30 minute trek to the top but it was worth it.
Now I’m not going to go on an art history tangent here because I feel like this post is growing longer by the second. BUT! I will say if you ever get the chance to see this a Monet exhibit to GO!Â Seeing the timeline and changes from the diverse subjects of his early years to hisÂ well known series paintings to theÂ was incredible. The exhibit space itself was beautifully curated, and painted walls truly accented his color schemes. You could meditate in there even with 100 people around you.
After exploring the rest of the museum we went to go get lunch. Our parking struggle meant we hadn’t eaten lunch and we were ready to eat! We went Super Duper Burgers because after absorbing all those soft pastels you have to eat something nice and greasy! The food was super fresh, their signs and decor are all done by local artisans, their packinging is 100% compostable, and the three of us are for $30 and got a milkshake!
Next stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. The first time we came we were so in love with it we went over it and over it and over it not realizing there was a toll! So please learn from us and our $50 bridge fee! This time we drove once, and then walked down to the water on the trail. It’s beautiful there and the greenery makes you feel like you’re not even in the city.
We are in love with the Palace of Fine Arts. Since it’s so close to the bridge we decided to stop by on the way out of town. It is so peaceful, with ancient inspired architecture, a duck pond, and even musicians playing in the dome. We let Aaliyah run around for a while, definitely necessary before making the drive home.
We were back in the car by 5 and home by 10! Tired but still buzzing with adventure.
So did Ry win the bet?
With an In-n-Out stop on the way home (we really like burgers okay don’t judge) our trip totaled out to:
- Museum tickets: $60 this included the special exhibit, general admission is only $15!
- Hotel: $45
- Gas: $40 IÂ drive a Honda Civic so I get really good gas mileage
- Food: $50
- Bridge toll: $7.75
- Golden Gate Bridge (besides toll which isn’t necessary if you go and walk the bridge instead!)
- Palace of Fine Arts
- We packed granola bars and fruit for breakfast which is an easy way to save money and we’re not breakfast people anyways!
To save more money you can skip the museum and head to Fisherman’s Wharf or explore Golden Gate park which has plenty of free playgrounds and gardens!Â
Have you ever been to San Francisco? What’s your must-see?