The Book of Mormon San FranciscoA weekend in San Francisco reminded me how much I enjoy the Bay Area. The hustle and bustle of Market Street, the efficiency and effectiveness of mass transit, the peacefulness of gazing out at the water.

It brought back fond memories of the two years I spent living in the hills above Berkeley in a quiet town called Kensington. From 2000 to 2002, while attending graduate school at UC Berkeley, I rented an above-ground basement apartment that overlooked the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. It was spectacular.

In mid-December, Amy and I escaped the filthy, inversion-choked air of Salt Lake City (maybe SLC should take a cue from SF and get its mass transit house in order) for a weekend in Northern California. An impromptu trip fueled by our desire to see The Book of Mormon the Musical, our 48 hours in San Francisco featured excellent food, great drink and an outstanding show.

We stayed at the Palomar near Union Square. It’s a Kimpton hotel, and we’ve always had great success with that brand (and its complimentary daily wine receptions). While our stay at Palomar was comfortable, it wasn’t anything especially memorable. Well, I guess the fact was that we could look out our window and see through the skylights of the Old Navy store below was memorable.

The Abbot's Cellar San Francisco Featured
The Abbot’s Cellar bar in San Francisco.

Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in San Francisco. Here are a few highlights:

  1. A Nissefar Winter Warmer at Mikkeller Bar, one of the many delicious brews tasted over a weekend in San Francisco.
    A Nissefar Winter Warmer at Mikkeller Bar, one of the many delicious brews tasted over a weekend in San Francisco.

    The Abbot’s Cellar: A delightful restaurant in the Mission that emphasizes the pairing of food with beer. Our meals were delicious and we got to try several different beers we likely will not have the opportunity to sample again.

  2. The Book of Mormon: Flat-out the most hilarious musical/play I’ve seen. I’m familiar with the music, having purchased the soundtrack soon after the show debuted on Broadway. But it wasn’t until seeing the story acted out on stage could I truly appreciate the brilliance of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Outstanding.
  3. Saving Mr. Banks: Amy and I have established a tradition of sorts that actually began on our honeymoon to San Francisco eight years ago. At that time, we saw The 40-Year-Old Virgin. On a trip to Portland a couple years ago, we saw Red. And now, on our latest trip to the Bay Area, we took in a Sunday matinee of Saving Mr. Banks. It was good, if not a little more depressing than I was expecting.

It was a great trip to San Francisco, and the perfect way to kick off our two-week Christmas vacation.