ON A MISSION | A GUIDE TO SAN FRANCISCO'S MISSION DISTRICT

hi! my name is molly! + i really suck at posting about things after they happen! but now that i have a reasonable amount of free time again, i decided it was time to buckle down + get this guide posted! a few months ago for spring break, i headed up to san francisco to visit some friends. while there, we took one day to explore the mission district + we were NOT disappointed :) even though it took me a few weeks to get it all together, here is the guide, complete with a video! 

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ritual coffee roasters

we started off the morning with a stop at ritual coffee for some snacks + fuel for our day of exploring. they've got the cutest interior with pretty natural light + a gorgeous neon display hanging over head. the coffee ain't so bad, either :) it was reasonably crowded in there, even on a thursday, but we didn't have to wait long at all for our drinks. 

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benny gold

once we finished with our coffee, we headed down the street just to see what we could find, + stumbled upon benny gold! when we first walked in, we were overcome with the amazing smell of homemade chai. this place sells all different odds + ends, clothing, bowling gear, + homemade chai lattes + coffee! sadly we were already sufficiently caffenated, but the smell alone almost made us reach for a new cup!

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after life

the next place we stopped was after life, a cute + high-end resale shop. we had a lot of fun browsing around -- there were a lot of great pieces in there. all these places are on valencia street, which is one of the things that makes the mission district so great! these stores all basically all right next to each other, so once you are finished exploring one, you go out + right back in to another next door!

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dog eared books

we stopped in here just to take a look around [+ smell that amazing new book smell, haha!] it turned out to be the cutest little store for photos! if i had enough time around then, i would have definitely searched for a new read! does anyone else look at the cover art + then read the synopsis on the inside? so much for not judging a book by its cover, haha! 

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ampersand

this place has been on my "must visit" list for years + i'm so happy i finally got a chance to visit it! i didn't have any reason to buy flowers, but their open door studio is just gorgeous + it smells amazing! there were a few people in there + it seemed like them most amazing atmosphere. they didn't mind us taking photos in there either, which was really nice :)

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little paper planes shop

this place is the cutest! so many fun treasures, the prettiest white space, + the nicest owner! she talked to my friend + i for a while + we found out that she hosts classes in the back space! if you're local to SF, you need to check this place out! 

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tacolicious 

a few days before adventuring around the mission district, i was visiting my friend lauren in san jose + she introduced me to tacolicious! when natalie + i passed by one in SF, we had to stop by for lunch! [it's seriously so good that i'm craving it right now as i type this ha!] the atmosphere is so great, they have amazing drinks, + THEIR. TACOS. the definition of to die for. i got a fried avocado one + one with shredded chicken + grapefruit aioli + they were both incredibly amazing. 

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boba guys

after lunch, we stumbled upon a boba guys. i had heard of it before but had never tried it, so we stopped in! we have a local boba place near school that everyone loves to go to, so it was fun to grab boba in a new place! it might just have to be a new tradition :) anyway, the boba was super good. + the line was out the door!

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clarion street alley murals

kinda sketchy, but wooooorth it. the artwork is so pretty + really ranges in style. make sure to keep a close eye on your stuff + walk back out to valencia street when you leave - one block over is a bit dangerous. we learned this the hard way but it was okay! sadly just a lot of the homeless population is congregated around the mission district. 

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smitten ice cream

if you've been reading this blog for a while, or knew me remotely at all, you'd know that i never pass up a chance to et ice cream, especially when it's smitten!! i can't remember exactly what flavor it was, but it definitely had something to do with peanut butter ;) i splurged on a waffle cone, because, ya know, you're only in the mission district once! [okay not true but it works as a good excuse you know!?] 

so that's it! that's the gist of our day in the mission district! we stopped at a few other places + wanted to stop at a few other places, but ran out of time! so i thought i'd list out some honorable mentions below :) let me know if you've been to/are planning to visit any of these places soon, + what you think!  

SUNDAY DONUTS + BALBOA BEACHES

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donuts + beaches. maybe the most amazing way to spend a sunday. i used to resent them when i was younger, mainly because i was always told they were supposed to be a day of rest, but never were. i'd run from church, back home, to rehearsal, back home, + back to church again, fitting in homework where i could. but now that i'm older, they've become a day still filled with homework + studying, but also of fun adventures + friends. a few weekends ago, my friends + i heard that steffany gretzinger would be speaking at a church down in orange county, so we cleared our sunday + made a day out of it.

this is gonna be a photo overload, but there were just too many good photos [that came from three different cameras!] to narrow it down to just a few! after not adventuring off of campus is a while, we couldn't hold ourselves back from snapping the shutter :) 

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after listening to one of the most amazing messages i've ever heard [steffany gretzinger is seriously amazing you guys], we headed on over to sidecar donuts. YOU GUYS - i'd heard of sidecar's famous donuts for a while, but was never able to make it down to try them out. thankfully i made it, because they were so good. 

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after freaking out over sidecar's unbeatable donuts, we hopped back into the car + took a short drive down to balboa to walk around the beach + the streets. [+ of course take more photos]

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see what i mean with all the cameras?!

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how are my friends such BABES - i seriously don't deserve them!

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the sunsets have to be at the very top of my LA FAVES list -- at least the smog is good for something amirite?!

if you made it down here to the bottom - i love you + you're my new hero. give yourself a round of applause!! but see what i mean with the pictures though? soooo many, haha! but nevertheless i'm glad that i have them all to remember this adventure by. donut, beaches, + babe friends are a combination that can't be topped. happy tuesday!

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post by molly garvin

images by molly garvin, sarah skolos, micky avoliccino

more adventures here / california favorites here

WEEKEND WAFFLES

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guys!! hi!! it's been a while since i've shared an adventure, or have even taken my camera out with me! my friends + i [yes mom, i have friends] have decided to make it a tradition to explore a new brunch spot every sunday after church. i had heard about wåhfles through the grapevine in early september, + knew i needed to try it at least once! luckily, my friends share my same love for squared breakfast foods, so we made the plans + headed over once last sunday's service was over. from first menu glance, we knew it would be a good meal. any place that offers to top breakfast with ice cream is my kind of place. 

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we ordered, we ate, we talked  [read: complained about all the work we had to complete before the week started again], + just enjoyed the comfort of our new found tradition. i'm making it a point to be more intentional with bringing my camera along with me, even if it's just out to lunch. also, random side note: the blog's FOURTH BIRTHDAY is coming up + i've been reminiscing hard. scrolling through old posts, watching old videos, + more. four years. FOUR. so crazy. here's to four more blog years + more sunday brunch adventures + waffles with ice cream on top. have a good day friends! 

post + images by molly garvin

more california adventures here + more chicago adventures here!

THE MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM!

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guys!! it's about time! after i procrastinated for like a month [#college], i'm finally getting around to posting my time at the museum of ice cream! yes, it is as amazing as it looks. back in june, when i heard that the MOIC LA dates were being extended to october, i KNEW i needed one, so i hopped on the website like 10 minutes before the sale went live + waited [not so] patiently - once i got inside the site there was more waiting, but luckily i got in + was able to snag two tickets for my birthday weekend. best early b-day present, ever!

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after grabbing slice of pizza, we headed across the street to the pinkest building you've ever seen. while we waited for our group to be called, we hung out and snapped some pics in the cutest patio space ever! i'm convinced you can never go wrong with a bougainvillea  + string light combo ;)

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when our time finally came, we scanned our tickets + headed into the most magical 45 minutes of our lives, ha! here are some highlights from my personal favorite rooms. 

head to instagram to see the cutest boomerang of us on the banana swings!

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+ finally, the moment you've all been waiting for --- the sprinkle pool. just as magical as it sounds. we didn't get quite enough time in there because a huge group was just about to come right in, but we were there long enough for me to find sprinkles in my shoes, bed, + floor days later!! 

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so that's about it! pretty quick + very delayed [sorry!], but super fun + such a great memory. if you find yourself getting the chance to go, DO IT! it's an experience that's seriously like no other. if you can't get tickets to san francisco where they're currently located, they're planning on expanding to miami, opening a flagship experience in NYC, + possibly even a hotel in vegas! so much more exciting stuff to come. 

peace, friends! happy monday :)

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post + images by molly garvin

OBSERVATORIES + OLD FRIENDS

how long have you + your oldest friend been friends? some of my tried + true ladies i've known since before birth [if you count that... haha!], + natalie is one of these friends. she lived two blocks down the street from me growing up, we danced in the same ballet class, sat next to each other in the middle school band [flute + clarinet section WOOT WOO!], + were in the same playgroup as babies. i think we've spent almost every, if not all, 19 birthdays together - oh ya, + we're four days apart. so basically sisters, ya know? [more posts featuring natalie here + here!]

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somehow, by the grace of god, we both ended up in california at the exact same time. so, the tradition of birthday celebrations + random adventures are continuing, + probably [hopefully] will forever :) a few sundays ago, we decided to meet up for a farmer's market date, which turned into lunch, which turned into us sitting on someone's random stoop looking for free things to do in LA, because #collegebudgetlife. thankfully, the griffith was only about 15 minutes away, so we ponied up some cash for an uber + went to search for ryan gosling [but avtually just look out over this beautiful city that we both now call home]

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as we hiked up the road [myself in a dress, natalie in flip flops #idiots] we turned around for a second and OH HEY HOLLYWOOD SIGN! i'm not sure why the sign holds so much magic in my heart, but it just does. it was so surreal to be up there with my best friend knowing we live here now, + think back on our entire lives + how they lead us here!! ahhh so crazy, so weird, so good. 

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after a good bit of sightseeing + shedding tears [not really ;) but i could have!] about how amazing our city is, we headed back down + said our goodbyes, knowing we'd see each other next week! ha! we headed to the MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM last sunday + both died, so i'll be posting that recap from the grave. cheers to lifelong friends + amazing views! 

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post + images by molly garvin