Category Archives: Trip Reports


Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – San Francisco (Part 2)

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time. You may recall that I started this series with San Francisco – Part 1. If you haven’t already read it, please do before reading this article. It will give you background and a review of the first three coffee roasters I sampled. So let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee. Here are the next three coffee places in San Francisco I visited.

Verve is the new kid on the block. I say “on the block” because in fact, they’ve been down in the Santa Cruz area since 2007 (the owner is from Chico and a surfer dude, so he chose Santa Cruz to open his shops) but only opened a cafe on the corner of Church and Market in mid-February of 2017. Stewart, the wonderfully friendly and informative assistant manager, sat with me for a good while and we had a fun chat. He told me that Verve had actually been looking for a space in San Francisco for some time. They wanted a space with a lot of natural light, and while they had this San Francisco space for two years, due to all the rules and regulations in city coding, it took them two years to build out the space and open their doors. Stewart said, “You can’t really be a big dog on the Northern Californian coffee scene without a shop in San Francisco!”

The space is very thoughtfully designed, very modern, lots of natural light, and has a few different seating options. The tables were big and would be good for working. All their beans are roasted in Santa Cruz and they use Colombian and Honduran beans. Pour over coffee is actually their biggest seller and cappuccino the second most requested beverage. And of course like all the other roasters, they are heavily focused on their wholesale bean business.

Verve Menu Board

Verve Menu Board

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Travel Meetups: Orange County (Saturday, April 15 @ 12pm) & San Diego (Saturday, April 29 @ 12pm)

Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend.  I had a great time in Tucson but now I am back in the Bay Area.  I will be flying down to Orange County this weekend for Easter and wanted to do a miles and points travel meetup on Saturday afternoon.  If you are free this Saturday, I would love to meet you and talk travel, miles and points, MS, and anything else.

  • Where: In-N-Out Burger, 2895 Park Ave, Tustin, CA 92782 (Google Maps)
  • When: Saturday, April 15 @ 12-2PM

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Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – San Francisco (Part 1)

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time.  You may recall, I started this series with San Diego. When I wrote about the coffee scene in Hawaii, the topic of coffee in San Francisco came up. Readers gave me a bunch of places to check out the next time I was in the Bay Area and I had a chance recently to do that. And I’ve got a LATTE to share! So let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee.

First a few parameters. Readers gave me coffee places to try all over the Bay Area, but this time I only visited places within San Francisco. Next time I’ll explore places outside the city. Secondly, I’m going to talk about the cafes in the order I tried them. You’ll know by my comments which ones were my favorites :) As you might recall, I’m judging more than the coffee. I’m also taking into account the ambiance, service, and general vibe.

The first place I went to is Andytown Coffee Roasters. They have two locations, both of which are in the Outer Sunset. They turned out to be one of my favorites, so besides the fact that their beverages are 50-75 cents less than the other coffee places, the whole experience is worth heading out to the beach for!

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What’s on my Mind: Tucson, Orange County, San Diego and my March App-O-Rama Results

Good morning everyone, happy Friday Thursday!  I’ve had a pretty busy week this week: Monday I was watching NCAA March Madness Final (bummer the Zags lost); Tuesday I went to see Bassem Youssef (the Egyptian Jon Stewart) speak at UC Berkeley; Wednesday I got $202 loge/mezzanine tickets to see Hamilton in SF; and tonight I am flying to Tucson for a wedding this weekend.  Even though I haven’t had much time to write this week, I have a few blog posts brewing in my mind.  Before I get to what’s on my mind, I wanted to share some travel plans for the rest of April.

  • Tucson, AZ (Friday-Sunday April  7-9) for a wedding.  Anyone have any recommendations for restaurants, bars, hikes, or other activities that are close to Tucson?
  • Orange County, CA (Friday-Sunday April 14-16) for Easter weekend.  I will do an OC miles and points meetup on Saturday afternoon, stay tuned for more details.
  • San Diego, CA (Saturday-Sunday April 29-30) for fun.  I am seeing my friend/writer Shelli and organizing a SD miles and points meetup on Saturday or Sunday, stay tuned for more details.

A few weeks ago, I wrote Which 10 Credit Cards am I Considering for my March App-O-Rama?  In that post, I shared the credit cards I was considering and you guys gave me some good feedback.  I don’t have all the credit cards in the mail, but I have a good idea of which credit cards were approved and which ones were denied. Continue reading


Reminder: Points with a Crew & Travel with Grant Travel Meetup in San Francisco (Sunday April 2 @ 7pm)

Good morning everyone.  I hope your weekend is going well.  This is a friendly reminder to everyone in the SF Bay Area that Dan from Points with a Crew and I are hosting a miles and points travel meetup tonight in the Bay Area.

  • When: Sunday, April 2, 2017 from 7-10pm
  • Where: Staybridge Suites San Francisco Airport, 1350 Huntington Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066 (Google Map)

StayBridge Suites Near SFO

The hotel is a short drive away from SFO or a short 2 minute walk from the San Bruno BART Station.  This is a free, very informal travel meetup.  I will bring some name tags, wear my infamous Travel with Grant shirt, and bring some snacks.  If you are interested in attending, please go to Dan’s post and fill out the Evite registration so we can let the hotel know how many people are planning on attending.  The only request that Dan has is that every should bring some snacks or drinks that we can share with the group.

I’m looking forward to seeing a few Bay Area travel hackers tonight.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone!