Bay Area Adventures | April, 2018


April was another month jam-packed with adventures around the Bay. I just passed the halfway mark of my 100 day project, “100 Bay Area Gems,” in which I illustrate and share some of my favorite finds from around the Bay. Part of this project means I also spend a lot of time scouting for more potential gems! I already shared two of those explorations in this previous post, but here’s the rest of the month. First, my visit to the labyrinth at Land’s End. You can see my instagram post on it here.


More potential gems scouting: the Moraga Street Steps.

Beautiful cherry blossoms on the edge of Golden Gate Park, and meeting Chalupa Batman!

Our May Accountability Group meeting at Meg’s beautiful home.

Pink, pink, pink, pink.

A visit to Filoli gardens with Cassie. Keep an eye out! This will likely appear in my 100 Bay Area Gems soon too.

Blooms everywhere!

Such beautifully manicured grounds.

Cassie is in lilac heaven.

And the mansion is beautiful too!

Also, the resident peacock.

I also stopped by this wind harp (wind goes through it and makes musical notes!) but I’m not sure if it was awesome enough to make the gems list. It’s on the waitlist.

A second visit to Chapel of the Chimes, this time with my friend Dan.

And a visit to Mountain View Cemetery just next door. That post is here.

Many famous Californians are buried at this beautiful cemetery. Here’s the famed architect Bernard Maybeck.

Josiah Stanford (brother of Leland) and Anthony Chabot, as in Chabot Space Center.

Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. The Black Dahlia; and Julia Morgan in her family plot.

Fred Korematsu, noted objector to Japanese internment.

Mountain View Cemetery lives up to its name.

On a livelier note, Chelsea and Sean’s birthday bash at Drake’s! Someone gifted Sean this gourd…

Ice cream cake!

Another scouting trip: Albany Bulb, an interesting little park with lots of interesting graffiti.

Cocktail Collective at Starline Social Club with these lovely ladies.

One of my favorite shops to browse, Umami Mart in Old Oakland.

Chop chop! I cut almost a foot off my hair.

My first time at House of Prime Rib! With my friend Julia who was visiting from NYC.

Clothing swap at Stephanie’s!

More scouting for my 100 day project! I walked the entire walkable length of the Bay Bridge (from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island). It’s a really long walk, but I rather enjoyed it.

My friend Kait hosted a hygge-themed birthday party!

I didn’t get to stay long, but I did snap this one photo of these adorable guests.

And then I met up with my friend Pauline for a little paint date at the Conservatory of Flowers. They have the coolest half-and-half monstera!

Pretty orchids.

Pauline and her happy sketches!

Post number 41 in my series: Dunsmuir House.

The most adorable lady greeted us at the door.

And this was our tour guide through the house.

Such beautiful inlaid wood floors. And you can see the seams where these two rooms meet with their two different types of wood.

The Dunsmuir-Hellman house was built by Alexander Dunsmuir as a wedding gift for his bride, but he tragically died on their honeymoon in New York before they ever got to move in. His beloved Josephine died less than two years later. The Hellmans later purchased the house and made it a home for their growing family through the 1950s. Some of the Hellman ladies are pictured below.

Beautiful details.

Second photo below: Josephine Dunmuir’s daughter from her first marriage.

The abandoned pool area. This would’ve been so lovely back in the day!

My Dunsmuir House companion Kayla. She has a wedding to photograph here later this summer.

Another fun visit, Cat Town Cafe in Oakland.

Hello kitties!

Lindsey and Morgan, absolutely delighted by the cats.

This one is so pretty! I bet he was adopted right away. All the cats here are available for adoption!

And the literal cat nap area. So cute.


On the last Saturday, I drove all the way down to Santa Clara for the Wildflower Show as a field trip with the Nature Journal Club. But first, a visit to the farmer’s market there.

The Nature Journal Club is a great free resource here in the Bay. Read my post about it here and more on their website too.

I finally went to go look for the bison in Golden Gate Park. They exist! Just chillin in the field.

And yes, there are two windmills in the park too.

Finally, a farewell party for Carrie and Nick who moved away to NYC. The Bay misses you already!

More adventures guaranteed. Stay tuned for the next edition!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at