This post is sponsored by Good2Go but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
This past weekend, I surprised my mom with an early Mother’s Day with Afternoon Tea at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus. This year, we have an important family event happening on Mother’s Day so we won’t be able to celebrate the day of, which is why I wanted to still make sure I could do something special for my mom. I invited my mom to walk around the city with me and hang out until our reservation time of 3:30pm.
Early Saturday morning, I had an “a-ha” moment early Saturday morning where I considered taking my mom to tea at The Rotunda. Having heard good things from friends about their experiences, I thought it would be a great experience to have with my mom. I didn’t expect there to be any open reservations for Sunday afternoon, but I luckily snagged one of the last few reservations on OpenTable. I made sure to note on OpenTable that we were there for Mother’s Day, for Afternoon Tea, and that my mother is a vegetarian.
We started our day off by going to the 16th Ave. Tiled Steps in Golden Gate Heights. You might have seen it on Instagram before–a long outdoor staircase with bright mosaic artwork. My mom loved it!
Then, we set our sight on the Mission District. But, as soon as we got there, we needed a bathroom break. I was trying really hard to make sure I wasn’t too full for tea, which was at 3:30pm, so I didn’t want us to sit down at a restaurant and have lunch. It’s hard to find a good bathroom to use in the city, especially if you aren’t at a restaurant.
That’s when I opened the Good2Go app on my phone. We saw there was a bathroom we could use at a nearby cafe right in the Mission District, and we took a short walk to the location. As we got closer, a feature unlocked where I could join the line for the restroom. Since there wasn’t anyone in the bathroom already, I was able to go right in. The feature is there so that if there is a line for the bathroom, you don’t have to physically stand in line for your turn. You can just wait until the app unlocks for you.
I used the QR code on my phone to unlock the door, which automatically opened. Inside, almost everything was hands-free. I just did my business, washed my hands and then waved my hand in front of the sensor to exit the bathroom.
Good2Go is everything the app it said it would be and made spending the entire day out and about so much more relaxed. I highly recommend you download the app if you’re out and about and need access to a clean restroom! It’s free to download, and it’s a total lifesaver. If you’re an Android user, you can check out the app here.
Though using Good2Go is free to app users, I felt like I should help support the cafe as well. I purchased a yogurt at the cafe because I was hungry and also because they’re the kind of small business that adds a down-to-earth character to the area.
Then we walked down Valencia street! It was my mom’s first time at the Mission District, but I didn’t expect her to like Valencia Street so much. She wanted to walk into every store and loved the variety of restaurants on the street, which I wasn’t expecting at all. My mom even loved Clarion Alley! She kept suggesting that we stop at a restaurant for lunch, but I kept trying to keep her away from the restaurants.
We walked so much, I totally underestimated how much time it would take to walk back to the car and drive to Union Square to head to tea at 3:30pm. All of a sudden, we had to speed walk down Valencia Street to get to the car and that’s when we realized just how far we had walked.
We rushed and rushed, trying to get there as fast as possible and knowing we would be a little late! I was freaking out, and the restaurant was calling me trying to figure out whether we would be able to make it. My mother didn’t understand when I kept saying we had somewhere to be by 3:30pm, thinking it was just a random time I had scheduled and that it was flexible. The 3:30pm seating was the last seating for tea of the day, so it was imperative that we get there ASAP.
Had we been a minute later, I don’t think we would have been able to be seated for tea. Luckily, we got there are the latest possible time. Soon after arriving, we were seated in the best spot in the restaurant–right by the window overlooking Union Square.
Needless to say, my mom was totally surprised! My “Early Mother’s Day” was a success. I took a few moments to catch my breath and then enjoyed the tea!
Our tea started off with popovers with strawberry butter, and wow they were love at first taste. Next, I received a little soup. My mother’s tea was vegetarian so it did not include the soup, which tasted like a very rich chicken broth. Then my mother and I selected our teas. I went with a light white tea called Anji. Soon enough, our sandwiches and desserts appeared on a tiered stand and I just devoured my half of the food. Everything was so tasty, I couldn’t believe it. The desserts were so rich, I couldn’t finish them. I could only take a bite out of the little cakes just for a taste.
For those curious, the afternoon tea is $45/person and reservations are highly recommended.
Overall, we had an outstanding experience at the Rotunda. Like, a 5-star experience.
Finally, our day ended with some shopping! And then we ventured home. The day was a great success. I was so tired the next day, I could barely move!
We could not have had our day out in San Francisco / Early Mother’s Day without the help of Good2Go! We would have just caved into eating at a restaurant and arrived at our nice tea totally full and not ready to eat. Be sure to download the app! New bathrooms are always popping up on the app, so there will be plenty to use in no time.