San Francisco Re-Cap

I could wax poetic for a long time about our weekend in SF but to spare your sanity I will skim over just the highlights. I hear your collective sigh of relief. : ) San Francisco did NOT disappoint!!! We stayed at the Omni this time, and loved it. Would definitely stay here again. Great location, quietly elegant lobby, exceptionally friendly and helpful staff (!) Lovely room with a view of the bay.  5 stars! The city was enchanting as usual, starting with the gorgeous ORANGE  lighted Christmas tree across the street, here…

    the traditional wreath bedecked windows of Macys here..                                                                        

the gorgeous atrium in Neiman Marcus and ice skating in Union square….magical.

We went to the farmers market Ferry Bldg 1 Saturday morning and were surprised by a full choir singing carols from the upper level. 

If you have never been to the farmers market you should make every effort to go. It’s full of wonderful produce, amazing and varied prepared foods, a to die for view, artisan market, wine tasting….need I say more? If you are looking for a different shopping experience from the department stores this is it. Speaking of the market – have you ever taken an immediate liking to someone? Been drawn to them for some reason? One of the artisans there had that effect on me. She makes the most adorable finger puppets. …and also builds them into unique wearable pieces like brooches and bracelets. Charming!  She had a gentleness and quiet spirit about her that I loved and her talent is out of this world. I wish I knew some little one I could buy one of these creations for, they are so imaginative.  Crocheted Creations by Diana, check out her booth, quite a talent!

Had some wonderful food as well. San Francisco can rival NYC with their restaurant scene in my humble opinion. The first night we tried Millenium, an upscale but casual gourmet vegan restaurant. Highly recommend. An unusual and creative cocktail menu, thoughtful and interesting small plates and  entrees as well as a prix fixe menu that is discounted Sun- Wed. Definitely worth a try even if you are a carnivore.  A  bit spendy but the quality is on par with the cost so no problem there.  Second night went to North Beach aka Little Italy and had pizza at BaoNecci .  It was a tiny bit like being back in Italy! The family is from Lucca which we have visited and is definitely a neighborhood restaurant, many people coming in and out greeting each other, very warm, friendly vibe. Towards the end of our meal two nicely dressed older women wearing sturdy shoes – cliché I know – but so accurate, there really is no other way to describe them and carrying  pocketbooks – again, you know what I mean, what else could I do here? -came in, were greeted effusively in Italian and sat immediately at a table up front. It was charming and a scene you will see a thousand times over in Italy it made me nostalgic for our time living in Europe. Oh and the pizza.. Thin crust , very Italian, my husband calls it a cracker crust and that’s a great description.

We finished up our trip with tons of shopping of course, and an unplanned side trip to the Contemporary Jewish Museum for an exhibit that caught my eye on Houdini! Now there was an interesting, enigmatic man.  The museum did a wonderful job.  Very interesting and thorough exhibit. Check it out if you are in the area. That wraps it up.

STILL going through pictures. My photo post of the day is one of my favorites. I hope you are all finished with holiday preparations – I would not want to brave the stores these last few days!

Michelee

Whales

This past weekend my husband (Tracy) and I went out searching for some Christmas spirit. We live in N San Diego county now – but we used to live in Capistrano Beach in S. OC and loved it. We chose to go back there and re-visit some of our favorite holiday places. Starting in Newport Beach at Fashion Island – Here is their tree – Had to be at least 50 ft!

We then worked our way down PCH stopping in Laguna Beach then Laguna Niguel at the Ritz Carlton. Always a favorite Christmas destination for their beautiful lights, vintage dressed carolers and drinks, but this year was disappointing! The interior was very sparsely decorated for the holidays so we wandered out on the patio to have a drink and were pleasantly surprised by a show of whales at least a mile or more off shore between us and Catalina Island. I kept shooting although all I could see even with my 300mm lens was a water spout and miraculously I caught a bit of tale! : )  Grainy yes but defintiely a tale. Yay!

We finished at Sonnys Pizza in San Clemente and headed home.  Hope you are all enjoying your holiday preparations.

Michelee