Tuesday, June 2, 2015

San Francisco Getaway

With our ten year wedding anniversary creeping up, I seized the moment and booked a weekend in San Francisco.  Truth is we have been aching for a getaway for years.  You know how it is, schedules, children and obligations have a way of taking over your life.  However,  my mom graciously volunteered to look after the trio so we put everything else on hold and made US a priority.  I am so glad we did!

We stayed at The Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill.  What a lovely place.  The staff was professional and friendly, really beyond our expectations.  We enjoyed having drinks in The Tonga Room while listening to a band play hits of the 70's...the rainstorm and ambience was fun.  A step back in time.  Our room was comfortable and nicely appointed. We also had a delicious leisurely breakfast in an elegant dining area. Our server was friendly and antcipated our needs.  I would happily recommend this hotel to others and look forward to returning.

The Hubs and I agreed to rise early to take in the sights of the city.  We were out and about tackling hills with powered up iPhones and apps loaded!  One of our first stops was the cathedral on Nob Hill. As luck would have it, we stepped into Grace Catherdral moments before a choir began singing.  It was magical.  After offering prayers we admired the beauty in our surroundings, especially all of the stained glass.  Grace Cathedral leaves a lasting impression, the murals, labyrinths, organs and glass have a majestic feel like the cathedrals in Europe.

I did a little research on restaurants prior to arrival.  I LOVED Olea.  By far one of the best breakfast I have EVER had. We opted for the French pressed coffee and corn cake eggs and split a half order of the french toast. Delicious! Be prepared, there will be a line. Come early and hungry.  We also ate at Mymy known for speciality pancakes and eggs benedict.  The Hubs was swooning over the banana blueberry pancakes, a favorite for many yelp reviewers too!  Both restaurants are close to The Fairmont Hotel, just down the hill on California St.

Since San Francisco offers the oldest Chinatown in America, we made a visit.  The town itself is made up of several blocks of stores, markets and reseraunts.  I especially liked checking out the market.  The people in there were buying so many unusual things and the energy in the store was amped up!  Check out the photos of the turtles and frogs. No they aren't pets, they're  going to be dinner!  We took a walking tour and learned a bit about Chinese culture and stepped into a few business and ended our tour with a dim sum lunch. I found the Memorial Wall in the Temple moving.  The Chinese medicine shop sold Forever Young soup at just $6.50; it would be a big seller here in the OC!
Grant St. offered a lot of shopping for tourists seeking Chinese trinkets and dish ware. We purchased a traditional tea set and Chinese pajamas for the littles.

After our tour we walked the city.  It was fun exploring on our own.  We managed to cover all of Little Italy and took a staircase with a promise of a view!  After a time out for cafe au lait and tarts, we walked all the way to Pier 39.  Grateful to the Hubs for carrying my Chinatown purchases!

As for dinners we enjoyed E Tuto Qua! in Little Italy recommended to us for fresh pasta. We started with seared scallops in an incredible sauce; yummers! I had a spinach pasta with pancetta and peas in a cream sauce as my entree, rich and filling! No room for dessert.

We also ate at Burritt Room & Tavern  in the Financial District.  That evening I gave up on my hair and embraced San Francisco's damp May gray weather and it's effects on my hair.  What a gem!  A trio of musicians played and we sipped on drinks and ate incredible small bites.  I tried a cocktail that tasted liked grilled peaches.  Whoa, so good!  The food here was off the charts!   WE loved this place.   The Hubs even asked me to dance! I know, so cool.  Dessert was decadent. Wish I could have just one more bite of the pistachio sponge cake, fantastic.  Can't rave enough about this spot!

Speaking of great food, we stopped by The Ferry Building to check out the farmers market and shops.   The area was buzzing with activity. Gorgeous produce and specialty foods were displayed for purchase.  We sampled a few items and stepped into an eatery for some pizza because the aroma was intoxicating.  Yep, it tasted as good as it smelled too!
No trip to San Francisco would be complete without visiting Alcatraz, right?  We took the ferry over on our last afternoon in the city.  The audio tour is really well done.  You've seen movies and documentaries, I'm sure, but seeing it for yourself is extraordinary.

Can't wait to come back to this city.
We had a spectacular getaway. 
 And it is safe to say, we left a bit of our hearts in San Francisco!