Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thursday in California

Hi, I'm Debbie and I'm a bad blogger. And the only pictures I have are the ones I took on my phone.

But I wanted to jot down the places I went in San Francisco and Napa before I forget and in case anyone reading this is heading out there. Because really, I had a fantastic weekend. Mimicking my weekend exactly would not be a bad thing at all. We did a heck of a lot so I'm going to split this up by day.

Here's Thursday:

Lori and I flew out from Dulles together. Our flight left Dulles at 5am and arrived in San Francisco at 10am. Only benefit was seeing the sunrise through the clouds.

this was after the best colors had already faded, but it took me a while to realize I could take pictures while my phone was in airplane mode

Took the BART to the Hotel Nikko and dropped our bags off after talking ourselves into upgrading to a suite for a reduced price (three mid-30's girls + city-sized hotel rooms = bad news). Walked down Market St. to the Ferry Building, stopping to get our eyebrows threaded on the way. Pored over every stall before sliding up to the bar at the San Francisco Fish Company with a view of the Bay Bridge. Totally did not suck and neither did the Thai-style mussels that I had. Totally ridic.

And the artichoke we shared as an appetizer was also so good I forgot to take a picture until it was almost gone

Needing coffee + something sweet + a long walk, we headed up to North Beach. Walked and walked and walked and walked and finally found Caffe Roma. Cute, not crowded, working bathrooms. Had a slice of super dense cheesecake and a large coffee, which was such a perfect combination. And they had brown sugar to put in the coffee. Not Sugar in the Raw, but straight up light brown sugar. It was a fun combination.

Then we walked and walked and walked and walked through Chinatown trying to find a place that did scalp massages. Doesn't that sound like a dream after a cross-country flight & walking for hours? No luck on the scalp massage, but we saw some ridiculous vegetables while dodging the masses doing their daily shopping and walked down some interesting little alleys and side streets. And walked some more. Eventually we ended up about 6 blocks from our hotel and at Stages, an Aveda concept salon. They had 30 minute head, neck & shoulder massages available for $60. About twice what we were expecting to pay, but by this time our bodies ached even more so we were willing to pay. And our masseuse, Eric, was phenomenal. Like Lori wished she hadn't already named her first born son Eli so she could name him after Eric. Plus they were all just super nice and friendly and didn't care that we just walked in off the street.

By this time, Karin's flight from Chicago had arrived so we all met up in the hotel lobby. Our suite was quite swanky with a TV in the bathroom and everything.

Yup, I watched Jeopardy while curling my hair.

We scoured the internet looking for a place for dinner. Karin & Lori didn't feel like taking a cab so we didn't go to the pop-up restaurant and instead went to Trace in the W Hotel. Okay, this is one place where you should veer from my plan. I wasn't impressed. The food was very good and our waitress rocked, but it just had that whole hotel-restaurant vibe going on. Very posh combined with a whiff of sterile. We left kicking ourselves for not going to the pop-up. Oh well, next time. And there will definitely be a next time.

None of us could imagine being awake for a second more at this point (and Lori & I had been up since 3am Eastern) so we hopped in a cab and went straight to the hotel.

Side note - if you upgrade to a suite, you can convince the front desk to send up a cot for free. So everyone can have her own bed. Man, we are getting old.

More adventures to come!

Monday, November 14, 2011

California's been good to me...

Just got back from a long weekend in California - one night in San Francisco and two in Napa. You'd think that flying 3,000 miles for just three nights would be a bit ridiculous, but it's not. I've now done this trip four times and always feel the long flight is 100% worth it.

I'll have more details on my actual trip once I collect the very few pictures from our various cameras (I went with two girlfriends) and look up the actual names of the various places we went (while "the coffee shop in North Beach with the coffee roaster in the front window" worked for a native San Franciscan, I'm assuming the rest of you would like to have at least the street name if not the name of the cafe itself).

In the meantime, I thought I'd give you some of the music that was in my head all weekend. The main one was Tom Petty's "California" (hence the title of this post), but I couldn't find it online. So here's "Walls," also from the "She's The One" soundtrack (all Petty and fan-freaking-tastic) and was also in "Larry Crowne," which I watched on the flight home. Here's a link to the official video http://www.tompetty.com/video and then here's another lovely version with lyrics: