It's early here in California. I am away with family on a much needed and long overdue vacation ! Keith and I decided to come to one of our favorite places - San Francisco, mainly to show the kids there is a big world out there away from Charlotte. I could not be more content in the window seat of this gorgeous apartment we rented for the week. I have decided that this is the way to go.
A two bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, back porch apartment on Broderick Street near the Panhandle. Owner, Chris Eskra
is a local designer who bought this place with his sister Diana (hence the name "The Lady Di
") and I must say he thought of everything. Kate wants to live here. It's perfect and does have everything you would want. Comfortable living room, great detail and design, gas fireplace, high speed Internet, a million cable channels, fully stocked kitchen and large dining room. The two bedrooms have really good mattresses, high thread count sheets and duvets. The bathroom is stocked with all you will need along with heated, tile floor and claw foot tub & shower. Love it ! A block from an amazing gourmet grocery store - Falletti Foods and a Peet's coffee. What more could you want... nothing. And yes, it looks exactly like the pictures on line.. We are thrilled. Very cozy, full of style and close to everything. You feel like a local when staying at a place like this rather than a hotel, not to mention what you can save $ wise when you can cook a few meals for the kids. I, of course, would eat out every meal, kids - not so much. Sometimes they just want a frozen pizza and a bowl of cereal rather than Eggs Benedict.
It's really quite at the moment, thought I'd look at all the pictures I have taken so far. Everyone should see this city at least once. It has everything. I'm no photographer and frankly every time I go on a trip I want to bring Mekenzie with me, but I gave it my best shot. So for you family members that want to see what we did and those of you who have never been to SF maybe a few of these pictures will get your bags packing. I was so inspired every day.
Ran around on day one and two to show the girl's a few of our favorite hot spots. The Palace of the Fine Arts, The Golden Gate from Crissy Field, the Haight, the park at Alamo Square... Kate wanted to see that "Full House" was real.
I have always been in love with the architecture in San Francisco mixed with the unexpected ! The color combinations on these Victorians are what make this city so special.
Grateful Dead meet Chihuly in the Haight (not really, but love this hand painted ceiling !!)
Shopping vintage and wishing I had a bigger suitcase.
Great view of The Golden Gate from Crissy Field.
and Alcatraz . . . from back at the Wharf (word of advice though, book your trip to Alcatraz way in advance. I tried a week before we came and it was totally booked!)
A quick chocolate stop.
Lunch in China Town.
Dinner at the Wharf.
Another word of advice. . . ride the California / Van Ness line cable car. No waiting !!
We ended day one down at the Wharf. There is an art gallery I wanted to see called Art Attack
. While there we ran into artist Turtle Wayne
. He was a trip and entertained all of my artist family members.
I had to have this signed print by artist, Eric Joyner
. Thought it was hilarious. I am a huge "Big Bang Theory" fan and always noticed his pieces on the show. Purchasing art on trips is one of mine and Keith's things. Adding to the collection in a memorable way.
We headed down to Santa Cruz early one day. One of Keith's favorite places, I am sure that if he is missing some day I will find him there (along with Billy and Tanya Reid). The town of Santa Cruz is as laid back as it gets. Cottages, small shops and restaurants and if you want, a huge boardwalk with all the rides and junk food you could imagine. We walked out to the lighthouse and strolled around, just a beautiful, calm day.
Keith, my disc golfer, took us over to De Laveaga (home of 2011 World Championship tournament) and played a few holes.
Take 101 South to get there quickly, but drive Route 1 North back. So gorgeous along the coast with it's winding roads, cliff side views and endless beaches. We stopped at Half Moon Bay and Mavericks outside Pillar Point Harbor. Tide was out, so didn't see the big waves, but it was dusk - so pretty.
Day five was all about town again. We wandered Fillmore and shopped a bit, had lunch on Union and drove a bit more around town. Girl's wanted to see Lombard, Telegraph Hill and the Sea Lions at the Wharf.
It was such a fun "instagram" day.
Ended that day by ditching the girl's and having dinner at Farallon in Union Square. I wanted to see the Jelly Fish lounge !
Food was amazing and decor - gorgeous. Found out that the ceiling in our dining room was originally the ceiling over Elks Club pool built in 1924. Wow.
The food, just as gorgeous - I snagged this image from their site -
Day six we headed over the Golden Gate headed towards Muir Woods. This view was to die for.
Muir Woods National Monument is near Mill Valley and just about 30 mins outside of the city. The drive is gorgeous and the stroll into the redwood forest was pretty magical. Kinda felt like I was in a movie (if I could have hogged and gagged all those noisy tourists). No, it was really pretty, chilly, green and for real - magical.
But one of my favorite moments of all was Thanksgiving day. We drove out to Alameda to spend the day with my brother and his family. My parents were sitting in the living room. Big surprise. Had no idea ! Not wanting to miss all the fun and all the kids together, they jumped on a plane. Great surprise !!
Best 10 days ever!
Heading home tonight on the red eye . . .