Friday, May 29, 2015

Anniversary Trip to San Francisco: Our Wanderings

Here are the promised pictures of my
husband and I's 30th anniversary trip..

Warning...this is a very long post.
Maybe I should've broken it up into two?

How can I describe the most wonderful trip
we've ever been on alone?
We've done some amazing trips with our kids
but this is the first get-away
the two of us have ever had besides a weekend.
With raising a houseful of kids and
full-time homeschooling, 
it was difficult to get away.
It was worth the wait. 
We enjoyed every minute!

(Oh wait.. there was a crazy cab driver that almost
made me ill with his accelerating and braking!)

But it was beautiful beyond description and our time
together was very fun and memorable...
the food 
the sights
the people
and so much more..

This was the perfect time and the perfect place 
for our big trip. We considered Europe,
but decided to wait until we can 
really spend some time there. 

An Arepa at Pica Pica..  
as featured on
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

The home of Vintage 60's, 70's and 80's Stuff.
We saw a chair for $3,700.00! 
It must have been something special!

Thee most amazing hot dog I've ever eaten! 

We went biking through Golden Gate park. 
It was so beautiful
and refreshing for this country girl 
to escape the city for awhile.

A glimpse of our Hotel Serrano lobby.
It was beautiful and the staff was 
so helpful and accommodating. 
A wonderful place to stay if you want to be
 within walking distance
of many interesting points. 
And I mean serious walking. 
We averaged three miles a 
day and some days went beyond that.

We walk several times a week here at home,
so we were prepared. And though we enjoyed it most of 
the time, there were times that I was very tired and had to
catch a bus or the cable car!
It was all great and part of the wonder
of city travel and experience.

Washington Square in Little Italy.

There were these sweet pigeons everywhere. 
I was feeding this one. 
One day, while crossing the street, 
a pigeon had stopped at the crosswalk and 
then began walking across the street.. 
Too cute.. 
Sorry... it's the nature lover in me.

We visited Saks in Union Square just for fun..
And the Dior dresses caught our eye.
Have you ever seen the movie
Mrs Harris Goes to Paris?

Angela Lansbury stars in it. She wants a Dior dress.
It's a sweet movie that we own and really enjoy. 
It's about following your dreams, friendship,
respect and restored relationships. 

They sell the most amazing fudge!

There are so many of these vintage signs
still in place. Most of the original business are
gone but isn't it awesome that they leave
the signs? Wherever we went, 
they always caught my attention.

Lombard Street..or the Crookedest Street.

The Oakland Bay Bridge in the distance.

Our anniversary toast. I am married to the most amazing man
and it was such a joy to spend this special time with him!

He does so much for me and I wanted to do 
something really special
for him. Something that he would never expect. 
So I rented us a limo
for a few hours on the evening of our special dinner. 
It was a big surprise when we
were in the hotel lobby and I told 
him that our ride was there!

He is a big planner, so it wasn't easy 
keeping it a secret from him.
He kept wanting to make transportation 
arrangements and I kept telling
him that I had it covered. 

Our driver was very kind 
and knew just where to take us for 
seeing the sights. 

It was an unforgettably 
fun and relaxing evening. 
We were able to visit the bay
and cross the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.

It was romantic and exciting.
Being surrounded  
by all of that beauty.

This place was a crafter's and artist's dream!

China Town

Such artistry in the building designs and those 
 lanterns....  so unique and wonderful.

The fabulous colors!

There were many of the Chinese 
(Cantonese is really the proper term)
people sitting on the street corners
playing these little, stringed instruments. 
They had a bucket sitting
close by for people to put tips in.

Learning about the different cultures 
and watching the people brings the far corners of 
 the world a little bit closer.
I love that about traveling.

There was something that really disturbed me.
And that was the amount of homeless people.
Sometimes laying the streets. 
Especially during the day. Surrounded by their piles
and bags of all their possessions.  Many times,
we were approached and asked for money.
My husband was wise and stocked up on
granola bars to hand out.
 It made us wonder what kind of circumstances
brings a person to that point.
It was very sad. 
And it made me so thankful..
At times it even made me feel guilty
for all that I have and wonder why I'm so blessed.
Sometimes life isn't fair. 

Have you ever heard of a wife cake? 
They are tasty little Cantonese pastries filled
with winter melon. Here's what I found about them 
while I was doing a little research.

  The most popular version of the story behind the wife cake is:

During imperial China, a husband and wife are very 
rich in the amount of love for each other, 
but very poor in material wealth.  The wife’s father-in law falls ill 
and requires medical attention.  Unfortunately, the couple does not 
have enough money.  The wife gives the ultimate gift of love -
 by selling herself as a slave to fund the medical care for her father in law. 
 When the husband finds out, he creates a pastry with sweetened 
winter melon and almond – dedicating the pastry 
to the memory to his wife.  The wife cake (lao po bing) gains 
such popularity that the husband is able to buy his wife back
 and cure his father of his ailment.

Isn't that beautiful?

This was the door to an Italian shop. 
I thought it was very pretty
and it was hand-painted of course. 
The shop owner was a little
curious when she saw me with a camera 
but she was very happy and excited after 
she understood that I was
 admiring and taking pictures of her beautiful door.
She starting smiling and nodding
 her head and waving at me.

Don't you just love to connect 
with people in those little ways when 
you're traveling? It's one of my most favorite things 
about the whole experience!
It warms my heart.

All of the little shops and restaurants 
that we visited were so quaint. 
The folks were so friendly. 
It all just made for such a rich time.

While at Stella Pastries, the first time :) 
we were approached by a local
woman who frequents this 
little pastry shop on a regular basis.
While we trying to make our selection, 
which, BTW,  turned out to be a raspberry
tart, she asked if we had ever eaten Cannoli. 
We told her we hadn't. 
She said we hadn't lived then!
We said we would choose that next time 
and made our way out to the little table
on the sidewalk. Don't you just love sitting 
at those little tables? 
We did.
It really made it feel like Italy! 

Anyway, while we were eating our tart, 
here comes this sweet lady with a little box tied with a string. 
She handed it to me and said we had to have one now. 
We opened the box and of course, it was a Cannoli!
That random act of kindness really 
blessed us and made us feel special.
Annnndd... guess what we had the next time 
that we went back to 
Stella Pastries? 
Yep..another Cannoli!
They are delightful.

I love boats on the water... 

There's a story here...

As we were sitting by the beach, 
I was just trying to capture some special
shots of the sunset. This couple just 
happened by and I thought it would be 
fun to try to catch them 
right in the glow of the sunset..

I thought about trying to catch up 
with them and offer to 
send them a copy but they were too far away. 
But then they doubled back
and came up the sidewalk where we were sitting. 
I decided to approach them.
They were students from Europe. 
We had a nice conversation.
I did get the e-mail address and 
we have corresponded some. 
Another connection. 

It was the trip of a lifetime.
Absolutely perfect. We are so thankful for the opportunity.
The sights the... the sounds..
I love the lights of the city at night.
So many special moments.
Quiet times in our hotel resting
and journalling.. and writing post cards.
I love to send notes to people while I'm traveling.

I hope that you enjoyed coming along.
Of course there's so much more to tell 
but that would be too much.
Thank you for visiting! I'd love to hear of a travel 
experience that you have had.

I'll be back soon with a post about our
cotton tail babies.
 Have a wonderful weekend.

Blessings to you,