San Francisco is picturesque any time of year, even when it’s socked in with fog. I have lived either in or near San Francisco for almost 30 years and I have to say, driving over the Golden Gate Bridge never gets old. And neither does having fun in the City by the Bay. That’s why I wanted to celebrate turning 47 in my favorite American big city. What better gift could I receive than a fall getaway to San Francisco!
We chose to stay at the Argonaut Hotel. We pay them a visit at least once a year if not twice. If you pay extra for a room with a bay view, you will not be disappointed. This was the view from our room. On the right we had the Golden Gate Bridge…
…and to the left, Ghiradelli Square.
The Argonaut is very pet-friendly. They love it when you bring your dog or cat and even provide beds, bowls and treats if you want them! Coco enjoyed watching all the activity out the window. We don’t get that kind of action where we live. On an exciting day at home, the Fed-Ex truck pulls into our driveway.
From Argonaut Hotel’s location at The Cannery, we are just steps away from a cable car turnaround, Aquatic Park, Hyde Pier and Fisherman’s Wharf. This is the view from the west side of Aquatic Park. I like to pretend for a moment that I’ve gone back in time 150 years when I see those big ships in the bay.
Pier 39, where I used to work in college as a jewelry salesperson, is also within walking distance. It’s very touristy but I still love it because it brings back many fond memories. And they have this ornate and colorful carousel. Who doesn’t enjoy a pretty merry-go-round?
Not so far away from the Argonaut are some beautiful neighborhoods. Russian Hill is just a few hilly blocks up. Bill and I walked there to meet our friends, Elias and Emma, at their home then head out for an Italian dinner in North Beach. On the way, I saw this Victorian house and had to get a photo.
I have known Elias since my first week at University of San Francisco in 1985. We have stayed in touch ever since, and at one time we were roommates. Elias owns a lovely café in North Beach called Caffé Sapore. One of my closest friends, Melissa and I celebrated our 30th birthdays with a big party at Elias’s café. Wonderful memories I will never forget.
On our way to dinner, we passed by Saints Peter and Paul, all lit up against the night sky. Coit Tower had their Giants colors on as we were in the middle of the World Series, which in case you haven’t heard by now, they won!
We had a fantastic meal at an authentic Italian restaurant on Grant street called Ideale. I had homemade linguine with porcini mushrooms and am still thinking about my meal a week on. I wish I had taken more photos to show you but we were so busy eating and talking, I forgot (but I did get a shot of our dessert, a couple photos below).
Speaking of food, San Francisco, as you would guess, has some of the best. We lunched at Le Central with another college friend and her husband. I had French onion soup and a tasty endive salad. Another memorable meal was at Capurro’s which is across the street from the Argonaut. My gnocchi with alfredo sauce and fresh crab was outstanding. Capurro’s is still family owned after 68 years and has excellent service and fantastic food.
And it just wouldn’t be a trip to San Francisco without visiting The Buena Vista for breakfast and an Irish coffee.
Truth be told, I am not a big dessert person but I was celebrating my birthday. How could I turn down cake and ice cream? The limencello tartufo at Ideale was just plain fabulous. The chocolate cake from Scoma’s and the pumpkin cheesecake at Capurro’s were pretty spectacular too.
One of my very favorite parts of our getaway was spending time with old and dear friends. Melissa, whom I call “Missy”, came to spend the afternoon and evening with me. We also met in college and have remained very close friends all these many, many years.
That evening, we met up with another college friend for dinner at DOSA on Fillmore for exotic and flavorful south Indian food in a chic and modern setting. Lawana lives in a beautiful flat in San Francisco, not far from the restaurant. Whenever I get together with long-time friends, it seems like no time has passed and the laughs come easily and frequently.
The next night, on my actual birthday, our friends Rob and Gina met us for dinner. Rob and my husband have been friends since they were 9-years-old. Can you believe that? And I met Gina when I first started dating Bill, over 15-years ago. We had dinner at Venticello in North Beach for yet another outstanding Italian meal.
Remember all that stuff I packed? Of course, I didn’t wear it all. I knew I wouldn’t but I got pretty close. And we stayed an additional day so the extra stuff came in handy.
The forecast called for rain, and it did rain a little but only while we were sleeping. So my rain boots and rain coat weren’t worn. Neither were many of my sweaters. It was downright hot during the day the first two days were there. I could have worn shorts and a t-shirt and been comfortable, it was that warm!
And I got a chance to wear my gray fedora from Montecristi Panama Hat Company.
At night, when the temperatures dropped, I wore either my Burberry coat and my Stella Carakasi Far and Away coat in Travertine. Bill snapped this photo of me while I was people-watching out the window.
My birthday gift from my husband was this trip to San Francisco. Quite a nice present! But he also had the Argonaut arrange to have a dozen beautiful red roses delivered to our room on my birthday. So lovely! I adored the little daisies, too.
He knows what my favorite snacks in the world are: Cheez-its and Triscuits. He surprised me with a box of each…and surprise, surprise…they were both gone by the end of our trip which, with all the other treats, might be why my jeans are more than a little snug right now.
I was sad that our fall getaway to San Francisco came to an end and so was Daisy but you can’t be on vacation forever!
Have you been to San Francisco? What are you favorite things to do, eat, and see there?
Make it a rich day!
*Don’t forget about Novembers’s How I Wear My! Details in the link.
Disclosure: My fedora hat from Montecristi Panama Hat Company and the Stella Carakasi coat were given to me in exchange for promotion. I was not given any discounts or sponsorships of any kind from the Argonaut Hotel. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.