Tuesday, July 24, 2012

San Francisco!


Robert had business in San Francisco this month and invited me to go out there with him for the weekend beforehand. San Francisco is one of my favorite American cities so I jumped at the chance to join him.

Liguria Bakery

The weather was absolutely glorious on the afternoon we arrived. I had a read rave reviews about the Liguria Bakery, so after checking into our hotel in Fisherman's Wharf, we walked to North Beach to try some of their famous focaccia bread.

The bakery is completely no-frills and the only thing they sell is focaccia. Usually they offer several choices, but we arrived an hour before closing and all they had left was pizza focaccia. As the portions are HUGE, Robert and I opted to split one (only $5 - cheap lunch!) and had the lady slice it for us. We walked across the street to Washington Square and sat down on the luscious green grass for a picnic. The focaccia was very tasty, the weather perfect - quite a delightful way to pass an afternoon!


View from our picnic - lovely!

My cousin Caroline lives just south of San Francisco. Late Saturday afternoon she and her family picked us up at our hotel and drove us on a tour of San Francisco and then down the coast to a brewery near Half Moon Bay. We had a great visit with them and loved the place they took us.

The "microclimates" in the Bay Area result in widely varying conditions. Contrast this fog to the clear skies we just left in the city

Moss Beach Distillery

We sat outside around this fire pit overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Caroline and her precious children, Bennett and Avery, with me

It was so cold! What a treat that was for Texans in July

The next morning we went to Mama's on Washington Square for breakfast. I expected long lines so we got there just after they opened at 8. We still waited almost two hours for a table! We had a NY Times to help pass the time, and the food was delicious; I can think of worse ways to spend a morning.

Look at this line!

Bountiful fresh ingredients

Homemade bread for the French toast

Our breakfast was worth the wait! Obviously we worked up quite an appetite while in line - lol



Later that day Robert and I went to the Walt Disney Family Museum. Walt Disney's daughter, Diane, established this museum in the Presidio to house her father's memorabilia and honor his life and legacy. From Wikipedia: The 40,000 square foot space in the main Museum building features the newest technology and historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney’s achievements to life, with interactive galleries that include early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, and a 12-foot diameter model of Disneyland. We spent almost four hours there and could have stayed much longer. The exhibits were fascinating and very well done. I especially loved the model of Disneyland.

Postcard I bought of the Disneyland model

Stunning vista of the Golden Gate Bridge from a back room at the Museum

We made two visits to the historic Ferry Building Marketplace, including a wonderful morning where we bought pastries, cheeses and jams and had a picnic breakfast on a bench out back and watched the boats entering and exiting the Bay.

Robert by the Ferry Building - this is probably my favorite place in San Francisco

Inside the marketplace - lots of local merchants selling regional artisan specialties - I could spend hours wandering around here

Cowgirl Creamery cheese market - yum


Doesn't this look fabulous?

Outdoor Farmers Market - gorgeous produce

The rest of our time was spent leisurely walking around, shopping and eating. I was sad to leave Robert in San Francisco after the wonderful few days we spent there. I hope to return soon.

Shopping for a few souvenirs at Ghiradelli Square, located next door to our hotel

I love the Elizabeth W line of sachets and linens. Their only retail store is in Ghiradelli Square

Enjoying an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista (our hotel, the Argonaut, is behind me)

The iconic Transamerica Pyramid

We enjoyed a great dinner at Barbacco

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Road Trip 2012, part III.


Sunday morning the girls and I left Thomasville and began our drive home. We stopped overnight in New Orleans and had a great visit with Will's girlfriend, Page, and her mom, Mary Stewart. Mary Stewart and I were classmates and friends in college, and we arranged for Will and Page to meet after we learned they were both students at TCU. Mary Stewart and Page are native New Orleanians and were wonderful tour guides for their charming, historical city.

Outlining the driveway behind our hotel were these poles topped with horse heads. Vivian was very distressed that there was an extra pole sans a horse. She kept repeating, "Where can the other horse be? We need to find the other horse. He needs to go back with the other horses!" This worked out well for getting Vivian in and out of places in New Orleans (i.e., "Vivian, let's see if the horse is in Page's house" when she initially refused to get out of the car)

Page and Dots at Hansen's Sno Bliz. We had the most fantastic "snoballs" there: mine was nectar-flavored with sweetened condensed milk - it was like eating really tasty, light, fluffy snow!

HansensSno nectarsnoball
I found these pictures on the internet as I must have been too immersed in my delicious snoball to remember to take any myself

I would definitely eat way too much if I lived in New Orleans because they have so much wonderful food. Sunday night we enjoyed a fabulous dinner with Mary Stewart and Page at La Crepe Nanou

Dots and Page in Jackson Square

What would a visit to New Orleans be without a stop at Café du Monde?

Vivian LOVED her beignet! (And her stroller may very well have traces of powdered sugar for the rest of its life)

My girls in the French Quarter

We left New Orleans just after noon on Monday and arrived back in Dallas around 9:00 that night. Ten nights, seven states, one wedding, many visits with friends and family, and almost 2500 miles: a fabulous trip!



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Road Trip 2012, part II.


On Wednesday the girls and I left Atlanta and drove south to Tifton, Georgia where my sister Marian and her family live. Marian kindly hosted a Happy Hour that afternoon for her friends to stop by and visit with me. She had prepared a beautiful spread of delicious food, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to spend time with her nice friends.


Marian, me, and my niece Guinn

Vivian loved Marian's dog Tallulah

Dinner with Marian's family

Waiting to pick up Marian's son Henry from his day camp

Henry's camp, Winshape, was sponsored by Chick-Fil-a. Vivian was very glad to meet the Chick-Fil-a cow. She walked over and gave him a hug and then promptly told the cow he needed to go back to the barn

On Friday we left Tifton and drove to Thomasville, Georgia where my friend Anne-Murray's son was getting married the following day.

I have always thought Thomasville was the prettiest town in Georgia. It is in the far southwest corner of the state and is one of the few areas Sherman missed when he burned his way to the sea during the Civil War. Thomasville thus retains many huge old oak trees and historic plantations.

Robert and Will flew into Tallahassee Friday afternoon and drove the hour north to Thomasville to join us.

Beautiful downtown Thomasville

Vivian didn't mind strolling up and down the main street, but she balked whole-heartedly at going in any stores. Never mind that it was unbelievably hot and humid outside {sigh}

We took turns going into shops and waiting outside with Vivian

Dressed for the wedding Saturday. My wonderful sister and her kids drove over from Tifton to babysit Vivian at our hotel during the ceremony and reception

Will and Dots with our friends Cynthia and Larkin before the wedding

The bride's parents were also married in this beautiful old church

Me with Anne-Murray and Cynthia at the reception

To be continued...