Monday, November 30, 2009

San Francisco and my first Hermes scarf!

My husband Mr.HB and I spent 10 days in San Francisco a few years ago. We walked for hours each day, shopped, toured and hopped on moving cable cars. The restaurants were plentiful and we dined at as many as we could in those fabulous 10 days. I was surprised that with all that wonderful food that we did not gain any weight. I attribute that to the many hours of walking and exploring.
We stayed in a modest hotel (which had great reviews on Trip Advisor) on Bush Street in the Nob Hill neighborhood which was uphill from downtown! Several times we stopped at Scala's Bistro in the Frances Drake Hotel and dined before climbing the rest of the way up. We also went to a San Francisco institution, "The Mark Hopkins Hotel", for cocktails at the "Top of the Mark". We stumbled upon a rather old eatery called Sam's Grill which was very plain and understated in decor, the food was tasty and the portions were enormous! I had my doubts about the service when I saw the elderly waiters in tuxes! The service was without a doubt quite magnificent, my martini with 3 olives arrived filled to the brim and served from a tray and not one drop spilled! It proved extremely difficult for me to pick it up and sip and alas I did let a drop or two land on my napkin!

We befriended a lovely, albeit eccentric, former SF resident, a keen gardener, who was back in town from Washington State for the SF Flower and Garden Horticultural Show. She was staying near us at the Metropolitan Club, which is the former SF Women's Athletic club, and she invited us to a lecture on arts and crafts by docents from the de Young museum. It was a very interesting afternoon and we rubbed elbows with some very well heeled women who were impeccably dressed and groomed. I was appropriately attired but felt rather lacking. I suppose it was at that moment that I was moved to "improve" my status and how better than to do it via retail therapy!
I had seen the many shops and boutiques near Union Square and suggested that we venture down the hill yet again and do some serious shopping! We wandered around Gumps for awhile and I must say it is a delicious store! There are many many flagship stores and SF is a great mecca for shopping. I love Hermes so when we entered the store I felt excited! We asked to see some scarves and the clerk showed us at least a dozen of a variety of color and pattern. How to choose? (Would this be my one and only Hermes scarf?) I decided on the bright and cheerful "les jardins d'andalousie" I do so adore the packaging process! Details like the ribbon, the tissue, the orange box, the bag and the wee book on scarf tying!

On our last day the weather changed and torrential rain fell. We cocooned for several hours in Cafe de la Presse which was very French. The hostess was tres chic, she was French and had the chicest hair I have ever seen, simple, not perfect, a little tousled bobbed and brunette. She was beautiful. We sipped red wine and savored smoked salmon galette, French Onion soup, and enjoyed the profiteroles in chocolate hazelnut sauce and French press coffee.

I delighted in wearing that scarf on holiday and every time I tie it on I remember how amazing our trip to San Francisco was and how I plan to return someday soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hey Jude

Introductory Greetings from a humble bungalow

I live a rather pedestrian life within the walls of a humble bungalow.

It is a small comfortable space with dark wood and arts and crafts furnishings. Green pottery and eclectic collectibles. I love thrift shops and rummage sales and antique malls. Space being what it is , when something new comes in, something old must go out.
I grew up in a middle class family living in a monied neighbourhood. I had many wonderful adventures when children could play in freedom safely outside without worrying about stranger danger. In my teens I attended a charm school where I learned how to walk, how to sit, and how to get in and out of a car in a ladylike fashion! I learned skin care and makeup application and the art of conversation.
I am married and have 2 grown adult children, whom I will share you with as time goes by!
I am comfortable in cashmere and denim, white T-shirts and pearls and have a weakness for Hermes scarves and diamonds! In fact, I have been known to garden in pearls. I love to garden, David Austin Roses being high on my list, Jude the Obscure is the most beautiful in my garden.
I am expecting house guests from a small island north of where we live so I must go shopping for groceries. I will be making fresh fruit salad and bagels for breakfast with coffee and I will be hosting a birthday dinner while they are here. I have not decided on the menu for dinner but will decide when I see the local fresh offerings at the grocery store.