Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anticipation and dreaming...

Did you ever go on a vacation that made you want to return....
again and again?

We do not travel far afield...
as boat owners we cruise on the water
our boat is our home, it is our waterfront accommodaton.
I cook, Mr. HB is the King of the BBQ...
we kayak, catch crabs, swim, read, play crib and adhere to a simple basic routine.

Once every few years we break loose and travel a bit farther...
Pasadena, Disneyland, Rancho Mirage, San Francisco...and some years we stay close...

Tony Bennett sang about this parents had their honeymoon here...
I can hardly believe they had an entire blissful MONTH honeymooning this city.
That was back in the early1950's....
they stayed at the home of a friend and borrowed a sleek black Cadillac to see the sights.

I wish you could see the look on my mother's face when she tells me about their adventures...she misses my father so much...but when she shares these memories it's as if he's alive again....her eyes sparkle, and I think they are peppered with tears.

Stories of exclusive dinner clubs that they were able to dine at because they were guests of a member...
my mother still gets emotional when she tells me about The Mark Hopkins Hotel...

martinis and her LBD
I have seen the pictures and she is svelte and chic...and wearing a hat and gloves!

Fisherman's Wharf was a highlight...
(if you enlarge this image you'll see The Mayflower!)

pasta dinners at the Italian Club...
(which we could not find when we visited)

My father was very much alive when Mr. HB and I left for our SF experience...
we had my parents advice and that of Trip Advisor...
either of which has ever steered us wrong...
our fine accommodation and eaterys were based on posts by travellers who cared to share and whose comments aided in planning our itinerary.

I highly recommend researching your destination and all of the finer points...
We have benefited by others' experiences and have wasted no time on lesser venues.

We are in the planning stages of arranging a vacation in our favourite spot not too far from where we's on a rugged expanse of coastline edging the Pacific Ocean...
it is RUSTIC!
It's been there since the 1940's and still going strong....
some newer cabins and a small dining room which serves wonderful meals.
The addition of private hot tubs on the decks of each cabin and plush white terry robes add a welcome perk ensuring relaxation and languidity.

The thunderous waves crashing on the beach sound on the incoming tide...we leave the curtains open, and sleep on the sumptuous mattress with the cozy down duvet floating and cocooning our slumber....
such sweet dreams!

This is living phones, wireless, or TV...
a one room cabin with a kitchenette, bar fridge, fireplace, bathroom and shower with a hot tub on the deck...views to the south show us glimpses of Washington State and the Olympic penninsula...
we bring out binoculars, and expectations of greatness...
we explore the beaches at our leisure...and rarely see another guest about...
we smell the smoke from the fires burning and see the smoke from the chimneys.

The restaurant has windows for walls and binoculars sit atop each table...fresh salal and flowers in vases, not "arranged" their simple form naturally beautiful. Crisp white tablecloths, linen napkins, china and clear crystal goblets all shimmer in candlelight and set the tone...beyond the vast Pacific Ocean is all one can see for miles from  the treetops and rugged might see lights from the freighters as they navigate the shipping lanes...hugging the coast.
At dinner we rub elbows and exchange pleasantries with others in the small restaurant but other than that it is a quiet place...a place for solace, restoration and rejuvenation. The tables are small and encourage a closeness, the lights are dim and there is no music, there's a vibration of energy, eyes twinkle, wine glasses clink, food is savoured and spoons are passed between couples as they share tasty bites...soft conversation, gossamer whispers flutter...the wait staff are attentive, discreet and efficient. The courses are paced and is a feast for all almost anticipates....
(I have often thought of it as a honeymoon hideaway)

Today I received the confirmation of our dates for the Spring and inside was a new feature...a SPA service available....for couples in the comfort of your private cabin....hmm has me thinking that a massage for two might be in order...or maybe not...the stillness and closeness might be marred if the door is opened to a stranger.

As this spot has become so popular bookings need to be made months in advance...last year we could not go because it was fully booked by early December for the following 5 this year I booked early...and now have a few months to plan...simple fare, write my list of what to bring...bees wax pillar candles...some nice wine, bath salts, Scrabble or a crib board...books, magazines...hey there's lots of time...but I am already excited!

Do you have a favourite spot...a stay-cation,  destination or exotic vacation?

Should you desire information on this secret spot please email me personally as I will not be advertising it...or my future stays here would certainly be jeopardized!


  1. Hostess you have described this secret location so vividly, in the last few minutes I've travelled there in my thoughts. Sounds perfect and very romantic.
    Many years since I've visited SF but hold fond memories of a fanatasic time in this beautiful city.
    Close to my home our favourite spot is Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. Beach, swimming, shopping, eating, chilling out and people watching.
    Further afield, Japan is our home away from home. Work committments have enabled us to visit often. I experience joyous peace in this fascinating country.

  2. Dear Hostess, What a perfect holiday you are planning. Away from it all and just the two of you enjoying your own company and the beautiful environment. It sounds idyllic andI think that you are very wise not to advertise it to others who might spoil that very special ambience.

    I have a favourite hotel in Venice which I have visited for more than 40 years. That is my own special hideaway!

  3. How lovely it all sounds and half the fun is the planning. So nice to imagine your parents on honeymoon in San Francisco and wonderful that your mother has such fantastic memories.
    S-Expat x

  4. hi leslie,

    o my i do believe this is now my fav spot. your description has left me relaxed as if i were there. i want to go! and if you ever plan a trip to pasadena or rancho mirage we will meet for lunch and shopping!


  5. I love San Francisco and go there usually at least twice a year...for the garden show and the art museum. It is such a wonderful city to visit...but I don't have a special place to stay.

  6. I know where you are going and it is my families favorite place to go. We have spent after Christmas there for many years. This will be the first year we dont go as it has many memories attached to it that I dont think we can handle this year. I am very jealous! Enjoy your stay, it is lovely, peaceful, and like a second home to me.

  7. Dare I guess it's a place with the initials PNP? We were to honeymoon there, but I didn't realize I had to send a deposit and by the time I realized, we'd lost our reservation. Really, I should have visited there by now -- perhaps a place for a big anniversary, 40th perhaps?

  8. I'm with materfamilias, perhaps not so obscure with those of us familiar with the area? Last time I was in SF, I wept, alarming my children- they were not sure I was crying from joy. Many, many memories there, including the Summer of Love in 1967.

  9. Anne-Marie- How fortunate that you are able to travel through can better decide where to return on a leisurely vacation.

    Edith Hope- Will you share your Venetian Hotel memories on your blog sometime?

    Sarah- I sometimes worry that my mother spends too much time remembering and living in the past... I love to hear her colourful tales as much as she loves telling them.

    the gardener's cottage- I will let you know if I am in that area...lunch would be fun!

    LaVieQuotidienne- The flower show in the Cow Barn? I met a woman who was going when I was last down there...she was an avid and serious horticulturalist...I am sorry that I did not attend...which museum do you like? The deYoung? or??

    Kate-I can understand your not choosing to go this year...maybe another year it will feel right....I hope that you are the Kate that I am thinking of...your blogger account has no clues, so I am reading between the lines...

    life in small chunks- In the past it's been as close to Perfect as I can get.

    materfamilias-Yes! Go for the 40th...I look at the images of your home and see many similarities to this treasured spot.

    Duchesse- Have you ever lived in BC or visited often?
    Ah yes! The summer of love...
    I have never read any blog posts about this....please take us back that we can feel the love!


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