We left home with the SUV packed. There are still a couple of weeks of Summer vacation left before school starts and the routine and responsibilities of a new school year kick in. I have found over the years that there is such freedom in a road trip. Never is there a worry whether you’ve arrived on time to an airport, nor the anxiety of standing in lines hoping that you can make your flight on time. While I love to fly, I am not a huge fan of the airport routines.
This year we decided to drive to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe from our home in San Diego county. The only thing I plan ahead on are hotel reservations and a few activities that can be gotten cheaper through Groupon. The rest, well, I really like to immerse myself in the local flavor of life and still leave room for spontaneous happenings!
We arrived in San Francisco, at the Ritz Carlton, mid afternoon, to this beautiful display of sweet confections and celebratory cards. After all, it is soon to be a big Birthday and Anniversary weekend at our house! (That’s a story for another time). Changing into our walking shoes and San Francisco style street clothes, we hit the sidewalks for a walking adventure.
Heading down California Street, one can’t help but run into the various entry points to Chinatown. With its colorful signs and lanterns, and the many food vendors offering you the best dumplings around, your senses take in a cultural wonder.
I always marvel that within the bustle of a big city, there is a park where children’s laughter rings out and grandfathers can be found playing Chinese Chess. Around the corner from this are the grandmas playing cards. They didn’t want their photo taken, though!
Britex Fabrics is the Mecca for fabrics and everything related to sewing. I think there is a whole floor dedicated to Buttons! This store is over 100 years old. For me, it is always an inspirational stop whenever I’m in San Francisco.
We made our way around Union Square and down to Market Street. There, my son discovered what he called the best shopping mall ever! The Nordstrom has a circular escalator! All of this exploring and walking had a purpose. It was to work up a good appetite for The Tadich Grill!
Tadich Grill is the oldest restaurant in San Francisco. The staff there has made life long careers of waiting the tables and tending the bar. While my husband and I lived in San Francisco over 15 years ago, it was so heart warming to walk into the restaurant and receive “hellos” and big hugs. This place is truly a gem!
From the Tadich Grill it was a straight walk up the hill to our hotel. I found my stride.