San Francisco: One Perfect Day

Last week, my family and I escaped the snow storm that hit Northern Virginia and returned to (strangely) sunny San Francisco. If you’ve ever been to the City, you know it is never sunny or warm. Except for one week in October.

For any of you thinking of visiting San Francisco, here’s my take on One Perfect Day.

9am: Wake up. Bug and I stayed at the Westin St. Francis while our kids stayed across town at our house with their grandparents. No kids = sleeping in 😀

10:30am: Walk through Union Square and down Market to meet up with my in-laws and kids for dim sum at Yank Sing in the Rincon Center. This is, by far, the best dim sum in San Francisco.


1pm – Walk over the Ferry Building to admire the farmer’s market and delicious inside shops.

2pm – 4pm – Walk. Walk. Walk.

The second, or third, or maybe forth set of stairs leading up to Coit tower. The stairs can be brutal if you aren’t used to it, but he famous Parrots of Telegraph Hill live in the trees, and it makes it worth it.
bridge pink2
After making it all the way up the hill in the unusual heat, we were rewarded with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

After reaching Coit Tower, we walked down the other side of the hill and into North Beach. Since it was a gorgeous, sunny day, it was packed. If you like Italian food, this is the place to nosh.

North beach


We didn’t hang out in North Beach because I wanted to get to Chinatown. The two neighborhoods are next to each other and actually bleed into each other in some parts.

Grant Avenue

Our house in the City is near Clement Street, aka Chinatown West, so I don’t normally venture into this part of town. It’s a little touristy, to be honest. However, there is one reason to visit: UNCLE and Vital Tea Leaf.

me and uncle2

That man in the picture with me is Uncle Gee and he’s almost 83 years old. Seriously. Right before this picture, he was Gangham style dancing with me. He is amazing. He owns a tea shop called Vital Tea Leaf in Chinatown, but you do not just go in and buy tea. Oh, no. You are invited into Uncle’s home. You sit at the tea bar and you are educated about tea – all while being poured glass after glass and being peppered by Uncle’s bawdy stories. His selection of tea is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and for loose leaf, very well priced.

After filling up on tea, make the short walk back to Union Square. From here, you can either shop (my choice), ride the cable car down to Fisherman’s Wharf, or hop on the 38 and head out to the Richmond District (my neighborhood) where you can visit Golden Gate Park or the Presidio. The whole walk, with stops, takes about six hours.

And for fun, here are the restaurants I love:

B*Star on ClementTroya on Clement

Umami on Webster

Roadside BBQ on Geary

Out the Door on Bush


Pancho’s on Geary at Stanyan


Virginia or Bust: California to Arizona

Yesterday, we loaded up the car, took one last look around, wiped away tears, and left San Francisco. I had to bite my lip to keep my sobs locked in – I didn’t want the boys to see how upset I was. All week, I’d been selling them on the adventure and how wonderful everything will be for us in Virginia. I didn’t want them to know that I’m scared and nervous, and that there are times when I doubt this whole crazy decision.

But no matter how unsure I am, I’m even more convinced this is the right thing for our family, if that makes sense. Bug has been re-energized by a job that is already challenging him in a good way. He has a spring in his step and is just generally excited again. Pudge is actually – and this shocked me – looking forward to going to traditional school. In fact, he was supposed to stay in San Francisco for another six weeks with his grandparents, but decided at the last minute to come with us. The Fox will fly out and meet us on Sunday night, but he’s looking forward to decorating the new house for Halloween and having kids trick-or-treat at our house (In twelve years, we’ve never had a trick-or-treater in San Francisco!). And The Colonel, well, he doesn’t care as long as there are cookies, a bed, and his family on the other end.

We’re taking the southern route to Virginia and so far, it hasn’t been very scenic. I’d wanted to get a picture of the “Welcome to Arizona” sign, but we rolled past at 9pm and there was no where to stop.

Today, we’re driving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. After yesterday’s ten hour drive, the seven hours should fly by…


Outfit Post: Toeing the Line


Now that I’m back in San Francisco (temporarily), life has resumed its normal rhythm: kid activities, sports, running, and work.

Exciting, I know, but that’s what life is: lots of mundane, tiny things that make up a great, big, exciting whole.

After a few days of eighty-degree temperatures, the fog has returned to San Francisco, which means I get to wear tights again. I actually built today’s outfit around the tights. Patterns can be tough to pull off – they can either go a little too streetwalker or not entirely daytime appropriate. Or worse, too little girl. But I think, by pairing these Wolford gray pinstripe stockings with a solid, classic-cut dress, I struck the right balance.



The Outfit:

Dress: Navy, keyhole sheath from Banana Republic petites (bought in Paris, doesn’t seem like the US carries it?)

Shoes: Club Nikko

Tights: Wolford

Jacket: Banana Republic

Ring: antique sapphire and diamond

The Schedule:

8:00am – 4 mile run

9:30 – 11am – homeschool

12 – 1pm – lunch

1-2pm – work

2-3pm – go out for a walk

4pm – prep for Nightingale chat

5pm – 6pm  – Nightingale chat

7pm – dinner

8pm – 11pm – work