Trip Report SF Anniversary

Old Jun 15th, 2005, 06:43 AM
  #1  
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Trip Report SF Anniversary

My husband and I are back from SF and celebrating our 30th. We had fantastic weather in the 70's and clear everyday. The trip in from the airport was a snap. We jumped off the bart at Powell St. and ascended the escalator into the amazing city. Spent 5 min in line for the cablecar which took us up Powell, up and over to the wharf and our hotel the Argonaut. We could not have chosen a better hotel.
My husband arranged ahead of time to have in our room a dozen long stemmed red roses and a bottle of champagne chilling for our arrival. Believe me that set the mood for the entire trip! I was completely surprised and overwhelmed. We were in room 277 and it overlooked the Del Monte plaza below. We had a great view of the comings and goings in the square and we thought it added so much to our experience. At 3 pm the music started down in the square. I swear it must've been Chris Botti playing the horns which provided a cool jazz session for 2 hours. The music, the champagne, the roses made for a very wonderful afternoon!

Dinner was an easy 1/2 block walk to McCormick's where we had amazing sweeping views of the bay from our booth seat. The food and service were excellent. Half way back to the hotel we stopped at the famous Buena Vista for their Irish coffee.

Friday we hit the streets and explored Coit towers, checked out Mama's for Saturday bkft. stopped in St. P & P church, Washington Sq., cable car museum. Friday dinner was at E'Angelo's for Italian and it was excellent and very reasonably priced. It's highlighted by Zagat's and was a find.
We cabbed over to the Drake at 9pm and took the elevator up to the 21st floor and the Starlight Room. We danced and shared a wonderful evening with great entertainment and spectacular city views.
Saturday we had breakfast at Mama's. The most amazing meal as everyone states on the threads. More walking around and exploring neighborhoods then back to the Argonaut where we rented bikes next door. Spent the afternoon riding along the shoreline and up and over the GG Bridge which was an amazing experience. Everyone was out enjoying the great weather and preparing for the next day's race. Dinner saturday evening was by recommendations from our conceirge....Hunan Home's in chinatown. A lively fun place with the best meal we could ever have eaten. It's at 622 Jackson and highligted by Zagat's. The food and staff were superb.
A word about the Argonaut. We could not have chosen a better hotel for ease and convenience to everything. The room's interior was immaculate. The bed devine, im sure it's the "heavenly bed" from westin because we have one at home. The most comfortable night's sleep every nite. We would stay there again in a heartbeat. We enjoyed the city and will definitely return again.

Romance and excitement happened at every turn. You make your own magic by appreciating everything and being grateful. And that we were!
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 07:42 AM
  #2  
Kal
 
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GP,
Why did I read your TR with a BIG GRIN?

Sounds like a very good time!
Nice view from M&S's, yah?

Congrats!
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 09:35 AM
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Very nice! We enjoyed one short day in SF awhile back, it wasn't enough. ***kim***
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 09:51 AM
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I read your report with very special interest - our 30th is coming up! Of course, living in San Francisco I will not repeat your trip, but I like your report and agree with "you make your own magic"
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Hi GregoryP, it was a pleasure to read about your 30th anniversary celebration in SF. Belated wishes to the two of you and thanks for sharing your magical time in SF.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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This is GP's wife and we wanted to say thank you for your nice comments and good wishes. This board was instrumental in giving us fantastic advice for our trip and for that, we are grateful and thank you all. Mary
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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GP,
Thank you for your lovely review. I registered today so that I could respond to your review and ask questions. My husband and I will be traveling to SF to celebrate our 20th anniversary in late August.

I selected three Kimpton hotels and have made reservations at two of them. I have reserved rooms at the Villa Florence and the Hotel Monaco in Union Square. I was also interested in the Aroganaut, however I was hesitant due to it's location and right now the price of the rooms are more expensive than the Hotel Monaco, (a four star hotel).

This trip is a surprise to my husband so I have the task of making most of the decisions that need to be made in advance. There are so many choices that my head is spinning. I loved the idea of selecting a restuarant and then heading to the Starlight Room for drinks and dancing. What is the dress code for the Starlight?

Did you happen to see any shows. Many have suggested to see Beach Blanket Babylon. Also, I loved the idea of biking across the Golden Gate Bridge but was concerned because we have not exercised on a bike for several years. How did you make out? Did you take the ferry on your return? Did you visit Alcatraz?

I am very excited about the trip and look forward to receiving your response.
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Hi JazzSilver, just saw your post here plus your other thread.

A restaurant you might want to consider is Scala's which is just one half block north of Union Square on Powell St., it is right next to the Sir Francis Drake. The Starlight Room is the top floor of the Sir Francis Drake. The website for Scala's is www.scalasbistro.com if you want to check it out (menu etc.).
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Hi JazzSilver,
This is Mary, I loved being at the Argonaut because it seemed close to everything we wanted to do and see. We visited Ghirardelli square for hot fudge sundaes (1 blk), rented the bikes next door to the Argonaut, walked a bit to Boudin's for bread on the Wharf, walked along the shoreline. It was wonderful to be in the center of life on the wharf and then duck in at the Argonaut and be totally in another world. To have to find transportation back to another hotel even in Union Square would have been a small chore. Ahh, easier this way. The clam chowder at the Blue Mermaid, connected to the hotel was out of this world. And life didn't end when you got back to your room. You need only open your shutters and there below were folks leisurely eating and relaxing and enjoying the day in Del Monte square.

We inquired about Beach Blanket Babylon and the concierge told us reservations weeks in advance were necessary...so start now. We didn't take the trip to Alcatraz. We saw it each time we left the hotel and oh, well, there it is...
As far as biking, stay along the shoreline for as long as you can until you have to ascend to get on the bridge. Go all the way to Fort Point. I did walk my bike up the hill but once on the bridge I never got off. It's downhill on the way back. We rode the bikes back across the bridge but the blazing saddles bike company gives you passes for the ferry in case you change your mind.

The Starlight Room at the Sir Francis Drake was definitely a highlight. I wore a black Ann Taylor pantsuit and comfortable heels. My husband wore nice slacks and a black long sleeved merino wool polo sweater. The male staff were in tuxedos and the women were beautifully dressed in long evening gowns with long gloves. Really beautiful I thought. So we felt right at home. I enjoyed getting there at 9pm, not crowded and a time to really enjoy each other and the views and slow dancing. The livelier crowd arrives around 10pm and then the joint starts jumping. The dress code seemed to loosen then too. Saw many in jeans and hawaiian shirts which to me seemed in poor taste and plain tacky. We headed out about 11:30 and had a wonderful time.
Good luck with your planning. Mary
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 11:57 AM
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Hi Mary:

My name is Narcy, (formal name Narcisa an italian name handed down from my grandmother), and I thank you for your advice.

I mentioned to my husband this morning that I would like to rent bikes for our anniversary trip (he is 15 years my elder and will be celebrating his 58th in a few days) and would he be able to condition himself over the summer for a trip of approximately 8 - 10 miles. He was all for it and it will give us both a goal to start exercising in the summer months.

I have inquired about the tickets for the Beach Blanket Babylon via phone and online. I know that I will need to make a reservation soon if we would like to attend a show.

I am researching all of the wonderful restuarants that the board has offered, however I definetly will be heading to the Starlight Room around 9 pm. What a wonderfully romantic way to celebrate an anniversary!

If you think of anything further please send a post!



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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Here is a nice place. We are about your age. It's "Tonga Room" restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel in SF

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34637632
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Hi JetSilver, the Tonga Room is fun!!
Also, think about going to the Top of the Mark at the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill. Cocktail time is great, with a wonderful view. Old historical elegant hotel. Top of Mark was where a lot of servicemen had their last cocktail before shipping out during WWII.
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