Friday, October 7, 2016

Weekend in San Francisco

How was your week? Some of us got an extended one as many are on fall school breaks right now. It's a great time to take a trip somewhere in California and especially San Francisco as October is unofficially the best weather month unlike summer which is cooler and foggy.

On the sculpture terrace at the top floor of the new SFMOMA.

Max and I finally got to getaway for our 20th anniversary and decided to stay in the city. We considered Napa, but this time of year it's exorbitantly expensive. We thought, let's pay half that price and stay at the Four Seasons in SF, which we never have done.

The Four Seasons San Francisco is tucked away off Market Street and shares it's building with Four Season residences. The hotel lobby is on the fifth floor and has a cozy long bar with a fireplace area.

The MKT restaurant attached has floor to ceiling windows on some of the prettiest architectural landmarks in the city. We had breakfast there both mornings and it was amazing. The fresh fruit and juice and lemon ricotta pancakes were my favorite!

Drinks in the bar were good. We tried chicken sliders and the pub cheese appetizers which were exactly what we wanted.

The rooms have window seats onto the city and feel spacious yet cozy. Of course the bed and bedding was incredible and I slept like a baby both nights. The location is perfect. You're minutes from shopping, Union Square, and the new MOMA which we couldn't wait to check out.

After we checked in Max wanted to surprise me by taking me to a San Francisco landmark, Smuggler's Cove. This tiki-bar was voted Best American Cocktail Bar by Spirited magazine in 2016, and one of the Best Bars on Earth by The London Times! It's got a cult following so we got there a few minutes before five on Friday and joined a small line. The plain exterior belies the tropical explosion of Polynesia inside. We climbed to the top floor where I felt like I was drinking in the treehouse from Swiss Family Robinson!

 I had some flashbacks to my 17th birthday at Don the Beachcomber. Remember that place? I always begged my parents to take me there and hoped one day when I became the magical 21, I might order one of the huge drinks in seashell to share. Smuggler's Cove has many drinks like that, but they don't appeal to me now...Lol.

However there are three pages of drink creations it was hard to decide! All the drinks are rum-based, made only with fresh juices and fruits and you can choose your rum if you're so inclined. There's a special award if you try each drink on the menu. Don't try this in one night! It might take someone the better part of a year if they were motivated. The drinks are strong so plan on Ubering or walking!

After we wandered down just a few blocks to Hayes Valley. Love the restaurants, shops and vibe of this neighborhood. There's a zillion cool spots to eat here and great independent boutiques. like Azalea where the San Francisco girls get their cool look. This is where to get the perfect oversized sweater, a long coat for those foggy cool days, brogues and generic chic totes. There's all you need here to look simple yet stylish. There's a specific look many SF gals sport and I'd call it art student moves to New York. It's minimalist with a colorful details.

Another great shop in Hayes is Marine Layer, started by two local guys who just wanted soft shirts. (So Northern Cal.) I love this shop and have bought my guys a few button-ups and hoodies they will never get rid of. They carry women's as well. Don't miss this spot if you find yourself in the city and chilly. They have the coziest clothes around.

Give yourself a good hour or so to shop around. We did that while we waited for a table at Absinthe, a charming French Bistro. We popped over to Miette, to get Halloween candies for my guys and I cannot resist getting a few packages for my kitchen jars of black licorice cats and sugared pumpkins. This is the most darling sweet shop!

After we ducked into Arlequin wine merchant two doors down from Absinthe, and split a glass of the white on the tasting menu while browsing the collection shelves of wines from all over.

Absinthe had a good crack to it with a mix of locals, travelers and people on their way to see shows. We shared potato encrusted salmon with fennel and whole grain pappardelle with chanterelles. A small wait, but worth it for the delicious food and atmosphere.

Saturday morning I woke up, made myself a cappuccino at the coffee bar downstairs and relaxed by the fire for a bit and read the papers. Love! After breakfast we took the 2 minute walk around the corner to the newly re-opened SFMOMA.

 I recommend starting at the top floor and working your way down via the open stairs.

We were enchanted by this 'Super Catcher' by Brad Kahlhamer.

A ribbon painting by Mark Grotjahn.

Dave Muller's 'cassette stack (A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You)
 This could be one of my own a few decades ago. :D

 One of Andy Warhol's Elvis Prints. Loved the Warhols here.

The outdoor cafe for lunch, snacks or hot drinks.

Morris Louis magna on canvas. One of my favorites.

Chuck Close's amazing paper pulp on canvas.

Frank Stella lithographs and screen prints.

The living wall is one of many of several beautiful open spaces in which to enjoy the museum.

 One from the Alexander Calder exhibit.

Friends at the living wall.

This sculpture was really cool. It wasn't possible to see the figure in it unless I was looking through a camera or far away.

One exhibit that really touched me was these posters by Susan O'Malley from her project and book, Advice From My 80-Year-Old Self.

Susan was a multi-talented artist who was working on a project to bring inspirational messages to the masses. She interviewed 100 people from age 7-88 asking if you sat down with your future self, what would you tell you now?

Sadly Susan, who was from San Jose, passed away unexpectedly at age 38 three days away from giving birth to twins, who did not survive either.  Her friends and family blanketed the city with her messages of hope and this exhibit and her book keep her inspirational work alive. I found out all this by chance when I was searching the internet for more info about her. More about beautiful Susan and her work and life on this website.

The gift store here at the MOMA is fantastic. It's so huge I spent a better part of an hour in it and didn't see it all. I did get some great Christmas presents. There is everything from quirky housewares to great books and art projects, and just so many cool things I haven't seen anywhere else.

Before you leave you can take a turn at untangling the giant ball of strings and stuff..
As you exit, there is the fancy In Situ restaurant at the ground floor of the museum. Reviews are just okay for this right now and a 20% service charge is automatically added to your bill. We considered it, but walked just outside and around the corner and found SF gem, The Grove.

What a perfect spot for lunch after a morning at the museum. Decor is a bit like a treehouse with arts and craft style. You order at the counter and choose a cozy seat by the fire or a sunny table outdoors.

Food was so fresh and yummy. Great Verve coffee and baked goods as well if you want to just stop by for a late day cappuccino outside. Breakfast was popular with French toast and many of the dishes feature artisan bread by Semifreddis which is just the best.

Sunday we had breakfast in the lovely MKT restaurant at the hotel.I Just gorgeous views and it was hard to pull myself away from the cozy window seat in our room too.

Of course couldn't leave the city without a stop at my favorite Gumps, which is just a few blocks away off Union Square.

They already have some holiday gifts out wrapped to go like this darling dish. It's the perfect size for keys or rings and watches.

Gumps always has terrific pumpkins and Halloween decor.

After we made our way to Sacramento Street to check out Serena & Lilly where I am hoping to order a upholstered bed. Loved this style and considering a off white nubby linen fabric. 

Some very neat homes and cute succulents on someone's curb.  Presidio Heights is a lovely neighborhood so if you like pretty homes as well as design and home stores, make a stop here.

So what did I pack? Since it's a warmer month, black jeans and blue jeans plus two fun blouses- the plaid Anthro from my last post that can be dressy for evenings as it's off the shoulder, and this leopard print silk number from Trina Turk I'm crazy about. I also brought a burgundy tank and a black flowered bomber jacket from Target which is a great layering piece. I also had tan booties, suede low wedge sandals that lace up and a pair of Vans for longer walks in the city and a little black moto jacket for warmth at night. A small leather (or pleather) jacket paired with a warm scarf is perfect for San Francisco nights.

Please share your favorite San Francisco spots below. I feel like there is so much in the city I still have to explore!

Happy weekend,



  1. What a fantastic getaway to the city! I have not spent nearly enough time there, and it's about time I'll change that!

    I very much enjoyed this post!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    1. Thanks Andrea, I know we just have begun to plan more time up there. It's so close and an easy weekend away! Have a good week! x

  2. Recently spent five weeks in San Francisco, loved Jane on Filmore for coffee and breakfast, (coffee as good as Australia) also St Frank for coffee,Craftsman and Wolves patisserie. So many excellent restaurants.

    1. Wow I'd love to have have five weeks there. I will check out Jane, St Frank and Craftsman and Wolves. I love Filmore street street! Thanks so much for the recommendations!

  3. YOU get there MORE Then I DO!THANKS for the TOUR Of SFMOMA.I have yet to wander over THAT BRIDGE!

    1. Contessa, I think you would love the MOMA! You are very close and could take BART from where you are!! xo

  4. It looks like you had a fantastic time!! We haven't done the city like that in way too long. I love all your pictures!!
    See you soon.

    1. Jennifer, you and your husband need a getaway up there! Looking forward to seeing you! x

  5. What an amazing getaway Kim and I'm seriously craving a trip to SF soon after reading through your post. You're right, there are so many places in SF to see. Love that you went to the Moma and I think the Grove is so fun too. Some of my favorite spots are Tommy's Mexican Restaurant (on Geary), RN74 on Mission St. if you want something fancy and I always have Philz coffee at some point. (just not after 3pm or it will keep me up all night.) haha. Love what you packed too, I saw that same Target bomber jacket in an ad recently and think it's SO cute!


    1. Dale, Thanks for these tips! I'll check out both Tommy's and RN74! I love Phil too, but it can be quite turbo right? Thanks I picked up that bomber jacket by happenstance on a paper towel run..Love that about Target! xo

  6. We need to do just what you did! Since my daughter moved to the suburbs we never get there anymore. Sounds like you found some great new finds!!

    1. Cindy a weekend is great as you get to enjoy the city a little more. I really loved our hotel too!

  7. What a wonderful weekend with the hubby! Love that off the shoulder top you are wearing! I think you have posted about it before and I think I need to get it! I have to say, Max is such a trooper with all the shopping you do! I don't think my husband would last more than hour. I usually find a spot for him to watch a game with a beer or send him off for a run! I picked up a bunch of great dining and shopping ideas from you! I can't wait for my next jaunt into the city! April xo

    1. April, That Anthro top is my new favorite! I guess I'm ready for fall and plaid, but it's perfect for California 'fall' weather with the off-the-shoulder bit. Honestly, shopping pains my husband greatly so we didn't really shop much except for Gumps, which has so many quirky things he can be sidetracked for a while. In Hayes Valley we loved walking the neighborhood!

  8. Happy Anniversary to you and Max, Kim! What a romantic getaway to SF! We love the city too. I'm going to be there with some girlfriends next month--can hardly wait. I love seeing the redone MOMA from your lens, Kim. Such a fantastic place. I always try to get out to Sacramento Street when I visit SF. Great finds!
    Have a wonderful week!
    xx, Heather

    1. Thanks Heather! Hope you have fun next month. That sounds fun! xo

  9. Great tips! I am pinning some. Thank you!