This weekend my husband and I flew to Northern California for a dear friend’s wedding. I know this must sound completely mundane, but since our children were born we’ve gone on vacation by ourselves only one other time, also for a wedding. On that trip we stayed with family and drove the whole way to save money. This time we threw caution to the wind and flew to San Francisco, rented a car, and stayed in a hotel. It was nothing short of fabulous. My husband took lots of beautiful photographs on a real camera while I clicked away with the hipstamatic app on my i-phone, gleefully shaking my camera between takes to create a variety of retro-ified images.
The wedding was held at 3 p.m. in San Rafael, a small town north of San Francisco. After waking in our quaint hotel room, pictured above, and enjoying the usual continental breakfast, made special by two self-service waffle makers, my husband and I realized we had a whole morning of blissful freedom to enjoy. So we drove north on highway 101 and spent a few hours wandering the streets of the charming city of Petaluma.
My husband readies his camera for the day.
This window display caught my eye. I loved the scarf on the mannequin on the left. The fur vest on the right was made with real rabbit skin. It was incredibly soft.
Inside the store were these beautiful fur bags.
A man paddles is surfboard down the river.
This woman’s boots were so great. I had to take a shot.
Lunch at the Wild Goat Bistro
I had a delicious salad with cheese and dried cherries. My husband had pigs in blanket.
A decorated wall
Then it was time to go.
We sped back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding, and arrived at the venue a few minutes early. The happy event took place outdoors.
And the bride wore red!
I intend to devoted an entire post to the wedding, the handsome groom, the beautiful bride, and the guests, who were all elegantly attired. This is just a sneak peek! And here’s a glimpse of my dress too…
My favorite – candied almonds!
The party was fabulous. After the ceremony there was a delicious meal and a live band playing big band jazz and swing. We danced all evening long.
After brunch with the bride and groom and friends, Hugo and I had some time before our flight back to Los Angeles. We spent a couple of hours at Crissy Field in San Francisco, taking photos and enjoying the beautiful weather.
And then it was time to head home. Although I traveled extensively before my children were born, since 9/11 I have been loathe to fly. I remember “flying the friendly skies” on PSA when I was a child, back when security checks were minimal and my parents could walk me all the way to the gate. My parents both worked but they didn’t have enough money to send me away to camp. As a result, every summer I went to stay with my grandparents in San Francisco. Now it seems crazy and irresponsible, but at the time flying alone as a child was fine. One of the stewardesses would escort me to my seat and fuss over me on the short flight, and my grandmas would be waiting for me at the gate. I honestly have so many happy memories of flying that I’m loathe to add new, less pleasant, experiences.
One of the last time I took an airplane my family was singled out for a special review. I had to take all the clothes off of my then 6 month old son, and one of the security guards passed one of those wands over his diaper to make sure there were no explosives hidden within. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get over the shock. They seem to be more organized at this point, but the process of removing shoes, jewelry, jacket, purse and having everything, including my body, scanned, is still a bit distressing. LAX is not the most traveler-friendly airport. It’s dirty and in the midst of yet another remodel. Perhaps one day getting in line for the security check will not involve going up a flight of stairs, around corners, and down another set of stairs like on some crazy line for an amusement park ride, but right now it’s a mess. I highly recommend avoiding the place if possible.
SFO, San Francisco’s main airport, is another story entirely. It’s such a fabulous, futuristic, travel hub that I felt compelled to take photos on the way home to share the experience. After dropping off our rental car we went up an elevator to the “AirTrain”, an elevated “mono-rail” type shuttle that whisks you from garage to terminal in Jetsons style.
Once in the terminal you are met with an airy space, artwork and relaxing music. Etherial sculptures hang from the ceilings in the main terminal.
In comparison to the security check at LAX, the one in San Francisco was well-organized and almost friendly. Still, we felt that something calming would be nice after the ordeal. A wine bar called to us, and we stopped for a plate of local cheeses and a wine sampler.
Nice, isn’t it?
When I was a kid airplanes were decorated with bright blue tweed and lots of orange and brown plastic. Perhaps some airlines still resemble the one’s I remember, but Virgin America has decided to make air flight seriously chic. The seats are black vinyl and white plastic. The flattering lights are a mix of pink and blue, and there isn’t a touch of orange and brown plaid anywhere. Even the stewardesses are neatly attired in black pencil skirts and white blouses.
Our weekend went by too quickly, but it was really fun. I’ve returned home feeling happy and relaxed. Now it’s back to work!
Did you do anything fun this weekend?