San Francisco Getaway: Gorillas, Tory Burch Bags, and Reindeer

Each year, around Christmas, we take a couple of days and head to San Francisco to enjoy Union Square all decked out for the holidays, to warm up a bit, to see the puppies in the Macy's window, and to eat way too much delicious food. The last few times, we've gone as a family, but this year, it was just Ron and I. We desperately needed a little grown up time away, and it didn't disappoint.

Intercontinental Hotel - San Francisco - Christmas Tree

When we first started traveling together, eighteen years ago, we used to argue because I'd make comments like, "I'd love to come back here, alone, and walk around the cemetery." And then I'd be grumpy because I wasn't alone and couldn't just see what stories all those headstones told. Can't really blame the guy for getting a little annoyed with me.

Somewhere along these years, we figured out that what I really need is time built in for me to wander around, exploring, by myself. It doesn't need to be  a ton of time, but it's necessary. I set out with my bag over my shoulder, my comfy walking shoes on my feet, and feel eighteen again. Free, with the possibility of anything ahead of me. It's wonderful. In reality, I just walk the city streets, shop a bit, have a nice lunch, browse a bookstore, take some photos, people watch. But I return refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to be a couple again. It's one of the things I most appreciate, now, about Ron. That he understands. That he sends me off on my adventures with a smile and is there, ready to hear my stories, when I return. 

And I also so appreciate that we enjoy the same, simple, things. A new restaurant, a walk along the water, a good movie, happy dogs chasing things. That neither of us wants to be out late, that we both like a modern hotel and a good nap. It's easy to forget how well we really do get along in the day-to-day treadmill of home-school-work-home. Of Chloe, work, and everything else coming first, and our time together way down on the list. Date nights are fine, but going away for a couple of days, just two, adds up to much more.

So, San Francisco, you beautiful city you...

A beautiful walk around Fort Mason, and a few stairs...

Fort Mason - San Francisco

This beauty...

Fort Mason - San Francisco

Sailboats. The best part was the "Dock Dog on Duty" sign (didn't get photos, darn) and the Dock Dog himself, regally keeping guard, resting in the sun on the slats. Have to settle for a photo of the boats and fill in the red and white staffy with your imagination.

Sailboats - San Francisco - NowThisLife.com

The street vendors always remind me of my dad. He and his girlfriend would drop me and her three kids off to walk around the earring and art stalls while they hung out at the Buena Vista drinking Bloody Marys. I cannot even imagine parents doing that now...probably we should! The bar is still there on the same corner, but not too many vendors in that area. These happy faces live in Union Square instead.

Street Vendors - San Francisco

Neiman's tree. Simple this year, but definitely grand. Overheard some ladies bemoaning the fact that their daughters want bags that cost more than they spend on themselves. The saleswoman directed them to the "less expensive" Tory Burch section. Apparently one daughter has earned the nickname "fancypants." Wonder where she's learned that from?

Neiman Marcus - San Francisco - Christmas Tree

Have you seen the Neiman Marcus/Target collaboration? Kinda fun. Especially this bike...

Neiman Marcus - Target - Bike - NowThisLIfe.com

A beautiful afternoon at the zoo. Vixen made a surprise appearance.

San Francisco Zoo - Reindeer - NowThisLife.com

And so did Aslan.

San Francisco Zoo - Lion - NowThisLIfe.com

Velvety Floyd. Open house at the Giraffe barn at 3:45. Close up viewing of three beauties feasting on Acacia. Such gorgeousness.

San Francisco Zoo - Giraffe - Floyd - NowThisLife.com

From a cast of a late Silverback gorilla.

San Francisco Zoo - Gorilla Hand - NowThisLife.com

And here's the current king, Oscar, keeping vigilant watch. A line of people stood behind glass directly in front of him. They watched him watch them. A standoff.

San Francisco Zoo - Silverback Gorilla - Oscar

And just because I always have to take a photo of a flower, this unidentified lady.

San Francisco Zoo - Flower

And that's not even to mention the bridges and the painted ladies and the views and the sunshine. Here's to getaways with people you love..may there be one in your near future. And may it hold many happy moments.

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