MinotiVaishnav's Travel Journals

MinotiVaishnav Minoti Vaishnav

What do you want to do the next time you travel abroad?

learn a language, study abroad, work with the environment, experience a new culture through studying, go sightseeing, play tourist, spend a holiday abroad, meet new people, gain professional experience, make some money, change the world [somehow], adventure travel

  • 30 years old
  • From Mumbai, India
  • Currently in California, United States

Frisco Diary

Articles from United States California, United States | Mar 26, 2010

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  Published in Verve Magazine - (c) 2008.  

Frisco diary

Day 1

1pm Fairy tale Beginning

“San Francisco is a magical place,” my neighbour once proclaimed. “It’s one of those places you can’t visit just once.” These were the words resounding through my mind as I looked out of the window while driving down the Bay Bridge. After six hours on the road, San Francisco did look like a modern fairy tale and when we wound through Union Square, the women in designer clothes and the posh stores glinting in the sunlight seemed like a California-version of New York City – high rises, high fashion and high society. And that was to be my place in society this weekend, as we pulled up in front of the grand Taj Campton Place.

2pm Shrub Stilettos and Japanese Tea

With Angela Jackson, from the San Francisco Conven-tion and Visitors Bureau, we hopped on board the Super Sightseeing tour bus, kick-starting the journey at the Fisherman’s Wharf, which was to become our landmark for this weekend. Careening through the rest of the town, zipping past The Grace Cathedral (a cathedral that looks like someone copy-pasted the Notre Dame in Paris into San Francisco), the Golden Gate Park, where we strolled through the immaculately maintained and absolutely lovely Japanese Tea Gardens and of course the Golden Gate Bridge, the location for many romantic films and starry-eyed sequences. Not to forget the shoe garden we stumbled upon – like the name proclaims, a garden where plants were growing out of shoes!

7pm Sushi, Sashimi and Jazz

Ready to paint the town a multitude of colours, we put on our dancing shoes for dinner at one of San Francisco’s hottest new restaurants, Yoshi’s with probably the best Japanese fare in town. It promised to be a surreal evening of sultry jazz, suave moves and a satiated palate. As the music stayed with us all night, I could barely sigh with contentment and respond to the, ‘More, shrimp and tuna sushi, anyone?’

Day 2

6am Salsa de Breakfast

We took off for an ambitious breakfast at Ferry Building with epicurean concierge, Lisa Rogovin. Lisa, who has been all over the world in her quest to discover and taste great cuisine, including Tellycherry in Kerala, regaled us with a tale of how she once endured an overnight train journey in a train in south India, as we sat overlooking the bay and tucking into a zesty breakfast of Mexican tostadas and cranberry juice. It is definitely not a myth that some of the best Mexican food is to be found in Cailfornia!

8am Farm Fresh

Strolling through the farmer’s market outside the Ferry building – a place that looked fresh and inviting, through one of the few places you would want to be at unearthly hours on a chilly morning. It didn’t take us long to embark on an enthusiastic and culinary experience of chocolate, bread and cheese tasting. The freshest baked bread, gourmet cheese and extra virgin olive oil, the finest chocolates from Recchuiti and Sherfen Berger and pastries from Miette patisserie formed inordinately good company, lending comforting warmth to our souls.

10am Winding Walkabout

Wandering around this enchanting city, one lane led to another and before we realised it, we had covered a great deal of touristy ground including Nob Hill (think Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo), the crooked Lombard Street, which made us feel just a wee bit dizzy, Union Square, Chinatown and North Beach, ending up with the famous clam chowder and crabs of Fisherman’s Wharf, followed by a quick peek into the San Francisco Aquarium, where petting the starfish was extremely tempting. Pier 39 was a great way to end the afternoon perusing the various stores, catching the live performances and of course, the underwater world.

6pm Frisco by night

In our best Sunday halter dresses, we took off on the Hornblower Yacht ‘City by the Bay’ cruise that was rocking – with a live band on board and spectacular views of the city by night. The fog swept in and we serenaded our last starry night. As we raised our wine glasses to toast San Francisco, the city glittered with a promise of more excitement to come.

Day 3

10am A spa for the road

There was no better way to start on the long journey back than with a generous dollop of relaxation at the Nob Hill Spa. Replete with an indoor pool, a steam and sauna room as well as a lounge for relaxation, it was the perfect end to a delightful weekend. Armed with freshly baked muffins, we could no longer ignore that fact that the I-80 Freeway beckoned. As I turned around to get one last glimpse of the skyline, I realised that my neighbour was right. This was just the beginning....

Tags: San Francisco , California , Golden Gate Bridge , Union Square , Haight-Ashbury , Nob Hill , Yoshi , North Beach Lombard Street , Fisherman's Wharf

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