On a recent trip to San Francisco I found myself spending the majority of my free time wandering up and down Union Street. Sampling the treats, exploring the cute hidden shops, perusing the incredible antique stores… It was the perfect lazy Saturday afternoon. A few things that caught my eye and I cannot wait to see again:
We stepped into this darling little bakery owned by two brothers to grab a bottle of water and ended up chowing down on the best cream puff I’ve had since my mom made her first and last attempt at creating home-made cream puffs over 15 years ago (more recent versions have sadly ended up being the Costco-bought frozen variety). Pacific Puffs located on Union Street is owned and operated by two brothers who noticed an abundance of cupcake joints popping up and decided to utilize Grannie’s tried-but-true Cream Puff recipes resulting in a cute little joint with simply 6 different types of puffs. Suggestion: the “Classic Puff” consisting of a freshly baked choux pastry puff filled with a light and sweet mixture of vanilla custard and whipped cream, then topped with a thick chocolate glaze. Mmmm.
Market flower shops literally adorn every single corner along Union Street, and the selections are always lovely.
By far some of the yummiest fish tacos I have ever had from Nettie’s Crab Shack in San Francisco – it was the two different types of salsa that made these oh-so-delish. Although my all-time favorite still remains: the grilled fish tacos from Pier 46 Seafood in Templeton, CA.
Scrumptious little “Christopher Elbow” Lemon Marmalade chocolate topped with a White Chocolate Lemon Ganache by artisan chocolate company Cocoa Bella. There was so many to choose from it was hard to pick just one.
Fell in love with this lone green bench overlooking the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Until next time San Francisco.
It dawned on me after recently visiting Las Vegas why LUXE City Guides (the ultimate guide for the sophisticated traveler… and a chic addition to any bookshelf) has not developed a Sin City edition; the city is in a perpetual state of evolution that it would likely need to be reprinted on a yearly basis.
I make the voyage to Las Vegas several times a year and continue to be impressed and amazed with the collection of fabulous eateries, shops, watering holes and late night hot spots that spring up.
So rather than compile a little black book I have chosen to compile a little gold book dedicated to chronicling the glamorous and glittering experiences of various locales. Here are a few new Sin City favorites:
Sip: Stop into Laguna Champagne Bar on the casino floor in the Palazzo and delight yourself with a Flower Eclipse. The combination of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Fresh Lemon Juice and Moet & Chandon “Nectar” Champagne is truly divine!
[Possibly one of the sweetest hand-drawn menus I have ever come across]
[Even the plates are adorned with the same whimsical doodling from the menu!]
Relish: Dive into the famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3 located on the strip – this overindulgent dish is concocted with 20 different types of chocolate spun into a whimsy of rich, chocolatey delight. FYI – totally big enough to share and seriously tastes like hot cocoa!
[Instantly fell in love with the hat on the left]
[Vintage sparkly duds – so appropriate for Vegas]
Spend: Peruse the fab vintage-filled racks at Annie Creamcheese (what a darling name!?). One could easily spend hours in this place!
Curling up with a good book, long walks along the back country roads (the kind that make your calves burn the following morning), exploring the coves via kayak, hot cocoa overlooking the water. These are just a few things I adore about our local lake, Lake Nacimiento on the outskirts of Paso Robles. What’s more to adore? A quaint, little bungalow to escape to (courtesy of my parents). Below is a short compiling of the few details that make Lake Nacimiento such a special place to visit.
If you cannot tell from the “hot cocoa” picture above, the lake is rather full and a GREAT summer is in the forecast. Start planning you trip now to Lake Nacimiento!
Driving on the sand in Pismo Beach, CA (the only state beach you can drive your vehicle onto) was an imperative component to growing up on the Central Coast – and something we did on a weekly basis as teenagers. As an adult, ample free time becomes an issue, but when permitted it is so much fun!
- Bella (our darling mini dachshund) enjoying the drive.
- Gorgeous Saturday at Pismo!
Do: Rent a sand buggy or ATV for the afternoon and enjoy the 5 ½ miles of open beach/sand to play.
Eat: Splash Café on Pomeroy Avenue in Pismo Beach for the best local clam chowder!
Shop: Moondoggies Beach Club on Dolliver Street and Pancho’s Surf Shop on Pomeroy for the best surf and skate apparel.
Relax: Head up the road and enjoy a relaxing spa treatment from Le Bonne Vie Spa at Dolphin Bay Resort.
There is nothing I enjoy more than a quick vacation with a dash of adventure and camping always delivers! I arrived near the Mexican border today, husband and mini dachshund in tow, more than ready to sit outside, catch up on my favorite reads, listen to some music and play.
Bella (our darling mini dachshund) posing in the desert
This certainly will not be the most glamorous V-Day vacation (camping typically never is) but I have packed the essentials to get me through:
- My choice fashion and lifestyle magazines (I rarely have time enough for books and routinely only scan the magazines during my late night workouts) including the latest editions of Elle (Keira Knightley’s outfit on the cover is so classically menswear chic) and Santa Barbara Magazine (covering everything lifestyle from one of my beloved local cities).
- iPod nano (a recent stocking stuffer and in the loveliest metallic hot pink). Currently enjoying Ingrid Michaelson and Colbie Caillat. Definitely Black Eyed Peas with a little Aerosmith once we are out playing in the sand.
- Havaianas for day and Uggs for night. A must for camping in a barren desert known for outlandishly hot days and freezing nights. Takken’s in downtown San Luis Obispo is my destination for anything Ugg.
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch 100+ Sunblock! I’m in the desert…no shade…need I say more?
- Cheap and overly fruity Italian sparkling wine from Martini & Rossi Asti (only $11 at Vons and sweet enough for us to both enjoy…plus it’s Valentine’s Day weekend)!
- Ray-Ban Cats are my go-to sunglasses for camping (frankly they are my go-to sunglasses for any occasion). The Cats are similar to the Wayfarer style but a little slimmer on the sides, larger in the frame and stunning in my opinion.
Four days and three nights in the desert…mmmm. Definitely no SJP but still loving it!
Sex and the City 2 - Desert Oasis - They all look down right fabulous!