.......look who's 40.
It has been mentioned before that I would be turning 40 soon. Well, last Friday on the 26th was the day. When Troubadour turned 40 last January we made a weekend trip to Las Vegas. This year we thought it would be fun to either go to Victoria or San Francisco. I chose San Francisco.
Back in June we researched hotels and also found a great deal on airfare to save us from driving. We booked a nice room at the White Swan Inn. An English Style Boutique Hotel owned by the Joie de Vivre Company. It describes itself on their website as follows: "With the ambience of an English country inn, the White Swan Inn is a romantic and atmospheric bed and breakfast in the heart of San Francisco."
We also reserved airfare with Allegiant which meant we'd fly from Eugene to Oakland and have to take a shuttle and the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) into San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO EXTRAVAGANZA - DAY ONE
Friday arrived and we were able to sleep in and take our time getting to Eugene - the closest airport for flying anywhere of note. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 2:15 pm so we knew if we made it to the airport by noon we'd be fine. We stopped at Starbucks here in town for a birthday latte and headed out.
We arrived in Eugene almost an hour early so figured we'd best find something to eat as it was going to be a long afternoon. We decided to try a sushi place that our friend Tim previously recommended called Izumi Sushi & Grill.
We each ordered a lunch special Bento box.
(Troubadour had the Fish Katsu - breaded snapper)
(and I had the Teriyaki Tofu)
It was pretty tasty. With our bellies full we headed to the airport. Found parking, received our boarding passes, breezed through security and sat down to wait. The incoming plane arrived on time, but there was a problem with a light on the landing gear indicator so we had a half hour delay while a mechanic was called to change the bulb. We ended up arriving in Oakland an hour late but it was without incident.
We found the shuttle, and figured out the ticket machines at the BART station. I was smart enough to print out our directions before we left home and had it all in a file folder in the carry-on. We got off the BART at the Powell Street Station and proceeded to walk a few blocks uphill to the hotel.
Check in was also easy and we arrived in our room on the 4th floor. Well, they call it the 4th, I call it the 3rd. They were calling it 4th because they were including the basement dining area.
(Our room was to the right of the fire escape -middle set of windows)
We reserved a luxury king room, so it had a separate vanity/walk in closet area as well as a nice gas fireplace.
And to the right was the restroom:
A little further into the room and the mini kitchen was to the right:
And the gas fireplace was to the left in the great room/bedroom:
There was also a wall of windows but the picture didn't turn out great because of the backlighting. The room felt almost as big as our whole house.
Because we'd made it to the hotel in time for the evening hoers d’oeuvres in the parlor, we headed down. We caught the tail end, which meant a few slices of baguette, some veggies and a little bit of artichoke dip. They were nice and put out a wedge of Havarti and a wedge of Swiss so this, added to a cup of coffee, supplemented our snacking. After relaxing in our room for a bit and perusing the handy map provided by the front desk we decided to go for a walk and maybe find a place for a late dinner. We decided to take the elevator as we'd read online about it. It is still the original one with the sliding doors and cage.
For the rest of our visit we only took the stairs. Gluttons for punishment we are. That and they were quicker than waiting for the elevator.
We ended up walking through Chinatown. Well actually it was just a portion of it. Stores were mostly still open selling knickknacks and other things. We saw a lot of souvenirs and San Francisco t-shirts for sale. There were quite a few restaurants open but after having sushi for lunch we thought we'd wait and see what else we could find.
We took a few pictures as we wandered.....
We eventually wandered back towards Union Square. Being Friday night it was quite busy. Macy's has a Cheesecake Factory on the 8th floor so we thought about stopping for some birthday dessert. They have a special elevator to take you right to the restaurant. Unfortunately the line was huge and my patience was wearing thin by the time we arrived, about 10 pm. We decided to meander back to the hotel and eat a few almonds we'd brought with us.
The hotel was nice and provided cans of soda and bottled water complimentary in the little fridge in our room. Very nice since most hotels charge for those types of things. They also have complimentary homemade cookies in the lobby area every day; a different variety each evening.
We snatched a few cookies and made our way back to the room. Took a nice hot shower and headed to bed anticipating a busy Saturday........
- Au Revoir