Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lordy Lordy......

.......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.


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.

When you walked in the door the vanity/walk in closet area was to the left:

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

"A vacation is like love - anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia." ~ Author Unknown


  1. Looks and sounds like a nice time. Fantastic pictures all.
    Around here a birthday celebration for me is, wake up to a birthday card, go to work, come home and eat favorite food, open a present (maybe) go to bed hoping for what won't happen, then fall asleep. Your just entering the forties and I'm soon to be leaving them.
    Happy thoughts ;)

  2. Looks like a pretty nice place though quite a hike from the Powell St. BART station. Looking forward to your explorations. I've spent quite a bit of time in that area on multiple business trips. Great place to wander around especially if you like to shop.

  3. Trobairitz:

    sounds like you had a nice romantic weekend, in a romantic city. A few years ago we also stayed in a hotel about a block from Union Square. It was really small and we also walked everywhere. that was when I had legs that could walk. I even remember walking down Lombard Street and through Chinatown.

    Happy belated Birthday. Hope you bring back lots of memories and photos

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. Hey!!!! 40 years young - warmest congratulations. So glad that you had such a great time - terrific company, terrific food and a great location; what more could you want?

    Loved the food shots and those pillows are great but I wouldn't dare push my luck.

    Shanks for sharing!

  5. the new 30! Great to see you getting out to celebrate it, happy birthday.!!

  6. Happy belated Birthday! The big zero had to happen sometimes. San Francisco is always a great getaway. I will be headed there soon, too. Your hotel reminds me of the Arundel Mansion in New Westminster where I stayed when I started my new job in BC. I used the elevator once, got stuck, and never used it again although I had a room on the 4th floor, and stuff to carry...

  7. Trobairitz:

    I just have to ask,

    "Did Troubador go through the Green Door ?"

    Riding the Wet Coast

  8. @Wooley - Thank you, we always think happy thoughts. Birthdays are not usually a big deal for us, little fuss if any is ever made, but for each of our 40ths we decided to do something nice.

    @Richard - it was quite a hike from the BART but only because we aren't used to those hills. We aren't big on shopping, but I did manage to haggle for a few sparkly baubles at one of the jewelry stores in Chinatown.

    @Bobskoot - thank you, we did bring back a lot of memories and photos. We took just over 1000 photos in all - we must have been channeling you on some level. And no Troubadour didn't go into the green door - although with all of the walking we did Saturday he may have wanted to.

    @Geoff - thank you- aren't the pillow covers great? I just had to stop and take a picture through the window.

    @Raftnn - thank you - we have to get out of Oregon every once in a while just to see how everyone else lives and to remind us there's no place like home.

    @SonjaM - Thank you - you will have fun in SF. The weather is great this time of year. I always take the stairs instead of the elevator. Just more convenient. I figure if I stop taking the stairs eventually I won't be able to take them.

    @Nikos - I agree. Somehow life just gets better.

  9. Happy Birthday!
    Looks like a fun trip! I love your hotel. Beautiful, and so much character! The elevator is very cool, though I'm with you with regards to using the stairs. :)

    Nice series of photos from your walk. I love the colorful lanterns - so cheerful! I like the funky little pillow cartoons too. Funny!

  10. Happy Birthday! Does this mean 41 will be in Victoria?

    it looks like you had a good birthday, the Japanese food looked yummy. The pictures are so colorful. I hope we get tomseenpictures of Saturday's events.

    Happy Birthday again!

  11. Well, Looks like a pretty good place though quite a hike from the Powell St. BART station. Looking forward to your explorations. I've spent quite a bit of time in that area on multiple business trips. Great place to wander around especially if you like to shop.
    high vis clothing

  12. @Bluekat - thank you for the birthday wishes. The hotel was great, we really enjoyed it.

    @Dar - thank you too for the birthday wishes. And no, no traveling for the 41st. Maybe for our 50th, we enjoy day trips and one night overnighters in our state too much to travel too far too often. I will be posting up about Saturdays and Sundays events, just haven't got there yet. Was out on the bikes all day yesterday.

    @Jilly - thank you for stopping by. I checked out your blog. You do not have a single post even though you signed up in April. Please tell me you didn't post just to advertise your website for safety vests........because if you did, that is just uncool.

  13. Happy Birthday! What a great weekend for a special getaway. (As I am currently hunkered down in a wonderful cabin tucked away in the North Georgia mountains right on a creek and the rain is making the best sounds on the metal roof.)

    Hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend!

  14. Late, as usual, I offer my own birthday wishes to you. Been enjoying the SF posts so far. Glad there's at least one more on the way.

  15. Trob,

    You got to see a lot more of SanFran than I did. I only flew through there, one night in a crummy hotel room with 6 other people, half of whom had taken sleeping pills to cope with the flight, had not fallen asleep, and were producing some interesting commentary.

    I hadn't really thought about going back, but maybe I will. Looks like it's worth all the fuss. At least you two seem to enjoy it.

    By the way Trob, where are you from originally?

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  16. @BeemerGirl - Thank you, can't wait to hear about your adventures in the cabin.

    @Irondad - Thank you too. Late is okay, it is the thought that counts. There are several more posts on the way as we crammed a lot into our weekend.

    @Brady - Doesn't sound like you had a great experience in SF. We had a lot of fun and are thinking of going back one day as we didn't see all we wanted too. Ran out of time. I was born in Coos Bay, Oregon. You probably rode through there on your way South on Highway 101. It is South of Florence. I was raised in British Columbia, Canada though. My mom remarried and we moved up there and I was there for 25 years. Raised and educated in the Okanagan Valley of BC before moving back to Oregon in 2001.