Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas In The City

Three years ago, my mom and I decided to start a tradition of going to San Francisco during the holidays for some Christmas shopping.  A local elementary school charters a bus and for only $25 a person, we get transportation to SF, a light breakfast and a light meal on the way home.  This is a GREAT deal, just for the fact that we do not have to use our own gas or navigate through the busy streets.

Ready to head out to San Francisco!

If you've ever been to San Francisco, you know that it is a magical city any time of year, but during Christmas, it is definitely spectacular.

This past Saturday was our shopping day!!  We got dropped off at the Hotel St. Francis by Union Square, took some pictures by their huge, beautiful Christmas tree and headed off to Williams-Sonoma for some window shopping.  This year we spent a good hour in there.  I always feel so inspired while walking through W-S.

Loved this theme tree!

My favorite from W-S.

My mom wanted to take all this home...too bad it wouldn't fit on the bus!

Our next stop was Crate & Barrel, our FAVORITE stop of the trip.  The first year we went, we bought everything we wanted in the morning, then had to carry huge bags all over.  Last year we got smart and started going in the morning to scope out what they had, then head back later before the bus came to pick us up, to do our actual buying.

Is this the elf elevator??

Loved this dining set

We then made our way to Mo'z Cafe for some lunch.  I had looked up some places on Yelp, and once I saw the name "Mo" I knew we had to try it out.  Both my mom & I got the French Dip with a salad.  It was delicious!  We agreed that it was just enough food to fill us up, but not make us feel overstuffed.

The Westfield Mall was next, and we wandered around for about 2 hours, making only one big purchase at The Body Shop.  It's nice to just walk the mall and see all the festive decorations.

We were beginning to slow down a bit, but headed back up to Union Square to hit Macy's.  I think there's 7 or 8 stories in this Macy's...heaven!  We started on the basement level by grabbing a drink at Jamba Juice and taking a few minutes to relax off of our feet.  I got my energy back when I saw all the fun kitchen stuff!  I even bought an Herb Mill with part of a Macy's gift card I had been saving for a year or 2.  I saw the same Herb Mill at Williams-Sonoma {and got to try it there, too!} and knew I had to have it.  I can take all my fresh herbs and grind them over soups, salads, sauces, etc.  Best $20 I have spent this month!

After Macy's we headed across the street to take pictures as the sun was setting.

We noticed a gathering of people, and as we approached, we saw people holding all sorts of signs supporting whatever their cause was.  There was a lady on a makeshift stage talking about staying out of Africa, while we saw some "Occupy" signs, some for Haiti support, and this sign was our favorite {and most amusing}.


After that excitement, we headed to Victoria's Secret, where I used a gift card I've had for 5 years.  Can you tell I have issues with using gift cards?

It was almost time to be picked up, so we went back to the hotel.  My mom wanted to take a picture with all of our goods.  ***Please note - not ALL of these bags are mine....this warning is mostly for my husband, since I know he reads my blog.***

Every year, once the bus is loaded, we got to Treasure Island to get pictures of the City in all its lit up glory.  With having a new camera, I am still trying to get used to the settings, so I didn't get any great night time photos, but trust me, SF at night is a sight to be seen.

I was COLD!!

On the way home, we enjoyed a filling dinner and the Jim Carrey movie "Mr. Popper's Penguins."  Very cute if you have small children in your life.

And, just like THAT, our Christmas trip to San Francisco was over with.  We'd been looking forward to it since September, and I am sad that it went by so quickly.  Out of the 3 times we have done this trip, this time was the best by far and I loved getting to spend some quality time with my mom.

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