Yearly, I enjoy visiting San Francisco to see for myself what has changed and what is new. After a long absence, I’ve begun a seasonal visit at Christmastime at the behest of my youngest daughter.
Late in the day on Saturday, we hauled the ornaments out of the garage. As it warmed on Sunday morning, the boys trimmed the street-side trees in the yard. Owen is unsure about how to proceed, tinsel first?
He decided to tackle the tinsel.
It’s a tricky job for little guys.
We arrived in San Francisco hungry, quickly taken care of by a bounteous meal at a Moroccan restaurant, Tajine on Polk St. The appetizers, a pickled beet, egg and cucumber salad, with Arab bread to dunk in olive oil and a chicken pastry, beautifully served and both delicious. The boys both ordered chicken kabobs with french fries.
Virginia chose sausages with couscous, and my lamb and prune tajine (stew)-excellent. We educated the boys about Morocco, the rock of Gibraltar and the Arabic style of eating at a table with cushions, and without silverware.
Our waiter commented on the boys good manners and pleased all of us.
We had plenty of time to do some sight-seeing around town before and after the Dickens Christmas Carol staged at the Opera House. We watched the ice skaters under the ferry building clock that stopped at the moment the 1906 earthquake struck, one of the few survivors.
The gold enhanced cupola of the San Francisco City Hall.
Winking mask sculpture with worn paint from the tiny feet and hands of curious children.
The boys enjoyed the many musicians and the break dancers performing impossible double jointed moves.
The cable cars were all decked out for Christmas…
…as was the rest of the city. We enjoyed the tree on Union Square. The boys ate roasted chestnuts and decided they are “just okay.” But, hey. It’s a tradition of Christmas because of a song.
One building has a three story-plus Christmas tree in the window. I believe it is a Nordstroms, now, but to me it will always be the City Of Paris building. I hadn’t seen it in many years and it was a highlight for me to visit once more, despite the changes. At one time one could walk around and around the building and view the tree on every side. Now you take an elevator or escalator to each floor.
I caught our reflection in one of the gigantic balls.
I remember a time when you could walk from window to window on Macy’s block and see a continuous animated display in each window. This was it! One animated window. Businesses, and the city as well, started being practical about Christmas decorations years ago, but the memory of the splendors past will stay with me. It was a delight to go and be reminded.
Somehow, we never tire of great Dickens classic that feeds us our dole of repentance and faith that we too, if need be, can turn our lives around.