San Francisco, After the Fact

I forgot to include a few details about my trip to San Francisco two weeks ago.


View from my 33rd floor hotel room.








Since this was a work trip, I had to work. A lot. But much of the downtime was spent with my friend K, who happens to be a BFF from high school who’s in the same profession, so when we can, we both attend this conference and share a hotel room. We stay up waaaay too late, catching up.

One more view from our room:


I already posted about eating three meals at The Grove, a local mini-chain with food I love:


Since I’ve been on a healthy eating kick for the past two months, I didn’t eat my way through San Francisco like I usually would. I did have a some excellent bread twice and this was worth the splurge, but I decided to still forego cocktails and all sweets. I only missed them a tiny bit and felt a lot better in the end for skipping the gluttony.

One day I had a short amount of free time and walked to the Ferry Building, where I finally got to try Pressed Juicery (long-time admirer, first time drinker):


After the fact. This was delicious.

Since one of my many nicknames for Trixie is Bumblebee, I love all things apian, like this tea towel I found at a garden outpost in the Ferry Building:


BTW, I also scored this charity shirt (the last one in store!) at a SF J. Crew on a separate occasion:


Back to the Ferry Building: there were at least two more stores worth mentioning. One was Benedetta, a farm-sourced organic skin care line. I really liked their Rose Hydrosol, which is a facial mist (photo from Benedetta).


I’m also a sucker for sampler sets, so this travel-sized Ylang Ylang regimen appealed to me. This isn’t exactly meant for my skin type, but the scent won me over:


The last thing that I bought was a body wash with a scent that’s hard to describe. After I got it home, I thought it smelled like stout. And I mean that in a good way.



The second place that I had to visit was Heath Ceramics. I’d heard high praise for this line for a long time in various design magazines and sites.

The Ferry Building stall isn’t large, but I still spent a long time looking at everything they had on display, finally deciding on a pair of candles:


Walking back to my hotel from the Ferry Building, I spotted a farmer’s market with a gluten-free stand. I brought back two brownies, one for my friend K. and one for Trixie. They both have severe celiac disease, so this was a treat.


Randomly, K. and I were out walking and shopping one night (she needed a dress for her nephew’s wedding this summer and found a great one), and we got a sample of free chips:


Sadly, I didn’t get to try these. K. told me they were good but poison for the breath.

And then the samples kept coming. Score, score, score.

I hit the Neiman Marcus near Union Square because I know they carry Aerin cosmetics in-store. Aerin is seriously hard to find.

I previously purchased some Aerin there in 2012, shortly after the line’s launch, and I really liked the lip gloss.

The Aerin line is very edited, and there are only two glosses available now. They’re called Weekday and Weekend, and I got them both.


Weekend (left) and Weekday (right).

The texture is smooth and they’re slightly rose-scented. The colors are subtle and pretty. Total wins.

Since it was close to Mother’s Day, there was also a lip balm and hand cream set in a pretty case. I don’t have a photo of this, but at $60, it was a good deal since these normally retail for $48 (bag) + $28 (lip balm) + $40 (hand cream) = $116.

But … wait for it! The salesperson at the Aerin counter – and no joke, I still remember her from 2012; she is so sweet and helpful – absolutely showered us with free samples:


I felt like I’d won the freebie lottery. 

A parting shot:



See you next time, San Francisco!

Egg and Avocado Toast

I’m wrapping up a work trip to San Francisco – waiting in the airport as I type – and had to post about the most fabulous breakfast ever.

On my last trip to SF two years ago I stumbled upon a local mini-chain called The Grove (, adding links is wonky on my mobile device, sorry!).

This place was right around the corner from my hotel and serves EXACTLY what I like to eat, no matter what time of day.

Fast forward to this trip: different hotel but same neighborhood, and being a creature of habit, I went back to The Grove every day I was in town.

Yesterday I had to do a work event (book signing; did I mention my group wrote a book?) and give a lunchtime talk for an hour and a half, which meant my usual morning routine of just coffee wasn’t going to cut it for most of the day.

I headed to The Grove for some breakfast fuel and had goat cheese and basil scrambled eggs with a side of rosemary potatoes, and it totally hit the spot.

Today I squeaked in one more visit before my cross country flight home.


Decisions, decisions!

Should I not mess with success and have the scramble again or branch out to something new?

This menu item caught my eye:


What made me hesitate is that while I am overall a lousy cook, I make a decent avocado toast and didn’t want to be disappointed.

I ordered it anyway.


Within one bite, I knew that this avocado toast forever shamed my version. It was heaven.

The sourdough toast was rubbed with olive oil and lemon, topped with avocado and then finished with two perfect poached eggs and those fabulous Rosemary potatoes on the side.

The whole thing was easily smashed into a delicious mess.

I ate every bite.

P.S. Here’s a picture of the inside of the restaurant, which is funky and charming.


Homeward bound!

Pop Out San Francisco

Spouse’s sister S. has lived in San Francisco for about 15 years, and she sent this great gift to Trixie for her sixth birthday.



It’s a sturdy cardboard playset of San Francisco landmarks that kids can assemble.

It’s adorable and reminds me of Muji’s New York in a Bag, one of the best and most affordable souvenirs ever.


Only $18!

Construction only took about five minutes, but the fun went on and on.

FullSizeRender-5 IMG_6066



Location, Location, Location

If you’ve ever visited San Francisco, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the iconic “Painted Ladies.”



As you may imagine, these houses don’t come up on the real estate market too often. The last one sold was a decade ago.

Until now.

The green house on the far left – the anchor, if you will – sold recently for $3.1 million, $900k below its original asking price.

Don’t feel too bad about the fire sale pricing. The owner bought the house in 1975 for $65k, so no matter how you do the math, I think he’s coming out ahead.

A story about the sale appears here.