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Trip Report - December 2012

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Melbourne, Florida
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Trip Report - December 2012

Been so busy since returning from our two week holiday, I am just now finding my way back to the fantastic memories and would like to share our experiences.

Five glorious days spend in the city of SF as listed:

Arrived via Amtrak's California Zepher (fantastic experience!) on Wednesday the 13th. Some bad information from the shuttle driver had us dropped off about seven blocks from our hotel.... up the hill. We stood out with each of us toting two brand new brightly colored red overstuffed suitcases, standing confused at a busy intersection not knowing where to go. With a little help from a nice man looking to be compensated for his directions, we drug our bags to The Inn at Union Square and had a good laugh once we arrived into the lobby.

Lodging: The Inn at Union Square - We were happy with our choice of our hotel, as it is centrally located to where we wanted to be, the staff was friendly/professional, and we really liked our room with the fireplace. They offer a nice continental breakfast, happy hour in the evenings, and cookies mid afternoon. We were especially happy with our housekeeping service. Our room was super clean and anytime we wanted more wood for our fireplace she made sure we had an extra. People should really tip their housekeepers when they travel (if they get good service) because these hard working ladies made so little and tips go a long way to encourage them. It is our practice when we travel and we feel it is money well spent.

The Rex - My brothers choose to stay at here because they liked having a bar with music in the lobby. But it was quite crowded and loud the two times we visited, and wasn't what we were looking for in a hotel, they seemed to enjoy that property. They paid more than we did for our room, but I guess it boils down to personal preference.

Hotel Kabuki - our daughter and her husband choose to stay here and loved it. They walked the ten to twelve blocks to reach us in the Union Station section but felt it was worth it.

The Argonaut - this was our last night in the city, just the two of us, and a good choice for several reasons. Loved our room with a view of the bay and Alcatraz.. The staff at the hotel were so friendly and helpful, and the location was where we wanted to be the last evening of our trip.

We took two tours of the city that we enjoyed very much; City by the Bay Tour, and a tour to Muir Woods. I would recommend both, as they are small vans and we had more personal attention. We got an overview of the city and learned things we would not have known otherwise.

The food - oh my! Loved our dining experiences!! Fino's did not disappoint, but we your really do need reservations because they fill up quickly. We were very lucky to get a table (just the two of us) since we arrived early for dinner. Once seated, the place was packed out. We loved our food, and the waiter was exceptional.

Scalas Bistro was perfect for our group of six. We had a reservation and scored the perfect round table off to the corner where we could have conversation w/o shouting to be heard. Everyone ordered something different and we all loved what we ate. Service was spot on. It was our first meal in the city, and we are still talking about it.

Sears Fine dining is more of a diner, but we liked it so much we ate there twice. Just good food.

Fog Harbor was not a place we really planned on going to, it just worked out that way, but the food was pretty good, the view was great, and we had a lot of fun there.

Dotties was okay for breakfast one morning, but the food was just average diner type fare, the wait was way too long, and the service was lacking.

Yank Sing was the highlight of our dining experiences. It was unlike anything we had ever know before. The ladies with the carts were pushing the most delicious small items and we could not refuse them! We ate too much, spent too much, and laughed really hard at how quick they were and how confusing it was to make decisions for a group of six. None the less, it was an experience I would love to repeat.! To us, it was a delightful way to spend a late lunch the last day in the city.

I was disappointed that It just didn't work out for us to catch a trolly, although we tried a few times. It was easier to walk,... and walk we did! Surprisingly, our feet were not sore. We did, however, hale three cabs during our stay and each one was very knowledgeable of their city and it was a pleasure to chat them up a bit.

We enjoyed our time spent in the city square watching the folks ice skate, walking into Neiman Marcus, Williams and Sonoma, and other shops in that area of town. Very surprising of the homeless people who are allowed right outside the doors of establishments though, begging. I guess each city has different ordinances related to that.

We also enjoyed walking along the waters edge, people watching. The Ferry Building was awesome! It was difficult to manage six people with different ideas of where they wanted to go and what they wanted to see, with the building so crowded. We all did manage to grab a cup of coffee at The Blue Bottle (not all that special, as it turns out), but fun non the less.

Santa Con was going on one of the days were were there - what a hoot that was - loved it !!!

We really loved the weather when we visited, and the energy of the city, and mostly the holiday decorations all over.

I look forward to a return trip with just my husband. So much to do - so many places to eat - such a lovely place to vacation!!

I am so thankful for the people that post questions and those that love the city enough to take the time to guide us through for the answers. The time spent helped me plan my vacation and I just had to try to give back by posting a review of my experiences. Sorry it is so long!

Cheers!

X

Down Under
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1. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

Wow, you guys were spread all over town but it all seems to have worked for you.

I love your description of Yank Sing. Obviously one of those experiences you will never forget.

Glad you enjoyed Fino's it is one of our favourite places as well.

Start planning the next trip.

Thanks for the great report.

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2. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

Glad you had such a great trip and thanks for your review!

San Francisco
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3. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

Thanks so much for your trip report. I just love reading them and they are so helpful to future visitors too.

I'm a big fan of Yank Sing. It's a great way -- especially if you're a big group -- to try a little of lots and lots (and lots it appears!).

Thank you so much for spending the time to write your report.

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4. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

It sounds like an awesome time in a beautiful city. Yank Sing and Slanted Door are at the top of our list for future visit. Thanks for the report! :)

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

when we get a question about -- should we stay in A or B or C we rarely have an answer because most of us do not stay in hotels and very few move hotels so we will have them call you LOL

Glad you had a lovely vacation. Come back and see us again

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

Thanks for the trip report. It's great to read these. I'm surprised your daughter and her husband walked all the way from Japantown to union square to meet you all the time. I guess it's not really so far. : -)

Newberg, Oregon
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7. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

Great report, and not surprisingly, you enjoyed many excellent dining experiences. As you've learned, 5 days is not nearly enough time to experience all of San Francisco -- especially its cuisine.

Mrs. OJ and I had been to SF several times before we were married (my first trip was in 1967, the "Summer of Love"). We spent the first few days of our honeymoon there (stayed at the Palace Hotel -- $26 for a regular room, but they upgraded us to a suite). We've been back several times since, last time was a 10-day stay for our 40th anniversary. We dined at many superb restaurants (Gary Danko, Frascati, House of Prime Rib, Cafe Claude, Jeanne d'Arc, Sotto Mare, Tony's Pizza Napoletana, Scoma's in Sausalito ....) and still didn't get to all the places we had on our list. A few time we just ate leftovers from a previous feast in our condo.

Now that you've been bitten by the SF "bug", I'm sure you'll return as soon as you can. Believe me, it's a city that you'll never get tired of. We're looking forward to our next trip!

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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8. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

Yes - we sure hope to visit again. So many things I had on my list that we did not get to do !!!

Love the city!!

9. Re: Trip Report - December 2012

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