Thursday, September 19, 2013

California Dreamin' Day Three

A Skip in our Step

Sometimes you just have to look past the present to find the skip in your step. Today was one of those days. A rocky start due to tired minds and bodies and technology that was less than perfect gave us a rocky start to our day, but it wasn’t long before we found the skip in our step.

Emilee was a born to be a shopper. Inspired by a sweet friend with a very eclectic style, she had scoped out a vintage clothing shop online that was a must see for her in San Francisco. So we started the fun there. Ironically, we found ourselves driving through the Haight-Ashbury District with rows of closely packed houses with lots of iron bars up to the windows and doors. Not hard to tell this wasn’t the nicest part of San Fran. We made our way to Valencia Street and not far down the tight rows of small buildings was a shop front with a hand painted sign: The Painted Bird. Bingo. We were here. I would gladly have acknowledged the existence of the shop we had only seen online and continued on to a safer part of town to find whatever, but Emilee only saw the adventure of leaving the safe confines of our car and going inside the shabby looking establishment in pursuit of a vintage treasure. And of course, Dad was more than happy to go with her. I followed as the only practical member of this shopping party. But I must admit. It was a grand adventure. The Painted Bird was a delightful experience as we discovered treasures my mother would have worn when she was young and beautiful. Emilee easily found a dozen items to try on and we shared giggles and smiles as she slipped into each outfit. It was a perfect moment. We purchased a beautiful hand crocheted ivory top that fit her perfectly for $19. It was a great find and will be a lovely memory.

Ready for lunch, we set our sights on finding La Boulange, a bakery that promised to be a tasty treat delight. Of relief to me, it was not far but in a much better neighborhood that bought a skip to our step as we walked down the tight streets to our chosen lunch time retreat. La Boulange did not disappoint. The food was delish and reminiscent of a French Patisserie. I chose a sandwich with Ham and Bechamel Cheese with a side of creamy Mushroom soup. It was divine. And of course we each chose two sweets for the road. I chose Pain de Chocolate with crushed hazel nuts and a Lemon Turnover with Lemon curd filling. It tasted like fresh Meyer Lemons… soo good.

After lunch we met up with Cason's Family at Fisherman’s Wharf. Talk about a skip in our steps! How refreshing to be with those sweet little girls. We explored the Embarcadero shops, had a fun dinner… isn’t everything more fun with little ones? Madelyn’s birthday is Tuesday, and we had scoped out a Puppet shop the day before to take her to. Much more fun to let her pick her own puppet. We “tried on” just about every puppet before she chose her favorite… a penguin. Aubrey chose a white polar bear and the remainder of the night was spent with puppets in hand. We walked the long walk to Ghirardelli and indulged in huge decadent sundaes that surely will wipe out all benefits of the walking we have done in the past two days.  But it was so worth it.

We made our way back to our Hotel and checked Cason’s family into a room near us for the night. Tomorrow we’ll spend the day with them exploring a few more corners of San Francisco that will surely keep us skipping.

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