Saturday, February 27, 2010

Firsts and Fun in San Fran -Part Three (aka the Funny Fairmont)

Monday night was a reception for a conference being held at the Fairmont Hotel. Robb needed to set up a booth with his co-workers and the plan was to sneak me in for the free drinks. Classy, huh?

The Fairmont is a historic hotel which has seen every President since Taft. Completed just after the great 1906 earthquake and fire, it sits atop Nob Hill like an elegant Queen. 

Once things were set up, it was time to get some food since neither Robb's boss nor we had had anything to eat all day. The sandwich shop downstairs was closed, so we had to eat in the hotel restaurant.  We found ourselves at a tiny little table because I'm sure the host had no idea how hungry we all were.  Robb and I ordered soup and split a skewer of chicken with figs.  Of course it was lovely....china, linens, flatware, setting...Which is why is was so funny that I received this text from Mattie while sitting with my elegant lunch...."MOM! WHERE IS THE PLUNGER???"   Just so I stayed grounded, you know.

Once the evening wore on, the conference admins became pretty aware of who was wearing an official badge or not, so I couldn't get back into the crowded room, where Tony Bennett had left a time capsule of his personal things in the stage.  I was happy to go exploring. 


First I found myself on the rooftop garden where I took these photos.  Then I wandered to a shop where I had seen a mosaic table top.  It turned out to be made of marble and made with semi-precious stones, carved into the table individually.  The table took 3 years to complete.  It was this same shop owner who taught me the difference between a Kashmir scarf and a Cashmeer one. Made from goat hair, they are hand embroidered and take three months of labor to make. "The only scarf you will ever need"  he declared.  "Please let me show you...." He wrapped a beautiful scarf around me while I laughed and looked at the price tag... $650.00.  "For you, it is only $400."    I found this amusing for this reason:  I was wearing a vintage black dress I got out of a bin, with a thrifted beaded sweater, and the most stunning designer shoes I got at an estate sale for .25 cents. 

From this elegant shop, I wandered to the opposite hall, which was a gallery of the history of the hotel.  I learned much in the next 45 minutes of reading....which I would never have gotten the chance to do were it not for my wait. 

And then it was time for another first.  With another 2 hours to kill, I went to the bar and ordered a glass of wine all by myself.  It helped pass the time considerably.  And it gave me the courage to walk up to the lady at the door of the conference room and ask if I might have a word with my husband inside.  She let me in.

5 comments:

Sara said...

what a wonderful trip!!! I almost feel like saying "Congratulations" like you just got married or had a baby or something...

ness said...

I think the phrase you are searching for is...

"Welcome back from the dead."

The kids said I came back "fun."

Clark Kent's Lunchbox said...

You're awesome sis.

Cyndi said...

Your trip looks wonderful. I want a trip like that :-)

Susie said...

i LOVE San Francisco...i go every chance i get...it's just so exPLORable!

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