Tuesday, July 31, 2007

San Francisco: Part Three - A Magical World

One of the highlights of the trip for me was visiting a store my mother-in-law has boasted about for years. Since she and I share an appreciation for the cute, obscure, and European, I knew I would love it. Founded in 1988, Bell'Occhio is on Brady Street in an area of San Francisco called Mission. Specifically, it is at Nos. 8 & 10 Brady Street, which is a side street. First picture is of the outside, the second one is of a ribbon shelf in the store. Lastly, my batch of fun purchases.
So, at first I went in gingerly stepping through the intimate store, half in disbelief that I was actually there. The inside is truly amazing, fully staged to showcase the lovely items. After about 10 minutes of ooh-ing and aah-ing, I came out empty-handed, stunned by beauty I guess. J. looked at me, shocked, and said, "You didn't get anything?" I turned on a dime and went back in - that was a sign! I had not bought anything yet on the trip, and of all the places to indulge, this was it. I came back out with a wonderfully packaged collection of items. A darling set of tissue papers for wrapping that say Toilettes des Chats (the Cat's Bath!), some vintage onion skin envelopes (very delicate and light blue), a French, linen, checked dish towel, six chocolates (flavors like Lavender, and Noir with Fleur de Sel), and the pièce de résistance, a pair of enamel owl earrings - okay, they looked cat-like to me (which were wrapped in the little blue box!). Even the invoice is beautiful: light blue with red lettering (these were the colors of my wedding to J. - I carried a small bouquet of light blue hydrangeas with a few very dark red (almost black) roses mixed in).
If you EVER get a chance to go: go, go, go! It truly is a magical world, and the proprietor, Claudia, was very helpful. The day I was there she was wearing this really pretty white, full, longish skirt with black floral embroidery, and ankle-tie ballet slippers - as magical as the world of Bell'Occhio.

Monday, July 30, 2007

San Francisco: Part Two

The first night in SF, we went to North Beach for Italian food and tried this restaurant - Rose Pistola - named after a woman who apparently ran a "colorful" bar/restaurant there many years ago. I would give it a "6" - fun atmosphere but the food was not so memorable.
A few pictures of the area follow: first one is of an Italian pottery store. I could have just bought the store. Second pic is a street scene, complete with pole in the center of the picture. Edgy, huh? Next we have Mona Lisa #3. I wonder where one and two are? And lastly, an important part of the night: dessert. We sat at an outdoor cafe and people-watched. J. had his customary cannoli, and I had an anisette cookie (they remind me of my Dad and I eating anisette biscotti by Stella D'ori for breakfast when I was knee-high to a grasshopper).

Sunday, July 29, 2007

San Francisco: Part One

Last weekend for J's birthday we hopped in the car and drove, yes drove, to San Francisco. It was a fun adventure. The way there takes you through farm land and we passed tons of trucks loaded with tomatoes, onions, and nuts (the eating kind, I'm not sure about the drivers). We left at about 9:30 a.m. and got there around 5:30 p.m. - not horrible, but still a pretty long drive. This bridge is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (pics to follow of the Golden Gate, another day). We stayed at the Kensington Park Hotel. It was comfy, clean, and a good home base. Farther down is a pic of the hand painted lobby ceiling. The building is turn of the century, and they have a playhouse on the 3rd floor which looked interesting. The elevator has a bench in it, or was it a fainting couch? When we arrived, tea and sherry was being served so I slorped a glass of straight sherry to help me unwind from the drive. :-) By the way, that fainting couch link takes you to someone's photo collection - all of which I adore.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

So Many Good Wishes

These Casablanca lilies are the well wishes of our thoughtful neighbors and the orchids are from a dear friend of nearly two decades. And amidst the loveliness, this beautiful picture of Oreo looking down on the remembrances.
In addition to these, there were so many wonderful emails, calls, and cards. He touched many lives and will be remembered always.