2012 to 2013: Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Oh, The Places You'll Go! There's no better book for a graduation gift than this Dr. Seuss classic. I've cherished my three copies for years and love reading it at the end of each year. And oh, what a year this was! Here's to more adventure in 2013 - Happy New Year!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”

San FranciscoPenzance, Cornwall, EnglandIsles of Scilly, EnglandLondonCoworth Park, EnglandChewton Glen, Hampshire, EnglandBath, EnglandStratford, EnglandThe Cotswolds, EnglandHighclere Castle aka Downton AbbeyColonial WilliamsburgFlorence, ItalyVenice, Italy Ravello, Amalfi Coast, ItalyScottsdale, Arizona (hometown!)Kiawah, South CarolinaMiddleton Place - Charleston, South CarolinaNevis, Caribbean

Gold Coast, AustraliaO'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, AustraliaHamptonsLake George, Adirondacks, New YorkThimble Islands, ConnecticutNewport, Rhode IslandMission Hill, British Columbia, CanadaLas VegasLos Angeles (twice!)Cusco, PeruMachu PicchuSacred Valley, PeruBarcelonaZurichHudson Valley, New YorkBudapest, HungaryVienna, AustriaPrague, Czech Republic

Washington, D.C.New York City - Home

Intercontinental Mark-Hopkins, San Francisco

For the one night in San Francisco last week, we booked the Mark-Hopkins. The price was right, location was perfect, and I think the view at the Top of the Mark is one of the best in the city. The room was fine, nothing fabulous, but a comfortable bed, and amazing view of the Transamerica Pyramid.

View from roomThe lobby is small and feels like it's ready to welcome Queen Elizabeth II and a few of her crusty friends for tea at any time.

The Top of the Mark is this hotel's crown jewel, oozing nostalgia, perched on top since the owner in 1939 converted the 19th-floor penthouse into a lounge. There's a great dance floor, grand piano, and tables lining the windows so you can see the city from every angle.  For a great daytime view (and better photos like the ones I took here), do breakfast here.

Grand Piano in Top of the Mark

Just as we checked out, I realized President Obama was going to be there 2 hours later for a fundraiser. Hope everyone felt their $35,000 spent per ticket was worth it!

24 Hours in San Francisco

Last week, I arrived at San Francisco at 12:30 p.m. and was back at SFO the next day at 12:30 p.m. 24 hours in the City by the Bay. I've spent a lot of time in San Francisco and was looking forward to the air, a glass of wine, and a couple of good meals.

The main reason for the trip was to see one of my best friends and her new baby girl. Unfortunately, this most adorable baby ended up in the hospital (she is totally fine but with small babies, everything is scary!) so we caught up over IV tubes and hospital chairs instead of the planned walks and lunch at some fab San Francisco spot. But it didn't matter-I would fly again to spend time with her and the baby no matter where they were.

I also managed a whirlwind tour of some of my favorite spots, dinner with another good friend at Tyler Florence's Zuni Cafe, and some hotel stalking, OF COURSE! Thanks to my friend Carrie at Deliciously Organic, I also discovered the amazing treats at Tartine Bakery.

Picking up goodies to bring to the hospital at Tartine Bakery

Tartine Bakery

View from my room at the Mark-Hopkins

Wonderful dinner at Zuni Cafe

Cappuccino at Blue Bottle & Frittata at the Mandarin Oriental

You can't come to San Francisco without stopping by the Ferry Building

Chinatown

The best sourdough bread

Coit Tower

Love Rose Pistola in North Beach