Every year my gal pals and I head to San Francisco at Christmas time for a BIG shopping day. When I say BIG…I mean several trips to the car to drop off packages kind of BIG. It is a day filled with a whole lot of silliness too. Some years we have stayed at the Westin St. Francis Hotel for the night where we can go out to dinner, stay out late, and happily let the taxi driver do all the driving…if you know what I mean! This year we three just went up for the day and then out for dinner together. Here are some fun photos of our San Francisco shopping day.
Union Square, San Francisco, CA
Macy’s beautiful window display
Every Christmas the SPCA brings puppies and kittens to Macy’s and displays them in the windows. They are for adoption.
“How much is that doggie in the window…”
Williams Sonoma….love the peppermint bark and hot mulled cider!
Love the blue box!
We had dinner at Fino Restaurant on Post Street
Nocchi with Italian sausage, bell peppers, and tomatoes in a broth
Home made riccotta ravioli in a tomato and pepper cream sauce with basil
Petrale Sole Almondine with grilled zucchini and roasted potatoes
Westin St. Francis Annual Holiday Gingerbread Castle
Each year the Westin St. Francis’ executive pastry chef, Jean-Francois Houdre’, creates a castle for the entry of the hotel. This year the chef’s inspiration came from his family visit to the French medieval town of La Cite’ de Carcassonne in Bordeaux. This medieval town is one of Europe’s complete examples of a fortified city. The castle was created with these ingredients:
90 pounds of gingerbread
160 pounds of pastillage (powdered sugar, egg whites, and gelatin dough)
30 pounds of pulled and bubbled sugar
Royal icing made 400 pounds of sugar and egg whites
50 pounds of molasses
80 pounds of flour
and countless hours of dedicated work!
The team of pastry chefs began their work to create the castle in July…working day and night. The castle is 12 feet tall and weighs 1,300 pounds. It has more than 20 grand circular towers, approximately 30 rooms, glowing windows, and a running train.
It was a glorious day to be with my two dear friends Teresa and Chris. We laughed a lot, shopped a lot, and enjoyed San Francisco in all its Christmas time glory. I hope this coming week you get all your Christmas preparations complete….wrapping and bows, baking and decorating, food prep and table set…. Have a glorious Christmas! God bless you and your family.