San Fran, Sat – Part 2
This day was all about spoiling my kids. After our world-class breakfast at Outerlands, we drove downtown for a day of shopping and luxurious spa treatments.
Check out Marissa glaring at me in the rear-view mirror. I guess I was irritating her from the back seat. Hmm, a mother irritating a daughter, now that’s new!
Be sure and stick with me through this rather lengthy post. It was a big day so there is a lot to share, but you have to read the end and check out our spa time and our dinner choice… even if you must scroll down and skip the shopping parts. :-
First we ducked into the Apple store because I wanted Connor to see the awesome theater-style classroom. I know, how much Apple can one person do in a long weekend?! Even our newest store in Scottsdale has nothing like this.
As we walked by we noticed they were demonstrating exactly how to use iMovie. We sat in on the class and learned so much that the rest of the weekend I was taking videos so I that I can test my new found knowledge. And guess what? I’m working on it, and there will be an iMovie on this very blog, very soon.
Next stop was The Gap where Connor got a new pair of jeans. After that, American Eagle, where Marissa picked up an adorable lace top and a couple pair of cheap sunglasses. Like her dad, she goes through sunglasses like water.
From there we popped into Bare Escentuals to get our makeup done. Marissa had decided she wanted to give bareMinerals a try. I already use that line of makeup, so I just bought myself a new brush and got her the starter-kit.
With our freshly made-up faces, we headed toward our ultimate destination… Nordstrom… to partake in their anniversary sale and for our scheduled 4:15 spa treatments.
I believe it is illegal to shop at Nordstrom without first hitting the shoe department. We happily complied and Marissa scored a new pair of nude flats. We split up from there, Marissa went in search of new clothes while Connor and I headed upstairs to the young men’s department. Marissa eventually joined us and helped find four new shirts for Con.
As he was in the dressing room, it hit me to check the time… it was 4:20… oops we were late for our spa reservations! Marissa rushed upstairs to the spa while Connor got dressed. I quickly had his potential purchases put on hold.
I’d reserved Royal Spa Pedicures for Marissa and myself and a Men’s Facial for Connor. As he said, “So you and Marissa get treated like royals while I get tortured?” Basically, yes. Sorry, but your skin will thank me later.
I’d never been to a Nordstrom Spa before. Wow, what a seriously luxurious experience! You’re first given a fluffy robe to wear and then you wait in the relaxation room where you are served lemon water or hot tea as your feet soak in a bamboo bowl. Warm herb scented wraps are draped around your neck and shoulders. Silver bowls of almonds and dried fruit are on the side tables for your nibbling pleasure. Then, you are escorted to your dimly-lit, soft music-filled private room. As you are lightly covered in warm towels, you lay back and relax in a majestic full-reclining lounge chair. Once you’ve chosen your color, a lavender-scented cloth is placed over your eyes. Then the technician quietly goes to work; smoothing your heels, dipping your feet in paraffin wax, massaging your shopping-tired feet and calves with fragrant lotion, and trimming, filing, buffing, and polishing your toenails to regal perfection. Yeah, it was an hour of pure bliss!
After retrieving Connor’s snazzy new duds, I bought a new top for myself and we all changed into our new clothes in the women’s dressing room. When Marissa emerged in her lace top, she said, “So this is what is like to be spoiled all day for a night on the town; new clothes, make-up makeover, and pampering at a spa.” Yep, this is what’s is like to have a perfect day with your kids!
We stepped out onto Market Street and waved down a cab to take us to dinner at the North Beach institution, Trattoria Contadina. They’ve been serving up classic Italian cuisine since 1984.
Marissa’s boyfriend, Jeff, met us there and even though we were a little early for our reservation, they seated us immediately at an intimate corner table.
We started with cocktails and two appetizers. When we’re doing classic Italian, we love to order the Antipasto. This version did not disappoint; consisting of cured meats and cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, warm olives, roasted peppers and pepperoncini, drizzled with olive oil and served with warm crusty bread – plenty for four people to share.
Even better was the Pepperoni Arrostiti. I promise, I will be recreating this gem and posting the recipe here in the near future. Roasted sweet yellow bell pepper layered with bel paese, asiago and mozzarella cheeses, served with a spicy tomato cream sauce. Oh my, I could have ended my meal right there and been happy!
But, of course, we still had our entrees to contend with. Marissa and I both ordered the lovely Gnocchi. Connor had the Valdostana, which is pictured above – a sautéed chicken breast, layered with smoked mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, oregano and sage – served with a Madeira wine sauce, sautéed broccolini and garlic mashed potatoes. He and I loved each others dishes so much, that we traded halfway through. His was the best order of the night… in my opinion. Jeff ordered the Pappardelle alla Bolognese, and it too, looked like a plate of perfection.
I found this gorgeous black and white photo on Yelp. Check out the cable car coming down the hill. This gives you a wonderful feel of what this classic restaurant is like inside and the great location on the outside. Love it!
From the restaurant we sauntered over to a nearby gastro pub so Marissa and Jeff could buy Connor his 21st birthday shot. My daughter was so disappointed that she was not home on May 24th to corrupt my sweet son with the traditional “power hour” (if you don’t know what that is, don’t ask!) I reminded her that we had a big day in the morning, so to not ruin it for him with a massive hangover.
This photo of Marissa and Jeff was taken at the pub, and once again, she looks slightly annoyed with me. Hey, that’s what mothers are for… put on earth to annoy their children.
She reluctantly obliged me and ONLY had him drink one shot of Jägermeister with her and Jeff. They had conspired to have him drink a Jägerbomb instead, but alas the pub did not have Red Bull. Whatever, plain Jägermeister or a Jägerbomb – No Thank YOU!
We cabbed back to our car in the downtown parking garage, took Jeff home, and called it day…. a very good day!