Our car dropped us at Pearson and we were inside the Amex Platinum Lounge in 20 minutes. Always fun line bypassing lots of people waiting. I do not like lines and love to line bypass! Sorry guys. The flight was packed for a Sunday morning flight. Everyone looked like they were heading to a tech conference and I joked with my husband that if you want to start a start-up you can do interviews on the plane. Lots of start-up guys. Eeeek!
San Francisco. It's an interesting place that I love visiting. This time I stayed in Santa Clara for the majority of the trip and then head up to the heart of San Francisco. The weather in Cali is always odd. It is like Toronto in Spring with wind. I was wearing mainly white dress shirts and jeans. Everyday.
Santa Clara was a lot of fun. It is kinda like a suburb but full of cool tech companies. We stayed right next to the Levi's Stadium where the Superbowl was held recently. We stayed at the Hilton (not by choice) which made me kind nervous. I have stayed at awesome hotels but I have NEVER seen a cleaner, neater, attractive hotel. * Slow clap*. Well done.
At the Hilton, we had access to the club lounge that provided a full breakfast, all day snacks and drinks along with evening cocktails. It was really comforting having access to food and coffee all the time. In the club lounge, I met three girls. Like they were all age 13. They were on spring break and staying at the hotel. We had a lot of fun. They became my hotel friends. If they are reading this blog post, thanks for reaching out to me and for being my hotel buddies.
Great America theme park was right next door but not opened as yet. Bummer. I was still able to find fun suburban type shops such as Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Target.
I also visited Neiman Marcus at Stanford Shopping Centre. That location is one of my favourites and the spent the day looking around, gazing at the new Dolce Gabbana collection and eating lunch. I was welcomed with open arms and people stopped to talk to me about new collections and they offerings at Neiman Marcus.
I ate lunch at the Neiman Marcus Cafe. The salmon tacos were ok but the Truffle fries tasted so good. The truffle oil was a yummy addition. The surroundings were calm and charming even though the cafe was extremely busy. This is where I learned about the Atelier Cologne Product and met the co-founder Christophe. See that post here!
We then drove up to San Francisco. The drive to San Francisco is long but beautiful. The scenery reminds me of Sound of Music with a hilly fields, cows and winding roads. It was also a good opportunity to chat up my husband who was busy all week in meetings and I was busy in meetings as well. I try my best to maximize anytime we have alone together so this trip up North was full of talking. Well, me talking.
In San Francisco we stayed at the Park Central Hotel which was right in the city, clean and had an excellent view. During the day, I explored the city on foot and wanted to really experience Neiman Marcus in the city. I met a lovely gentleman named Thomas who coincidentally was in the shoe department. Go figure! He gave me a great tour of the shoe selection offered by Neiman Marcus. No shoe winners that day but it was great seeing the Stella McCartney platforms in real life.
From there, I had lunch AGAIN at Neiman Marcus. This time lunch was a healthy salad with half of a chicken salad sandwich. But then it went downward when I saw something called a pineapple... coconut...cake. LORDT! It was amazing. Very moist, flavourful and just pretty. Between two layers of coconut cake was a layer of pineapple chunks! Dreamy!
I must say that the selection, design and enthusiasm of the SAs was no different between the City Neiman Marcus Vs. suburban Neiman Marcus. This is very rare but really stood out to me. In Toronto location of a store determines the quality of experience etc but this was not the case in San Francisco.
I spent a lot to this trip in meetings, writing and Neiman Marcus hopping.
Look out for the Diary Beth post from San Francisco!
If you can go to San Francisco, go!
Make sure you stop by Neiman Marcus.
PS: I finally got the opportunity to go to the American Express Centurion Lounge. It was fantastic and literally a luxury experience. AND they were serving my favorite... Beef Ribs! More about this experience later!