Part of the challenge with travel is how you deal with the things that inevitably get forgotten at home (my most common: sleeping mask, headphones, toothbrush, umbrella, bandages, tampons, meds, wine opener, socks, underwear, passport, and did I mention wine opener?) or lost along the way (like my curling iron in Paris). Without fail, the forgotten or lost item is the ONE thing that would make your present moment more comfortable.
If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know I generally try to mitigate this situation by overpacking.
This trip is no different. As I write this from San Francisco, I realize that even though I packed five pairs of shoes, three pair of pants, two dresses, three sweaters, and two jackets for a single long weekend, I still lack the right clothes. (Who would predict 80 degree weather at this time of year?) My boots and winter shoes are worthless, but at least I remembered to bring one pair of sandals.
That was a mistake, as you’ll soon see.
But let me back up to the good parts of the trip first. We start the weekend at an oceanfront B&B at Miramar Beach in Half Moon Bay. With possibly the world’s grumpiest front desk clerk, I wouldn’t exactly call it five star, but the included breakfasts and happy hour wine more than make up for this. Plus, there is nothing like falling asleep to the sound of waves:
The surrounding area is quaint, with pumpkin patches everywhere:
I think it’s charming, but Hubby still calls this the Redneck Riviera. We’re not that far from San Francisco, and this is possibly the only place on the planet where real estate values actually fall as you get closer to the water. (Maybe THIS is the place I can afford that ocean view home?) I wouldn’t mind; it’s quite stunning here:
It’s also romantic. We even witness a marriage proposal from our Adirondack chairs outside an old speakeasy at Moss Beach:
From there, it’s on to see a one-man show by my favorite magical realism artist, Michael Parkes (the one I purchased that “Gold” painting from in August). I even sweet talk Hubby into letting me buy this:
It’s all going swimmingly, until we drive back to San Francisco and check in to the lovely old St. Francis hotel on Union Square:
In contrast to the lackadaisical service in Half Moon Bay, our bellhop volunteers to upgrade our room before I can even ask. After a fantastic caviar embellished dinner at Farallon, I immediately remember everything I miss about Northern California wine country cuisine. (As much as I love Newport Beach, Orange County people have no clue about fine dining — with a few notable exceptions, it’s mostly still “big slab of meat on a plate.”)
So what’s the problem in San Francisco?
Nothing, until I decide to wander around the city in my sandals.
Warning for the faint of stomach: Do NOT view the next photo.
You see, of all my “enhanced” or artificial features, there is only one I’m truly ashamed of …
I have fake toenails.
Not by choice. Call it a casualty of growing up in Wisconsin, where my very first job at age 14 (it lasted all of three days; even then, I couldn’t handle manual labor) was detasseling corn. Three days of sweaty drudgery in non-stop rain and God-knows-what-is-really-lurking-in-our-produce caused me to lose both big toenails. (They occasionally grow back, but mostly not.) I’ve probably spent thousands over the years getting new acrylic ones applied, and every time I’m still embarrassed.
So when the San Francisco “street performer” (I can’t really tell what he’s trying to do, unless this is supposed to be a performance art piece demonstrating “mayhem”) gets into a scuffle with another guy and stumbles right onto my foot, I’m mortified. My toenail goes flying across the plaza and lands right in front of Nordstrom.
It’s not pretty:
I think about retrieving the toenail, but realize I didn’t pack any nail glue anyway.
So, I put on my best OC Housewife face and march straight back to hotel, hoping no one will look at my feet. At least I packed boots.
And thankfully, it’s time to go home …
Question: What is YOUR most embarrassing travel story? (I wish I could say this was mine, but unfortunately it’s one of far too many …)