In all the years in the travel industry, my husband Tim never won any of the trips vendors often give away at events.  Finally, after 25 years his named was called and HE WON!!  The sweetest prize ever, a weekend in Beverly Hills courtesy of the Peninsula.

So our journey begins, with a fully paid trip to Beverly Hills and we  added a stop in San Francisco to visit my cousins, Tracy, Bree and Kara.  004

Nothing can compare to the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills.  First, and foremost, the cars!  Rolls Royce’s, Ferrari’s, some of the best classic Mercedes I ever seen are at every light and parked at all the high-end hotels and driving down Rodeo Drive.  Let’s talk Rodeo Drive.  It’s just like the movie Pretty Woman, every high-end store is located here and some of the nicest sidewalk cafes too.  Unfortunately, due to budgetary constraints, I was unable to experience the whole Pretty Woman shopping spree.    It was quite nice to sit and sip on a chilled bottle of Chardonnay and people watch  all the beautiful shoppers, with a touch of envy may I add.  We cruised around all afternoon stopping to take in the sights and sip cocktails at all the famous hotel bars, including the Beverly Hills Hotel.  So decadent!!  012

After a delicious dinner at the new Peruvian restaurant named, Picca.  Such great food and fabulous picca pisco sourtapas.  The sushi style plates are served on a cold square of mash potatoes and are different but very good.  We especially loved the Picco Pisco Sour.  So tasty.

penisula cabanaThe next day we started our day off with signature massages which set the mood for lounging at the rooftop pool all day in our own private cabana!!!  They sure know how to make you feel like a rock star.  We were surrounded by Kobe Bryant and his possé, George Benson and band, with bumps into Sylvester Stallone and other well known stars.  It was very surreal and wonderful.  Advisor Tip:  Have a Paul Klein Travel Specialist reserve your own cabana, it’s definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

The next day we flew to San Francisco and stayed at the lovely Ritz Carlton with a corner suite over looking the wonderful hilled streets.  The views, smells, dinging of the cable car, the history and of course the food. Wow, this city is amazing.  How could it take me 50 years to visit the fabulous town?  Our weather in SF was glorious, sunny everyday, no rain and no FOG, it was completely unconceivable.  Although, I’m happy to report the fog rolled in on our last night in the city so I was able to experience both weather conditions.

A bucket-list item in San Francisco is, to get in line at the Cable car round-about and take it all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf, plus the ride in the cable car is just fun.    The Wharf is exactly as it is listed in all guide books, but to experience it first hand is a must.  From Pier 57 with the sea lions, the famous Alcatraz just off the coast, and of course the Golden Gate Bridge, makes for perfect photo ops.


We, then jumped on another cable car and headed to a more off the beaten path part of SF.  We shopped in the beatnik bookstore named, City Lights and bought some interesting books. Then, popped into the famous bar next door called Vesuvio, where you can see lots of Jack Kerouac type loungers sitting in the shadows with their super cool sunglasses on.   The area was also close to Larry Flint’s little Red Light area.

While walking around the Financial Area and looking at boutique shops we came across Tadich Grill, a “traditional, authentic San Francisco restaurant,”  which is not only San Francisco’s, but also California’s, oldest restaurant. Advisor Tipbe warned: Tadich Grill takes no reservations and is usually packed at lunchtime and dinnertime, Monday through Saturday.   It’s also referenced as the Cold Day Restaurant.

The Cold Day Restaurant

In 1882, due to a remark made by Alexander Badlam, Jr., San Francisco’s tax assessor, the New World Taddich grillCoffee Saloon acquired a new name. Badlam, running for re-election, bragged that it would be “a cold day” when he’d be defeated. He was soundly defeated, and the newspapers had a field day over his remark. Since Badlam was a regular at the New World, everyone began to call it the Cold Day Restaurant; the restaurant’s name when Tadich bought it and called it, of course, Tadich Grill, the Original Cold Day Restaurant.

192The following morning we ventured to Chinatown for Dim Sum at one of the most popular restaurants, the Great Eastern Chinese Restaurant.  While we waited for our table (30 minutes) we walked around the area and saw some of the most amazing graffiti, well I call this graffiti; art. What a great way to put color on old buildings and alley ways.  Now back to the Dim Sum, the best we’ve ever eaten.  We left no crumbs behind, enough said.  199

From Left to right: Dena Krenzien, Tracy Desmond, Kara Desmond and Bree Desmond

After spending the evening, on the pier, with my cousins for dinner, we all hugged our goodbyes and we headed back to the Ritz Carlton for our final night, where subsequently, I left my heart in San Francisco. (Okay, you knew that was coming.  Although, I left out the Rice-a-Roni tag line, so excuse my silliness.)