Living the San Francisco Dream

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Holiday memories - my love of San Francisco started early

Kathy Streib, in her December challenge, has asked us to share a special holiday memory, and the posts are pouring in. I've read a few of them and am blown away by how heartfelt the memories are. Next week I'll be reading more of them. 

I have lots of memories of Christmas, both past and present:

  • the year we almost didn't have a tree (happy ending: we rushed to a tree lot on Christmas Eve, to find it had just closed up; the owner let us children pick any tree we wanted--and it was big and beautiful!);
  • the year I opened all my gifts the day before, then re-wrapped them the best I could and pretended to be surprised (moral of the story: I learned that waiting for the right time was its own reward)
  • the year my little daughter bit into a glass ornament (happy ending-no problems!) 
  • the 22-year+ tradition my husband and I have of taking time out of the busy Christmas day to take a hike, just the two of us, to our special place (Edgewood County Park when living in San Carlos; across Pacific Heights and the Presidio now in San Francisco)

But today I'm thinking most about the wonderful experiences we had as children, when every Christmas season our mother would take us to San Francisco. In those days, we rarely visited The City, not far from our suburban town, so these holiday trips were memorable. Some years we drove, and would end our visits by driving along the Marina, eyeing the Christmas lights on the boats and on the fine houses in the area. Other years we would take the Key System train from Oakland, across the Bay Bridge (this is back in the day before there was BART, our present regional transit system)

Each year, after enjoying the magical windows in the department stores around Union Square, and the huge tree decorated with life-size toys in the City of Paris,  we would go out to dinner, a rare treat in the 1950s! There was Bernstein's Fish Grotto one year, an Armenian restaurant another time (rose petal jam!), an early-California cuisine place another, and of course Chinatown!

But the main attraction, and mandatory first stop each year, was --- The Emporium. This large department store, on Market Street near the Powell Street cable car terminus, had carnival rides on the roof! And you could visit Santa there, as I did here, at age 3.

with Santa at The Emporium, San Francisco

And so began my love affair with San Francisco. I guess it's no surprise that six years ago I moved back here, is it?

 

--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®

Pacific Union International

CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Lottie@LottieKendall.com

www.LottieKendall.com

Peninsula Living Business Page

www.SFCondosForMe.com

 

 

Comment balloon 42 commentsLottie Kendall • December 10 2017 02:15PM

Comments

I love reading all of these posts, they are so nostalgic and festive...thanks for sharing!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) 10 months ago

I'm enjoying reading them, too, Kristin Johnston - REALTOR® I'll look for yours!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 10 months ago

I was in San Francisco last weekend and although I don't want to live that I love it. 3 doxen oysters for lunch at Hog Island and sitting out fron of The Water Bar in december watching the light show on the bay Bridge was magical. Back in March.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) 10 months ago

Good morning, Lottie Kendall what an adorable photo of you and Santa... and your love for SanFrancisco radiates throughout your post.... 

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 10 months ago

Such a wonderful place for sure!  I have only been to San Francisco a few times in my life, but I could certainly tell how amazing it was.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 10 months ago

You're a San Franciscan at heart, Joe Pryor! Enjoy each and every visit.

Barbara Todaro - those early visits to San Francisco were pure magic!

Good morning Brian England - I have yet to visit Gilbert, AZ, but you've brought it to life fo me with your posts; it's also an amazing spot.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 10 months ago

Lottie- I loved your memories!  You know you're right, when I was growing up going out to eat was something very special as well. Back in the 50's it just wasn't the norm. It was fun seeing you on Santa's lap!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 10 months ago

I could live in San Francisco, and I have often told my husband we should consider it for retirement. Then we could spend half the year in the city and half in Hawaii. But I doubt we'd ever be able to afford to buy anything there because it's so expensive.

It is definitely magical in the city. I feel like we're in Europe.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) 10 months ago

Good afternoon Lottie - wonderful memories.  It is amazing how many of us have similar memories, just differnt cities but it reminds us of how things were when we were children.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 10 months ago

I love the photo. I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) 10 months ago

I could live in San Francisco - No problem!  I always enjoy my visits to the city!  Those are wonderful memories, Lottie!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 10 months ago

Hi Kathy Streib - while I can't say I remember this particular visit to Santa, it looks like I was pretty thrilled with the whole thing!

Hello Grant Schneider - yes, our memories of holidays often stretch back quite a way. Perhaps it's because everything was new and fresh, everything a big adventure.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 10 months ago

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents - don't rule out San Francisco before exploring the options here. While prices are high, lots of new condos have hit the market in many different neighborhoods and continue to do so; condo prices have stabilized in many neighborhoods. There are opportunities!

 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 10 months ago

Hi Gita Bantwal - and I enjoyed reading about your holiday memories from childhood.

Myrl Jeffcoat - well, who knows -- you just might decide to make the move -- I'd be delighted to have you in the 'hood.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 10 months ago

Yeah, but I don't really want a condo and an HOA and all that entails. My payment would be double with an HOA fee, right? I wouldn't even mind Oakland. But I'd also like a view, and to keep it under half a million, and I think that's impossible but I don't know that for a fact.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) 10 months ago

That pic of you with Santa is priceless! You have some wonderful memories and I love the tradition of the annual visit to San Francisco.  

Posted by Diana Zaccaro, Your Brevard County, Florida coastal connection! (Tropical Realty Beachside power by eXp) 10 months ago

Wow, you really did make a heart connection with San Francisco at a young age. Such a wonderful photo, Lottie. Glad you returned and I can see you love the life you're living in your favorite city. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 9 months ago

Hi Diana Zaccaro and Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - it was fun for me to pull up an old, old photo! I get a kick out of the way we were dressed in those years! 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Hi Lottie Kendall Thanks for sharing your story about San Francisco.  Loved your last photo!! And I envy your tradition with your husband...that is a cool one!!

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) 9 months ago

Isn't it a kick how we always dressed up, Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker ?  My husband and I like to hike, so always make sure to grab at least a couple of hours just for us on Christmas -- balances out the hecticness of the day.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Hi Lottie Kendall   I can relate to that on my wife's side as they always have a big get together so a lot of bodies.  

For evrything I like about Nebraska...we do not have great hiking in the corn belt.

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) 9 months ago

Do you have hiking trails along a river, or in state parks, Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker ? 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Thank you very much for sharing some of your very special Christmas memories.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) 9 months ago

Hi Roy Kelley - we all have those special memories. All of mine include people I love.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Hi Lottie... no surprise whatsoever. Loved your little stories and the photo is priceless.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) 9 months ago

Thanks Nina Hollander -- those early holiday-time trips to SF had me in awe every year!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Lottie Kendall ~ hi Lottie... that's how I felt about going to see all the lights and stores and Rock Center on Fifth Avenue in NYC in the 1950's. I wrote about that in my post for this challenge. 

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) 9 months ago

What a warm story and love reading all these holiday memory stories.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) 9 months ago

What a beautiful photo! I bet those Christmases were wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) 9 months ago

Lottie, like you I am thoroughly enjoying the outpouring of happy memories of this time of year. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your black and white photo!!! This is so perfect. You, the perfect darling little gem of a girl and the "also" perfect Santa who personified what I would think Santa ought to look like! (He looked so kind and had sweet eyes). 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) 9 months ago

Hi Debbie Reynolds - I'm truly enjoying reading a lot of these posts--a great antidote to troubles in the world.

Hi Kat Palmiotti -  thanks for stopping by, and I LOVE your holiday profile picture. (BTW--I finished reading Anthony's book -- it was great.)

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Hi Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate - I can't pretend to remember this particular visit to Santa, but I thought the same when I saw the picture--Santa's kind eyes.  BTW--have I told you I really like your new profile picture? I do!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Lottie, what beautiful memories, and yes, no wonder you moved back.  San Francisco does offer a lot!  

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 9 months ago

Hi Joan Cox - we really enjoy our urban life, and we're so close to great hiking in forests, open hillsides and the coast it meets all our desires. Merry Christmas to you!

 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

What lovely happy memories of days gone by.  I think we've all been guilty of opening presents and trying to rewrap them.  How silly and cute.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) 9 months ago

Hi Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 - looking back, I'm sure it must have been obvious to my parents that I had unwrapped and re-wrapped the gifts. They were wise--never said a word -- and I learned my lesson all by myself. Meli Kalikimaka to you!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Oh, Lottie! I have such a similar photo of me sitting on Santa’s lap at about the same age as you your photo.

 

My wife and I have our own tradition developed over the last ten years or so. We join her sister and our brother-in-law for a weekend in San Francisco in early December. When we started the tradition, it was to do Christmas shopping. Now it is just to have a good time in the City. Here is a photo that I took while we were enjoying the new Wine Bar in Macy’s overlooking Union Square.

Wine Bar At Macys

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) 9 months ago

Hello John - San Francisco during the holidays remains a charming place. Did your journey take you to the Fairmont on Nob Hill to see the amazing walk-through gingerbread house? All the hotels are decorated to the nines.

Great picture!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

Lottie Kendall did you ever go to Playland? 

Posted by Jim Cheney, Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055 (Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA) 9 months ago

Yes, Jim Cheney . Occasionally my dad and I would head from our suburband town to the Mission District where his mother had an apartment building; we'd do some tidy up for a bit, then head to Playland where the roller coaster was my delight!!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

I love your Santa picture! I have a similar one, but I don't have any memories of visiting Santa as a child. 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) 9 months ago

Those visits to Santa in years gone by were fun, Sharon Tara ! In Oakland and San Francisco, Santa often was in a store window where passersby could enjoy the encounters as well as we kids.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) 9 months ago

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