It has taken me so very long to finally sit down and write this post. I can’t even count how many times I started it, only to delete everything and walk away. In fact, I think I’ve probably been writing this since the day I left San Francisco, a little over a year ago. To think that this little blog was barely a twinkle in my eye at that time!

San Francisco 2005 happened after I finally decided to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin. They’ve lived in San Jose for almost 10 years and I figured it was high time I paid them a visit. So early one sunny morning, my Uncle N and I departed Toronto bound for San Jose and then San Francisco.

Before ever setting foot there, I pictured San Francisco as a perpetually sunny place where everyone rode the cable car, drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, ate sour dough and drank great coffee. And while all those are certainly true (to varying degrees), San Francisco turned out to be so much more.

With Union Square as a starting point, we branched our way across the city exploring every nook and cranny. We stood by the ocean and were warmed by the sun. We climbed the hills and had our breath taken away by the incredible views. We sipped coffee and marveled at the taste of it all.

We set foot in so many of San Francisco’s unbelievably vibrant neighbourhoods and we felt the pulse of it all … beneath our feet … like an unstoppable rhythm. It carried us everywhere. We sipped beer and Prosecco with the locals and felt like we were at home. The smiles, the waves, the restaurant advice, the kind words … each person more eager than the last to share their favourite spot.

We made the pilgrimage to the Ferry Market Building and seriously contemplated never leaving. A lunch of cheese, bread and wine reminded us of how little it really does take to make a person happy. Oh yes … the Recchiuti chocolate helped.

And as we traipsed our way down every street, I loved it all. I loved the slightly faded quality of so many of the buildings which reminded me that this is a place with history. Real history. Not the fake history we like to create with our faux finishes and such. This is a city that has been through it. Seen it. Felt it. Heard it. Lived it.

I am so deeply thankful that I had the chance to visit. In so many ways, San Francisco set the wheels in motion in terms of my blogging. The deep connection to the attitude towards food and life got me thinking and after returning to Toronto, I just kept thinking and thinking. It took many more months, but that connection came fully to life last December, when Cream Puffs in Venice became more than just an idea.

Just prior to my trip, I finally bought a digital camera. I learned how to use my digital camera in San Francisco and judging by the more than 200 photos that I returned with, that fact is very clear. I wish I could share them all with you, including the bad ones which far outnumber the good ones, but instead I’m sharing a small sampling with you here. I hope you enjoy the images as much as I do (click on any image for a description).

Even before I ever set foot there, I knew instinctively that I’d like San Francisco. However, I never imagined that I’d fall head over heels in love with the place. But like the song says, it’s so easy to leave your heart there …


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