City Sidewalks

The same day we got our Christmas tree, Rem and I went over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco to ride the cable cars and enjoy Christmas lights and decorations.

Santa hats in place, plus the addition of a strand of battery-operated lights that Rem had strung around his scarf, we started at Ghirardelli Square.

After a sample of dark chocolate peppermint bark and some window shopping we headed to Aquatic Park and the end of the Powell-Hyde cable car line.

Riding a cable car with your sweetheart is nostalgic, romantic, exciting and fun.  On a Wednesday evening in December there was a very short wait.  We were able to get seats on the bench outside and enjoy chatting with the Italian couple who rode standing on the running board, hanging on tightly.

The city is all dressed up for the holidays and I really love looking into homes and businesses as we rumbled along, seeing the lights, Christmas trees and other decorations.

We got off at Union Square and started a slow stroll around the stores to look at the window displays.  I have to say I was a bit disappointed.  There was nothing really special in most of the windows of the fancy stores around the square.

This sweet little carousel in the window of Tiffany & Co was lovely and the displays in the Swarovski Crystal shop were stunning (but didn’t photograph well).  Everything else…meh.

There was plenty to look at other than window displays.

Like the beautiful 80-foot fir tree covered in 21,000 twinkling LED lights in the middle of the square.

A blur of skaters on the ice rink.

In the background the Macy’s windows are each adorned with a wreath.

Sparkling palm trees.  This is California after all.

Every corner of the square had a different street artist or musician: I noticed a bagpiper in a kilt on one side and a robot doing carol karaoke on another but the trumpeter playing Silent Night in the cold, clear night was the one that got my donation.

We entered the lobby of the Westin St. Francis to see what their pastry chefs had concocted for the holidays this year.

From the Westin St. Francis website:

Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Francois Houdré, will reveal The Westin St. Francis’ Sugar Castle in the historic Main Lobby. Resembling a French Chateau from Chef Houdre’s hometown of Bordeaux, the 100% edible castle weighs more than 1,200 pounds and features more than 20 grand circular towers, approximately 30 rooms, illuminated windows, and is surrounded by a quaint village and a running train. New this year is an extensive life-like replica of a medieval French village complete with intricately constructed homes, a church, a bakery and stores, all with illuminated windows and surrounded by a magical forest. A second train filled with elves will encircle this winter fantasyland.

A sign nearby said the castle was comprised of:

70 lbs. of gingerbread,  130 lbs. of pastillage (powdered sugar, egg whites and gelatin dough), 40 lbs. of pulled sugar, Royal Icing made from 300 lbs. of sugar and egg whites, 40 lbs. of molasses, 60 lbs. of flour, 100 lbs. of assorted Christmas candy and 360 hours of hard work!

It makes the gingerbread house we decorated seem so small!

Back outside to catch the cable car to Hyde Street.

More buildings and more decorations to see as we rode back to Aquatic Park.

It was a wonderful day and special evening.  I was running out of steam and ready to say goodnight to the city.

Thank you for stopping by.

Thank you to Rem for sharing some of his beautiful photos.

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