Earlier this week I attended a one-day encore to the Eureka! Leadership Institute up in San Jose, so Eric came with me and we made a little vacation out of it. It was great to get together with all the Eurekans – what an amazing group of people! I feel privileged to be part of it.

After that, we headed up to San Francisco, stopping at the Filoli estate on the way. We’ve been meaning to visit for several years, but they have limited hours and close for the winter, so we’ve never been able to make it work. We toured the house and gardens and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Eric at Filoli estate

Eric at Filoli estate

Gen in Filoli garden

Gen in Filoli garden

In San Francisco we stayed near Union Square at the Hilton. We’ve had pretty good luck naming our own price on Priceline, and we got a good deal on a room at a 4-star hotel, but damn, the extras add up. First of all, parking in downtown SF is a nightmare – the hotel wanted $45 a night, plus 14% tax. The best overnight rate we found nearby happened to be right across the street from the hotel – $29 a night, including the tax. Yeesh. Plus, what is it with the luxury hotels charging for internet access? It kills me! The budget hotels all have free wifi, but the 4-stars want you to pay $15 a day. We went to Starbucks instead of paying the ridiculous hotel rates. Still, even with the cost frustrations we had a good time. We did a little shopping, ate some great meals, visited the botanic garden in Golden Gate Park, and got plenty of R&R.

At the botanic garden:

Near Fisherman’s Wharf:

Ghirardelli's Dark Chocolate Sundae - yum!

Ghirardelli's dark chocolate sundae - yum!

Waiting for a cable car

Waiting for a cable car

We are back at home now and will probably spend the rest of our vacation (all of next week) working on our kitchen. Countertops come Monday, finally! We’ll be doing some tile work and painting, and the cabinet doors and drawers (which are now stained) will be installed. I’ll post pictures as soon as we have some progress.

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