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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas in San Francisco!

November 17, 2015

    The weather has officially changed here in Northern California–my sandals and tank tops are stowed away and my boots and scarves are out! If I’m going to be cold then I want to see Christmas festivities, so I headed to some Christmas Tree locations in San Francisco to see what is up and what is not–come along with me!

golden gate bridge

golden gate bridge

golden gate bridge

I headed down Bush street on my way to Union Square–there are some beautiful structures to take a gander at on the way. Oh, if you haven’t been to San Francisco for some time, you no longer stop to pay your toll. Grab yourself a FasTrack before your trip otherwise you will get a bill in the mail after.

san francisco building

St. Dominic is a beautiful church!

st. dominic church san francisco

Below is the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium built in 1915-stunning!

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

I decided to park at the garage across from Bloomingdales, I actually do this a lot. Bloomingdales has their holiday decor in! Does anyone else get excited for department store Christmas decorations?? Or is it just me-ha!

bloomingdales christmas decorations 2015

I was going to head down to the food court in the mall but decided I didn’t want to fight the crowd for a seat, instead I headed up to the top of Nordstrom to the Bistro Cafe. I actually really enjoy this restaurant! It’s clean, the service is friendly the food is fresh, there’s a view of the city if you sit by the window and you never have to wait for seating.

Cafe Bistro San Francisco

bistro cafe top of nordstrom

bistro cafe san francisco

bistro cafe view

I got the Fresh Berry & Fig Salad with goat Cheese–I love this salad! It’s fresh and delicious and I definitly recommend it!

Here is the Bistro Club Sandwich–notice the green beans!

the bistro club sandwich

After lunch the first thing I wanted to do was head to Union Square to see if the Ice Skating Rink was up and running. There is still some construction on the way–they seem to be putting out the astro turf in between the stores like last year–I hope they open these areas up soon, instead of us all squeezing down the sidewalks together–if anyone has been to Union Square at Christmas you know what it’s like trying to walk anywhere near the vicinity of Union Square–it’s like those weird dreams where you try to run but you can’t move one inch-haha…

union square construction 2015

You will see what I mean, when they open up these astro turf areas it will be like Moses parting the Red Sea and people will flood in.

union square astro turf area 2015

For you Christmas decor fanatics (like me) out there, you will appreciate these next couple of photos of Macy’s Christmas decor. That top green panel flutters with lights all day long–at night it’s like watching stars twinkle.

macys christmas decorations san francisco

I am sad to say that their adorable window displays are not up yet. The SFSPCA works with Macy’s every year to help get animals adopted. Be ready for cuteness overload starting November 20th with kittens and puppies in adorably decorated spaces. The animals in the windows will change daily. Also, be ready for drones of people cramming their way to see the animals–it’s quite the scene-haha. What is it about kittens and puppies that makes us lose our minds?? Here’s a photo from years past.

sfspca window

christmas macys union square

christmas macys union square

I am sad to say that Union Square is still experiencing A LOT of construction right now. I was really hoping a lot of this would be done before Thanksgiving but it really looks like it won’t be. Be ready to walk through scaffolding and corridors New York style while here.

construction union square 2015

construction union square 2015

OK, boring stuff out of the way–The tree is up in Union Square but is not lit. The Tree Lighting Ceremony is Friday November 27th at 6:00 pm and Jordin Sparks will be headlining it.

I understand that they are trying to be energy efficient and kind to our universe but I just have to say–there is nothing like a real tree. It was only a few years ago that they started using a fake tree in Union Square–it’s not the same, I miss the scent. Couldn’t they work on it’s “cone” like shape at least? That being said–I still enjoy it every year.

union square christmas tree 2015

The wreaths aren’t in the Macy’s windows just yet–they will put a wreath in every single window you see and they are not small wreaths–go in and stand next to one inside they are huge.

union square christmas tree 2015

The tree may not be lit but the Ice Skating Rink is up and running! I love coming here and just watching people skate–eventually I will get myself in there!

Ice skating rink san francisco 2015

Ice skating rink san francisco 2015

Ice skating rink san francisco 2015

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Price:

General Admission $11
Children (Eight and Under) $7
Skate Rental $6

Hours:

10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily.
90 minute skating sessions start on every
even hour.

Sessions:

10:00 – 11:30 am
12:00 – 01:30 pm
02:00 – 03:30 pm
04:00 – 05:30 pm
06:00 – 07:30 pm
08:00 – 09:30 pm
10:00 – 11:30 pm

After taking a quick gander at the rink, I wanted to see if any of the other department stores had their Christmas window up and of course I always have to go into Williams & Sonoma, always.

Niemans had theirs in but I wasn’t too impressed. Pretty but not very Christmasy–maybe they will change it again before Christmas.

neiman marcus holiday window 2015

Johnson Hartig’s new collection called Libertine was in the windows-his book is below.

johnson hartig book

Here’s one of his designs-cute sweater.

johnson hartig libertine collection

To see this Sweater and the rest of his collection click here.

Here’s the details for Neiman’s Tree Lighting party if you are interested.

neiman marcus union square tree lighting party

And on to one of my favorite stops in Union Square (especially at the holidays) Williams & Sonoma. This is the biggest one you will ever see and their table settings for Thanksgiving and Christmas always give me some great ideas!

williams and sonoma union square

williams and sonoma union square

williams and sonoma table settings for thanksgiving

christmas dishes at williams and sonoma

christmas dishes at williams and sonoma christmas 2015

Plenty More is one of my favorite chef’s books by Yotam Ottolenghi–he has some amazing vegetarian recipes!

Plenty more book by Yotam Ottolenghi

Williams & Sonoma has EVERYTHING–even your “pop-in” Marble top island. Forget the contractor just have Santa deliver you this.

Barrelson Kitchen Island with Marble Top Williams and sonoma

After taking a stroll through Union Square I stopped at starbucks, got my Chestnut Praline Latte, skipped the adorable snowman cookie that I wanted to devour, almost picked up this glittery gold tumbler then put it back and headed to Ghirardelli Square to see if their Holiday festivities had begun.

IMG_1334

Starbucks has some pretty cute stocking stuffers this year.

starbucks Glitter Cold Cup

Hello Ghirardelli Square!

ghirardelli square christmas 2015

Going to Ghirardelli Square is a must if you are a chocolate person and visiting the city. It’s a super fun stop if you have children. Their Christmas decor was up and it was beautiful. The lines were long like usual. My weakness was back, Peppermint Bark. Never leave me alone with it! They have everything online if you can’t make it in–they have super cute little bundles for kids stockings-click here to go to their website-free shipping on orders over $60.

ghirardelli square christmas 2015

inside ghirardelli square christmas 2015

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ghirardelli square christmas 2015

ghirardelli square christmas 2015

ghirardelli square christmas 2015

ghirardelli square christmas 2015

IMG_1384

inside ghirardelli square christmas 2015

Make your own assortment.

inside ghirardelli square christmas 2015

ghirardelli square christmas 2015

Here is their beautiful tree!

ghirardelli square christmas tree 2015

ghirardelli square christmas tree 2015

Here’s a quick tip:  If you want to skip the lines head down to the street level and there’s a mini Ghirardelli that never has lines–it’s small and the menu isn’t as extensive but if you want to avoid the lines this is the place to be.

ghirardelli square at Christmas 2015

ghirardelli square menu 2015

ghirardelli square menu 2015

inside ghirardelli square 2015

Here’s a couple photo’s from the top of the square.

views from ghirardelli square 2015 san francisco

views from ghirardelli square 2015

I grabbed a couple more shots before heading to In-in-Out Burger for dinner.

IMG_1427

FullSizeRender-197

FullSizeRender-195

 

Thanks for coming along with me! I hope you enjoyed this post!

XO,

Goldie+James

 

 

 

 

 

Goldie James

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