San Francisco Redux

Jose MartiFifty-five years ago on Thanksgiving Day, my (now) husband and I announced our engagement.  Fifty-five years ago today we were married.

We couldn’t have predicted the future that is now our past. We weren’t old enough, mature enough, or imaginative enough to have understood the profound joy ahead. Nor could we have predicted the setbacks and turmoil of 55 years of married and family life.

Last year when I wrote about our anniversary I didn’t predict the upcoming pressure of a milestone celebration. Although Hallmark doesn’t list 55 years with a suggested gift, it is still a mid-decade hallmark. In preparation, we agreed that we wanted some special commemoration. How much more pressure could we apply than to return to the scene of our honeymoon?

Tonga Room
Tonga Room

Actually, it’s fairly easy when we can’t really remember many past details. What is difficult is to put ourselves in the place of that young and unsophisticated couple who visited here in 1959. It has all changed as much as we have.

Back then we stayed at a cousin’s apartment. We remember being mesmerized by pizza skins thrown in the air at La Val’s pizza in Berkeley (which is still in business according to the internet). Chinatown felt like an exotic wonderland. And our most vivid joint memory is the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel. We were both underage but somehow we were there dancing as the band played our song, “Scarlet Ribbons”.

Indian food at Shalimar
Indian food at Shalimar

Today we rode a cable car to downtown but didn’t see the Fairmont. No problem because we didn’t want to recreate that night. We’re busy being easy – enjoying whatever appeals. Since neither of us care about shopping or seeing the sites our weekend is without a grand agenda. But we each have ideas.

Marilyn Monroe at the Hollywood Cafe
Marilyn Monroe at the Hollywood Cafe

Staying on the wharf was important to my husband.  Where we eat matters to me. The “foodie” in me wants to experience San Francisco by fork and knife. (Or fork and large spoon at Shalimar, my daughter’s Indian food discovery in the Tenderloin district.)

IMG_1266Seafood, Italian food, bountiful breakfasts at our new discovery – The Hollywood Cafe, Coldstone. In addition to the wonderful food, our anniversary trip will probably be memorialized by walking in the rain, watching Netflix on our IPad and the joy of being together while negotiating  and accommodating our distinctly different likes and dislikes (not much different than the last 55 years).

That’s epic!


  1. Dears, thank you for sharing your anniversary. Your trip sounds delicious in every way. Wishing you continued good times and celebrations.


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