it's christmastime in the city

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i have been planning an epic christmassy (i just really like that word!) day in the city all december. the boy blocked monday the 22 off – declined phone calls and set aside interview prep – and i schemed up the perfect plan to see all my favourite holiday things around the city without leaving us feeling super rushed (there’s too many things to fit into the 8 or so hours we had!). it turned out to be an absolutely glorious sunny day, and my itinerary ran almost perfectly :)

we started at the ferry building, which i always adore, but especially with some garlands and twinkle lights. we got some miette macaons and did some people watching.


then we walked down pier 14 for amazing bright views of the city and the bridge.

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our next stop was city hall. i’ve been wanting to go inside this beautiful building (isn’t it just so grand and pretty?!) since i moved to the bay area, but it is only open workweek hours! the gorgeous interior left me gawking, especially at all the super lovely details, and it was all made magic by the big, glittery christmas tree. 

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next, we went to pier 39. we strolled around the harbor and the sea lions and the shops, ate a milkshake (it was that warm outside!), and waited for the tree lights to turn on. and waited, and waited a little longer. we had timed tickets for ice skating in union square, so eventually we had to give up – oh, well! {i do love the pier 39 tree because it sparkles like the eiffel tower!}


union square at christmastime … it’s just so exciting. we went ice skating, with about 100 other people on the rink. avoiding collisions and the challenge of holding hands while gliding along the not-so-smooth ice made the experience quite fun and memorable :) the boy is amazingly talented at implementing some sweet dance moves to techno christmas music while ice skating – who knew?! we also walked around a few blocks to see the neiman marcus tree, the sugar castle in the sir francis drake hotel, the macy’s windows, and all kinds of crowds and street performers. the holiday spirit in that little city square is so electric!

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^^ this was an attempt to recreate the picture we took in this exact spot two years ago. blurry attempt! ^^

our last stop was to take a quick look at the life-size gingerbread house in the farimont hotel at the top of nob hill. it was worth the climb up those steep streets!

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merry christmas from san francisco!


  1. Wow! What a fun day. I love all the wonderous displays, decorations, and awesome gingerbread house.
    What beautiful pictures of you and your sweetheart.
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Hi,
    Lovely pix of where you live, it looks so pretty. I especially like the one of Ian in front of the huge baubles.:)

    Happy 1st Christmas to you & Ian. I know it will be one to cherish forever.

    Don't forget the crackers & to wear the paper hat.:)

    Best wishes from the UK.

  3. So fun! It makes me want to come visit your city! Thanks for sharing it via pictures.

  4. This is all I've wanted to do all season - visit the city. I'll have to live vicariously through you! Looks like the perfect day. Merry Christmas!

  5. This looks so beautiful! What a fun day! My best friend got married in city hall a few months ago and it was stunning... such a gorgeous building:)

  6. Hi Charity,
    I have been reading your blog for several years and have always loved it—your enthusiasm for life, devotion to motherhood (even before you had your own children), and the way in which you feel so deeply and cherish each moment. First of all, congrats on the new babe! He is so beautiful and I am so happy for your family. I wanted to thank you for your Bay Area posts. I moved here a couple of months ago (for work) from the east coast and LOVE it. I am currently living in Palo Alto and never imagined that I would be when I was reading your posts several years ago. Over the past week or so I have been feeling a bit homesick and I decided to revisit your posts to remind myself how great it can be here and to cherish my time here. Thank you for writing and for bringing out the best in people and places.


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