I love this photograph: Christmas Day 2010.
For a few years running, from 2010-2012, we would travel to the city, ride the California cable car to the top of Nob Hill, and stay at The Fairmont for Christmas. It was our “thing.”
It all started in 2010 when we went into SF the day after Thanksgiving and a few too many Irish Coffees at The Buena Vista.
We’d heard of a giant Christmas tree and gingerbread house at The Fairmont up the hill. So we jumped into a cab and rocketed up Hyde Street.
We arrived, a little car sick, and threw some money at the cab driver. We stumbled across the street and into the lobby.
Before us stood a giant, 23 foot tree decked with ornaments; behind it, a two-story gingerbread house complete with model train.
We were stunned.
After an obligatory number of selfies in front of the tree, in front of the gingerbread house, in the gingerbread house, with one of the chefs putting the final touches on the gingerbread house, the tree, the gingerbread house, etc. etc., we settled into the bar off the lobby.
Perusing a menu of each Fairmont Hotel’s signature drink, we settled on the classic champagne cocktail, the signature for the Fairmont Monte Carlo.
By the time we were done, it was time for dinner and more drinks; so, Tonga Room!!!!
Back home, a few weeks later, and finally recovered from our hangover, we both looked at each other one Saturday morning and thought the same thing: how much would it be for a room on Christmas?
Not that much it turned out.
So there we were, in Chinatown on Christmas Day 2010, after a few more champagne cocktails and dinner somewhere in the bowels of Chinatown, wandering our way through SF to Union Square to watch the ice skaters before retiring for the night and preparing for the after Christmas sales the next morning.