San Francisco Getaway // CAAMFest

While the first day of my Napa getaway consisted of wine country relaxing, the second day was all about big city living.

After a well rested night fit for a queen in our respective plush queen beds at Bardessono, my girlfriend and I woke up early, ready to take full advantage of day two of our two-day getaway. The hotel has free bike rentals, and luckily they had just two sunny yellow cruisers that were calling our names. A morning bike ride sounded like a great way to begin the day. With the open road in front of me and vineyards to my left and right, I freely coasted down the road. I never knew I had “ride a bike in wine country” on my bucket list, but I do now, and I’ve got photos to prove it.

Driving back to San Francisco in our Buicks, the group reconvened at The Slanted Door inside the Ferry Building. Just like in Napa, I’ve been to the Ferry Building dozens of times but never once have I ever stepped through the [slanted] door. A fresh, lighter take on traditional dishes, it’s a great place to try Vietnamese cuisine for the first time if you’ve never had it. Although I found myself wishing there was more fish sauce flavor, I can see why this place remains to be a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike.

With the mini road trip now behind us, we wrapped up the getaway in style. After a glam session at Blowology Dry Bar, we were whisked away to the Castro Theater (my first time there!) to view the opening night film, The Tiger Hunter, for CAAMFest. If you didn’t already know, CAAMFest is the largest Asian American and Asian Film festival in the nation, having just celebrated its’ 35th year. The Tiger Hunter hit all the feels – I laughed, I cried, and laughed until I cried, all the while snacking on buttery popcorn. The film was really good, and what made it even better was the Q&A session with some of the cast and crew. You can’t quite make out the actors’ faces from where we were sitting, but I was still starstruck. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see him with my own eyes, but Napoleon Dynamite is all growns-up.

All in all, it was a fun trip and I’m glad I got to experience this mini-getaway. Despite everything being so local, there were a lot of firsts for me on this trip. It just goes to show that you don’t have to travel halfway across the states (or even around the world, although I certainly encourage that), just to explore new places and try new restaurants – and if you’re lucky, you’ll rub elbows with a celebrity.

What’chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?

Itemize deductions? Report investments? Self-employed? Tax season can be quite taxing. Luckily I have my own CPA to take care of the nitty gritty for me. This year I actually got a refund from the IRS. Which means its time for some IRS -Impulsive Refund Shopping.

I’ve been on the hunt for a vintage Coach handbag for some time now, in particular, the Willis style handbag. My weapon of choice: Ebay, the world’s largest thrift store. To be an Ebay bidder, one must have incredible patience, be willing to ask questions, cross-examine photos, and be able stay calm in the event you are outbid. But how much am I willing fork over? With my refund directly deposited in my bank account, I sought out many sellers, lost some bids, but finally my patience paid off. When my baby Willis arrived in the mail I actually jumped for joy and immediately transferred all the contents from my old purse into my new old purse. It’s the perfect size, and the handle + long cross-body strap is so functional.

Still afraid of shopping on Ebay? Don’t worry; Coach has got your back. Called the Legacy Collection, Coach has brought back these old styles – but you will have to pay a pretty penny of course. My favorite style is the Willis because of that little handle at top and its “just right” size, but I love all their other designs as well.

olive green jacket (similar here) / oversized cardigan (similar here and here) / graphic tee (similar here and here)

I recently went on a shopping trip with some gal pals in San Francisco’s Mission district. In usual San Francisco fashion, the weather was slightly overcast and windy with a chance of rain. The key to dressing for this is to think like an onion: dress in layers. Start with a casual tee, then a chunky middle layer (I chose an oversized cardigan), and finish with an outer shell. Since it wasn’t too cold, but I needed to be concerned about the possibility of rain, this olive windbreaker was just the right fit. Still riding on the high of my urban turban, I pulled a leopard version of it to disguise my unruly hair. Finish with the perfect Willis handbag.

That’s a good one coach! Now go do your taxes, you procrastinator you.

Rainy Day

Roy G. Biv says: Hello, Uniqlo

Uniq – what? Meet the new guy in town, Uniqlo, who just moved into the old DSW location on Powell Street in downtown San Francisco. In case you’ve been living under a rock, their grand opening on October 5th caused a shopping frenzy like no other: a side street was closed off to corral eager shoppers all day, security guards acted like bouncers at a night club, and the long lines lasted well after the grand opening weekend had passed.

Unlike their trendier neighbor H&M across the street, Uniqlo is a Japanese retailer who is all about delivering casual, comfy, and quality basics to their consumers, Roy G. Biv style. Think of them like the Gap, only they aren’t trying so hard to be trendy. With an endless supply of the colors of the rainbow throughout the store, I was sure I would find my pot of gold somewhere.

I finally had the chance to check them out two weeks after they opened and I was utterly surprised that there was no line. I headed straight for the coveted straight skinny colored jeans on promo for $9.90 a pair – but to my dismay, it was slim pickings for a slim pair. I moped around the store and almost settled on a pair of jeggings when I spied a pot of gold in the form of a tiny bin marked “clearance.” There were only a few items in there, mostly stained or damaged in some way, but that is where I found my two pairs of skinny colored denim in my size. They were “damaged” because the alteration must’ve been too short for whoever it was originally meant for, but they were my perfect inseam. Did I mention they hem your pants in house for just $5?

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is an excellent place to shop with your significant other. Not only do they have every color imaginable, but because of their very basic designs, it is easy to get a male and a female version of the same thing. Sadie Hawkins attendees, your prayers have been answered!

Although I’m not a fan of plain basic aka boring pieces, they do have their place in my closet. My favorites so far: ultra stretch color jeans, ultra light down jackets & vests, all of their coats, Heattech lounge wear, and cashmere sweaters.

I’ve always been a dark denim type of gal, but I’ve finally jumped on the colored jeans bandwagon. My final purchases: 2 pairs of colored jeans (red and green), 1 pair of regular jeans, and 1 navy blouse for a grand total of $30. It must be the luck of the Irish; just call me Victoria O’Brien from now on.

How do you like my wild prints paired with the colored pairs? Rawr!