California trip: Days two and three

Photos by Drew

San Francisco was another one of those places I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations for, which is no fault of San Francisco’s. It’s just that the things I was most excited about seeing on our California trip were all silent film-related, and I couldn’t think of many places to visit. One of my big silent screen/talkie-writer favorites Anita Loos was from San Francisco, but as far as I know there aren’t any spots in the city dedicated to her (though I could definitely be wrong and kind of hope I am).

Fortunately once again I was blown away by the place, ended up meeting two other bloggers, and even found a pretty good silent film connection by accident. It was my first trip ever to San Francisco, and when we drove into Union Square it was scary and overwhelming, but then Drew and I walked around and met up with Francesca and got a tour that completely changed my mind about the city. It is beautiful, especially when you get outside the main section and start walking the hills (so steep that some of them have stairs), past Victorian houses and art deco high rises. We decided that if you have to live in a really big city, San Francisco must be a pretty good one to live in.

Francesca and her little dog Westley were every bit as lovely as they are on her blog. She brought us some cupcakes that were amazing and then showed us all over the city. We met up with her for breakfast at Brenda’s before we left on Wednesday, and I wish I got her picture then too because her outfit was absolutely perfect–little ’30s dress, cardigan, oxfords and socks. She’s really the nicest, too.

The only bad part of my San Francisco trip was that I got sick, probably thanks to the heatwave and dry California air that I’m just not used to at all. So I spent most of Tuesday in bed with a book (Day of the Locust–not really the most cheerful California book in the world), and when I finished that I wasted time online doing research on our hotel, only to find that the Fatty Arbuckle scandal took place there, and only two floors above me.  For those of you who never heard about it, it was one of the biggest scandals of the silent film period–basically the actor Rosco “Fatty” Arbuckle was accused of rape and manslaughter after Virginia Rappe, an actress who went to his wild party at the St. Francis, got sick died a few days later.  He ended up being acquitted (and most likely wasn’t to blame) but the affair pretty much ruined his career and was one of the biggest media sensations of the time.  So I was sick, but not too sick to slip on shoes and run up the stairs to the outside of room 1220 where the party took place.  I don’t think it was haunted.

After that Drew and I went on a walk to go find a sushi restaurant, and while we were walking we ran into Jennine of The Coveted. And she was wonderful and nice and wore the best glasses, and if I weren’t such a nervous person I would have gotten a photograph.  Then we ate sushi, got ice cream at Swensen’s, and took a nightime walk to the extra 1930s Coit Tower, which I think just might have the best views in all the city.

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  1. Posted September 1, 2010 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve never been to San Francisco before (only experience I had is with that famous song), but these photos are amazing (Drew is an exceptional photographer!). The dog is super cute, too. :)

  2. Posted September 1, 2010 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    This is awesome. San Fransisco seems wonderful! Thanks

  3. Posted September 1, 2010 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Looks wonderful. I like the pics where u two +dog is on the stairs.


  4. Posted September 1, 2010 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    What lovely dresses and photos! I can tell you’re on Lombard St. in that first one. (Joke I heard when I first moved to San Francisco: Lombard St. is the second crookedest street in the world. What’s the first? Wall St!) Glad you had a nice time here–it really is a great city.

  5. Posted September 1, 2010 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Great blog and beautiful photos. Congratulations, you’re in the Elle’s favorite blogs (

  6. Posted September 1, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Photo of you and Drew is a cute one :) Especially since you don’t really share photos like that!

    It’s neat that you were able to find out history about your hotel. Especially such an interesting scandal. Poor Fatty.

    Bea from A plus B

  7. Posted September 1, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Hey, I love those beige dress!

  8. Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    very pretty dresses!

  9. Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Your photos are so lovely to look at! Takes me to another place :)

  10. Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    My word, the first, bluey-coloured dress you are wearing in these pictures is beautiful. Is it a new autumnal one? Your photographs look so 1930s today.

    San Francisco, conversely, has always been somewhere I’ve dreamed of living. I quite like hills, and I especially like trams, and the architecture looks so curious. I’ve never actually visited, of course, but it is at the top of my list.

  11. Posted September 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I adore the second dress a lot.

  12. Posted September 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    lovely shoes. I like the last picture.

  13. Posted September 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m so pleased to see the picture of you and Drew! His presence is always so much in your posts, it’s nice to see he actually exists! Ha :-)

    Also glad to hear you’re (albeit unexpectedly) enjoying San Francisco. I always felt the same, yeah, whatever…Los Angeles and Carmel – THOSE were my California loves – but when I finally visited San Fran a number of years ago with my sister and cousins, I found it just delightful! And coincidentally, I had a bad sick day too, I’m pretty sure I had heat stroke, when I was last there! Good times :-)

    Enjoy the rest of your trip…

  14. Posted September 1, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    i love this post! san francisco is my favorite city, and these photos and outfits are breathtaking!

  15. Posted September 1, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures, Rhiannon! I love reading about your trip in all these great cities. I remember learning about Fatty Arbuckle in my first semester of college! The American History teacher was phenomenal, and everyday I went to class I felt as if I was walking into a great book. I remember being fascinated with the Arbuckle scandal! If my memory serves me correctly, wasn’t there something about a broken glass bottle being used as a rape weapon? I could be completely wrong, so I’m headed to the Wiki page to clarify!

  16. Posted September 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    SF is definitely one of my favourite gorgeous and unique! beautiful pictures, btw! ^^

  17. Posted September 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Wow SF seems like a dream. I’d love to visit sometime. You and Francesca so need to combine your super powers and start a blog together. It would be out of this world. It would take over, I’m fairly certain. Come to New England next!!

  18. Posted September 1, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Such a cute post! I’m glad to read all this SF stuff because I’m sort of planning a trip there this fall, you’re making me excited! Cool to know all the silent film connection, too. Man, Westley is adorable. I want to pat his little head!

  19. Anthe
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the great pictures and update on your trip! It looks like you had a great time
    with wonderful views of the city!

  20. Posted September 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh! How wonderful! This is a side of San Francisco that I rarely treat myself too because I tend to spend all of my time in places that other people probably find extra scummy, but I’ve always been a strange fish who feels most at home when there’s trash on the street and weirdos following other weirdos around. But I love Coit tower, and I love all the San Franciscan hills and Victorians with their railroad style apartments inside and all the stairs on the particularly sloping streets and the Bay of course. I’m so glad you loved San Francisco as it’s one of my favorite cities of all time even if I’ll probably never live there again for a significant amount of time :(

    Both you and Francesca look beautiful in your outfits! It almost looks coordinated–it’s that perfect! Did you make it to Twin Peaks? The drive up there is all bedrock and foggy and scary and there’s a hospital along the way that looks like an insane asylum and after that it’s all wind and lovers in their car being frisky!

    I can’t wait to see what other California adventures you had! You’re really making me miss it.

  21. Posted September 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I can’t believe you were in the same hotel as the Fatty Arbuckle scandal. I used to love reading about all the classic movie stars, and his story is a sad one. Sometimes suspicion is worse than guilt. I just love seeing the photos from your trip..

  22. Christine
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I was in san francisco aug.21-23. so sad I missed you. Would’ve loved to have made a list for you of places to hit up.

  23. Posted September 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Great pictures, i really love the one in the stairs. I would love to visit this hotel, thanks for sharing the little story!

  24. Posted September 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Your pictures are beautiful!!

  25. Posted September 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Love the pictures, you look gorgeous darling!
    Fantastic trip!
    amazing place!:D
    I have to go there!
    xxx darling

  26. Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Yay glad you had fun in my hometown :) They actually filmed a lot of old movies in SF so next time you’re here, you should go hunting for those movie spots! Every time I pass a Vertigo or Pal Joey spot I always have to point it out! And wow I didn’t know about that scandal, that’s so interesting!

  27. Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I love that photo of you two kissing on the hill, it is so sweet!
    I’m looking for a new camera and I always love your photos. Do you have any recommendations for an awesome DSLR?

  28. Schmidt
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I come to your blog everyday, I like it a lot.

    One thing I always wanted to know is: how do you get the money to travel? is it possible to make a living of the things you sell in Etsy?

    I asked because I’m thinking of starting my own business in Etsy, but I’m not sure.

    Hope you answer! Thanks (:

  29. Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the lovely comment Rhiannon :) You’re the best!
    It sounds like you had such an amazing time in San Fransisco! The photos are so good, I love that one of you and Drew on the hill. These trip posts are killing me, I miss America! (I think I really have to stop reading blogs while I’m at work, too depressing ;) )

  30. Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    How neat! I’ve heard a lot of good things over the years about SF from friends (whose opinions I tend to trust on travel matters ;), and reading your post is making me even more eager to visit it one day! Plus, extra points for staying in the same hotel as the Fatty Arbuckle scandle took place in–how cool! :D

    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  31. Posted September 2, 2010 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    yes san francisco is pretty great ;D

    we should meet up if you come again! haha love your blog


  32. Posted September 2, 2010 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    the next time you’re in the city i recommend stopping by mitchell’s ice cream, emmy’s spaghetti shack, and another wonderful restaurant called luella. nice to know you enjoyed your visit =)

  33. Posted September 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    That’s so cool that you came to SF! I was in Union Square on Monday – crazy to think that you were so close by! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, I really love San Francisco. It can be scary in some places, but beautiful too.

  34. Posted September 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Awww shucks!! Some of my two most favorite internet gals together! Too good to be true!! Wish I was there! You both look as adorable as can be and I quite like that adorable picture of you and Drew, miss! Sounds like it was incredible–and the Fatty Arbuckle scandal!!! That’s awesome! Bummer it wasn’t haunted, though. xx

  35. Posted September 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Your pictures are really great. Make me wanna go there !

  36. Sara Bley
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Hello! Just a question about your wonderful pictures. How do you get that old look on them? Do you use any “photoprogram” like photoshop?

  37. Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Looks like you had a great time! I love your dress in the first shot :)

  38. Posted September 3, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    you are just so gorgeous.

  39. Amy
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Did you like the St. Francis? My mother and I stayed there when we visited San Francisco and I really enjoyed it (I get excited about old hotels and like to imagine all the people who have stayed there and what they wore and why they were there).

  40. Summar
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Aww, that photo of you and Drew is the sweetest. It reminds me of those pictures of babies kissing each other. =D Soo cute, and soo sweet.

  41. Posted September 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s crazy you booked that hotel and had no idea the Fatty Arbuckle scandal took place there! Insane. See, and if you wouldn’t have gotten sick, you wouldn’t have found that out. I really dig your sundresses. Like most places, I’ve never been to San Francisco, but I’d love to go some day.

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