After a busy quarter of school and work, I was finally able to have a day to myself, celebrated with a good friend.
Since the holiday season is in full swing, I decided to continue an annual tradition that has been present every winter since as long as I can remember.
You see, back in Alaska, we used to drive to Homer and go to the local performance of The Nutcracker. There was usually a lunch/dinner out, as well as a craft fair. And of course, the performance of the holiday season. It was something I always looked forward to in December and this year, I was blessed to have been able to attend The San Francisco Ballet's version of the iconic holiday ballet.
Maybe it wasn't the same as my past experiences, but it sure made my holiday season.
After being picked up by my good friend Juline, we went down to the Hayes Valley neighborhood to have a spot of lunch at this enticing restaurant: Absinthe.
I felt right at home..
After taking a generous look through their delicious looking menu, we ordered and were immediately served some delightful dishes.
To start: french onion soup gratinee.
Pretty soon, our table became rather full! There were added salads (coke farm mixed green salad with fuyu persimmons, brioche crisps, ricotta salata, candied almonds, and citrus vinaigrette) and fondues ( baked fontina fondue with rosemary, garlic, and creme fraich).
But we couldn't stop there! For dessert, we split the most heavenly carrot cake with lavender honey ice cream, yogurt mousse, and candied walnuts.
Full tummies and happy smiles of contentment!
After that divinity, we walked just down the road to the beautiful War Memorial Opera House for the matinee showing of The Nutcracker...
Let me just tell you how beautiful of a performance it was! It was all that I had imagined, and more. Not only was it tuned in to San Francisco, but the costumes, dancing, sets, and energy was spot on! I saw darling little girls, eyes aglow sitting in their seats, in their holiday finest and I just couldn't help but smile because that used to be me.. And I'm still that same girl, just in a bigger body. It made me miss dance and it put tears in my eyes because the holiday spirit was there in all of its glittery glory.
But the afternoon didn't end there! Juline and I met up with her family and we ended up going out to another delicious Italian restaurant down by the Wharf, and the evening ended with this beautiful lighted staircase that led up to Coit Tower.
It seemed as if the whole city was lit up in the holiday spirit. And it made me really appreciate how amazing it was that I was living in such a city...