Monday, December 19, 2011

Hey, San Francisco, 49 Hours isn't nearly enough - Part 1

You can be a good skate at the Holiday Ice Rink Embarcadero Center
(Activity #11 - open thru Jan. 8, 2012) (Photos: Terry Gardner)

San Francisco is happening for the holidays.  In a two and a half days last week, I barely scratched the surface of 49 holiday things to do.  Here are highlights from several Activities I checked out during my brief visit.

Only in San Francisco - a night with drag queens followed by an evening at the Symphony

L to R: Manuel Caneri (Diego), Pollo Del Mar (Rose), Cookie Dough (Sophia),
Heklina (Dorothy), Matthew Martin (Blanche) & Laurie Bushman (Clayton)

Activity #13 - Revisit the "Golden Girls" as they are re-imagined in a high camp, "all drag" extravaganza at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street. Heklina plays Dorothy (the Bea Arthur role) in this special presentation of two "Golden Girls" episodes.  Most of the audience had seen the "queens" present the Golden Girls last Christmas.  And theatre is usually fun when you get to drink beer or wine during the show.  On December 22, local San Francisco celebrity, Jan Wahl, will have a cameo appearance.  Her hat has yet to be announced.  The last two shows are Dec. 22 and 23 at 8:00 p.m.  Advance tickets are sold out, but you may be able to get a last minute cash ticket at the door.

Exterior of Davis Symphony Hall

Activity #18 - Davis Symphony Hall - After spending the previous night with men who are more comfortable in high heels than I am, Davis Symphony Hall was quite a contrast.  Instead of seeing queens, visions of angels danced in my head.  After trying to see as much of San Francisco as possible that day, it was soothing to listen to the strings of of the San Francisco Symphony accompanying the San Francisco Chorale as they performed Handel's "Messiah."  The Symphony turned 100 this year, and a hearing a concert in Davis Hall was definitely a highlight of my trip.

Although you'll have to wait until next year to hear Handel's "Messiah," there is a Christmas carol sing-a-long this week ("Twas the Night") and a New Year's Eve Masquerade ball.

We parked across from City Hall for the Symphony.
The Ferry Building glows red at night during the holiday season.

San Francisco Hotels offer houses of Gingerbread, a Castle of Sugar or Snow Thrice daily 
(Activities 16, 29, 31 and 35)

 Fairmont San Francisco

The Fairmont San Francisco boasts a full size
Gingerbread House during the holidays (Activity #16)

The Palace San Francisco

The Palace Gingerbread competition included Gumps, the Four Sisters Houses, the Golden Gate Bridge, Elvis and Hound dogs, the Farmers Market and more (voting is activity #29)

Carolers may sing while you dine in the Garden Court at the Palace
For more details on the Palace, please visit my earlier post about my stay at the Palace along with a Palatial holiday post by my travel writing colleague, Dick Jordan, on his Tales Told from the Road blog.

The Westin St. Francis

The Westin St. Francis boasts San Francisco's largest holiday sugar castle.
It weighs over 1,200 pounds (Activity #31)

The Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Hyatt Regency San Francisco has snow fall three times a day during the holidays (Activity 35). 
I didn't get to see any snow while I was there learning about chocolate on a Gourmet Food Tour. 

Stay tuned for Part II - SF SPCA Pet adoptions, a gourmet chocolate tour and more.

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