Exploring San Francisco’s Feminine Side
San Francisco has a history of decadence, perfect for experiencing a weekend of women-friendly activities. The trip was designed to stimulate the senses and appeal to women travelers, and I was eager to enjoy San Francisco’s softer side.
Checking into the iconic Hyatt Regency and a room on the Club Level was an auspicious start. The private balcony afforded breathtaking views of San Francisco’s waterfront and was the perfect place to sip a glass of wine. The spacious room provided for my every comfort, starting with the comfy king-size bed with fluffy pillows and luxurious linens, bathrobe, and slippers. And, if I forgot anything, the hotel has an array of female friendly products.
Staying on the Club Level brings privileges to the Regency Club, with evening happy hour, beverages, and snacks, all with a view of the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and the Embarcadero waterfront. There’s something wonderful about sipping cocktails and noshing on delicious snacks while enjoying the sunset.
The evening’s highlight was a dinner show at AsiaSF. We arrived by limo, stepped onto the red carpet for a quick photo, and were escorted to the club’s lounge for cocktails and dancing before our dinner commenced. We began with a champagne toast, and the food arrived shortly after. The cuisine features Asian-inspired dishes, including appetizers of wasabi tobiko caviar, tuna sashimi, and chicken satay.
And then the performances began—one sexy Asian girl after another danced across the bar to a favorite song while lip-synching. It was a celebratory ambiance with birthdays, bachelorette parties and friends having a good time.
After round one of the performances we dined on orange lamb, filet mignon, ribs, salmon, and scallops. Dessert was a trio of ice cream cones and banana beignets, but the show had resumed so our attention was riveted to the stage. We later learned the beautiful performers are transgender, which surprised a number of men in the audience hoping to get lucky.
It was late as we arrived back to the hotel, and all I could think of was the inviting bed and downy soft pillows and falling asleep to sounds of the ocean from the sleep machine. It was to brilliant blue skies that I awoke with the golden rays of the sun peeking through my curtains. Chef Cynthia of the Hyatt Regency was taking us to the farmers’ market to shop for ingredients for the tasting menu to be enjoyed later that evening. We wandered through the market stopping frequently to purchase artichokes, kale, mushrooms, fish, and the list goes on. The bounty of fresh, colorful produce was intoxicating to the senses.
A hike in the Presidio stimulated all of our senses with amazing views of sailboats on the bay, birds singing, and the aromas of trees, shrubs, and blooming flowers. The Andy Goldsworthy Wood Line installation of giant felled trees arranged end-to-end forming a zigzag up the hill made us eager to explore the myriad of hiking trails. Led by Alexandra of Urban Hiker SF we snaked through the Presidio, taking in the varied plants and trees culminating in amazing views at Inspiration Point.
Dinner was much anticipated, an eight-course tasting menu held in the hotel’s kitchen at a VIP table. It felt as if we were celebrities in a Food Network show. Upon arrival, chef Cynthia and her staff greeted us with a welcome cocktail. Each course was artistically plated and almost too beautiful to eat. I loved course No. 3, smoked trout and quinoa salad accessorized with Cara cara oranges, peas, and a yogurt dressing and the savory Mount Tam risotto with kale and grilled artichoke, taking its flavors from Mount Tam cheese. The next courses included pork rib roast with jalapeño kraut, couscous pillow, and apple chutney and grilled lamb chops with mushrooms, beans, and a quince pepper jelly. Finally we enjoyed strawberry shortcake. The meal indulged our senses and left us appreciative and sated.
It was with great reluctance I relinquished my beautiful hotel room, which had become a comfortable haven. Fortunately, there were still a few more activities. Our next adventure was to La Cocina, an incubator kitchen, for a hands-on cooking class and lunch. Chef Dionne of Zella’s Soulful Kitchen helped us make a Southern-inspired menu of spinach salad, corn bread and honey butter, macaroni and cheese, and fried chicken. After several hours of chopping, stirring, and whisking, we were ready to enjoy our delicious meal. We appreciated it so much more because we helped to create it with expert help.
The final stop of the weekend was the Good Vibrations Antique Vibrator Museum. The extensive collection includes exhibits dating from the 1890s through the 1970s. We learned medical professionals used vibrators in the early days to treat hysteria in women. Funnily enough, they were advertised in consumer magazines as a massage tool. The store caters to women with a wide selection of products designed to give pleasure; we were happy to receive a gift bag.
The weekend was over all too quickly but left us with a renewed appreciation for the variety of activities that are available. San Francisco is an ideal destination for indulging the senses: to enjoy beautiful views, delicious meals, music, and aromas. It is no wonder people leave their hearts here!