To Alcatraz!!

When my friend Lisa visited, I took Monday off and we headed out with Pat (my husband) to Alcatraz. Pat’s from the Bay area, and we’d been coming back to visit his family for years before we moved here — but somehow we never made it out to that prison island. We were like those New Yorkers who never visit the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes you need a friend to visit in order to get around to the touristy stuff!

The day started pretty miserably — chilly and rainy — but around here, you never know what the weather will bring. So like a good San Franciscan, I dressed in layers: a trenchcoat, sweater (not just any old sweater though – a sparkly one!), and cami underneath, with a scarf that could double as a shawl. And I even wore jeans — a rare occurrence!

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

Oh yes, and I accessorized with bangles – I really love the red and pink combo. I knew we’d be walking around all day, but I also knew we’d be taking tons of photos. It is possible to be comfortable and still look good!

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

And guess what? By the time we reached Alcatraz, the sun had come out. That’s San Francisco weather!

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz has awesome views, both inside and out. I spent a lot of time just taking photos:

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz cell.

Alcatraz cell.

I briefly ended up behind bars . . .

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

. . . and even donned prison duds:

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

. . . but finally managed to escape outside with Lisa!

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

By the time we were ready to head home, rain clouds had started to gather again.

View from Alcatraz.

View from Alcatraz.

Luckily, we made it to the ferry just as the rain hit!

I highly recommend visiting Alcatraz — especially if you love to take pictures. Just make sure you wear layers, a raincoat, and bring an umbrella. I saw lots of tourists stuck with Alcatraz ponchos!

Sweater: Sparkling Personality Sweater, BB Dakota via ModCloth
Scarf: gifted
Trenchcoat: Burberry
Jeans: Banana Republic
Purse: Longchamp
Shoes: Aquatalia by Marvin K. (Water resistant! Perfect for San Francisco.)

(P.S. More photos available on my Flickr set.)

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A Lovely Valentine’s

This morning I was greeted with a sweet start to Valentine’s Day. My husband, Pat, made me a cappuccino — with a heart.

Cappuccino, with love

Cappuccino, with love

After work, I came home to some lovely roses, and Pat and I had cocktails. I whipped up a new cocktail recipe that was absolutely delicious — if I do say so myself. :) I’ve decided to call it the Briar Rose.

The Briar Rose, a cocktail by kate à la mode

The Briar Rose, a cocktail by kate à la mode

Briar Rose
2 tbsp honey syrup
1 tsp berry jam
2 oz vodka
3/4 oz crème de cassis
1/2 oz rose-water
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

To make the honey syrup, mix 1 part honey with 1 part hot water; stir until blended.
Mix berry jam into honey syrup until smooth (if necessary, heat briefly — about 10 seconds in the microwave).
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice.

After cocktails, we headed out to Fringale for dinner, where we had a scrumptious dinner.

And the best part? I got to take some balloons home!

Les ballons. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Les ballons. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Okay, maybe not the best part — the food was awfully good — but certainly a fun way to wrap up the evening. I asked the waiter if I could take a balloon home, and he gave me a whole bunch. Win!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s too!

Dress: Most Memorable Dress, Stop Staring via ModCloth
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Coat: Burberry
Purse: Cole Haan