Tripping into summer: Vacation dream spots

dreamSummer’s well and truly here (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) officially now, as my poor beleagured A/C can attest. Although for many of us, it’s felt like high summer for quite awhile already. And with kids out of school, more relaxed work schedules, etc., summer tends to be vacation season, high time for travel. Although I don’t have any trips planned, I do love to dream about destinations I’d love to visit, particularly cooler climes, in light of the near-100 degrees near us this weekend.

If you could go shopping for one day anywhere in the world (you know, snap your fingers and you’re there),where would it be? Very tough choice, I know. But despite the considerable charms of Paris, London, New York and so many other wonderful cities, I think I’d have to choose San Francisco. Although the Haute Parfumerie at Harrod’s, the Ormonde Jayne boutiques and other London lovelies do sorely tempt me into zipping across the Pond; and Paris – ahhh — enough said. Those would definitely be my No. 2 and 3 picks, respectively.

San Francisco has always been my favorite U.S. city (edging out Chicago by a nose), mostly due to its cool, nearly humidity-free climate, laid-back vibe and accessability: you can get around easily (rarely a need for pricey taxis, etc.). And between Barney’s, Neiman’s, Nordstrom, Saks and the Chanel, Hermes and Diptyque boutiques, I can find pretty much whatever I want, scent-wise, within walking distance of each other. Plus amazing restaurants (dim sum, here I come!), lovely lunch with a view in the Rotunda restaurant in Neiman’s, yummy Dungeness crab, sourdough bread, and dreamy Michael Recchiuti chocolates in the beyond-wonderful Ferry Building (not to mention the sables there at Miette that Musette adores). Plus the sheer fun of riding the cable cars in the evening chill with the city’s lights all aglow and the breeze off the bay on your face. And did I mention that fabulous Dungeness crab? Indeed, I would think very seriously about leaving my heart (and my nose, tastebuds, etc.) in the lovely city by the bay. Alas, my wallet gives my dream a sharp poke in the ribs and I wake up.

What about you? What would your dream destination be this year? Or what fun real-life trips have you been on so far or have planned for this summer?

  • Fifi says:

    Gosh, it’s been years since I was in SF (Nieman’s was brand new!) and I’d love to go back. Also Copenhagen and Paris are on my dream list. I just discovered this blog and am all greased up to zoom down the rabbit hole!

  • akatchoom says:

    I dream of going to a place that involves a comfy cabin on a warm beach, fresh fruit, and meals delivered three time a day so I can just read, swim and nap. Basically anywhere like that sounds perfect.

  • odonata9 says:

    So many travel dreams! But finances and 2 small children conspire to keep me at home. We are doing a short staycation in August at a local timeshare type place with lots of kids stuff to do. San Francisco is such a great city. I have been a few times, but there is so much there to discover. And so many other places on my travel wish list – Portugal, Barcelona, Hungary, Croatian pop to mind at first, and plenty of places in the US too – Hawaii (I’ve been several times and my dad lives there, but not any time recently), the Redwoods north of SF, Portland, lots of national parks! For the interests of playing along, I’d say Barcelona. I’m sure they have some perfume shopping and I just want to walk around and see all the Gaudi. One day.

    • Ann says:

      I hear you, dear! Kids are pretty time-intensive, not to mention expensive (I have a rising high school sophomore), Barcelona sounds wonderful, and Hawaii, too. (And it’s a nice plus that your dad lives there — I know hotels aren’t cheap). Wishing you a great trip soon!

  • filomena813 says:

    I was last in San Francisco in 2014…I had a lovely time and visited all the stores. I also spent a day at Alcatraz, which is a very compelling place to see. The trip also included L.A. and a day at MGM. San Francisco is one of my very U.S. favorite cities, along with New York. Rome, Florence Venice, and Taormina are my favorite European cities.

    • Ann says:

      Nice to see another SF fan, Filomena! Your mention of those Italian cities have me wanting to go. I’ve not been to Italy much (save for a visit to Milan), but Rome, Venice, Florence, and Lake Como are now calling my name.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I don’t have any trips planned this summer. So much of my paycheck is going to my teeth, going somewhere isn’t in the cards right now. But I would have to say if it were an all expenses paid type of thing, Paris for the perfume, then some time in Germany and then boogie on over to Ireland. That’s just some of the over seas part. My States side would have to be in the historic triangle of Virginia. Williamsburg, York, and Jamestown.

    • Ann says:

      Hope you are able to get the teeth issues over with soon and taken care of. Glad you mentioned the Virginia area — it is so lovely there. We visited Williamsburg as part of our honeymoon many years ago. All that history is just so cool.

  • Portia says:

    Heya Ann,
    Love this post. Hope you’re enjoying summer.
    We had a wonderful Europe trip this year and have been weekending in Tasmania a bit. Bought our retirement plan down there this month and have tenants in there already to pay it off for us. Very lucky.
    Next trip is India in March, then a week in South Korea with Jin’s family.
    Where would I go if it could happen in an instant, return in an instant? For adventure Macchu Picchu in Peru, for friends Vienna, for fragrance London or New York, to get away from the world Australia’s Great Barrier Reef islands.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Ooh, lucky you, Portia! You guys are always going to fun, exotic destinations. Tasmania, you say? Very cool. Must hear more about this.

  • pats133 says:

    Oh so many places i would love to visit. San Francisco is one of these, a Scandinavian cruise to include the Northern Lights, an Orient Express trip down through Russia, New Zealand …. where to stop. I want to do at least one of these in the next year if money allow.

    • Ann says:

      Pats, love your wanderlust stops! I’ve never traveled overnight by train, so that sounds very cool. Here’s hoping you get to do one (or more) very soon!

  • HeidiC says:

    Paris, for the perfume boutiques and Shakespeare & Co., definitely! For shopping Stateside, I think I’d like to go to Chicago — I’ve only been there once, but I loved it, and would love to go back. For dream destinations that have nothing to do with shopping, I have two: my favorite place on earth — Moab, Utah — and a place I’ve always wanted to visit — Iceland.

    • Ann says:

      Heidi, as I mentioned in the post, I, too, love Chicago; just wandering up and down (and sometimes off) Michigan Avenue, and the deep-dish pizza — yum!! Moab and Iceland sound stunning to visit. Soon for you, I hope.

  • Neva says:

    Oh Ann, dreams are free, that’s so great about them, right? My dream destination will always and forever be the Maledives. I love the climate (warm sea, warm air), the diving spots and the amazing life under water, the easy living with NO shops tempting me, just diving, swimming and reading under the palms the whole day long! Up to now I’ve managed to visit the Maledives twice during 12 years, but I always hope that I will manage to “hop over” maybe this year again, or maybe next year…

    • Ann says:

      Neva, the Maldives sound divine! Lucky you to have been there before, and I hope you get to return very soon. And I, too, need a place where no shops will tempt me. 🙂

  • tiffanie says:

    Hi Ann, I’m right there with you in San Francisco, with London and Paris not far behind. I’ve visited San Francisco repeatedly during my childhood and adult life. It never loses its charm. Our last trip included tween children, and we had a wonderful first visit to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. What a fabulous natural history museum.

    I know I will visit there again, and honestly, I’m truly looking forward to an adult vacation to San Francisco, whether with my own kids when they are adults, or with my adult family, it will be memorable. And now I’m thinking a solo excursion to visit all the perfume destinations you listed would be heaven. I have to add shopping for Wit, Debut, and Amoureuse from San Francisco’s Parfums DelRae to my list. What fun it is to dream!

    • Ann says:

      So glad to see another San Fran fan, Tiffanie! And I’d forgotten all about Parfums DelRae — is there a storefront for those scents?

      • tiffanie says:

        I don’t know if there is a storefront, but I hope the brand is well represented on San Francisco perfume counters. I love 3 out of 4 of the Parfums DelRae fragrances I’ve tried.

        • Ann says:

          Next time you visit SF, do let us know where you see the DelRae. I would think perhaps Barney’s as they seem to have the most niche, but who knows? Thanks!