In an effort to check off another activity on our Bay Area bucket list, Ed and I, on a bit of an impulse, went up to enjoy the San Francisco Symphony on Sunday (after spending many, many, many hours working Saturday - report card season - we certainly needed the break).
In a word?
When we arrived in San Francisco (side note - traveling to the city on a Sunday afternoon is heavenly. Barely any traffic, easy parking, everything was wonderful!), we were both hungry, so Ed led us to "The Boxing Room," where we ordered drinks (tea for me, cappuccino for Ed) and some tasty Beignets.
While we had to gulp everything down fairly quickly, it was still lovely, though I did have to tell myself to relax and enjoy the moment, as I always get a bit anxious when I'm on a time crunch :).
About 20 minutes later, we entered the symphony hall and got ready to enjoy the main event.
Now, while I've had the privilege of going to the symphony when I was younger, I hadn't really been to a professional symphony since I've been an adult. While community bands are wonderful, they just can't hold a candle to this caliber of music.
And, oh my goodness, can these guys play! I had to lean forward to see the whole stage (we were front row in the top balcony), and felt like a little kid leaning forward excitedly in my seat so that I could catch every movement by the musicians.
We were treated to:
Rossini's Overture to L'italiana in Algeri
Chopin's Piano concerto No. 2 in F minor
Dvorak's Symphony No. 7
As Ed predicted, seeing the piano concerto made me want a piano all the more, and the concert in general made me suggest to Ed the perhaps we get a season of tickets to the symphony next year, since that could be the last year we have so much free time for a while :). I couldn't possibly choose my favorite - all were spectacular, and it was the best date Ed and I have gone on in a long time.
Both at the intermission, where we stood outside on the balcony, taking in the city hall building as well as views of the city, and after the concert, Ed and I couldn't help but rave about the amazing concert. Why it took us 5 years of living in the South Bay to make our way to this venue is beyond me, but I'm so glad we went before we moved.
The concert was over by 4pm, so we had some time to kill before dinner. Ed had previously spotted a used book store, so we headed there next. Like always, I immediately headed to the children's section, a bit small, but still holding a real gem. Ed, the amazing husband he was, bought for me a 1940 edition of the "Chronicles of Avonlea" a book I'd never known existed about the world of my favorite book character, Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables.
We wandered until 5, when we could finally be seated for dinner, at Absinthe, a restaurant we'd wanted to try (their former chef was on Top Chef a few years ago, and it was right around the corner from the symphony.
Ed and I both agreed that the food was very good. Not the most amazing meal, but the ambiance, combined with a very well paced meal (2 1/2 hours) made it a practically perfect date. Possibly my favorite was a very sharp blueish cheese that we had to finish out our meal with honeycomb. I'd always wanted to try honeycomb, and it was lovely (especially with that cheese).
The beauty of this matinee, followed by dinner, was that even though the dinner was very relaxed, we were still home before 9pm. This was exactly the kind of date that made me thrilled to be married to a man who shares my interests and who I am so happy to be married to.
So, our second bucket list activity was just as wonderful as our first. Memories of this will get me through the exactly one week (6 days) of teaching I have left with my students, and all the craziness included.