The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco — Earlier this week, while I was spending the Mother’s Day weekend festivities with my family in Utah, I received confirmation that a very important meeting I had requested had been confirmed.  The meeting place?  The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.  Hallelujah!  
The Ritz-Carlton is a hotel  our entire family is very fond of–one that has always made all the children feel so welcome–even when they were very young.  So for me, it was like a coming home.  More on that in a moment.

But first, let me tell you about my newest Bay area discovery.  I found the easiest, most economical way to get into the city:  Air-BART.  Yes, from the Oakland Airport Terminal, there’s an Air-BART shuttle bus that delivers you to the Oakland BART station for a mere $3.00.  From there, the BART train costs only $3.80 and delivers you right in the heart of the action–Powell and Market–where taxi’s abound ready to deliver you to your favorite San Francisco district.  No rental car pick-up or  stressful return for that matter to worry about.  No traffic, no congestion to deal with–just pure anticipation of the San Francisco enjoyment that awaits every visitor!

By the way, I have to say, “Thank You” to Southwest Airlines for having the most fantastic ticket policy on the planet!  They allowed me to change destination on my already purchased ticket (from Dallas to Oakland) with no change fee!  As a matter of fact, they refunded me $6.00 for having one less segment than originally noted.  Amazing is it not?  There’s an airline that actually recognizes that the more they facilitate our lives so we can fly where we have to at any given time, the more we’re convinced to be their loyal customers.   I’m a new SWA convert.  After all, once you purchase a ticket, are you not the owner of the value of that given ticket?  Southwest Airlines definitely thinks so.  You can change destinations at the last minute.  My gosh, I learned you can even apply the value towards a new passenger.  Bravo SWA!

With all of these terrific money-saving secrets, I am able to invest in what matters most to me:  Where I stay–yes, where I sleep, and how I sleep is very important when you travel as much as this ESCAPESEEKER.  I love staying in hotels where I feel  I can go barefoot in my suite because it is immaculately clean.
And, I just adore a staff that makes every single guest feel like a VIP–whether you’re a young toddler or an adventurous Grandma, like yours truly–or a Hollywood A-lister or have “President” before your name.  Everyone at my favorite San Francisco hotel–THE RITZ-CARLTON is a VIP!
So like I mentioned, I grabbed a taxi after arriving at Market and Powell (Parc 55 always has a long line of Yellow cabs) and instructed him where to go.  Honestly, I was so excited to be back in the City that I actually found myself gigling so much that the taxi driver asked why?  I responded with, “Do you know how lucky you are to be living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world?”  His response, “Absolutely!  The longer I live here, the more grateful I am!”  What a terrific answer–coming from a taxi driver who loves his job!!  How cool is that America?  
As we arrived on Stockton and California Street, we noticed that the driveway to The Ritz-Carlton was occupied.  So, I just asked him to let me off at the curb.  I pulled my loyal computer bag and LV overnight bag and snuck  past the two doormen who were occupied with helping a handicapped arriving guest.  As soon as I entered the beautiful lobby, I thought to myself, “I’m back!”  That sentiment was quickly  revised when upon checking in,  I was informed, “Mrs. Henderson, you’ll be in room 910, the Presidential Suite!”  Change that thought to, “I HAVE ARRIVED!”  
 This elegant Presidential Suite had me exploring room to room and asking, “Anybody home?”  Just kidding, but I did feel like doing exactly that.  
My terrace, with its magnificent cityscape is almost a block long.  And, I haven’t played a piano in years, but this Steinway grand piano had me playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata by heart.  Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty.  Handcrafting each Steinway requires up to one full year – creating an instrument of rare quality and global renown. Not surprisingly, Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and countless pianists, composers, and performers around the world.   Of course, only the best will do for The Ritz-Carlton Presidential Suite!

Isn’t life funny?  Just a few days ago, I was crawling on the floor, playing with my little grand-baby, Violet, while I babysat her so her Mom could go to her exercise class.  Today, I’m the career ESCAPESEEKER, dressed in my tailored suit conducting business meetings in the City By The Bay!  

I love the eclectic, global nature of my life.  It has been and continues to be one amazing journey, full of serendipitous discoveries and encounters.  I feel so blessed in being able to see the magic that others often overlook.  I relish the courage I inherited from my Mother, who was fearless when it came to talking to people from all walks of life.  I love how Albert Einstein defined serendipity or coincidences in our lives:  “Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.”  Thank you Mr. Einstein for reminding me that there are no coincidences in life.  Just pure magic, and I personally believe God is controlling my wand.
By the way, my business meeting–well, mission accomplished!  Thank you Ritz-Carlton for another productive day.  I know being able to swim several laps early this morning in your warm indoor-pool guaranteed a superb start to my San Francisco day.

Where will my adventure take me next?  Please stay tuned…
Meanwhile, here’s to Blissful Escapes…

With love,

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