Sunday, April 11, 2010

Late Valentine's Day in Tiburon

This was Lauren's year to plan a Valentine's Day surprise, and in early February she was clearly very pleased with what she'd cooked up.  Sadly, we had to put off our February plans until now, but it was worth the wait!

Lauren booked us a room in the lovely Water's Edge Hotel in Tiburon.  Tiburon holds a warm place in our hearts, as it was the place where I proposed to Lauren last July.  In fact, after dropping our bags at the hotel in the morning, our first stop was Old St. Hilary's church, where we got engaged last year.

Well, Old St. Hilary's was almost our first stop.  It turns out that this part of Tiburon is composed solely of quaint little shops.  I would have had to tie Lauren to the mast to keep her from making a few detours on the way...

Lauren was very restrained in her shopping, and so without too much delay we started the 20-minute walk to Old St. Hilary's in earnest.  Just before reaching the church, we ran across a family of deer snacking on some neighborhood foliage:

The church itself was just as stark and beautiful as I remembered, and fittingly enough, a wedding was just about to start.

After the short walk back to town, we stopped at Sam's for some tasty, simple lunch.  Right next to the hotel, and right next to the harbor.  Great view, nice, simple vibe.  The picture doesn't do it justice:

By this point, our room was ready.  We checked in and found ourselves with a view of the same harbor and of some dramatic hillside homes opposite.  Nice hotel, attentive staff, unbeatable location.

We spent the afternoon in a local coffeeshop reading a statistics textbook and fighting to keep up with The Economist (me), and journaling and wedding-planning between sips of hot chocolate (Lauren).

As for the evening, Lauren had made dinner reservations at The Caprice restaurant, just a five minute walk from our hotel through a shoreline park.  Winds were gusty with a smattering of rain, but we were well-bundled, and the weather did some amazing things to the bay.

The restaurant itself had an unbeatable location on a rock outcropping in the bay, and they took full advantage  of it with lots of seats by LOTS of windows.  Here's Lauren about to enjoy her appetizer:

...and here's the view from our table, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.  Amazing!

The service was impeccable.  My food was excellent.  Lauren's was on the salty side but still very good.

Then a walk back to town for some coffee and dessert at an Italian restaurant (profiteroles with plenty of ice cream; whoa!)...

...where these earnest folks were playing the white man's blues:

Then, we finally shared a bottle of wine outside overlooking the bay (well, half a glass -- it was really cold out there).

A great Valentine's Day trip all around.  A few extra months' anticipation just made it all the more enjoyable.  Thanks again, honey.