For my birthday Franklin surprised me with a room at the Palace Hotel. Not only did I have a decade-long yearning to stay there, but he managed to actually surprise me, a notoriously difficult thing to do. Turns out it was to be an evening of surprises all around.
Jesse and Evelyn very sweetly sent over some champagne. For mysterious reasons I was not allowed to read the card that came with it.
There also arrived a lovely arrangement of flowers made by the ladies at Studio Choo. Included with them was the world’s smallest birthday card, this one I was allowed to read.
Pretty soon the whole room smelled amazing.
We spent some time toasting our good health.
Wandered around and poked our heads into the Garden Court, which must be one of my most favorite places in the city. The ceiling is absolutely amazing and the light gives everything that warm, golden color.
Stopped in at the Pied Piper for a Gibson. Another place I’d always meant to go and somehow never did. Neither the drink nor the Maxfield Parrish disappointed.
Time to get ready for dinner.
And still more surprises. Never underestimate the listening power of the man you love. Forbes Island, here we come.
Had my eye on this one for a couple years. How could I not? A floating island inside the breakwater of pier 39, complete with sand, trees and its own lighthouse. It was originally begun by one Forbes Kiddoo in 1975 as a Sausalito houseboat of Jules Verne-ian proportions, eventually earning Mr. Kiddoo an interview on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and the pleasure of being the only person to live aboard his very own man-made floating island.
These days its apparently off the radar enough that we had the place nearly to ourselves. I love it when that happens.
Climbed up into the lighthouse and watched the sun come down behind the Golden Gate Bridge.
The place is seriously amazing.
How did I not guess this man still had a few tricks up his sleeve? And so…
After sitting by the fireplace in one of the rooms looking out onto the bay, finishing our bottle of wine, dancing by ourselves and generally feeling fantastic, it was decided that we should take a walk over to the Hyde Street pier, which of course is closed, but I, working there and all, thought perhaps the kindly night watchman would let us in for an evening’s amble about the ships. Still oblivious to the fact that Franklin was leading up to something, I happily led us about the Eureka‘s creaking car-decks and then on up to Balclutha, pointing out the Captain’s cabin, explaining how I get to sit in the chart house and so on, all the while wondering why the hell he’s acting so daffy, but of course being too tipsy to really think too much about it. Its near to midnight with all the stars out, we’re on this great old ship looking out on the bay, full of lovely dinner, the wind blowing around us, who wouldn’t be a little daffy? And then suddenly there he is on a knee with this little box in his hand and I swear I though he was joking. It would hardly do to publish my first response, what with the unladylike use of certain language, but suffice to say a proper acceptance was given thereafter and I proceeded to blubber like an infant.
The inebriated and teary Mrs. Franklin-to-be.
My gift from man and sea, which at this very moment is being made into a ring.
Good morning, Palace. How do you beat an evening like that? Go for a swim and get ready for a weekend of birthdays.
My new mantra? “For the rest of your life…” I like it best when said with just a hint of menace. You cannot believe how goddamn happy I am.