Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

Swiss Friday…


We are in the throes of planning our next trip which will be in July. I realized that in the face of so many train trips that will be included (no water-taxis, no Metros, no rental cars this time) I might need to alter my luggage configuration. (One carry on and one checked suitcase will be harder to handle when hopping on and off trains, I think). So I started working on the concept of a backpack. I am of an age that backpacks were not around during my schooling years.  They were an important item for my children (my daughter was particularly skilled a deciding on the best one for her needs), but I never had much experience with them until toward the end of my teaching career when my shoulders began to give way from all the years of throwing around twenty-five pound sacks of clay and carrying the ever-present satchel filled with books and papers. However, the backpacks I switched to in order to relieve the pain were Baggallini purse sized ones…way too small for my needs on this trip. I started my research and after looking at many catalogues found that Eddie Bauer had one “sized for women”. Sounded good, but wanted to try it on and judge its size in person. Last weekend we were in Camarillo where there is a massive Outlet Center with an Eddie Bauer store. Had a few minutes and I stopped by…but no luck, they had other versions of their backpacks in stock but they did not carry the one I was interested in. (There was also a time-limit on this project because Eddie had a 30% off sale going on.) Other than the outlet, the closest regular Eddie Bauer store to home is in the middle of the Westfield Centre in San Francisco conveniently located near a BART station. That was a good excuse for a day trip and a lunch!

We set off on Friday with the goals of finding a backpack, having a lunch in the City, and getting 10,000 steps for the Fitbit. I am starting to notice how the Fitbit influences choices…as we were leaving the BART station our choice was taking four flights of stairs (actually it was no choice because the escalator was broken). Arriving at the Centre we passed a Tumi store so had pop in to see what alternative backpacks might be available. Tumi had great pockets (lots of them) but was way on the far-side of $200 so we proceeded up to the Eddie Bauer Store. Two stores away from it was Travel+ a luggage store with a French brand of suitcases and also the Victorinox brand. One model of a backpack (the last version available)  was hanging from the lowest hook all by itself. Definitely a possibility, but I still hadn’t seen the Eddie Bauer version. So I went to try it on and then I realized it was way smaller than the Swiss Victorinox version and the Swiss version was on sale for 50% off which made it more of a Tumi price discounted to closer to Eddie Bauer. Plus I think it may have been whispering to me that it wanted to go back home to visit for a while. (I am never sure if TM follows my way of thinking, but he, too, liked that it was Swiss to go with his army knife). It came home with me and I will take it to Switzerland in July for a short visit.


On our way to find lunch, we had to go up and down the escalator (sorry Fitbit). No matter how many steps in my goal I just cannot pass up a picture op…The dome in the Centre is pretty spectacular…

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Off to John’s Grill. (Historically famous in literature because of being mentioned in Dashiell Hammett’s Maltese Falcon). We have been there often with friends (thought of you Joyce and John!). It was so San Francisco of us to have the Jack LaLanne’s salad…crab, shrimp, avocado, tomato, and mushroom with bleu cheese dressing…



This time, however, I actually saw the Maltese Falcon upstairs in a display case…

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Then we checked in with Fitbit and realized that we had done only half of our steps for the day so we decided that walking straight down Market Street to Fog City News would be a good addition. But funny thing, we walked past and stopped into a Swiss chocolate store on the way…an entire store with handmade chocolates from Bern…bears everywhere…

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Another goal for reaching Fog City News was to see if they had a copy of Frankie Magazine (not Swiss, but from New Zealand…the postage is too high to actually subscribe but well worth the walk in San Francisco to see if a copy is available) and…


There it was…


I couldn’t figure out why the store was exceptionally busy…it couldn’t just be that everyone was buying Mother’s Day cards…



David Lebovitz was there signing his new cookbook. (We read his blog religiously…he used to work at Chez Panisse but now lives in Paris and blogs and writes cookbooks. If you are going to Paris it is a good source for restaurants to try.) I did not buy the cookbook because my days of running up my step count while I walk in my kitchen as I am making French macarons are past…but I do know that chocolate bears are in my future as I scale an alp. I’m fired up and ready to go! Just have to wait a couple of months. Even walked down the four flights of stairs to the BART train (the escalator was working in that direction, I did have my choice…) and by the time we got home the Fitbit read 10,100 steps…perfect…





Author: loisreynoldsmead


4 thoughts on “Swiss Friday…

  1. Sent from K.P.’s mini.


  2. I wish I had a Swiss chocolate bear while I scaled my way up to Tuolomne (sp?) Meadows w/a 45-lb backpack…and the first of my co-hikers to the top! … back in the day! lol
    Wishing you a Bon Voyage! 😉


  3. I also like Switzerland and its products.i mostly like its product of make up and dresses. it have many famous cities and beautiful places for visit. see more information visit it.


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