A Day With Dad

Fathers-Day-HeaderFather’s Day is coming up soon. But as you all most likely know, I won’t be back home with my parents (Newfoundland, Canada) this Father’s Day seeing as I was recently there in May. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be seeing him on Sunday June 21 though. Because my parents and I skype video call one another quite often, so he’ll be seeing this pretty face of mine soon enough, whether he wants to or not! Ha ha!

To be honest though, I usually just call him on the Skype phone we hooked up right after moving down here to the states, especially since we have a lot of technical difficulties trying to get our cameras working. Often enough, I call my Dad when my Mom’s at work, and chat to him about — well, nothing really. We hang out on the phone as if we were sitting in the same room. Or he tells me what all the neighbours are up to, Mr. Neighbourhood Watch over there. Ha! He’s usually watching Judge Judy and I poke fun at him for that, while I make myself a cup of tea and yell at Alfie barking out the window at our neighbours walking by.

I get homesick easily if I think of my loved ones back home. I try not to think about it too much, or my heart will start to hurt, as crazy as that sounds. So while I can’t be there in person with my Daddio this Father’s Day, I can still come up with gift ideas for all the Father’s out there. So get those shoppin’ shoes on, we’re going hunting for some deals for your Dad’s!

Santana Row as I have mentioned many times on my blog, is definitely my favourite place in San Jose. It’s full of shops, restaurants, spas and a even a hotel — which I stayed at with my buddy when she was visiting. More on that later.

donald-pliner-sneakers

donald-pliner-shoes

donald-pliner-saleDonald Pliner makes some really snazzy looking men’s shoes, and of course — women’s items too. But I gotta say, a man wearin’ a pair of sharp shoes? Hoo wee, immediately hunkarific. They’re having a sale here, up to 50% off on the top shelf.

Custom-Oakleys

Oakley-Santana-RowOakley store. Wait what? Since when can one make custom oakleys? Maybe I should re-evaluate my thoughts on getting a pair of raybans, I mean…. especially if they’re unique to me.

thickening-tonic-aveda

Aveda-dry-skin

Aveda-dry-remedyWho doesn’t love Aveda products? I’ve been using Aveda shampoo, and styling products (their hair spray called Air Control is my #1 favourite) for over ten years!

BonobosBonobos is a men’s clothing store and is a fairly new arrival at Santana Row. They have some pretty nice pieces in there, from chinos to casual suits and more. I’m definitely diggin’ the lighter suit in that upper left photo. Handsome!

Sur-la-Table-Santana-RowSur la Table is having a pretty good sale, a lot of stuff on for 25% and even up to 50% off for certain products.

Diesel-jeans-front

Diesel-jeansDiesel jeans are wicked looking, aren’t they? They also have these gigantor watches in display cases at the store. Apparently they’re super popular, but man – the faces on them are just massive, it’s kind of comical. I asked the staff working here at Diesel, how long their 30% off sale was going on for. The guy told me it’s definitely going to go on for more than a month and the 30% off section in the back is going to get marked down to 50% off shortly. Whoa nelly! Exciting.

Ultimate-Ears-Boom

GoPro

UE BoomBestBuy is basically like a playground for my husband, and Dad. I picked out a couple of things I think any one would enjoy having. The UE Boom is a wireless bluetooth 360 degree speaker that comes in a variety of colours to choose from, and it’s also water resistant, so take it to the poolside! And the GoPro, always a hit and fun to play around with. Especially one for the sportsman who likes to video tape themselves ;).

Franco-Uomo-ties

Franco-Uomo-clothingFranco Uomo is a European clothing store that carries both formal and casual menswear, as well as men’s accessories. They even have Canadian flag cuff-links!

Ice-Breaker-Merino

Merino-WoolIcebreaker Merino. This is my husbands kind of store. Everything here is made from Merino wool and will keep you cool/warm when needed, and dry. When one of my friends was visiting here, she ended up buying a number of items from this exact store, including a really beautiful dress she plans on wearing to work.

OrvisOrvis is a really fun store with incredibly friendly staff. They sell a multitude of men’s and women’s clothing, dog beds, fishing gear… all kinds of outdoor things for the nature enthusiast.

SleepI popped into Sleep in Santana Row, that sells two main brands. One being Hästens, where beds are still made by hand using only natural filling material. And yes, the beds are comfortable. :) I had a chat with the man who was working there, and we got onto the topic of how and why I’m doing a blog post featuring Santana Row shopping for Father’s Day, so I gave him a quick rundown of my history being here (Canadian, now in California etc.). He told me I needed to check out Fort Funston. Have any of you guys been there? Apparently it’s right in between San Jose and San Francisco and it’s basically a 10:1 ratio of dogs to humans. He showed me photos of the beach and it looks out-of-this-world. I want to take Alfie there!

CineArts-Santana-Row

LB-Steak

el-JardinEven if you aren’t sure if your Daddio is going to like some of the products at the stores I’ve listed, you can always take him to see a movie at CineArts. My husband and I have been to a handful of movies here at the Santana Row location, it’s beautifully tucked away and blends right into the rest of the scenery of Santana Row. Afterwards take him o the outdoor El Jardin tequila bar and restaurant for a bit of tapas during Santana Row’s Happy Hour. The Counter is also at Santana Row, if he’s a burger fan — they have custom built burgers which is fun for a change. Or even Pizza Antica, one of my favourite restaurants there, they have the most delicious wood fired pizzas. Then go fill up your belly with some pinkberry frozen yogurt in the central courtyard and play a game of oversize (or shall I say, life sized) chess on their outdoor chess board. So fun!

Hope you are one of the lucky ones that can spend time with your Dad this Father’s Day. Enjoy it for me! :)

Continue Reading

Staying at the Fairmont, San Jose

Fairmont-HeaderTo finalize our San Jose staycation last month, we ended up staying overnight at the Fairmont in downtown San Jose. It was a real treat to stay in such an elegant hotel even if just for the one nighter. I’m pretty sure our hotel room was twice the square footage of our previous apartment in Waterloo. To say it was gigantic was an understatement. I’m pretty sure the photos I’m about to show you won’t do the hotel room any justice whatsoever.

When you first walked into the suite (I’ve never in my life even stayed in a suite before, so that was pretty wicked first of all) there was this huge L-shaped hallway leading into a living room with a few couches, a TV and a desk. Then to your left there were a set of sliding doors which leads of course, to no other than the bedroom with a king sized bed that looked miniature in this grand room. It was pure luxury. I raced to the bathroom to see how huge that was, considering everything else was on a grand scale. You betcha, that too was massive. A separate tub, a fantastic glass shower, his-and-her sinks, and a toilet tucked away behind a wall for even more privacy.

It’s too bad we weren’t at the hotel longer, because I could easily get used to that kind of space in a hotel room. If I were to guess, I could probably do 3 cartwheels (not that I would) in the room, no trouble. In a row!

Anyway let’s get into the photos — because I just can’t seem to talk about this hotel enough (don’t you just love it when hotels decorate in shades of gold? I feel like it’s that more ritzier).

Statue-and-painting-at-Fair

Hotel-living-room

Rose31-products

Fairmont-San-Jose-tower2

Nancy-on-Fairmont-Hotel-cou

Fairmont-Hotel-king-bed

View-from-hotel-Fairmont

Stags-Leap-Suite

Fairmont-Hotel-Suite

Tech-Museum-from-HotelYou could see the Tech Museum we visited, from our hotel room!

Outside-Fairmont-Hotel

Husband-closing-blinds

Fairmont-rooftop-poolThe rooftop pool at the Fairmont kept changing colours, it was pretty neat hey?

Fairmont-chandelier

Huge thanks to Team San Jose for hosting us on our San Jose staycation. 

Fairmont San Jose

170 South Market Street, San Jose CA 95113
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Continue Reading

Winchester Mystery House

Winchester-HeaderWinchester Mystery House is a historic house in San Jose. The still unfinished mansion is full of strange hallways, hidden rooms, and supposedly various ghosts. The Guy and I took a tour there while on our San Jose Staycation a few weeks back.

Winchester-WalkwayThe house is so beautiful, yet so very strange. A woman residing in Connecticut, had quite the untimely death of her 6 week old daughter, and husband shortly after.

The-Guy-at-WinchesterNever getting over the grieving period and mourning of her loved ones, she moved out to California after given the advice from someone she trusted. Apparently she was so superstitious that she needed to keep building and building her home in California. She continued to build for 38 years straight. Contentiously. Could you imagine? Every day. Building.

GardenWhen she died, all building of her home stopped. Her house belongings were sold at auction and took 8 truck loads per day for 6.5 weeks to move all the furniture out. MAN! For one person!

Cherub-and-Winchester-House

Winchester-HouseI’m not one to feel claustrophobic but holy smokes due to the small rooms, narrow switch back staircases, we were on a tour with a group of about 20 people in total, with kids included. A 65 minute tour of the strange house was definitely long enough for me! The Guy couldn’t get enough of it though — he loved it. I mean, I did too, but I felt so strange being in there.

Sitting-outside-WinchesterI definitely got an eerie vibe from the house. I definitely wouldn’t want to go trick-or-treating there or get lost inside. I’d never be found, haha! If you really want to get spooked, do a flashlight tour, which happens every Friday 13th.

Cherub-at-WinchesterMrs. Winchester loved her home, and built it so architecturally sound that it withstood many earthquakes. However, the mansion was 7 stories high at one point, up until the large 1906 San Francisco earthquake which took the home down to four stories.

Bush-13 Fun facts about the Winchester Mystery House I learned on the tour:

  1. 160 rooms in the home.
  2. 40 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, yet one shower.
  3. The design of the house was so strange. Doors opening into walls. Staircases to go nowhere, or a ceiling
  4. Her séance room had 1 entrance yet 3 exists.

I don’t want to ruin anything for you guys in case you decide to do the tour yourself one day. So I’ll leave it at that, and finish it up with photos of the grounds. We weren’t allowed to take any photographs inside.

Side-of-Winchester

Winchester-Palm-Trees

Door-to-nowhere

Seating-area-outside

Winchester-Grounds

Me-Standing-at-Winchester

Winchester-cherub

pink-flowers\ Winchester

Winchester-Mystery-House

I would say it’s definitely worth touring the house at least once if you visit San Jose, even if you’re not totally interested. I had absolutely no idea what we were getting into on the tour. And I’m still thinking about it a month later. I’m seriously fascinated by it all.

Winchester Mystery House

525 South Winchester Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95128
408.247.2101
Facebook / Twitter

Continue Reading