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A Night at the St. Francis, wow!!

So I've been sitting here for an hour thinking about Sunday night. I've checked my e-mail, petted a cat, talked to my father, and I've been thinking about the night. I didn't blog about it right away because it was such a lovely night and I had to go to work on Monday, but now I have time to write about Sunday.

Of course Sunday morning I was nervous, nervous, nervous. What if I messed up? What if I started to eat the food like Daryl Hannah did in Splash? What if I said something stupid and they all thought: "Wow, this chick won the contest?" Of course, this is my insecurities talking. Instead I packed a overnight bag, and met Sericea outside the house.

We took BART into the City. Her brother in law has been visiting so we hadn't had a chance to talk lately. Of course we started talking right away waiting for the train. When we got to Powell street I knew where to go. All I can say is thank God the Saint Francis is right across the street from Borders. As a co-worker once said about me: "If you need directions to a bookstore or a library, Jennifer can tell you where it is."

After we checked in, we went to the tenth floor. It was suddenly hitting me: I was here!  I was in the elevator, holding a garment bag with my dress in it, and I was at the St. Francis!

We went to our room. It was beautiful. I noticed the king sized bed at first with the white sheets. I knew I couldn't spill anything on it, otherwise I would be toast. Sericea immediately loved the lounge chair, and we both loved the desk near the window. We looked at the view and saw an ad for ipods, Lefty O'Doul's sign, and the ocean far away.

We put on the Food Network and started to get ready. Now I think I should mention that I love dresses, skirts, I do love being a girl. I just hate putting on makeup, pantyhose, high heels, etc. So I settled on a simple black dress and Mary Jane flats. Sericea did the makeup and my hair. "It's your night," she told me, "and you should enjoy it as much as you can." Did I mention she looked great as well, in a black dress?

After we went downstairs, we met Abe, Ericka and Katie downstairs. After introductions (which weren't that necessary, I felt I knew Ericka and Katie!) we went to the bar for drinks. The drinks never came. The drinks are probably with Godot. Anyway, Ivory soon joined us, along with Phil Bronstein and his lovely wife Chris.

After we were escorted to the dining room, we were seated at a round table. Dorothy Parker, Edna Ferber and Robert Benchley would've approved. We ordered drinks again while we were waiting for our table, and those drinks came quickly, along with flutes of wine, bread and good conversation.

Terry McMillan came late because of traffic problems. She and I bonded immediately over a couple of things: We both worked in libraries, we live in Contra Costa County, and we couldn't get into the Twilight books.

To start off, we had caviar, then for the courses I had scallops, crispy skin branzino,Liberty Valley Duck Breast (I said quietly I was sorry to Donald and Daffy) then crispy sweetbreads. Ericka starts to Twitter on her iphone. Phil Bronstein looks at her like she's crazy.  Wine comes on lightening speed. I haven't drunk so much alcohol-God, I don't even know. I try to sip it and appreciate it all. This probably drives the waiters crazy, but I don't care.

In between food I step out to use the ladies room and see pictures of Queen Elizabeth at the St. Francis, along with Margaret Thatcher. I called my dad to let him know how it was going. "How's Terry McMillan?" he asked.

"She's fabulous. Just like she is on TV."
"Ask her when her new book is coming out."
"She's working on it, just came back from Yaddo. Her roommate was Joyce Maynard."
"Who's Joyce Maynard again?"
"She wrote the book about..." Then I see Ivory and I tell him we have to go, making plans for breakfast.

Ivory and I walk back to the dining room. I'm still amazed. I see my nametag and the waiter makes sure the napkin is in my lap. Sericea is talking to Chris and Ivory about her son and her acupuncturist. As I watch her I think there is no one else that I would've wanted to share this night with. Here we were, Floyd and Thora Cobb's granddaughters, enjoying this wonderful night. I suddenly missed them. I knew they were there. I knew it.

 Desert was Pecorino Foja de Noce,Candied Walnut, Thyme, Star Anise, then chocolate bon-bons, coffee and tea.

After hugging good night, Sericea and I went upstairs, crawled in bed, and fell asleep. Sericea later told me that when I was asleep, I giggled and laughed. No doubt I did. For I had a lovely lovely night.

We took pictures in the morning (which are coming) and had chocolate crossaints and tea. BART and home, where Ida B. was waiting, along with Mom and many readers and friends wanting to know about the night.

All I can say is: Thank you. Thank you to everyone who read my blogs, thanks to Ivory, Abe, Huntington, Max, everyone at Red Room for helping make it a magical night. It was amazing and there were times tears came to my eyes, because I felt so lucky.

Now I am about to meet my dad to tell him all about the night. And my friends will hear about it soon, because I want to keep the story alive. That is what makes it special.

And to read more about the night, read Ericka Lutz's blog:

And Katie Burke's blog:




4 Comment count
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Dear Jennifer,

It sounds like a wonderful and delicious evening.  Laughing in your sleep is a great testament to the event.

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It sure was!

I'm still in a glow.

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Oh Jennifer!

It makes me feel so good to read about your magical evening. Between your description, Ericka's, Katie's and of course, Ivory and Abe's in person, I feel like I was truly there. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have seen enjoy such a night. Congratulations, and again, thank you for the special presence you bring to Red Room!!

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Thanks, Huntington!

I had a wonderful time. I only wish that the people at Michael Mima can come to my house, pull the chair for me, make sure chocolate bon bons are available...