She Was A Day Tripper

There are only two things that I really, really want right now, and I can't find either of them anywhere. The first is a classic khaki trench coat (with a belted waist, rather than one you tie), and the second is a pair of knee-high black leather boots with a pointed toe and a really skinny heel. That's not too much to ask, is it? Well, apparently it's too much to ask of San Francisco. I went shopping on Saturday with those exact two items in mind, and ended up with a floaty skirt and a bikini instead. I did try a few trench coats on, but they all made me look like distinctly like a private detective, and while I suppose that may indeed be the point of trench coats, I'd rather not be mistaken for Columbo anytime soon. (And so the search is still on! Any trench coat or boot recommendations, please send them my way.)

Part of my problem, I think, is that the weather was glorious this weekend, which made floaty skirts and bikinis a lot more appealing than boots and trench coats, although if you ever catch me wearing a floaty skirt and a bikini in San Francisco, I must have lost a bet, because it rarely gets to be over 75 here. But the weekend was gorgeous, and to celebrate Easter---which I actually remembered this year, thanks to the excellent parcel of Easter candy Sean's mom sent in the mail---we decided to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

But Holly, you're thinking, you've lived in San Francisco going on fifteen months now, and we know you visited three times before you even moved out there; do you mean to say that you had never before participated in that Highly Touristy Tourist Activity Favored Almost Exclusively By Tourists?

Why yes, Internet, I do.

Now, for all my talk of finally feeling like a real San Francisco resident, there's something nice, it must be said, about being a tourist in your own town---after you've lived somewhere new for a while, you find that you've sort of passed the window for doing the things you never did before you lived here, and every time you think "hey, perhaps we should check out Alcatraz," you immediately follow it up with "oh, but it'll be packed with tourists," and some perverse sort of snobbery sets in.

Well, down with the snobbbery! I say, and let's all embrace our inner fannypack-wearing, camera-wielding, guidebook-carrying daytrippers, shall we? I lived in London for years without knowing what half the important buildings were, because I couldn't bring myself to join the throngs of tourists milling around outside them---or worse, I think, be mistaken for one. The upshot of that, of course, was that when Sean came to visit me for the first time over there, he got a great tour of locals-only bars and restaurants, but when it came time for me to take him sightseeing, I could only wave my hand ineffectually at each grand-looking structure and say "that' important."

So here's your assigment for the next few months: if you live in New York and you've never been to the Statue of Liberty, go do it! If you live in Los Angeles, head to the Hollywood sign! If you live in Oakley, Kansas, check out the World's Largest Prairie Dog! (Sean and I have actually done this! For real.) Clench your teeth and cringe if you have to---nobody wants to feel like a tourist, I know, but you can comfort yourself with the fact that you have superior knowledge regarding your city's best bagels/thrift stores/falafel---and tick a few hometown favorites off the list.

Nobody says you have to buy the commemorative mousepad, though. I mean, that's what the real tourists are for.

Mar 24, 2008

Where did you get that adorable hat? And how do you always look so put together?

Amen on the looking-for-the-perfect-pair-of-boots thing...I can't find any to save my life.

Mar 24, 2008

In my experience, people who worry about looking like tourists are taking themselves waaaay too seriously anyway. And people who are jerky about tourists are just as bad. It's all such a silly phenomenon when you think about it. God forbid we not be super cool and in our element at all times.

As someone who wore a Space Needle sweatshirt TO the Space Needle just to be extra campy, I salute you. I don't ever want to be too cool to explore landmarks, even famous ones.

Then again, I have to agree that a commemorative mousepad might be taking things a BIT too far ... depending. A giant antlered prairie dog mousepad might possibly be worth consideration, I think you'll agree.

Mar 24, 2008

I lived in NYC for 5 years and I did and saw it ALL. I still go back a couple of times a year to visit friends and whatever is new and interesting, I'll go see no matter how many eyerolls I may get for suggesting things like that. A few of the people I used to work with there, well into their 50's at the time and lifelong NYC residents had never gone to the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, which absolutely Blew. My. Mind. I love experiencing ALL of that stuff.
House of Jules

Mar 24, 2008

I love it. I do try to be a tourist in whatever town I live in, because I left Massachusetts without ever doing those things. Do you know I've never been to Martha's Vineyard? Or Nantucket? And I LIVED THERE. FOR A RIDICULOUSLY LONG TIME.

But you don't DO that when you live there. It's uncool to walk to Freedom Trail or visit the aquarium unless you're visiting. And that's just dumb, I completely agree.

Mar 24, 2008

I agree! I live in DC and I have so many friends moving away and saying, "I want to do this, this, and this before I leave!" There will be no touristy things I'll regret not doing when I leave here.

Mar 24, 2008
Steve Madden has knee boots that might work for what you are looking for and they are on clearance. I have a pair from there that I absolutely adore. Super comfortable and have held up well after 3 years of near non-stop wear in the winter.
Here is a belted trench that is less PI and more feminine. It's a bit pricey though.

Mar 24, 2008

I am so in love with your sunglasses - I wish that those kind looked good on me, because they are so cute! But I always look like a deranged bug.
Touristy stuff is fun, but you have to sneer and mention loudly how you are NOT a tourist, you are too cool for that. In Boston, I like to go visit my brother and buy something at the grocery store so I can carry a bag and look like I live there, just out doing my shopping, la-di-dah... I am so lame.

Mar 24, 2008

What I want to know is: How does Sean manage to take a nicely composed photo with the two of you centred in the middle of it when he's holding the camera at arm's length?

I've found that having children has encouraged me to experience some of the tourist sites of Toronto. Though I did manage to get my brother to take them up the CN Tower.

Mar 24, 2008

The first summer I lived in Manhattan I did A LOT of touristy things. Now (8 years later), I pick and choose the tourist stops I want to experience when I have friends or family visitng. For example, if they want to go to the top of the Empire State Building I send them to do that while I'm at work. Then I take them for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or take them to MoMA (which I will do any day of the week regardless of tourists).
I've also recently shifted my hatred of tourists lately. I'm always cursing them as slow and meandering on the sidewalks as I'm rushing to work. But now I think I'm just jealous that they are on VACATION! And they get to take advantage of all the fun things my city has to offer in the middle of the week that I miss while sitting at my desk at work.

Anne & May
Mar 24, 2008

When I lived in the 'hattan, I only had to wait for yet another long-lost Southern acquaintance or relative to come to town to explore all the famous sights. Over the course of four years, I pretty much saw and did it all.

But people don't visit me in San Francisco quite as often so I have to be a little more motivated and get out there. I have never walked across the bridge either! Good recommendation.

Have you done tea in the Japanese Tea Garden? I would say this should be your next outing.

Mar 24, 2008

I had a comment all typed up with links here. Did it not go through?

Mar 24, 2008

Gah, okay here are the links again.
Khaki trench. More feminine than PI but a bit pricey.
There are some boots there. I have a pair (that isn't on that page sadly but are similar to the Stileto in black) that I adore and are super comfortable. I have had them going on three years now and I wear them near constantly in the winter.

Mar 24, 2008

I totally agree with you on playing a tourish in your own town.

And I may not be able to help you on the trench coat.. but the shoes.. well click your way to happy below:

and if you don't like those there are others to choose from:

and the best part? FREE SHIPPING - BOTH WAYS! so you can order, try them and if not happy, send them back for FREE!

She Likes Purple
Mar 24, 2008

You know, I love the sentiment of this post. Seeing the fantastic things the cities of this country have to offer in terms of history and architecture -- really just the stories these places have to tell -- are too incredible to miss in fear of looking dumb. I think about being on a high school trip in NYC and trekking up to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, laughing and out-of-breath with my friends. It's something no-one has been able to do since 9/11 and I'm so glad I have that memory, even if I was sporting a bright red event jacket for the parade I was dancing in that week, making our group just screech "tourists." I'm sure a lot of people rolled their eyes at us at the time, but we didn't notice. And the memory will always be sweet.

Mar 24, 2008

Raven, when you leave a comment with links in it, it automatically gets flagged as spam and goes into a folder for moderation. But don't worry -- when it does, I get an email notification that tells me that I have a comment waiting approval. As soon as I see it isn't an ad for Viagra, and instead some excellent links to coats and shoes, I go ahead and approve it and it shows up. That's why you didn't see it immediately -- but trust me, it'll post eventually. Unless you're trying to sell me some Viagra, of course.

Mar 24, 2008

Banana Republic has a knee length khaki trench, it's quite cute, you should check it out.

Mar 24, 2008

I have these and they are quite comfortable!

Good luck!

Mar 24, 2008

Ooooh! I get the fun assignment!

If you live in Milwaukee, go on a brewery tour (or four)!

I realize it's early on a Monday, but I am going to get on that right now...

Mar 24, 2008

Hmm,the tourist part I get, the trenchcoat part I definitely get! is were I have been getting trenchcoats for a while (ok, I got 2 there in the past 6 years, but I still wear both). They have a new style each season, always gorgeous and not too expensive. The rest of their clothes is fantastic as well. But: i just checked and it seems they don't sell in the US... maybe you'll find it on ebay tho? good luck anyway!

Mar 24, 2008

Here are some cute pointy-toes:

(Wide-calf, too. Didn't you tell me you have "voluptuous" calves as well?)

Also, I just bought a cute mushroom-brown trench coat at The Gap, but it has a tie...

May the force be with you!!

Mar 24, 2008
Mar 24, 2008

I think that's the fun thing about living in London for just a semester - you're still well within the window for doing touristy things, but you accumulate enough local-authority to simultaneously roll your eyes at the people wandering around at the foot of Big Ben looking lost. Or at least I pretend I have. Hee.

But that's an important reminder. I've lived practically across the street from Hyde Park for the whole semester thus far, and hadn't even been there until today. There's always more to see, more to learn.

Mar 24, 2008

i do this all the time! and the BF isn't always a huge fan of me stopping every few blocks to take photos but i one else knows we're not tourists! for my bday, he planned a fun trip around SF doing all the touristy things like chinatown and riding the cable car down to fisherman's wharf.

i love being a resident and for enjoying it for all the reasons a tourist does!

Laura B
Mar 24, 2008

Holly, you must go to! Must must must! You order the boots not just by foot size but also by calf measurement so they fit perfectly.

Mar 24, 2008

I saw a gorgeous trench coat recently, but I think it was Louis Vuitton or Botega Venetta or something. Which is why I should never, ever read fashion blogs. They give me ideas above my station.

I'm thinking this comment isn't terribly helpful.

Mar 24, 2008

Playing tourist in your own city is fantastic. Really fun. My wife and I just did that in NYC. Saw a show on broadway, the whole thing.

I know nothing of trench coats or other fashion. Sorry.

Rachael W
Mar 24, 2008

I just played tourist in my own city a few weeks ago. My brother came to visit and we decided to do all the tourist-y things that our parents never did when we lived down here the first time. Rodeo Drive, Grauman's Theater... it was awesome. Amen to down with the snobbery!

P.S. Good luck with your shopping. The good news is that trenchcoats and boots will probably be on sale now that it's spring.

Mar 25, 2008

I've been to the L.A. landmarks, albeit mostly years and years ago. The Hollywood sign doesn't have any real access; the best you can do is wind through some roads close to its foot.

I have no idea where tourists go in Orange County. If they're smart, they'll go to the Huntington Beach pier where the surfers hang out (and, therefore, where there is the highest proportion of prime OC girls in thong bikinis). Maybe downtown Laguna Beach, which we avoid like the plague due to severe overcrowding and excessive preciousness. Shit, now I guess I have to go there.

Mar 25, 2008

there's a fine, fine line between trench coat HOT and trench coat i-look-a-little-too-much-like-inspector gadget. i've yet to find, if you do, please let me know!!!

Mar 25, 2008

Oh man, Inspector Gadget is EXACTLY what I looked like in at least 75% of the trench coats I tried on. All I needed was the retractable arm.

Mar 25, 2008

Hee, Inspector Gadget. Now that I think about it, Ben had a trench coat just like the one you're describing when we started dating. Except 30 sizes too big for you, of course. And he looked like Inspector Gadget in it, big time.

Mar 25, 2008

For shoes you really should check out they have some excellent stuff. The site layout makes it easy to find what you're looking for too. Good luck!

Mar 25, 2008

So, apparently I'm even more tragic than I thought! I love doing touristy things in my own city. I love touristy things full stop.

Emma George
Mar 25, 2008

I know this is completely unrelated, and maybe also completely pointless...but maybe someone has time to sign this:

Mar 26, 2008

Ooh, ooh! I just saw a great trench coat this weekend at Martin + Osa. After reading your post, I'm now wondering if it was, in fact, worth the $200 splurge.

Here it is:

Mar 27, 2008

having to click 'read more' in the blog feed is tiresome! it was better for Ye Olde Slow Internet Connection when the whole post came though..