SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: INN AT THE PRESIDIO + CONCERT AT PALACE OF FINE ARTS

I love love LOVE San Francisco! I’ve been to (and performed in) this beautiful city dozens of times in the past, but this was my very first time feeling this relaxed. It was due to where we stayed (incredibly beautiful Presidio!) and the venue we played. It was magical. [This blog was originally posted to MarinaV.com February 2018.
Please forgive any possible re-posting glitches.
Also, very sorry we can’t move your lovely comments!
Original post can be found at: https://www.marinav.com/food-travel ]


OVERVIEW + LINKS: 

We spent 2 days in San Francisco (pop. 900,000, est. 1776, officially incorporated 1850) while on tour with our dear friend/talented artist – Beth Hart.
We stayed at the beautiful historic & boutique hotel – Inn at the Presidio (built 1903, located at Presidio of San Francisco)
We performed a SOLD OUT show at the spectacular Palace of Fine Arts Feb 13, 2018 (962 seat venue, built in 1915)
I also performed at a RUSSIAN FESTIVAL at the Russian Cultural Center of San Francisco on Feb 12 (550+ seat ballroom, built 1911)

THE DRIVE & THE RUSSIAN FESTIVAL

Having been on the road for over 2 weeks (and having driven 4,000+ miles), we were tired. It’s hard to drive a lot, pack, unpack, perform, do merch/sales for 4 hours, talk to a lot of people and not be tired. But I love it. Not really complaining. But that afternoon we came from South Lake Tahoe straight to the Russian Center of San Francisco for my afternoon performance. Having gotten very little rest last 3 nights and being stuck in a lot of traffic on the way, Nick & I were a bit stressed. Thankfully, we arrived just in time for the soundcheck. My performance was only 25 mins (thankfully! My voice felt very tired), and we didn’t have to set up our normal gear: the Russian Center has a beautiful grand piano which I was using.

I have to mention I LOVE playing this Festival. It’s my 5th year. I am proud of my Russian heritage, and proud to be a cultural ambassador through music, connecting our cultures and spreading the message of love & peace. This Festival is a great celebration of Russian culture. Look at the adorable flyer below:

Nick took this photo from the side of the stage during one of my solo songs:And here is a little soundcheck video: https://www.facebook.com/marinavmusic/videos/10156211047312884/
After performing and selling/signing CDs, we had a quick bite at the Russian Festival (and bought a handful of their yummy homemade pirozhki to go) and drove to Calistoga (Napa) for 2 nights (see my blog about it: https://www.marinav.com/food-travel/blog/calistoga-napa-county-california-wine-country-heaven )

The morning of the show we drove to SF to check into our hotel. I never get tired of seeing Golden Gate Bridge (excuse the crappy photo below):


Driving into Presidio felt like we entered another world, don’t you think?
THE HOTEL

Built in 1903, this building of Inn at The Presidio was once the living quarters of US Military Officers. It is a beautiful historic boutique hotel in the Presidio. Until I started searching for hotels near the Palace of Fine Arts (our venue), I didn’t even realize there was a hotel within Presidio. Nick & I are huge fans of historic hotels and of nature. Staying at this hotel was a beautiful marriage of both. I loved every minute of it here.


The beautiful lobby (special shout out to Frank at front desk who was the friendliest & very welcoming):
How nice to arrive to your room and get some welcome goodies (thanks to Terry, the hotel manager!):
My artistic shot:
I loved the bathroom:

The firepit outside:


We had a fireplace in our room!! It was lovely. After the show, we had some wine and relaxed:


In the morning I brought the complimentary breakfast from downstairs and had my tea on the balcony. How awesome is this???


I wish we could spend a few more nights here (just on this lovely balcony, sipping tea!)!! 🙂

THE CONCERT

Our venue was less than a mile away from our hotel. We had to drive mainly through Presidio. It was such an easy and pleasant drive – this kind of thing doesn’t often happen on tour. Also, having been spoiled by our beautiful hotel I didn’t expect to be in even more AWE of our venue. As we pulled up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Wow!

This venue was built as part of the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. It is impressive to say the least. What I found interesting that inside the venue looked very different. The lobby where we sat up our merch had the vibe of 1960s space-age (or am I crazy?):

The backstage area was rather shabby, but it was fine. Here are a few shots of the green room:


Our rider food: blueberries, water and nuts:
My face expression is a bit odd:

Doing makeup in semi-darkness can be full of surprises 🙂

Soundcheck:

The show was great, the crowd was amazing. Here is the shot Nick took from the side of the stage during “Fire In The Sky”:

I had many fans in the audience, they took a few photos. One by Larry Fox, one by Alan Roche, one by Sherry Griffin (thanks, guys!!):


We have very few photos but a lot of video footage from this show, join our 2 SONGS A MONTH CLUB at www.patreon.com/marinav to watch the 1 hour documentary. Here is the trailer:

It was an amazing show, but I wasn’t feeling well (period pain. Sorry guys, TMI, but it’s true and I could barely function that day.)

I still loved it and did my best to perform well and give a lot of energy and love to the fans. It was a great evening.
THE PRESIDIO

In the morning Nick had to get some work done. I did too but I knew I’d be home the next day and could double down on emails. I couldn’t miss the chance to walk around the beautiful Presidio of San Francisco! I ended up going on a 2 mile walk/hike, seeing very versatile terrain.

About the Presidio (thanks, Wikipedia!):
The Presidio, a 1,500-acre park on a former military post, is a major outdoor recreation hub. It has forested areas, miles of trails, a golf course and scenic overlooks. Other highlights include grassy Crissy Field with Golden Gate Bridge views, Civil War–era Fort Point and sandy Baker Beach. Historic buildings house the Walt Disney Family Museum, eateries, homes and businesses like Lucasfilm, with its Yoda Fountain.

Fun note: my friend used to work at Lucasfilm and about 5 years ago we visited him at the studios (and took a pic by the famous Yoda Fountain which I now can’t find).


See the dome slightly to the right of center? That’s Palace of Fine Arts where we performed. And a touch to the right, in the Bay, you can see Alcatrez:

Main Post Lawn:The nice & modern visitor center (run by National Park Service):

The Golden Gate (we took this photo as we were leaving Presidio):
It was Valentine’s Day. Obligatory selfie:
We had an amazing time. I love Presidio and hope to return to SF soon!

Thank you for reading!!

Hugs & lots of love,
Marina
Disclaimer: my accommodation was graciously provided by Inn at The Presidio in exchange for tour blog inclusion & social media posts. All photos and opinions are my own.

2 comments

  1. This looks like an awesome place to stay. I checked out their website to check into prices and availability. They seemed to be booked well in advance for many dates, especially the weekends. But your place looked exquisite. Hope I can visit it one day. We did pass through that spot a couple of years ago. We rented bikes near Golden Gate Park on Haight Street. Rode through the Presidio and across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalto. Nearly missed the last ferry back to San Francisco. A beautiful city with the baseball team I despise. Us Los Angeles Dodgers fans see the Giants as enemy number one. Love your blogs. Also…there is a place called the Presidio Inn. Similar name. Different place. Can be confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, what a cool experience, Barry! I never rode bikes in SF, your experience sounds amazing! Inn at the Presidio is quite small, so I can see how it could get booked up, especially in the warmer months. We could only get one night there ourselves (thankfully, the night we HAD to be there, since we were performing next door) worked out.

      This hotel is the only one within the park’s boundaries. The one you’re talking about (I was curious and googled it) appears to be a questionably-looking place with terrible reviews (according to Google, at least). But Inn at the Presidio is historic and beautiful. Hope it helps 🙂 🙂 🙂 You can see google reviews (I rely on them quite a bit when traveling).

      And thank you again for your nice words and for your comment and for sharing your memories with me. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

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