But when it comes to my personal preferences, I don't believe in a vacation with people rushing around to keep deadlines to tourist spots. Nor do all tourist spots hold any charm for me. I remember enjoying a tap (i meant tap only not lap....:-)) dance performance on the SFO streets while having lunch much more than my crash into the much hyped vine tasting centers in Napa valley. Partly because sitting there and watching the street artist perform in the busy street with the sun on my back was so refreshing, a feeling that the Napa vineyards could not offer.... esp in harvest season.
Looking back at the trips that i had in the US, i consider my vacation in SFO the one i enjoyed most. Except for a few attractions of the city like the Alcatraz and the Sunset cruise that i pre-planned, the rest of the time in the 3 day schedule was left to pamper the whims of the last minute planner in me. We visited the city contrary to the advice i got from almost eveyone i had a word with; and to stay there overnight (stay when SFO is just about an hour from your place.....:-)) was unforgivable to say the least. Somehow it seemed to me that people kept avoiding a vacation in this city not because of any drawback of the city itself but paradoxically because it was so easy to get there and so much within reach. I remember telling my Client manager about my room rates in SFO. "Man you are mad... totally mad" was the response, not just because the rates were very high but as i could easily have come back to my own place to spend the night.
From what i have seen and experienced every place has its charms but the ones you will most cherish are not the ones that you will find listed in the tourist spots. They are the ones that you feel like enjoying at that time. Biriyani might be a great food (It is my pesonal favorite...:-))) but i dont think it would evoke a great zeal, wen i feel like having a tea. :-|| During our trip we spoiled ourselves in the one of the best luxury hotels in town, ate from a Punjabi dhabba, enjoyed a walk across the beautiful baker beach, explored all shopping deals in fisherman's wharf and made sure that we had the time for almost every crackpot activity we felt like going for at that time.
We spend 3 whole days in this beautiful city and yet we had so may attractions unseen when we left the place. "I really dont want to leave. I like it so much here" my wife held on to me in protest as we boarded the BART back home.