Tuesday, July 15, 2008

San Francisco, Here I Come!

by Anna Campbell

Like the wonderful Bron Jameson who posted about her forthcoming trip a couple of days ago, I'm agog with excitement to think that in less than two weeks, I'll be swanning around San Francisco. Although believe me, I intend to bring my heart home with me!

By the way, whenever I hear that song (and I have a Tony Bennett CD so I hear it quite often), I can't help thinking about this wonderful British comedy team of the 70s called THE GOODIES. Did they make it to America? They were hugely popular in Australia. Anyway, their version of I LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO goes something like, "I left my heart in San Francisco, I left my leg in Monterey, I left my arm in Albuquerque..." You get the idea.

Anyway, I'm asking for help here. I'm currently running a MEMORIES OF SAN FRANCISCO contest on my website. It's a bit of a lucky dip as I don't know what I'm bringing back yet. Certainly some great signed books from the authors I'll meet at RWA Nationals. But I'm also hoping to include some souvenirs from SF. I did a souvenirs contest last year when I went to the UK and it was incredibly popular so I thought I'd do something similar with this year's US trip.

So if someone brought you a present back from San Francisco, what would you like? A snowglobe? A coffee cup? A T-shirt? Sees chocolates? A tea towel? Do you know any cool SF souvenirs I should look out for when I'm putting the prize together? Is there anything particularly San Francisco that I should get?

I'm looking forward to seeing your answers. And if you get a chance, please check out the contest. You never know, you may end up winning your suggestions!

And if anyone is in the San Francisco area on Wednesday, 30th July, why not come to the RWA literacy signing at the San Francisco Marriott? I'll be there, along with pretty well every romance writer you ever wanted to meet, and any money you spend goes to great literacy charities!

OK, thinking caps on - what presents would YOU like from San Francisco?


Annie West said...


Love the idea of a souvenir contest. Never having been to San Fransisco I have no idea what the specialty souvenirs are. Magnets of trolley buses? Models of the Golden Gate Bridge? Choccies sound good though. Actually, choccies always sound good...


Ann M. said...

Since this is SF you are talking about.. See's chocolate lollipops (not what Aussies think as lollipops) See's chocolate of any kind but their pops are delicious.

Gharidelli chocolate.

Do you see a theme here? :)

Aideen said...

I agree, chocolate will do it every time. But I can get chocolate down town on any day I choose. Now, if I were to pick a souvenir from San Fransisco, my list would probably go a little something like this; (in no particular order I might add!)

Beer mats & match boxes (something of a hobby).
San Fransisco Mints, they come in cute little tins and supposedly taste great.
License Plates, of course I couldn't drive around county Cork with the Golden Gate Bridge covering my registration number but they look really cool.
Pen/Notebook, aspiring writer here, need I say more?!!
Magnets, a fridge can never have enough magnets.
T-shirt, probably have to be worn under a hoodie as Ireland doesn't really do summer.
And appropriately enough, a Tote Bag. Napa Valley do some wonderful ones, the scenery of those vineyards is amazing.

Just a few suggestions, I'm sure there are bucket loads of fab souvenirs for you to browse through.
The best of luck out there,


PJ said...

Anna, you're going to have such a fabulous time! Can't wait to see the pics and hear all about it.

I adore tote bags and since I have oodles of books I can always use another bag. Chocolate is always good and Sees does make yummy chocolate. When I travel to new places I try to find softback souvenir books that chronicle the history of the area with beautiful photos. They're relatively inexpensive and great for re-living memories of a wonderful visit or building anticipation for a future trip.


robynl said...

I have heard much about See's chocolates so that is one suggestion.
Pens and notebooks with San Francisco inscribed on them
a T-shirt is always nice but the size would be hard to choose unless XL(should fit all)
Specialty candy from the area
I'm excited to see what you choose.

Maureen said...

I've never been to San Francisco but I think chocolate is always a great prize. I hope you have a great time there.

Shari C said...

Gharidelli chocolate would be a definite plus something that would last once the chocolate is gone such as a neat coffee cup with San Francisco on it

Michelle Styles said...

It is Sees candy, and not Sees chocolates. They do assortment mixtures.

Ghiradelli chocolate. Actually you should go down to Ghiradelli square and have a hot fudge sundae.

Do try the sourdough french bread. You can buy the starter --dried.
Fisherman's Wharf has very kitschy souvenirs but it is great.

Cable cars. Coit tower -- it is shaped like a fireman's hose as Lily Coit loved to climb on fire engines.
You can probably pick up some good magnets with these on them.

Anna Campbell said...

i Annie! Thanks for dropping over. As you know, I'm beside myself with excitement about my trip coming up.

Hey, Ann, I'm certainly guessing what YOU would like to win ;-) I bought some Sees at LA airport last year on my way home from Dallas and they were a huge hit so they're definitely on the list. I'll have to check out Ghirardellis. Thanks for the 'sweet' suggestions!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Aideen! All the way from the Emerald Isle! Lovely to see you. What a great list of suggestions. I'm doing a day trip to the Napa Valley so the tote bags would be a great thing to pack the other souvenirs in. Actually one of the things I love about these souvenir hunts is that I can be as cheesy as I want because it's so much fun. So fridge magnets and beer mats are de rigeur!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, the souvenir booklet is a great idea. I DIDN'T get those in the UK and I wish I had because most of the people who entered the contest were history nuts and would have loved a guide to Chatsworth or Haddon Hall. And another vote for Tote Bags? Looks like that's a definite winner! Thanks for popping by! Wish you were going to be there!

Robyn, I had thought about a Tshirt. They're always popular, but as you say, size might be an issue. The notebooks and pens idea is great. Actually might see if I can get some pens in the goodie room at RWA. I love using pens inscribed with my favorite authors' names. Thanks for the suggestions! This prize is going to be great!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Maureen. SF is a place I've wanted to visit ever since I was a little girl so I'm mega excited. And because I'm there ten days, I should actually see some of the area!

Shari, the coffee cup is a great idea. In fact, I could fill it with chocolates. Hmm, the ideas are really flowing now.

Anna Campbell said...

Michelle, are you encouraging me to eat ice-cream with chocolate? Now, that's a fantastic idea! I've got a boat trip booked from Fisherman's Wharf so I'll definitely check out the cheesy souvenirs down there. What fun! Thanks for your suggestions.

Jane said...

Hi Anna,
I think a snow globe, cup and tea towel would make great souvenirs. You can never go wrong with chocolate/candy, so anything from See's would be appreciated. Have a great time, Anne. Don't do anything I won't do.

Helen said...

You are going to have lots of fun Anna

As for souvenirs I love fridge magnets from different places and I have a nice collection of snow globes and I am very partial to coffee mugs I love chocolate as well.
As for me I really would love anything there are always so many different things to collect and the memories that go with them.
Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Jane. First - what WON'T you do? I think we need to talk about this before I commit to anything ;-) Thanks for the comment! And Sees goodies are now definitely on the list as well as a Napa Valley Tote Bag and fridge magnets and... If I say anymore, it won't be a msytery prize so I'd better stop.

Helen, lovely to see you here! I collect fridge magnets too. It's nice to remember my travels or the people who sent them to me when I go to the fridge - which sadly is far too frequently! I've put your other suggestions on the list. And thanks for entering my contest! Good luck!

Estella said...

I collect coffee cups, so I think a good souvenir would be a coffee cup.

Michelle Douglas said...

Hmm, Anna... The Napa Valley, you say... wine country...

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Though, having said that, can one ever go wrong with chocolate?

Anna Campbell said...

Estella, thanks for helping in the great souvenir hunt. I agree - you can't go wrong with a coffee cup!

Hey, Michelle! I'm really excited about my wine trip. It's supposed to be a 'serious' tasting (yeah, right - I giggle when I drink) and it's going to boutique wineries in the Sonoma and Napa valleys. However I think wine won't make the final list. One word - postage!!!

Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Ms. Anna,

Have a great visit in SF! Would
love to be able to take in the Conference, since we can't be there, share a sip of something good for the Banditas, Buddies,
and the GR back in the Lair!

Souvenir suggestions: Magnets of all kinds, trolley cars, spoons, models of the Bridge, and those lovely Sees lollies!

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Miss Pat! Thanks for the SF good wishes. Hmm, drinking on your behalf. Not sure I could bear to do that... Well, all right, seeing you insist ;-) The See lollies are getting lots of votes, I'm noticing. Mind you, there's always the danger that they won't live to make the prize packet!

braible said...

Sourdough bread, Ghiaradelli and Sees chocolates and music boxes. Is there anything else? Oh and maybe a trolley car souvenir too.
Thanks for letting put in my two cents.

Anna Campbell said...

Becky, your two cents are very welcome. Thanks for the suggestions! Music boxes sound really intriguing. I'll have to check them out!

Karen H in NC said...

Love the souvenir contest idea. Since I have never been to SF, it is hard to decide what souvenir I would like but chocolate is always on the list..but doesn't last long. Refrigerator magnets with SF landmarks are fun too. In fact, i usually buy one from the places I have visited. I think a snowglobe with a trolly car or the golden gate would be great too! Then there is the T-shirt...always fun and I love to wear them.

Have a great time and can't wait to see all the great photos my favorite authors will be posting over the weeks to come.

Pam said...

I collect those stretched and stamped pennies, so I've got a list of where to to go. I'm just happy I get a chance to see you at the literacy signing and tell you how much I absolutely adore your books. Does that count? :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Karen! I've never been to SF either - but it's always been on my list. And I'm going to Yosemite with has been on my to see before I die list ever since I discovered Ansell Adams's amazing photos when I was in my late teens. Thanks for the suggestions - can I say that you're all a mob of chocoholics??!!!

Pam, I'll check out the pennies. Sounds like they'd have the advantage of being easy to post - always an issue when I'm sending stuff from Oz. Oh, and please come and tell me that at the signing ;-) Such words are always welcome in my particular ears! Thank you for the lovely compliment!

I'm going to be giving away a local delicacy at the signing - Caramello Koalas, Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate with yummy runny caramel filling all in the shape of a koala. Seriously cute as a button. For that, Miss Pam, you can have TWO! So please make sure you come round and say hi!

Anne Gracie said...

Anna, I just got a postcard from a friend who's at Yosemite now and it's stunning. You'll have a ball.
I drooled at that snowdome -- I love snowdomes, but it's really hard to find ones that aren't tacky. I looked everywhere in London for them. In fact I got sidetracked by your post yesterday and spent some time browsing for snowdomes on line LOL.

Anyway, the best souvenir I think you need to bring back from San Francisco is a large gold RITA statuette :p Best of luck

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Anne! It is a gorgeous snow dome, isn't it? Although I suspect postage might be a problem with something like that. Ha ha to the RITA! We have our fingers crossed! Thanks for the good luck.

Cheri2628 said...

Have a GREAT time, Anna! :)

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Cheryl! The awful thing is I'm meant to be working and my mind is half a world away, thinking about all my friends I'm going to see and all the people I'm going to meet and all the wonderful places I'm going to check out. I definitely need a clone this week. One to write and one to skip around the house squeaking, "I'm going to San Francisco, I'm going to San Francisco." Actually, I might cancel the squeaking - clone one would be too likely to murder clone two and then I'd be right back where I started!

Nathalie said...

A mini golden bridge would be nice!