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jason | AD Roadtrip

Sir Francis Drake Hotel (K)nighted Again

Posted: August 28th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: General Info | No Comments »

I will admit from the outset, that I had mixed expectations of how our stay in San Francisco at The Sir Francis Drake Hotel would ultimately result. We knew going in, that the service would be very high, and the quality of the hotel and room would also be great, but we were concerned how the experience would go for our large, young family.

I’ll get back to that in a minute… let’s talk about the hotel for a minute first.

Location: I think first time visitors and veteran travelers to San Francisco will appreciate the The Drake Hotel’s location right away. Set one block from Union Square, it is the perfect location for shopping, dining and sight seeing. Walk in any direction from The Drake for 5 minutes and you will be surrounded by the most popular retail names, amazing local restaurants, and gobble up some of the Pacific Coast’s most notable historic landmarks.

Accommodations: Our room was without question very comfortable. Beds and bedding, and linens were pristine. The room decor was tasteful in a 19th century classy, throwback kind of way. Very clean, of course, with many great original hardwood accents trimmed with modern touches to complete the room.

Kicking back in style.

Kicking back in style.

Service: There is nothing specific to say about the service, in general, it was very good. We even got a little extra care, that was not expected, when we needed to leave the room early for the day before checkout. The bellman took all of our bags (6 total travelers, I remind you) to the bellman’s closet in secure safe keeping for the day, as a complimentary service.

When we arrived to pick up our belongings and vehicle, we were greeted with the same smile as when we left earlier that day. Nice!

Famous Threads: You can’t miss one of San Francisco’s most photographed icons when staying at The Drake Hotel, because he is the first to greet your entrance and exit - the famous, and the most photographed person in San Francisco, Beefeater doorman, Tom Sweeney. Tom was a great guy, and during our brief conversation, he revealed he was in his 33rd year of service at The Drake - unreal. You know they must be doing something right.

Tom Sweeney and his famous threads.

Tom Sweeney and his famous threads.

Amenities: Walking in off the cool, busy street into the warm, ornately classic lobby and main floor was always a treat… especially for the kids. Chandeliers, handrails and eclectic wall art intrigued and entertained them with each visit (and no dirty looks from staff or patrons for the elevated volume we naturally carried into the space - it’s kind of like they expected it in the city.) Refreshing.

Wonderfully classic lobby.

The wonderfully classic lobby.

Generally speaking, our stay at The Drake Hotel was great, but what made our time in the hotel even better was the extra care the staff demonstrated toward our young children - giving them the extra leeway to jump steps, stomp feet and quibble over turns to push the elevator buttons. They were never out of control, of course, but kids will be kids.

If you are considering a visit to San Francisco, and want to be close to all the Bay city action, then don’t look past The Drake. Large family or small, it is perfect fit for a quick weekend stay or a longer family vacation alike. Give it a look (… you’ll be glad you did.

ADRoadtrip To Stay In Drake Hotel Style

Posted: July 27th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: Advertiser | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

There are rare occasions in typical American family life, where style, grace and history merge into one complete experience.

Well, we are fortunate to crown our fast approaching visit to San Francisco with two nights in the famous Sir Francis Drake Hotel (

Set in the historic Union Square, and boasting four star accomodations, we are sure to have a comfortable and convenient stay in the Bay area.

A full review will follow our arrival and check in.

A complete, update and review are soon to follow…

Block Down On Top Gear

Posted: July 14th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: General Info | No Comments »

Sometimes you find amazing footage online, and sometimes you find it through friends… and rarely do you find something that weaves your favs so tightly that you get goose bumps.

This is one such video… and maybe the future of ADRoadtrip (one can dream, right?)!

Ken Block, the star of the segment, and friend, Ricky Charmichael, show off their world-class skills on Top Gear. Watch the clip… you’ll be glad you did!

Parker Is Recovering Well… Thank Goodness

Posted: July 10th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: Update | Tags: , , | No Comments »

It has been one week since our accident in Park City on the Alpine Slide, and I am grateful to say that Parker is recovering very well (despite the small hit he took in the same spot by running into the car door - that was very painful for him.)

If you missed the video, it is here -

I will admit that this has been one of the longest weeks of my life, and rightfully so. The good news is that I spend more time trying to keep him settled down in place long enough to avoid re-injury. His wounds are healing progressively faster now than earlier in the week. I anxiously wake each morning, with a bit of a pit in my stomach, to see his overnight healing progress.

Today was the best day by far in terms of most significant overnight improvement. So, I take a bit of a sigh of relief from this painful incident, and we move forward with our Summer fun.

This weekend will include at a minimum, the following (there may be some good ideas in here for your families too):

  • Movie in the park
  • Trail running and mountain biking
  • Friends Breakfast at Ruth’s Diner in SLC
  • Mountain adventure exploration with the kids (no fast moving vehicles, just old fashioned walking)
  • Basketball in the driveway

I know, you are thinking “what an ordinary weekend”, but sometimes the more ordinary, the better.

There’s lots more ADRoadtrip adventure to come now that we are back on track, so be on the lookout for more updates and giveaways. Thanks to everyone that send their well wishes to Parker… it means a lot to him and to us.

ADRoadtrip Dad And Son Accident

Posted: July 4th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: General Info | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I preface this video post with intense remorse. What I intended to be a fun filled afternoon and evening of Alpine Slide rides and a family meal in Park City, UT, quickly became a painful and worrisome time for everyone.

Honestly, I don’t know what went wrong, I have replayed the accident in my mind a million times. I noticed once or twice that Parker was pushing my left foot out of its slot on the sled, which concerned me because I was wearing flip-flops, but I don’t know if that had any impact on our crash. My flip-flop may have gone between the sled and the track for an instant, but I’m not sure.

Everything in, I just should have taken better care to ensure the safety of my son by going slower down the track. The thought, “don’t just be conservative, be safe” has been stuck in my head. If I was alone, I would have gone faster, but my attempt to go “slower” wasn’t enough, as I have realized with this unfortunate accident.

What was like a safe and stable ride on the sled, instantly transitioned to what felt no more safe than a potato sack on a carnival slide. I have been down that exact slide a dozen times over recent years alone and with my children - I just can’t explain what made this ride dangerously different.