As much as I love attending brand meetings, I usually find that I do not have any time to explore the cities I am visiting. When I visited St Louis to meet with Purina last week, our trip was so quick that I only saw our hotel and the Purina Headquarters. Back in January, when I covered the North American International Auto Show for another blogger, my hotel was in the airport, and I only saw the convention center where the auto show was being held and three locations we visited as part of our trip. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not complaining - but it's so nice when you go somewhere on business and you actually get to explore a bit of the city around you while you are there!
I just returned home from a trip to meet with a brand that I am going to be working with - I will be making that announcement in a few days - and my hotel was right in the middle of Downtown San Jose in California.
I have never been to San Jose before, so I was really excited when I saw that we were in a great location and that my schedule actually allowed me to do a bit of exploring before and after our meetings each day!
The Hotel De Anza
The Hotel De Anza was spectacular, I really couldn't have been happier with my stay there! It was centrally located just about a block and a half away from San Pedro Square, the guest rooms were lovely and the onsite restaurant, La Pastaia, was amazing!
I went out to to dinner with an old friend who recently moved to San Jose on Friday night and her husband told me that the hotel was supposed to be of some historical significance. Of course, as soon as I boarded my flight home on Saturday and connected to wifi, I looked it up!
Hotel De Azna was built on February 26, 1931 - right during the middle of the Great Depression - and was one of the only first class hotels in San Jose. Developers originally wanted to call the hotel The San Jose Hotel but ultimately named it Hotel De Anza after Juan Bautista de Anza, the explorer who discovered the Santa Clara Valley in 1776.
La Pastaia Restaurant
Located on the lobby level of the Hotel De Anza, La Pastaia Restaurant was incredibly convenient and we dined there for dinner the first night, had breakfast there each morning, and a few friends and I had a light dinner there before we left town on Friday afternoon.
I loved their menu; with everything from cheese plates to side dishes to share, gourmet entrees and crafted beers, there was something for everyone on the menu! My favorite was the pan roasted balsamic glazed salmon with fennel salad - though the Osso Bucco my friend had looked amazing!
San Pedro Square
San Pedro Square was pretty awesome, the only thing it was missing was boutiques and shops (hint, hint, San Pedro Square, get on that!). It reminded me of our own Coconut Grove at home, with little cafes and wine bars - it was just lacking the shopping aspect.
I kept finding myself on San Pedro Square every time I had a few hours to kill - which was every single morning because I was still on East coast time and woke up at 4 AM, and could only entertain myself in my room for so long!
San Pedro Square also has quite a bit of history...and it made an excellent backdrop for my new business card photo! With a few hours to kill on Friday afternoon, some friends and I staged a mini photo session on the corner. Big thanks to Jennifer Leal at SavoringtheThyme.com for playing photographer for me!
Of course I had to get silly too...now I'm torn between these two photos for my new business cards!
Just kidding. I am obviously going to use this one that shows off my awesome
butt boots! 😉