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Long known as one of San Francisco's great, if sleepy, antiques districts, Presidio Heights has recently sprung to action. Three years ago a handful of local shop owners founded the Sacramento Street Merchants Association with the goal of turning their tranquil tree-lined area into the Madison Avenue of the West Coast. And what progress they've made: In the seven blocks between Spruce and Broderick, a number of chic boutiques have popped up among the veteran furniture and design stores.

BEAU
One corner of this bright, sunny boutique is dedicated to Ashley Dearborn's line of fanciful shoes ($98-$700), which show off such handiwork as appliquéd rainbows, clouds, and lightning bolts. Among the other tempting goods are apatite drop earrings by local designer Arika C. ($205), pleated chiffon skirts by Robert Rodriguez ($250), and cropped, tailored jackets by up-and-coming designer Reyes ($280). At 3571 Sacramento St.; 415-440-1058.

BEAUTIFUL ORCHIDS
Self-proclaimed orchid addict Isabella Vibat-Woodcox specializes in creating exotic arrangements in unusual containers like 19th-century Chinese lunch boxes ($225, plus the cost of the flowers) and ceramic Italian biscotti jars ($75). Blooms range from the relatively common jade-and-orange phalaenopsis ($65 per plant) to a rare citrus and jasmine-scented cychnoches ($165). The shop ships nationwide. At 3319 Sacramento St.; 877-267-2443 or 415-567-2443;
www.beautifulorchids.com

THE CASBAH
Entering this tiny shoe store is a bit like walking into a kaleidoscope. Bubble gum-pink walls, zebra rugs, and low Moroccan tables make a fitting, and maybe a bit head-spinning, backdrop for women's shoes in a riot of colors. Among the highlights: fuchsia stilettos by Alberta Ferretti ($540), gold Giuseppe Zanotti kitten heels adorned with rhinestones ($395), and black leather thongs with studded bronze details, by Sigerson Morrison ($295). At 344 Presidio Ave.; 415-409-1209.

HAUTE HOME

We can never resist a repeat visit to this tea cozy-size shop. The selection of extraordinary European textiles is always evolving: This season, look for Belgian linen placemats ($28-$35), quirkily embroidered tip towels ($28), Italian pajamas made with 300-thread-count cotton sateen ($125), and supersoft cotton bedding in both traditional and modern designs (duvets, from $450). At 3234 Sacramento St.; 415-674-0560;
www.hautehomestore.com
MARCH
Former fashion executives Sam Hamilton and Mark Cunningham have hit on a winning combination in their airy design emporium: antique and vintage finds—for example, a pristine Louis Sognot chrome-and-leather armchair from the thirties ($5,900)—mixed with a few clean-lined reproductions and sculptural objects. You might come across chunks of gnarled, sun-bleached driftwood ($500), teak pedestals ($4,600), as well as various classic Danish pottery, such as a brown Axel Salto glazed cylindrical vase ($2,800). The smart assortment is finished off with contemporary art, mostly prints and photography. At 3075 Sacramento St.; 415-931-7433.

MARTIN CHRISTOPHER
In the market for a kindergartner-size tuxedo with tails? Search no farther than this haberdashery, a handsome, old-fashioned clothing shop full of high-end gear for boys size 4 and up—plus "dads' pieces" to match. Mahogany cases display Hickey Freeman formalwear (a madras dinner jacket is $350), Grass Court hand-knit tennis sweaters ($260), and a golf line by Bobby Jones. Growth spurts be damned—there is also an in-store custom shirtmaker and tailor who can whip up anything to your tot's specifications. At 3490 Sacramento St.; 415-673-3110.

THRESHOLD BY KENDALL WILKINSON
Interior designer Wilkinson opened this spacious shop to showcase her handpicked furniture and decorative pieces in fresh ways. A late-19th-century Louis Philippe armoire ($10,500) stands next to a pair of red lacquered chairs ($5,200 for the two); Venetian chandeliers ($4,000-$9,000) share the rafters with modern pendant lights ($950); and a stack of traditional Italian linens by Bellora (queen set, $540) tower beside vibrant Missoni Home towels ($15-$80). At 3419 Sacramento St.;415-409-1966;
www.thresholdbydesign.com

-JAIME GROSS

Establishment accepts no charge/credit cards or accepts cards other than the American Express Card.

Reprinted with permission. Departures May/June 2005 Issue 98. American Express Publishing Corporation.
All amounts in U.S. dollars.
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Shopping


It's more convenient when you consolidate all your purchases on your American Express Card (and, if you collect Membership Rewards points, it's an easy way to earn more). Now, using your Card for your day-to-day purchases can also give you special offers. My Town offers savings at a variety of places, including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations restaurants and more.

Terms and conditions apply. All standard terms and conditions can be found at the above links

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New Partners
You now have more reward options

Membership Rewards logoWe're always working on bringing new partners aboard the Membership Rewards® program, so that you have an even greater selection when redeeming points.

The Home Depot
You'll find everything you need at The Home Depot to remodel, redecorate or repair your home, office or cottage. With over 50,000 different building materials, home improvement supplies and lawn and garden products to choose from, you can do it and The Home Depot can help!

Click here to redeem for gift cards from the Home Depot
Thrifty Car Rental
Reliability, comfort and convenience are a must when you're on the road, and that's exactly what you get from Thrifty Car Rental. With over 1,200 Thrifty locations, in over 70 countries around the world, including in-terminal locations in Canada and the U.S., you'll find a convenient location near you.

Click here to redeem with Dollar and Thrifty Car Rental.
Henry's
Henry's opened in 1909 in Toronto and has since evolved into Canada's largest independent photographic and digital retailer. You can always count on the best and newest products, knowledgeable staff and competitive pricing. They carry more than 6,000 items from major manufacturers including Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Sony, Pentax, Panasonic and Epson.

Click here to redeem with Henry's.
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get flying
A quick transer to a great getaway?

Where would you most like to be right now? If you're due for an escape to somewhere special, chances are Delta can get you there. All you need to do is transfer Membership Rewards® points to your Delta SkyMiles® account.

Delta offers 47 daily flights from cities in Canada to the U.S. and beyond. Delta's Canadian departure cities are: Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Fredericton. SkyMiles can be redeemed for Award Travel on Delta, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection® carriers, Song® and Delta's worldwide airline partners to more then 450 destinations around the world.

And Delta is pleased to announce expanded service from Vancouver with the introduction of Delta mainline service to Salt Lake City and with year-round service to Atlanta.
SkyMiles members enjoy no blackout dates on Delta flights (if there's an Award Seat available any day of the year, it can be yours) and can quickly and easily redeem miles, view Award Travel seat availability, book Award Travel and immediately receive e-tickets at delta.com/awardticket.

To transfer your Membership Rewards points into Delta SkyMiles Program Account call 1-800-668-2639.
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travel
Mexico calling.

It's a perfect time to treat yourself to a beautiful Mexican getaway with Sunquest/Vacances Sunquest. When you book a package to Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos using your American Express® Card between August 15 and September 15, 2005, for travel between October 1 and December 15 2005 you will receive:

$250 CDN off per room
based on double, triple or quad occupancy
or
$125 CDN per room
based on single occupancy

You may have one problem, however. Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos? This could be a tough one…

Puerto Vallarta offers something for everyone. It's a quaint colonial cobblestone town that's grown into a large resort destination. Everything is within reach including, lively nightlife, colourful markets, superb restaurants and, of course, sandy beaches. Golf, deep sea fishing, watersports, sailing and windsurfing are popular past times. A catamaran ride to the Marietas Islands is a popular daytime excursion; if you're lucky you'll see some whales, sea turtles, and manta rays. In Spanish, this is called "Paridiso."
Los Cabos is a natural paradise with plenty of activities and excursions to keep you occupied. It's on the southernmost tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, just below Southern California. There are a wonderful variety of places to explore, including havens for surfers; spots for shutterbugs; a protected cove and marine sanctuary; areas for watersports and the famous "El Arco", where the Sea of Cortés meets the Pacific Ocean. You'll also find excellent shops, restaurants and nightclubs, as well as a collection of championship golf courses. The Mexicans would say, "Perfecto."

To take advantage of this offer, please print a copy of your Sunquest/Vacances Sunquest  Savings Certificate and present it to your travel professional or call 1-888-414-8747(TRIP) for an American Express Travel Services location in your area.

Terms & Conditions:
Offer valid on bookings made with your American Express® Card at any travel agency between August 15, 2005 and September 15, 2005 for travel between October 1, 2005 and December 15, 2005 Applicable for 1 or 2 week bookings (with the exception of Dec 15 departures, which can only be a 1 week duration). Savings is before taxes, and cannot be combined with any other discount, promotion or sale, including the Sunquest/Vacances Sunquest Deal of the Day. Offer is applicable to Sunquest Vacations/Vacances Sunquest vacation packages departing from Toronto, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Montreal, Halifax, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver (not all gateways are available year-round). Savings applies to new bookings only.

American Express Travel Services locations in Canada are independently owned and operated.

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hot tip
The Pre-authorized Payment Plan from American Express

We want to make all aspects of your American Express® Card membership as convenient as possible. That's why we're introducing the Pre-authorized Payment Plan from American Express.

With the Pre-authorized Payment Plan, the full amount of your Charge Card account billing statements will automatically be paid from your Canadian dollar chequing account on the payment due date.
Enroll your account with the Pre-authorized Pyment Plan today. Click here for your enrollment form.
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