Saturday, July 31, 2004

San Francisco

So, Sven and I went to San Francisco last weekend. It was awesome.

Friday we rented a convertible and drove to Napa. We listened to Tony Bennet and Chet Baker, and I did my hair all Bridget Jones style. We did two tours - Beringer and Robert Mondavi. I was hoping to hit 4 or 5 places, but we ran out of time. The important thing was we both got a healthy buzz, learned a little bit about wine-making and each found a couple new wines we like. (My fav was Beringer's new Sparkling White Zinfandel).

After that, we returned the car (a total ordeal involving buying gas at a very frustrating gas station where the gas pump required gross physical exertion and caused me to spill gas all over myself, getting hit up for money buy a bum, and almost busting my ass on a wet floor). After 2 shuttle rides, we arrived at the AirBART train station to San Francisco. By this time, Sven had been up for about 20 hours and became increasingly pissy about my navigation skills. We almost had an argument but luckily several nice Sanfrancisconians offered their assistance.

Arriving at the hotel was possibly one of the happiest moments of my life. I didn't have a detailed map of the area and assumed we'd have to lug our suitcases around for 20 or 30 minutes before we checked in. But, instead, as soon as we walked out of the train station there it was - directly in front of us, 15 yards away. And the hotel itself was great - it was the Hyatt Regency at 5 Embarcadero which I booked for $75 on priceline. The inside was totally fabulous, there 4 coffee places, a 7-11, and a Walgreens directly across the street, AND it was only a block away from the Ferry Building.

So, Saturday morning I got up and decided to explore a little on my own. I picked up some pastries at one of the coffee places and ran into a guy a used to work with -- totally bizarre. After that, I wandered over to the ferry building where they had the farmer's market, which is the precise moment I fell in love with San Francisco. (fyi - it turns out there is a farmer's market in westlake on Saturday's 10 am - 1pm if anyone is interested: )

Then we went to Fisherman's Wharf and went on this boat trip. Of couse we tried some of the fresh crab, and then walked over to Lombard Street and Ghiradelli's. Then it was Rock 'n Roll Sushi and a very unsuccessful search for dessert. Honestly - what's with those Italian places? "Are you here for dinner or dessert." They might as well be honest and say, "if you aren't going to spend $80, get your fat american ass out of here because I'm not going to feed you." So, no dessert, and the line to get to the Equinox was an hour long, so no coctails either. We gave up and went to bed.

Sunday, we met up with some family friends of Sven, and had brunch in Union Square. Nice people. I especially liked the mom. She was very nice and particularly accepting of the crude habits of young people. I really appreciate people like that - because there you are trying to fulfill the duties of a young nice person and realize you've made 5 social blunders, and wish you hadn't tried in the first place. But, she made it seem like everything was okay. After that, we went to a couple of art galleries and then it was time to go home.

My overall opinon of San Francisco is that it is the very best place to be in the entire world - it is just the right mix of Europe and the United States. They have all the culture and quaintness of Europe but the service and bathroom availability of the good ol' US. My only suggestion is to provide a few bus maps for the tourists. Oh yeah, and lower the housing prices so I can move there.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Dorks on the plane... Posted by Hello

Vines at Robert Mondavi Posted by Hello

RM stores the wine in artificial caves to save on AC Posted by Hello

Elevators at hotel Posted by Hello

Hotel Lobby Posted by Hello

Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building Posted by Hello

Liberal Arts students. They stop playing when nobody gives them money :) Posted by Hello

Golden Gate Bridge - too foggy to see it until we were underneath Posted by Hello

Lombard Street. Posted by Hello

Look - check out Alcatraz from here Posted by Hello

Sven and Jamie in front of cool new art initiative Posted by Hello

Ghiradelli's Posted by Hello

Sven and the family friends Posted by Hello


So, here I am. Noon on Friday, working from home. Completely hungover. (Thanks to Nancy.) I'm supposed to be doing pre-training for my real training next week , but I haven't quite started. I sat down to enter my time report and I'm trying to lessen the blow by doing other creative and positive things first. Like start a blog - also inspired by Nancy. Anyway, my next post I promise to talk about something, but for now, I just need to get the ball rolling...