Wednesday, March 01, 2006

San Francisco

Kim and I drove down to San Fran where we picked up her daughter Janie who had just flown in from China. It is hard to say whether or not Kim was in much of a hurry, but I will say, we pretty much flew, too. It was a pretty drive, although it was foggy going over Mt. Shasta, which was a bummer as that is so beautiful. This was late January and we were setting records here in Seattle for the most consecutive days of rain and snow was piling up in the mountains, so everyone, except Kim & I were worried about our driving over them. I can't blame Kim for wanting to get there quickly. Janie had been in China for seven months and everyone was dying to see her again. Lucky for us, we had her all to ourselves for a few more days before the two of them headed home, leaving me in Sacramento. (more on that later)

We were so close to getting her when we got stuck at the toll to the Oakland Bridge because of an accident. What a zoo! 10 lanes going into 2? Something like that, ambulances, fire trucks, cops, craziness. Poor Janie, hanging out in the lobby of the hotel, waiting to be rescued. We finally arrived and reunited Mother & Daughter. Janie is an absolute delight, had so much to tell about her adventures through China and Tibet and is an amazing young lady. After grabbing her and getting a hotel room, we of course wanted to go eat somewhere we could look at the bridges. We ended up in some quaint little village past Sausalito at a hoity-toity Mexican joint. The water was beautiful! The shops were closed, but we walked all around and enjoyed them, found an antique car museum that also had antique games - like the one in the movie Big, starring Tom Hanks.

The next day, we tried to take in as much of San Francisco as possible! What a cool city! Living by the water here, I am reminded that we often forget to enjoy that which we have before us. We "did the bridge" and got some great souvenirs before heading off to Ghirardelli Square where we met up with my dear friend Bonnie, who lives in San Jose, whom I haven't seen in years and years! In fact, it has been so long, that Bonnie was afraid, with all that chocolate around, we might somehow miss each other, so she made this terrific sign! Needless to say, we had a lot of fun with THAT the entire trip! We wanted to ride the cable cars and Janie wanted to go to Chinatown before we left so we drove around for a long time trying to find parking. It took a long time of us following the tracks and meandering down side streets "hunting" until we found a little lot right at the end of the line where we could park. So we got to do it after all. The cable cars were very cool, standing on the side rails and just hanging on as the trucks and cars passed by was a bit intimidating at first and I have no doubt everyone knew we were tourists, but hey - who cares! The architecture is beautiful and wonderful to behold, we hit downtown and Janie and Kim hit China Town while I had a drink and French Onion Soup (YUM! It was grande!) in a quaint French Cafe. Unfortunately, we only had the one day; we'll have to leave Fisherman's Wharf, The Painted Ladies and Alcatraz for another trip. (Although we were close to them all!) We finally got out of there and made it to Sacramento about 1:30 AM. I had school in the morning....