Saturday, in the park ...

I had a little vacation anxiety before I left for this trip to San Francisco … but that is gone, now. Well, mostly. Last night I had a dream that my vacation was over before I expected it to be and I hadn’t done any of the things I wanted to do. But even if I only had the last two days, I would be happy. In fact, the only thing I haven’t done is slow down. You could pack up all the stuff I've bought in the bags under my eyes. I'm going to have to hit the spa pretty soon ... but I'm going to get in one more day of power walking first.

I arrived early in the day on Friday, local time. I’ve already adjusted to local time, too, so even though I’m staying up much later than I would on home time, I’m also waking up at a normal local time here, around 7 a.m.

After checking in, I was lured by the Bloomingdale's sign across the street to one of the largest malls I've ever been to (though the mall at Caesar's Palace tops them all--I thought I was taking a shortcut through it ... four-hours later I arrived at my destination, a block away). I met this awesome and funny guy at the Clarkes store. His name is Noel, and he says he was a rock star in the 60s, that he played Golden Gate park with The Who and Jefferson Airplane (Or Starship, or whatever it was caled in that era). He brought out every single pair they had in my size and I tried them all on while we chatted. He was originally from Rhode Island and he's travelled and lived all over the world. Hey, I'm not saying any of it's true, but it was an interesting conversation nonetheless. And yeah, he sold me two pairs of shoes. He was a very good salesman.

Then I wandered around the Union Square area for a while ... more shopping, and lots of it. I bought a few little things (I can never resist an Anthropologie store), but mostly just had fun window-shopping and people-watching. I stopped at the cable car turntable and Powell and Market--it was a zoo. I haven't taken a cable car ride yet, but it's on my list.

For supper I had a turkey club at the hotel bar and a lovely glass of white wine from the Sonoma Valley ... I have to look up what kind it was--delicious. Met some funny sales guys at a convention, drunk off their asses. I swear one of them looked just like Joe Leiberman, but when I asked him if he was disappointed not to get the vice presidential nomination, he pretended he had no idea what I was talking about. Later, he did admit that he was very disappointed, though.

The hotel is in an awesome location--you can walk to lots of things, including a Walgreens ... key for buying gallon jugs of water for $1.99 instead of spending $8 a bottle at the hotel. (That's about all I've done to save money, though. Something about being on vaction makes you feel like treating yourself. Although, to be fair, one of the two pairs of shoes I bought was on sale.) There's a Starbucks on every corner, of course. People take their coffee very seriously, and you often see people carrying around cups late in the day and even into the night. How do they sleep? I'm at a Starbucks right this very moment, in fact. Grande skinny cafe misto with a booster shot. Mmm. There's also a ton of bars and retaurants nearby.

My room rocks. I could almost reach out and touch Saint Patrick's church and I love the sound of its bells rining, very gentle and soft. I can see the museum of modern art and the Contemporary Jewish Museum and other interesting architecture. I can even see, in the distance, the Bay bridge and a glimpse of the Pacific. My first room had a view of the back of a building and an alley and reeked of cigarette smoke. I am soooo glad I asked for a different room--they definitely made it up to me. My Madonna theory at work and paying off once again.

On Saturday I walked about a mile down Market Street to the Ferry Building on the waterfront, took a very sad picture of the Bay Bridge (see the previous post) and some fun photos of the produce and etc. available at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. It was HUGE. I bought tomatoes and plums and peaches and a bag of about 15 figs for $3... at home they are 99 cents each.

You say tomato Farmer's market

At the Boccalone Salumeria I bought some cured meats, which, I learned, are called salumi, and some cheese and crackers. I'm all set, snackwise, for the week.

I love meat

There are craft tents and booths in the area. I bought a cheap but pretty bracelet made of jade-like stones with Chinese characters (I know, I know, I am such a tourist) and had a wonderful time talking to a man selling prints on the sidewalk just outside the market. He has these funny, bright, colorful watercolor painting/drawings San Francisco scenes. I can't even describe it--I'll take a picture of the print I bought, of two cats hugging beneath the Golden Gate bridge, and post it later. It's not as stupid as it sounds. I'm 99% sure I found my mom's birthday present there. It was one of the first things I saw, though, so I'll have to go back.

Meanwhile, in the throng of people, I ran into someone I know (I edited his book) ... he is also here for the conference next week and he and his wife came out early, too. Funny.

In the afternoon the sun came out and I went to the Yerba Buena Gardens (which I can also see from my room). There was a live concert going on. I visited the Martin Luther King Memorial and took pictures of the carousel. Then I skipped over to the SFMOMA and looked around the gift shop. Bought some cards, a watch for me and a funny trinket for my dad. I'll go back first thing tomorrow. The woman in the gift shop said that's a good, quiet time to visit.

Why do carousel animals always look just a little creepy?

Today ... Probably Chinatown which, if I am reading the map right, is also within walking distance. There's a gallery on the way designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that I'd like to see. If the sun comes out this afternoon as promised, I'll hit the Golden Gate bridge. I'd like to go later in the day, when the light is more interesting. That's definitely a further excursion, but I'm not leaving without seeing it!


Anonymous said...

great blog, great photos,
P & D
btw the watercolor in your livingroom is framed beautifully - looks great -
all is well...D

Gienna said...

I got that frame at a yard sale for ten bucks!

'nother post coming soon ... I am totally wiped out after walking around Chinatown for FOUR hours!