January 11, 2013
There are many years of trips here – starting out now for a 2013 forray. As I rolled through the I5 Grapevine pass was just opened from a night of snowfall.
The Golden City by the Bay…and environs (mostly visiting friends and not so much tourista).
I went to San Ramon for my first night to enjoy a lively dinner out with RikiTik and her delightful family.
This is Riki’s family. Riki is the daughter of Phyllis and Phyllis is my father’s daughter from his first marriage.
From the top left: Amy, me, Erika. Bradley, Chanterelle (Nick’s girlfriend), Nicolas, Mike. Jeremie is missing, Amy’s new husband and Riki and Mike’s freshly minted young son-in-law.
I spent the night in San Ramon so that I could see James and his family in the morning. James is the son of Phyllis and Phyllis is my father’s daughter from his first marriage. From this you can rightly suppose that James and Riki (the family that I visited yesterday) are siblings.
James, Jake, Justin, Carolynne…
…and speaking of which, Nancy’s vintage fur hat was still in her suitcase, her suitcase that disappeared somewhere between drop-off at the baby Santa Barbara airport and arrival in San Francisco.
The airline did deliver the suitcase 24 hours later minus Nancy’s iPad and minus a few other random items. It was an awful experience and continues on even now with reports needing to be filed etc.
And for one brief moment unlikely to be repeated I have more clothes than Nancy.
Nancy and I spent some time with the family today and then in the mid-afternoon I dropped her off at the airport and checked into a charming little place – ‘classic’, ‘historic’, bathroom-down-the-hall accommodation a few blocks from Union Square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill.
And I got a complimentary upgrade, my bathroom is now In the room and Not down the hall.
Around the ‘hood.
I put this picture here to remind me of the pleasures of travel. I went in because from the outside there were fine huge stained glass windows facing the street but from inside you couldn’t see them.
I asked a guy who was walking out what the story was on the windows and he said although he’d been going to this church for many years he had never noticed. I said yeah, I’m a tourist and he said yeah, fresh eyes.
I said thanks and continued on. Several blocks later this same fellow hurried up to me to tell me the answer. He had chased down the priest to find out and didn’t want me to leave town not knowing the story of the windows. We should all be so kind to tourists.
First stop Crissy Field. What a fantastic place and I’ve never been here before. It was totally wow with plenty of trails and packs of dogs running free.
Every dog-walker in SF must come here. Each walker had 5-8 dogs and I was quite impressed with how it all worked. What looked like certain chaos was actually very much under control.
And the parking? Plentiful, and Free!
Copied from Ms Wiki: “In 1994 the National Park Service took over the Presidio, and Crissy Field was declared a ‘derelict concrete wasteland’ by the NPS.
“Due to environmental concerns about the former airfield, the NPS and the Environmental Protection Agency used funds to monitor the area’s chemical, biological and physical variables.
“The NPS eventually worked with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to revitalize the area and the Crissy Field Center was opened to the public in 2001.”
Yesterday morning I showed you the cat that joined me for breakfast. Today the dog stopped by too.
I drove out to Novato to visit with Bob and Desda, but I didn’t take any pictures .. oh no. So instead I collected some recent pictures off the internet to tell about what they’ve been doing.
Right around the corner from my hotel is another hotel, many hotels actually, but this one is called Marine’s Memorial Club & Hotel.
The view from The Leatherneck’s Restaurant .. copied from their website: “Originally dedicated as a “living memorial” to the U.S. Marines who served in the Pacific during World War II, the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel has been an outstanding fixture in San Francisco’s Union Square since 1946.
“A classic 1920’s Beaux-Arts hotel with an inviting atmosphere, the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel blends traditional décor and modern comforts with rich history, honor and pride. Our extraordinary staff displays an unmatched level of commitment to both the Club and its members and our other esteemed guests.”
We got out early to take Charlie to the zoo. Early means we have an hour of quiet before the crowds built up. Nancy missed Charlie’s birthday party a few weeks ago and wanted to take him out for a special day, and invited me (and my gps!) to come along.
There was a python in this room as big as four Nancys. Charlie was having a blast.
We spent the evening with Josh (Nancy’s son) and Kelly, Charlie, and Henry. They live in the Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco. San Francisco is defined in many small neighborhoods some only a few blocks in size but if you want to live in one of the neighborhoods then that’s where you want to live and not somewhere else. It’s very specific.
Josh runs his knife business (sharpening, repairs, sales) out of the front room of their flat. He’s moving soon to a retail space and is very glad of it.
We visited Bruce and Claudia at their new place, a lovely home in the hills of Point Richmond, and enjoyed lunch and an afternoon stroll not in their town but we took a drive into San Rafael.
This is the view from in front of their house, if you walk a little and peer a little through the trees, use the telephoto full out, and blow it up big in the computer…