Random thoughts on last week's long weekend in San Francisco. Day 1
TSA SUCKS - We've been really tolerant – verging on supportive – of the TSA. We think those front-line folks have a shitty job, so we try to be understanding. Today changed all of that. Getting through security was a mess. We got pulled for having suspicious looking coffee mugs. Um, they were empty. Time to be more vocal about the shortcomings of the TSA and the body scanning madness.
BUDDY PASSES DON'T SUCK - We're happy to have made it to San Francisco. We relied on our airline friends' "buddy passes" to get us here. The discounted price is great, the stand-by travel part is a bit of a drag. Our early morning flight was wide open. A row to ourselves; what a treat. Better than we normally do when paying full price.
DECENT HOTEL / QUESTIONABLE NAME - Travel-ticker had a deal at Personality Hotel's Hotel Diva. Flying standby, we needed something that we could cancel/change last minute, so Priceline and Hotwire weren't options. It turned out that we had stayed next door to this place a few years back. The location is ideal for visitors - not far from Union Square, metro and all that good stuff.
N2N AGAIN - As weird luck would have it, one of our favorite plays, Next to Normal, is playing across the street from our hotel. If we can get tickets, I'm sure that we'll have to put ourselves through the emotional torture of this play.
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL - We decided that San Francisco gets more and more appealing every time we are here. First off, we've lucked out with incredible weather during our last couple of visits. This time is no exception. It's t-shirt weather. Our big activity yesterday: a big walk down Market to Castro. Everyone looks so hip; we've gotta step it up.
OUR PEEPS - A few days before leaving Seattle, we saw that a new GLBT Museum had opened in San Francisco. Yesterday, we went in for a short visit before meeting a friend for coffee. Really cool place with a lot of rich information about the GLBT path. Inspiring. We hear that there are only two such museums in the world; the other is in Berlin.
STOP THE HATE - We're sitting in The Buck getting some work done before we head out to explore. We just witnessed two fights. One was between a couple of customers. We don't know what went down up at the register, but the two of them were screaming at each other big time. Most memorable line: "I have to deal with arrogant douche bags like you all day!" Something about using "douche" as a pejorative is especially powerful.
BACK AT THE ROOM - Today was another big walking day. Our primary goal was to really check out the South of Market neighborhoods. Our secondary goal was to find a ball cap, which always seems to be a stupid goal that is never attained because so many ball caps are douche-y (wanted to try that out). Much of SoMa seems to be just right - developed enough to be interesting, but not so developed as to be soulless.
WHY WE EXERCISE - I think we had some of the best ice cream ever (certainly the most unusual). We went to Humphry Slocombe in the Mission. Had the "breakfast" version - bourbon crunch (ok, and a couple others). This was after a tasty burrito. Nice job hosting, Lorna!
TOO GOOD TO PASS UP - After a stiff drink, we did make it to the emotional roller-coaster Next to Normal. We scored rush tickets for $30 each. We had to pay with cash but didn't have to bother with facility fees, etc. Lots of tweaks have been made to the show. Now that we're practically experts, it's interesting to see how the creative team feels they can more effectively tell the story.
FOOD NIRVANA - Out exploring again. We just had our ultimate food moment of the journey (yep - better than the ice cream). We went to a restaurant that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches: The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. Right up our alley. We decided to try out two, the Moscone and the Mushroom Gruyere, along with some smoked tomato soup and a couple of their house made sodas - pomegranate spice and ginger lemonade. Now we are going to look at property next door.
WIPED OUT - It's the end of our flash weekend in San Francisco, and we're spent. We both have blisters and feel like it's time to call it good. We're in the room fighting "let's head out for one more spin around the city" urges. The feet say hell no. Time to jump on Alaska Air's site to check the availability of standby seats tomorrow.
FOOD FROM THE HEART - Before we pack up, I should add that we went over to the Ferry Building for their foodie event this weekend. Long story short, you purchase tickets which you then use for food and wine sample. We had a mouth-watering mushroom/bitter orange sandwich, gelato and a few other things. The place was a mob scene. Great food but panic attack level crowds.
ROOM 310 - We've gotta hand it to the hotel. The diva is aging nicely. The "bones' of the building are older than my great grandma. yet they somehow manage to keep the nicks/flaws to a minimum. We were particularly pleased with the free WiFi and the Internet lounges on a few of the floors. Our room on the backside was super quiet. We'll be back.
WE'RE SPOILED - How cool. We walk a couple blocks to the metro station and hop on for an $8.10 ride to the front of the airport. Why isn't there more transport like this in our country? Security is OK – except for the body scan that still results in a pat down (what???) - and we're on our way. We actually end up making it on an earlier flight. A whole row to ourselves, just like on the way down. We've gotten so used to WiFi up in the air, that our Internet-less plane is a big downer.
San Francisco rocks!
Where do you like to head for a long weekend get-away.