Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It doesn't get any better than this

Thanks to a nice young woman named Kayla, Rich and I were able to sit together on the plane from Anchorage to Portland. The AK Air ticket agent paged her and asked if she'd mind trading seats. She was all for it. Thanks, Kayla. :) The flight was packed and I could not fall asleep for anything. I almost finished reading my book and tried listening to my ipod for awhile. Honestly, I think I slept for 20 minutes total, if that. We were a little bit delayed leaving and had a quick turnaround in Portland so got in with no time to spare. Arrived at our next gate and our flight to San Francisco was boarding. Not only that, it was nearly empty and the flight attendant said we could spread out. Hurray! Rich and I each claimed our own row of seats and I prepared to lie down and sleep. We had mechanical delays but were soon on our way. I was out like a light within minutes of takeoff. Sweet! We arrived in San Francisco around 9 AM, not the best time for checking into a hotel! Caught a cab to Le Meridien in the financial district and upgraded to a beautiful jr. suite so we could check in early. Unfortunately our luggage did not make it with us so we couldn't change clothes but we did brush our teeth and wash up before heading out onto the street. We wandered around and eventually found ourselves near the Ferry Market so decided to browse through the shops there and get a late breakfast/early lunch. We love the Ferry Market! Outside, it was a little chilly and reminded me of Unalaska weather. But we'd heard the forecast was for temperatures up to 80 degrees later in the week. Yes! After shopping, eating and walking around, we came back to the room for a nap. We were completely off schedule with being up all night and I quickly went to sleep but woke up a couple of hours later with a massive headache. Ugh. We decided that it was a transition day and maybe we'd just stay in and have room service for dinner. Sunday we were up early and had to check out of the hotel since we'd only pricelined one night and had the Parc 55 waiting for us for the next two. Thankfully my headache was gone and it looked like a beautiful, sunny day outside. We caught a cab to the next hotel, where the staff were super friendly and allowed us to check in early. We dropped our bags (which had arrived the night before) and caught the bus bound for Haight Ashbury, with plans to see the Cole Valley neighborhood. Haight Ashbury
Jane waits at the iconic intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets. After wandering down Haight Street for awhile, we turned on Cole and headed up the hill. We'd read that one of the best views of the city was at the top of Tank Hill, necessitating a climb up some pretty steep streets. But before that, we stopped in at La Boulange Cafe and Bakery for brunch. We loved this place! I had French toast that was more like bread pudding--delicious--and some nice fresh fruit. Rich had tomato soup and a beautiful beet salad. We were very, very happy with our meal. :)

The climb was not bad and we were rewarded with a lovely view of the city.

After enjoying the sunshine and the view, we returned to the neighborhood, spying a vegetable garden at the local elementary school. Here are their rules:

This is the "angel of hope" which was carved into a tree trunk in the Cole Valley neighborhood.

Back to Haight Ashbury for a stroll toward Alamo Square
I happened to look up and saw this sign on a tree. It did make me smile! I love the house and its big peace sign, further down the street.

Another steep climb took us into Alamo Square Park, where we could see the Timex Building in the distance.

The "Painted Ladies," seven Victorian homes all in a row

We were enjoying our day and the shining sun so decided we'd walk all the way back to the hotel instead of catching the bus. I am really glad we did because we walked right past the Warfield Theater, where we saw this sign:

Oh my gosh! What is today's date? Are they really here? Tonight?! I was beside myself! We stopped at the box office but the theater was all locked up. We continued to the hotel, which was only a few blocks away--very convenient! I got on the internet and found tickets for sale but damned Ticketmaster wanted $12.50 service charge for EACH ticket, on top of the price. What a rip-off! We said forget that, we will take our chances at the door!

After a dinner of Chinese food around the corner, we headed over to the theater and got in line for tickets. It took forever but we finally got inside, purchased our "balcony is all that's left" tickets and found our seats. The Warfield is a very cool old theater that reminded me of the Paramount in Abilene. It's a small venue so really had no "bad" seats and we were perfectly content where we were. Here's a look at the inside of the theater before the show, and a picture of Graham and David onstage.

I was really excited to see these guys, such a blast from my past. On the other hand, I was a little worried that they would not even be able to sing any more and it would be a terrible embarrassment and a disappointment all the way around. I knew Rich liked CSNY but I think he was mostly humoring me and I didn't want him to feel that this was all a terrible waste of time and money. But, NO worries whatsoever. These guys are still AMAZING. Their voices are strong, they can still harmonize like no one else and they are still having big fun singing and playing. It all seemed quite serendipitous for us to spend the first part of the day in Haight Ashbury, home of the Summer of Love, and end it in concert with two of the icons from that era. And some of the local residents still think it's the 60's, I believe. I had to smile at the old fogies in their tie-dye and Rich was laughing at me early in the evening when he asked me if I smelled marijuana and I innocently said, "well, it must just be on someone's clothes because there's no smoking allowed in here." Let me tell you, as soon as the lights went down, people were firing up all over the place. Between the patchouli and the pot, I think we were transported back to 1968, no lie. :) And the music brought back so many memories-- "Wooden Ships" and "Guinevere" and "Almost Cut My Hair" and "Eight Miles High" and "Marrakesh Express" and "Military Madness" and we are all singing "we can change the world...." and it's my best day in San Francisco, ever.

1 comment:

Suzassippi said...

Well, how totally cool! But then, I've never had a bad time in San Francisco either!