Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another fabulous vacation comes to an end

Friday we drove back to San Francisco, where we were supposed to return our car by noon. Or so we thought. As we were checking the clock and the traffic, I pulled out the receipt, which noted 11:23 AM, not noon. Ooops. Our plan had been to drive to the hotel, unload all our stuff, return the car, do whatever we felt like, and take the bus or trolley back to the hotel later. This way we would not have our suitcases to lug around and we wouldn't have to take a cab immediately back to the hotel. So I called Enterprise to see what kind of grace period they'd give us--thankfully, the guy said we could have till 12:30. We do like Enterprise and have always had great service with them!

Traffic was heavy but we found our hotel, the Club Quarters, coincidentally right across the street from the first hotel we'd stayed in when we arrived in San Francisco three weeks earlier. There was nowhere to park so we had to drive around some more, park at a meter a few blocks away, and walk back to check in. We were told we could pull in up front for ten minutes and unload, so we walked back to the car, drove around, pulled in, unloaded our stuff and hauled it up to the room. WELL, we just thought the room at the Eldorado was small. This one was just as small and we could barely turn around. Nowhere to put our suitcases and the bathroom only had a tiny walk-in shower instead of a tub. The TV was mounted above the desk, which was not good placement for the person wanting to sit at the desk with the computer. Ugh. Yes, we had completely inconsistent priceline rooms on this trip. What the heck.

By then it was getting late and we needed to drive the vehicle back so we took off and got it returned just in time. We searched the car to make sure we had not left anything and took off walking around in search of lunch and a souvenir SF hoodie for me. We hadn't walked very far when I reached into my pocket to check the time on my phone. Hmmm, no phone. I dug in my purse and it was nowhere to be found. Rich called my number and no ringing was heard. Crap. Back we walked to Enterprise, where no one was in the office and the rental car was gone. We figured the guy had taken it to the wash and clean up section but we had no idea where that was. After a few minutes, he came walking out of the parking garage, saw us, and held up my phone. Good thing Rich called the number because the guy heard the phone ringing. Apparently it had fallen out of my pocket and slid under the seat. Whew!

We spent the afternoon walking around the Wharf area, Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square. I found a hoodie and we bought some candy--like we really needed that! We have both put on the pounds on this trip.

Later we caught the bus back to the Ferry Market and were walking to our hotel when we saw the Bay Area Patriots setting up for a rally. I imagine it is hard to be a Tea Party person in San Francisco. Kinda like it was hard for me to be a left winger in West Texas. :) At the time, there were more police officers than participants. I chatted with one of the officers and he said they typically patrol any time there's a rally, especially if any opposition is expected. But he said they hadn't been notified of any counter demonstrations being planned and his opinion was that it was smarter for the opposition not to even show up and give the rally any credence. I asked what time it was going to start and he said they were told 3 PM. It was 3:15 by then so I was almost feeling a little sorry for the Tea Party, with no one there to support them. We waited around a little while just to see what might transpire but it was dead so we wandered back to the hotel. Later I looked it up online and it was not actually due to start till 4 PM so perhaps more people eventually showed up. :)

Sculpture and the Ferry Market

We walked around a bit in the evening and had dinner near the hotel. Had a quiet night, reorganized our bags and got ready to bid California a fond farewell.

Our flight was scheduled for 1 PM on Saturday, which was nice--I hate those early morning trips! Here are a couple of photos of leaving San Francisco. It really is one of our favorite cities.

Our flight took us from San Francisco to Seattle, we had a couple hours' layover there, and then off to Anchorage for the night. Sunday morning we headed for home, had nice weather and no stopovers in Cold Bay or refueling in King Salmon--wow, a nonstop flight to Unalaska! It was a little bumpy coming down, but not bad. We'd hardly been home any time at all when it started raining and blowing so it's probably a good thing we left when we did.

Approaching the front of our house, I asked Rich, "Do you notice anything?" Unfortunately the "cat club house" had been blown away in the last big storm and is broken to bits at the bottom of the hill, along with our heavy wooden deck chairs. Wow! They'd survived lots of other high winds so we are not sure what happened this time but they are all definitely destroyed. Thankfully they didn't hurt anyone or break a windshield.

It's good to be home and I went right back to work yesterday. Rich still has most of the week off so he's staycationing till Saturday when he'll go in to get ready for Easter brunch. The kitties were fine and seem happy we're home, or at least that is our interpretation. :)

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