We got up at the crack of dawn this morning. Literally…3 AM. It was not pleasant. Normally on Saturday evenings I’m just going to bed at 3AM, not waking up. Especially when I went to bed at midnight. I woke Jose up at 3:45 and we were out the door around 4:15. Now, most of you know that Jose and I had some trouble acclimating to each others’ morning routine in the early years of our marriage. You see, I’m a morning person. He is….not. Definitely, not. I like doing shocking things in the morning, like smiling, and waving at people and *gasp* using words, actual human words, instead of grunts. For years, we got off to bad starts in the morning until I came to one simple conclusion. Morning Silence. Seriously, we learned that the less we spoke to each other (i.e. the less I spoke to him –see human words vs. grunts above) the better. Once we passed this learning curve, things were golden.
We got in the car this morning and I told him he could sleep on the way to the airport, because he doesn’t normally sleep on the plane. In the end, he decided to stay awake and talk to me on the way to the airport. We were discussing the clothes we chose to bring, because lately whenever we travel, we always have the opposite weather than what’s predicted (refencing our Italy trip last spring when it was 32 degrees and we had no winter clothes) We’ve also mastered the art of packing lightly and I mentioned that I may have to do laundry one evening. So the next thing I hear is Jose asking “Why do they call it underwear?” So I launched into this long conversation about the history of undergarments. Five minutes later, I realize he’s not talking and is just looking at me with a strange expression (not really that unusual). Then he says “WHAAAT? What are you talking about??”
I said, “Well, you asked me about why they call it underwear and I was telling you.”
He says, “No…I asked you why they call it WonderBread!!”
“Oh” – I must have been really tired this morning if I’m mishearing Wonderbread for underwear, even though we were talking about laundry and the topic of bread was never mentioned.
On to more relevant things. We boarded the plane in record time and were taxing before our departure time. I’ve flown a lot in my life, from the time I was 4 years old. Maybe I just don’t pay attention much, but I swear I’ve never seen this before. Watch this short clip and look carefully at the ceiling. Leaky air, gas, whatever you call it, is not a good way to start a flight! No one else seemed to be concerned, so I just took a quick video and prepared for take off.
We arrived at SFO this morning around 10am. Our flight was perfect, once we got in the air. When we took off, the plane wobbled a bit and felt like it was going to roll. Seriously. When we got here, I called my mom and she said it was really windy in Chicago this morning. Anyway, once we got in the air, the flight was darn near perfect. I continued my tradtion of falling asleep as soon as the plane was in the air and I slept for the first 3 hours. I woke up every hour or so to look around and then went back to sleep. I read part of my book for the last hour (finally getting around to reading the first Sookie Stackhouse novel – Dead Until Dark, which is the basis for True Blood) and then we were arriving at SFO.
We purchased Muni-passes, which gives us unlimited rides on the cable cars and busses for a set amount of days. We bought the $24 pass which is a bargain considering one ride on a cable car is $5!!! We took the BART from the airport after spending a few minutes trying to figure out how to purchase a BART ticket. Thanks to the friendly New Yorker who helped us out! It was less than $11 for us to take the train vs. a taxi fare that would be at least $30 and the train is so easy, however, the BART has the worst public transit slogan I’ve ever heard: “BART, and you’re there!” Really, San Francisco, is that the best you can do?
One thing that shocked me: The BART train we were on had carpet!! and fabric seats. Yuck!! I was completely grossed out by the fact that the seats weren’t cleanable, wipeable sanitzable plastic!! I’m not being a germophobe here, but that’s just unsanitary! People throw up on public transit, or have unfortuante bathroom accidents and being able to clean up these mishaps is crucial. Not that I know anything about throwing up on public transit. Really, I don’t.
After a short half hour we arrived at our BART stop (specifics involving the details of our trip, hotel, restaurants, etc will come when we get home.) and we emerged from underground into a huge mass of people. There was noise and music and lots of yelling. Yep. We managed to end up right in the middle of the Gay Pride parade today. It was crazy and a little more difficult to navigate through the crowds, but we made it. We walked uphill a few blocks to our hotel. It wasn’t so bad, but the big hills came after our hotel. When we arrived at our hotel our room wasn’t ready, so we dropped off our bags and decided to go down to Fisherman’s Wharf for some food.
We got on a cable car, after missing the first 3 because they were so full. People literally hang off them. I didn’t think that actually was allowed, but it is. Finally we manage to get a seat inside one of the cable cars and it was packed with people. They are literally sitting in your lap. I was surprised at how old the cable car system is. Our car felt like it was falling apart with every stop, start and turn. There was lots of metal grinding, squealing and the sounds of wood being ripped apart. That’s not very reassuring at all. I wasn’t fond of the ride inside the cable car, and made sure on our return trip that I was outside where the oxygen was located 🙂 .
We walked around Fisherman’s Wharf and had some yummy fried calamari as a snack since neither of us had eaten more than peanut M and Ms. The calamari was delicious. It had a nice mix of tentacles and non-tentacle part (what’s that called?…the body?).
I have a number of friends who don’t eat seafood (crazy, I know). One of my friends actually says “I don’t eat things that swim”, so when I saw this sign, I had to take a picture of it for her.
Then we stopped at a restaurant and had some amazing Dungeness crab in garlic butter. Sorry, no photos…we were too hungry and ate it before we even thought about taking a picture! After this, we were so full that we decided to go back to the hotel to unpack and chill out a bit (ie take a nap!!). We walked to Ghiradelli Square and stopped at a small ice cream shop for a massive sundae. This concoction was a peanut butter hot fudge situation that was beyond yummy, however, it was too much! and we didn’t eat very much of it.
We waited about 25 minutes for a cable car and managed to get a seat on the bench oustide. There was a very knowledable man taking some friends on a tour standing on the rail right in front of us, so we got a little geography lesson on the trip home. The guy was crazy tho, besides being waaay too happy, he kept dangling off the cable car, leaning back and holding on with one hand only. I managed to get a shot of him and Jose.
This is a really big hill that we walked down. While it’s much better to walk down the hill than up, down is still dangerous. The hill was so steep that I felt like I’d fall over and roll down ala Humpty Dumpty or a WeebleWobble if I leaned forward too much!
To end our evening, we passed a store selling items made from Jose’s favorite animal (besides his birds, Nina, Billy, the squirrel that lives in our backyard and our pal, Paparazzi Racoon) the ALPACA!!
Stay tuned for more tomorrow! I am leaving you with a demonstration of how the cable cars turn around at the end of the route.