A New Day (and Wildlife) – 10/02/14
October 2, 2014
We got there and got around!
After a rocky start towards the West Coast from Albany International – full, complete and total search of me and all my stuff because some f***ing bomb sniffing computer thought there was something in my carry-on – we arrived in very sunny and warm San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon. Got ourselves a great car and navigated to our B&B without incident, even finding a parking space within a half a block!
Our home away from home is very beautiful with bright sunrise views of the Bay and some hill that’s higher than the one we’re on closer to downtown. We scarfed down Korean BBQ, drank a bottle of sauvignon blanc and crashed for the night. Comfy bed with great high end soft sheets. Slight downside is that the bathroom is upstairs, so my nightly meanders for toilet time require the attention of ascending and descending the stairs. The house has a friendly grey and white cat named “Squishy” and everybody loves her, even when she is walking on the piano keys late at night. Plink, plank, plunk.
Yesterday, we decided to take care of some of the things we forgot. We wandered a few blocks to reminisce about the place we stayed times in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s, wondering the fate of our lovely hostess, Liz, a free spirit who was in her 70’s then. A trolley ride took us into downtown to AAA where we acquired the maps and tour books we could have brought with us, had I remembered to pack them.
At the Museum of Contemporary Jewish History there is an exhibit about Warren Hellman, the founder of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (the reason we came here). Another housemate at the B&B had been there and told us about great photos, video and sound clips in the exhibit. Turns out much of the exhibit was not available, due to an “event” that was happening there last night, so we got a refund and some free passes for another day.
Failing at the Museum, we decided to go to the beach. Hopped on the appropriate street car, only to have technical difficulties kick us off the transport about 15 blocks before the ocean. Blazing heat for the walk, with the very hot day and the accumulated heat reflecting off the white pavement. But the ocean was lovely. Noisy, salty, cool. I love the air in San Francisco, a kind of cool moistness that makes breathing so refreshing. I love the people here, too. It’s the only place I’ve been where everyone says “Hello” and people engage one another without needing to. Reminds me why I considered moving out here 25 years ago.
We savored Peruvian food for dinner. Ceviche, anticuchos, quinoa salad and a mussels and chorizo dish the name of which I forget. Then we made our fourth visit to Walgreens. Besides picking up things we forgot on the other three forays, sometime during the day, something scratched one of my eyes, so my sore, watery, itchy eye needed moisturizer and to close for the night. That is why this is being posted on Friday morning. Eye is still swollen, but feels a lot better.
Someone in the house started the drier outside the door to our room at 6:30 this morning, so we are up early. I went outside to watch the sunrise and noticed a beautiful garden spider hanging out between our house and the one next door. I went for my camera and proceeded to work on taking her picture. While I was futzing around with the focus, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. Moved the camera focus to find a raccoon. And then another raccoon. Our hostess is, needless to say, freaked out. And animal control doesn’t seem to deal with them. Cute, curious, but oh, so destructive.
So today we are having lunch with the children of friends of ours from home. Kids we saw grow up and have been living out here for some years. We haven’t seen them in their adulthood, so I’m looking forward to this. One of them has a 7-year old child and the other is active in Burning Man, so this should be a lively lunch! After that, the first day of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass at Golden Gate Park.