Thursday, 30 June 2005

I finally posted the first installment of notes from my trip to San Francisco. It made more sense to back-date the entries so they would match when I originally wrote the notes. I did most of the real writing at the time and have been working on the editing ever since.

I have some photos that I’ll put on line just as soon as I can finish sifting through them and doing touch-ups.

Friday, 10 June 2005

When I first got to the airport, I was redirected from the eTicket line into the regular one, which was HUGE. It seems they were rebooking several flights due to weather delays. I was glad I got there the recommended two hours before my flight.

After an hour, I had only moved half-way through the line. Not good. As if traveling in itself wasn’t traumatizing enough, my flight was scheduled for 0918 and I still had to check my bag and get through security. When they announced the plane to Denver would be delayed an hour, it was a tiny bit better, but now I was worried about making the connection in Denver.

Thank goodness for that delay. I didn’t reach the front of the line until 0900, where another person sent me to the magic kiosk I could have used in the first place. As long as I got to San Francisco before the show, I’d live.

By the time I made it to my departure gate, it was 10 minutes before boarding. Not enough time to recharge the iPod, but not so long that I’d be bouncing off the walls. It could have been worse.

It would have been nice to get a couple pictures of the Twin Cities as we took off, but I didn’t want to risk a chat with an Air Marshal by playing fast and loose with the electronics ban during takeoff. Perhaps I’ll be more daring on the flight home.

After walking what seemed like a half-mile between gates in Denver, there was just enough time to grab a quick lunch find someplace to surreptitiously recharge batteries. I managed to get just enough juice into the iPod so it would last through the rest of the flight.

When Jules found me in baggage claim, I was still a little freaked out, but it was finally starting to sink in. I was 2000 miles from home, I was in San Francisco, and I had the whole weekend ahead of me. It was my first real vacation in who knows how long and I was actually there.

Jules had her car, since she lives in the area, so we drove to the hotel and got checked in. After a few minutes to get settled, we decided to head for dinner. Not wanting to think about it too much, we wandered to a place around the corner called “Thai Stick.” It was a small, family-run place, rather than one of the trendy tourist places. They were reasonably priced, the food was good and the service was very attentive.

After dinner we went for a walk and headed through Castro and the Tenderloin. Not the greatest areas of town, but it was still light out and there were two of us. The people watching was good, with only a few panhandlers bothering with us. Strangely, we got hassled more on the block in front of the hotel than we did through the entire rest of our walk.

The camera is still so new to me that, in spite of carrying it almost everywhere, I often don’t think to take pictures. There’s something about urban blight that piques my artistic eye.

Finally it was back to the hotel where we talked for a while and crashed at about midnight.

Today’s soundtrack was Roger Clyne: Americano, Carbon Leaf: Indian Summer, Cafe Tacuba: Avelancha de Exitos, Manu Chao: Proxima Estacion, Tears for Fears: Elemental, Lavay Smith: Everybody’s Talkin’ ’bout Miss Thing, Madeline Peyroux: Careless Love, The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Operatica: Shine, and three songs from Reverend Horton Heat: Lucky 7.