Thursday, November 19, 2009

A-wandering S.F.

Well, it's good to get out of town and visit someplace very different to get a perspective.

As I said yesterday, my memory of the trip to San Francisco will be traffic, traffic, traffic. I'll never complain about traffic in Bend again. I'll never ask where people learned to tailgate again.

Of course, most people probably don't travel 1200 miles in three days, either. But still....traffic. I would so want out of there....

I also am reminded that I seem to have very little travel stamina. Amazing that people travel so much without wearing themselves out while they 'vacation.' But again, the 1200 miles.

Linda's new car has plenty of juice, and drives very smoothly. I finally became a convert to auto-pilot (cruise control) on the way back. However, it seems to me to be a recipe for napping: adjustable seats, cruise control, HEATED seats -- all it is missing is a massage vibrator.

We finally turned on the stereo about halfway back, and the music was great, but I still like the silence more. We forgot to take any CD's.

The car had 150 miles on it when we bought it, and I joked to Linda that someone had returned the car because the radio only brought in Christian stations. I mean, I'd be listening to some peppy, or rocky tune, that I didn't recognize, and finally realize it was Christian rock. Which to me, is a sheep in wolf's clothing.

What's with that?

Trouble is, I haven't listened to commercial radio for so long, I don't actually know what they play. Finally settled on a 'oldies' station, but when they started playing too many bland songs in a row, turned it off.

We left Bend around noon on Sunday, though Linda was itching to get going sooner. She had booked a room at a Comfort Inn in Vallejo, because she didn't want to face the freeways of S.F., looking for our turnoff, at night.

As we approached the California border, I asked if they still at the "Fruit Control" stations. Linda said, "Yeah, I had an apple and banana, and they said those were O.K. They aren't the fruit they're looking for."

This kept going through my head as I approached the station, so I rolled down my window and I Waved my Hand at the young female ranger girl, and said, in a portentous tone, "These are not the fruit you're looking for."

The cute ranger girl blinked, and grinned fixedly, and said, "Oh....O.K."

"Move along..." I said.

"Oh...." she said, backing up an inch or too. "O.K. then!"

Probably not very funny, but Linda and laughed for a good 20 miles afterwards.

We try to visit as many bookstores as we can on these trips, so we stopped in Shasta, which is a Sisters-like town, and checked out the two stores there. Then turned off in Dunsmuir and checked it out.

The traffic really is amazing down there. Here it was, Sunday night, and the freeway was packed. 2 lanes turned into 3 lanes into 4 lanes into 5 lanes into 6 lanes. I didn't know they had 6 lane freeways.

We found our motel pretty easily, and tried to activate the air conditioner though the clerk thought we were crazy. In fact, when we went by the desk in the morning, the guy had his heater blasting even though it felt like a nice fall day outside. In fact, it was perfect weather as far as I'm concerned -- not too hot, not too cold.

As I said yesterday, we drove into the financial district of S.F. the next morning, checked out the safe deposit box, and then drove toward Lois's place. We had hamburgers at a place called Tower Burgers -- best burger I've had in years.

Then met the 'stager' at Lois's place. In my opinion, the stager was becoming more of a renovator. My own feelings was that Lois had a 'frozen in time' townhouse, with all kinds of funky features -- from the '50's and 60's -- and my instinct would've been to play up those features, instead of changing them. The remodeled kitchen -- O.K., I get that, but the lady seemed determined to change the space into a modern location, and with a fairly big chunk of money spent to get there...

She was pressing Linda to change the parcay flooring, but Linda told her to sand and buff.

We were told there was a little 'village' down the steep streets below Lois, so we went a-wandering until we found Glen Park. (Lois was between Glen Park and Meraloma and Sunnyside...) Found a nicely funky bookstore there called Bird and Beckett, and he gave us directions to other bookstores. We managed to find Ocean Books, but there was a long letter in the window that explained that the owner wasn't REALLY a stalker, no matter what we might have read in the paper, that she was only trying to TALK to the customer who complained to the police, and that she was sure that once she actually MET the customer everything would be ironed out and the CONFRONTATION was really just one big misunderstanding and going the customer's HOUSE and BANGING on the door probably hadn't been a good idea though it was INNOCENT.

We backed away slowly, and drove on.

Got to the ocean and turned off. After walking a distance, it became very very clear that this was a dog park, and we had dog after dog run up to us in a friendly way, and wag their tail as if to ask, "Hey, where's your dog?" I started watching where I was walking in the sand a bit more.

Then hit rush hour on the way back to Vallejo and spent, Oh, 15 or 20 hours to get fifty miles or so....

Watched Castle. Fell right to sleep.

1 comment:

blackdog said...

"My own feelings was that Lois had a 'frozen in time' townhouse, with all kinds of funky features -- from the '50's and 60's -- and my instinct would've been to play up those features, instead of changing them."

There's a market for that sort of thing, but it's a small one. I think your stager is doing the right (although conventional) thing.