But as to our brief interlude in San Fran - it was less than a week that we blissfully indulged and celebrated in that fair city, so I can't complain. A friend's 39th surprise birthday party prompted the trip and celebration. I must confess that I was skeptical that her husband would pull it off, but he did! The theme was "American Idol" with the "American" changed to her name. He reserved the bar at Yoshi's, a jazz club and Japanese restaurant in J-town. She was very surprised, and many people from different parts of her life were there - and from different places too!
Obviously celebrating her birthday was the highlight of the evening, but I must admit that the fact that Public Enemy was playing AT Yoshi's made the evening that much more entertaining and amusing. We did not see the concert, but the crowd was an interesting assortment of characters. The middle-aged white guy with dreadlocks down to his ankles comes to mind! (A side note: I absolutely HATE the white people with dreadlocks phenomena - it doesn't look good on anyone!) I did not muscle or elbow my way into the concert area, which was very separate from the upstairs bar, but Michael and a few other people pleaded with the bouncers to let them just get a glimpse of Public Enemy. They were all very happy to report that Flava Flav still rocks the big-clock-on-a-chain look. Those guys must be SO old!
Here they are in their better days:
We ended the evening with a glass of wine at our hotel, happy that we were there together rather than hanging out at a hotel bar with work colleagues or something even more morose on a Saturday evening. The hotel experience was a nice change from the Motel 6, our most recent 'lodging' of choice during our road trip. The bed was crazy comfortable, the view looked on the Bay, and I swam for about 35 minutes alone in a lovely pool. What could be better?
On Sunday, we met a friend of mine and her boyfriend for brunch at a small café/bistro in a part of the city that we didn't know existed - South Park, which has nothing to do with the more famous "South Park". After a brunch over crepes, eggs and great conversation, we stopped by Bloomingdale's. I tend to shy away from Bloomie's because I don't feel that I'm that fancy, but I had a gift card that I needed to spend and I was shopping for dressy black shoes which I found. Total score.
Our final stop in the city was in the Marina district - we had read about the Wave Organ, a funky and cool "must-see". The "Wave Organ" itself did not impress us, but the walk there and the views of the Bay were very satisfying.
We also saw the Farmers Insurance Zeppelin, which we found funny and mildly significant, seeing as how we'd never seen it before in our lives until a few weeks ago when it was parked over the Rose Bowl, and then there it was in San Francisco! And, yes, it was the same one since it is only one of three zeppelins in the world. I would like to interpret it as a sign, but I hesitate to search for deeper meanings in what is probably just a random but cool coincidence. Who knows though - maybe we are to ride in it one day?!
It was hard to return to LA and back to reality. I always feel that way after weekend trips, but it is particularly acute after a trip to San Francisco. Obviously we don't have to deal with the day-in and day-out living in such an urban city, but there is so much to love about San Francisco. It might always be the city of my dreams.