Friday, June 26, 2009

Travelogue, earth date 06162009

WARNING: Serious picture overload, and I have even cut them down quite a bit. If you want to see all the sights, please go here.

This pictures was taken right outside the Ferry Building

Last Tuesday we arrived in a very cold and gloomy Oakland California (thanks to all those who suggested we bring jackets and dress in layers). I tagged along for the ride with three of Todd's co-workers; a Project Architect, Greg, a Project Manager, Stephanie and an intern-architect, Jake from E.D.A. Todd's firm has been put on a very large job for the University of Utah and one of the companies that is teaming up with them is NBBJ in San Francisco. It turns out that Todd may have the opportunity to travel to and from San Fran quite a bit until this job is done.

Part of the reason I got to tag along was that Todd's trip just so happened to fall on the same day as my big 3-0 birthday. What better way to celebrate than to get away! I had hesitated going, because Todd has been saving up for a motorcycle and this would have cut into his funds a bit, but he insisted and I went. Sweet guy.

We took local transportation the whole time and walked a ton. You know the Primary song where the pioneers "walked and walked and walked and walked and walked." We did just that (thankfully our feet were well shod...except for the night we walked from our hotel to the Orpheum Theater and I was wearing heels and got some brutal blisters). I was certain that I would have lost at least 10 pounds by the time we got home, but I hadn't even lost an ounce.


Back to day one....

Upon arrival at the offices of NBBJ, we dropped off our bags and asked one of the principals what she suggest we do until the time of the actual meeting. She printed out a map and drew up a walking route, and then we headed out on our first adventure. We walked from downtown San Fran to the Ferry Building, Pier 1. Many people told us about the seals, so we went searching for them. We could smell them before we could see them and who knew that watching seals could provide for so much entertainment. They sure can be brutal to one another...kind of like my kids. it reminded me of home.

Then we walked along the Embarcadero past each and every single pier known to man until we arrived at Pier 39.
Here I am trying to shoot a picture of Todd and I as we were leaving Pier 39...but I got more of my double chin in the picture than Todd.

That particular day it wasn't very busy. Lot's to eat there (we would save eating there for another day), but my personal favorite was the candy store. We loaded up on Salt Water Taffy (maybe that's why I didn't lose any weight) and agreed that we should walk on and eat at Ghiradelli the walking began again.
Todd's pretending to crush some cocoa beans...I bet they didn't dress that nice in the factory.

I had expected something totally different than what we got when we arrived. that picture of Todd is the closest thing to a factory I saw. I had hoped for huge vats of hot melted chocolate and spoons that we could just dip in and devour (I know, unsanitary) and tons of free chocolate at the end of some tour that we had to wear nets on our head for. No tour. Jake said that they probably outsource everything nowadays and that it is probably made in china. I hope not. I suppose I can just go to the Sweet's Factory here in Utah to get this fix, eh?

Upon arriving at Ghiradelli we realized that our time was cutting close to the meeting so we grabbed a bite to eat (YUMMY club sandwich for me, and Clam Chowder in a Sourdough bread bowl for Todd) and caught the F train/trolley thing back into town. We made it back 3 minutes before their meeting began. Phew!

Todd was worried as to what I would do while he was in the meeting. I, however, wasn't worried at all. I had brought along a book to read (Austenland, thanks for the recommendation Em and thanks to Janel for letting me borrow it) and had some cash in hand to shop with (thanks for the Birthday money mom Riches). I stopped in Children's Place and got each of the kids something small (and under $6 a piece) and then walked up the street to Banana Republic where I got Todd the ever-so-cliche-riffic Tie for Father's Day (from the kids, of course) and a nice shirt for him to wear at the next day's meeting. I did get myself two cute little tops too (notice the green shirt in the picture below). Then with just 2 more hours to spare, I stopped in at a little nail salon with no other customers and asked for a manicure (I thought it was way too cold to take off my shoes) and the cute little Vietnamese lady insisted on a pedicure too. I told her about the time I had and she said she could do it. So with the warm water bubbling around my feet, I pulled open my book and fell into a deep trance whilst having my feet and legs massaged and beautified. Shortly after I nearly fell asleep while having my manicure (hey Heather, I used Bubble Bath and thought of you).

I leisurely headed back to the office where I was a little early and was able to endulge myself in a little more reading time. Then the group came out of the conference room and we asked our new favorite tour guide (Lillian, the principal) where we should eat and she suggested a place in Little Italy.

We dropped our bags off at our rooms in Hotel Rex a very small and cozy place decorated in the style of the 20's chalk full of art-deco drawings of naked women everywhere. Ten minutes later we all met up in the lobby to begin yet another expedition by foot to Little Italy. We got lost

In Chinatown. It reminded me so much of Honolulu.

They were filming a movie of some sorts. I was rather put out that we couldn't hang around and possibly be discovered and earn so much money from one 3 second shot that we could pay off all of Todd's student loans. But the rest of the group couldn't understand where I was coming from.

Thank heaven for cell phones (Jake used his, might I remind you that we don't have one and I haven't really missed it until this trip when I wanted to call my kids at the drop of a hat). Jake called information who then called the restaurant who then gave us directions and we got to Rose Pistola right as they were seating people for dinner.
This picture was taken once we had gotten our bearings and were heading in the right direction to the restaurant. We had made it to Little Italy.

I had an absolutely divine salad with freshly sliced parmesan on top and the lightest vinaigrette. Then they placed the fish I ordered in front of me....head, eyes and all. The waiter offered to de-bone it for me, and I, of course, excepted. I couldn't imagine eating a fish that was watching me devour him. It would be like raising a chicken giving him a name only to slaughter him for a Sunday dinner. Here is the action on the be-heading of my fish:

Everyone else at the table ordered some kind of alcoholic drink, Todd and I just ordered water...but the waitress offered to mix up a virgin pomegranate lemon concoction that was fabulous. I felt all cosmopolitan drinking something from a martini glass.

After the walk home, we were all so very exhausted that no more sight seeing was planned. I told Todd not to wake me up in the morning, as I was going to soak in every minute of solitude this trip was going to offer. And we watched TV (another form of electronic equipment we don't have..okay we have a TV just no cable or basic channels or such) till we realized what we haven't been missing and crashed to a full night of sleep with no children to wake up and tend to.


Nichole said...

What a fun day! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of them. Oh, how jealous I am of your mani/pedi, whilst you drifted away in's one my favs! But alas, I won't be reading anytime soon. It's all about the boxes for me in the next little while. By the way...I told Todd to find a weekend that works for you because we want to take your fam out in the boat as a little token of our appreciation! Boy they were working hard!!!

Live everyday to its fullest said...

HOW FUN!!!!!!! I am so glad you guys got to go on that trip alone!!! How nice! I LOVE SAN FRAN!!!! Glad you got to do a bunch of fun stuff...minus the blisters :)

Heather B said...

Such a great recap of your trip. Had me laughing as always. I didn't know you don't have a cell phone! Wow! Could i do it? i don't know. and I have ALWAYS wanted to drink out of a martini glass. Lucky.

Emily S. said...

Sounds like fun! You know we used live very near there. We really loved SF. Such a great city!

Jaime said...

How fun to have time for just the two of you! Looks like you guys had lots of adventures! I made my blog private, but if you want an invite then email me at and i will send you one!