On the Way to the Wedding: Jim’s Roadtrip Reports — California, Here We Are

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For those of you who have been hanging on to read about the best part of the trip, good news: we’re almost to the wedding. Today’s episode sees us arrive in San Francisco, California for a visit with Daughter  (aka Kristen) and Almost Son-in-law (aka Pete) before heading to Graeagle, where the wedding will take place. Thank you for your patience as we unfold the story. I promise the wedding pictures will be spectacular.

A Home is Made of Family and Friends, But Walls and a Pool are Also Nice

We left Reno for the 5 hr drive to Kristen and Pete’s new house. The ladies were planning to go shoe shopping so Kristen went and picked up Kelly’s mom from Kelly’s sisters place where she was staying. She then joined us after work.  Kristen had done some pre-shopping that turned out to fill all needs so shopping was cancelled. We had a tour of their house, which has a nice pool and deck. The house will be filled with friends, family and much love and will make them a fine home.

We walked with Kristen and Pete to a local pizza place and had dinner before we left Kristen to deal with the 4,327 remaining wedding details.

We were uncertain where to stay in SF. Some prices were pretty high and the reasonable priced places disappeared by the time we were ready to make a decision. I found an Extended Stay America in San Rafael that was near the Ferry terminal.

Things did not start out well; the hotel was near nothing and wasn’t what Kelly wanted (a place in downtown SF).  Since Kelly booked the room (with my urging) she went in and found that they had no non-smoking rooms available. The clerk was nice and went and checked the two remaining rooms and chose the one with the least smell.  While we were unpacking the fire alarm went off and everyone had to leave the hotel. It was someone’s smoky cooking that set off the alarm and no fire so after 10 minutes or so we could go in.

We could barely detect any smoke, many non-smoking rooms we have been in had more smoke.  The room was nice and pretty big. We slept well.

It was a short, rather easy drive to the Ferry terminal but the parking lot was filled.We were directed to the paid parking at a nearby bus station ($4 a day). We just made the ferry by minutes and were soon on our way to SF. The terminal is near San Quentin and we got a good view of the prison.  The SF Ferry building is nice, we were too late at the first place we stopped for breakfast (on the water) but the place on the street was still serving. Except for being so backward that they didn’t have Splenda, which meant no coffee for me, they were very good.

We didn’t do anything in SF except walk and sightsee. We walked to Fort Mason, went to Ghirardelli Square and resisted all the treats except for the 2 pieces of free see salt chocolate they gave us as we go in, as you all know free chocolate has no calories.

I made a poor decision to eat dinner at Bubba Gumps on Pier 33 (or was it 39?). Nothing was wrong with Gumps, food was fine and people were nice, we got good views of the Bay-which is what I wanted- it just seemed too expensive for what we got. Some of that was my fault for trying the “Corona-Rita” which is a Margarita with a small bottle of Corona pouring into it.  The drink was good but over $11 (most places don’t put prices on their cocktails, more often than not they are what I expect or cheaper, seldom more).  The meals came without salads or any extras.

We made our way back to the Ferry terminal and all the great pastries called to me but there was just enough time to make the Ferry so I missed my chance for a good dessert, but I was not done yet.

The previous day Kristen and Pete and walked us through the grocery store next to the pizza place as Kelly wanted a cup of coffee. I saw some amazing looking Danish but made the poor decision not to buy one (I knew Kristen would not approve). On the Ferry ride back over I found another member of the chain and programmed Mavis to take us there. Disappointment as all pastries were gone! I took solace in two cookies which were just ok as I wanted a good Danish!

A primary reason to visit SF was to visit Kelly’s uncle who is in very poor health. It was recommended that we not stop by however so we never did get to see him. [This was very hard for me, but in no way did I want to jeopardize his recovery in any way — fortunately, I could visit him in another way: through a report on his innovative cancer treatment: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/health&id=8750777 . The report captures him perfectly, in all his interesting and crazy old man ways (he was a crazy young man, too…and middle-aged man…not only rode motorcycles up until his diagnosis, but taught motorcycle safety in several countries)].



About Kelly McClymer

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.