Monday, January 21, 2013


Happy New Year.  It has been a whirlwind month since I last wrote.  I'll hit the highlights.  There will be NO BUS CONTENT.

SkiBowl Waming Hut
I've mentioned "Boo" over the last year and a half when I flap about personal / non-bus stuff.  We got married in the snow on Mount Hood in late December.  Members of both of our families made the trek to SkiBowl, and stood with us in the snow for a brief ceremony among the trees and flurries.  Boo and I took a run down Mid- and Lower Reynolds with T shooting with a Go-Pro camera.  Then we met the rest of the family for drinks at Beer Stube.  The rest of the day was a mix of playing in the snow and visiting family.  We rented a cabin for the days on either side of "vow day", so while our parents, etc, headed back to the valley, we were 10 minutes from "home".

Saturday Night's Alright for Partying
Yeah, I know the song is a little different.  We threw a reception on the last Saturday of December to celebrate the vows we spoke 2 days earlier.  We were joined by around 85 friends and family, ate Chinese drank Stella and wine, etc.  Good times.  It seems that most of our friends who have kids have little ones, and the party broke up by 11.  Just as well, though, as Boo and I had a morning flight to SF the next day.

If You're Going to San Francisco
Lers Ros
After a night of celebrating, rising before dawn was not exactly easy.  Neither Boo nor I had really unpacked from the mountain, and we had little interest in really dedicating to packing for a few days in SF.  A creaky rise followed by a frigid drive, had us waiting for the long-term parking shuttle as pre-dawn turned to dawn.  We breezed through security, grabbed coffees at the old Coffee People inside the terminal and hit the gate with 15 minutes to spare.  Ahh... The flight was uneventful, and we found the folks at Oakland International to be very friendly and helpful.  We took the shuttle to Oakland Coliseum, and picked up BART....  12 hours after our party ended, we were checked into our hotel.  Things turned interesting at this point.

The hotel (Hotel Renoir) is over 100 years old and sits right on Market Street between the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the Warfield Theater in Tenderloin.  The hotel had recently undergone a renovation, but it appeared to exclude the heat system.  For the 4 days we were in the hotel, we were on our own for late December / early January... during a unusually cold snap.  Hotel management did comp us free breakfasts for the 1st and 2nd, though.  We napped, checked the view from the roof and then walked to Walgreen's and bought a space heater :)  Problem solved.  We grabbed dinner at a fantastic Thai place (Lers Ros) and walked a bit of Tenderloin to get some bearings, including a walk-past of the Civic Auditorium to see what the lines and crowd were like to anticipate NewYears.  It was not impressive.  Lots of drug scene, and not much in terms of quality wares being sold.  The line was ridiculously long too.  Hmm...

New Years Day
Renoir Hotel
The first morning in SF was again clear and cold.  We set out on a day-long walk that took us from Market to Japantown, the Painted Ladies, Haight-Ashbury and back again.  We grabbed some quick eats and hit the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for Furthur.  We thought the doors opened at 7:30, but that was wen the band was supposed to start.  Clueless, we simply walked up and through the doors into the venue (no line), and headed for the mezzanine.  We set up in a standing-only spot in the walkway, dead center, behind the handicapped zone.  No sooner had we chosen our spot, the lights dimmed, Bob, Phil and friends it the stage and the show started.  The sound was perfect, dancing roomy and the neighbors welcoming.  We celebrated both our new marriage and NewYears with 10+k friends.  The band played until nearly 2, and we didn't get back to the hotel 2 blocks away until after 3.
We spent the better part of NewYears Day sleeping and watching football.  That evening, we had been given a gift of cocktails at "Top of the Mark" (TotM).  Not thinking about the effect of SF hills on legs that spent the prior night dancing for 5 hours, we set off on foot up Russian Hill (I think).  Nearly sweating upon arrival at TotM, the view and the treatment were amazing.  We sat, sipping champagne, watching the shadows stretch from the setting sun across the Bay.  Again, we set off on foot, through the Financial District to the Esplanade, and then along the warfs to Pier 39 for dinner.
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

I don't know how much we walked in SF, but I'm sure it was multiple miles.  Our last morning was a flash of checking out, BART'ing and bus'ing back to Oakland International.  We absolutely loved SF, and decided right then that we'd adopt the 49ers.  We also discovered we can travel together... we roll and press on the same things.  That's it for now.

1 comment:

Justin said...

It sounds like you had a great time and it was a wise idea to grab that space heater. It sure can get chilly around the holidays. I have such fond memories of my father's VW bus and going on vacations together.