Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Memorial Day weekend was about as jam-packed and fun filled as it has ever been for me. That's usually the problem with ti: There's so much to do you want to stay at home and avoid making all those choices. Fortunately, a combination of having visitors from out of town, and perhaps better meds, had me better prepared to face this embarrassment of activity riches.
Thursday night I spent in the arms of Roni, but only after we went to a surprisingly under-utilized Max's opera cafe for dinner. I often tell people of my bizarre luck with parking in San Francisco, often getting what my nearest and dearest now refer to as "porn star parking". I once found a space on Van Ness, directly in front of Max's Opera Cafe, Saturday evening. At the time, I said "I don't think I can do THIS one again".
Turns out I lied.
The space was so perfect I almost drove by it thinking it wasn't legal. Thanks to Roni I caught it, and we walked a mere dozen steps to the door.
After dinner, with my traditional slice of NY Cheesecake to go (there's never room to eat it there, but I ADORE that cheesecake...It's near perfect) we went home to catch up on such joyous things as the "24" and "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" season finales (I had already seen the latter, but could stand to see it again. And again. I have to say Joss Whedon pulled this entire season out of a nasty nose dive...though I know quite a few people pissed off about Tara. 'Nuff said.)
Friday, I FINALLY got to meet a friend of mine from Seattle, visiting the Bay Area for the first time. Julie and I have been chatting since the days she lived in Tennessee, about 3, maybe 4 years now. After a comedy of errors involving her actually getting on a bus where she was staying in South San Francisco ("You nut, like I wouldn'tcome and pick you up?!" I exclaimed) she sheepishly informed me she would get off on the next stop, where I would pick her up.
When I got there she was with her two friends who had driven down with her, a pair of chub fraternal twins who didn't want to leave her alone in a strange place. I offered to give them a lift as well, and suggested that for sheer fun they would be better off in the Castro instead of downtown SF.
I gave them a run-down of all the places I would have thought of as "fun" (Fairy Queene chocolates, Cliff's Hardware and Annex, A Different Light bookstore, Does Your Mother Know cards). They wanted to know if there was a Starbucks there.
Once I realized they weren't joking, I grudgingly admitted there was. From their excitement you'd think I had told them that there was free admission to DisneyLand.
After dropping them off and making plans to get in touch later, Julie and I went to a get a hot tub over on Van Ness. We had a BLAST. It's nice to know that we clicked as well in person as we had on line. The funny part was how awkward we were with each other at the start -- even giving her a hug felt weird. We got over it.
Afterwards, we talked in the car for over an hour, catching up with things. We tried to get a hold of the glitter twins on the cell, but wound up in voicemail. Since I figured that the Castro was hours of fun, I guessed that they would still be there. We drove back there, and (again with the parking kharma!) I found parking right on the Castro.
We essentially retraced the steps they should have taken based on my directions (ok, so I wanted some chocolate. It had been too long since I had some of that dark chocolate caramel. Hmmmm), bounced into Cliffs, A different Light, and DYMK. We even stuck our heads into the Starbucks to see if they were imbibing coffee there. No luck.
Finally, after another couple of tries with the cell, we got in touch with them. I asked them where the heck they were...and to my amazement they claimed to be at the Palace of Fine Arts. Near the presidio.
And that they had WALKED there.
The natives reading this can already feel their calves ache even thinking about the walk involved to go from the heart of the Castro to the PFA (which is home to none other than The Rotunda, a fine piece of architecture indirectly responsible for the name of my web-site). Not only is it a several mile walk to begin with, it's through Pacific Heights, so called because of the large HILLS that one has to go over to get there and beyond.
As I drove down Divisidero Julie was apologizing profusely for her friends, and I was telling her to cut it out: Who would think that ANYONE would just wander through SF like that?
The funny thing was that the PFA was a lot closer to the Hot Tub Place than the Castro was.
We picked them up and I took them to grab a bus: I would have taken them back to South SF, but it was getting very late and I still had to pick up Roni, and then drive to the airport. Julie seemed so grateful that I wasn't pissed off about her friends, which was silly...I was actually impressed, in a way. That was a walk that *I* would stop and think about before doing it.
Ok, time to save an entry and move on.