monday morning i woke up with residual pain from having attended a wedding in san diego the night before. i got out of bed just in time for a shopping date with erin. i chowed down enough blueberry pancakes to stock up energy for a two hour spree.
except the dumb craft store was closed! after thirty minutes of peeping through the store front and cursing the store owners, we decided to go to the annual chalk painting festival. we went to fetch the location scientist first.
the weather couldn't be better. it was the third and last day of the i madonnari but it was still in full force.
santa barbara mission
standing on the mission steps looking back
we spent some time snaking around among the camera ready crowds. these are a few of my favorites:
after we couldn't stand to look at another chalk covered artist, we got cold drinks and crossed the street to the rose garden.
which of the following scantron options makes the best caption for the picture above?
a. the roses overwhelmed richard with sweet sentiments of england
b. erin beat richard to a pulp
c. richard wants a tan
d. all of the above
e. john kerry
we sat on the lawn and yapped for over an hour. we thought we were enjoying the classic sb weather when in fact we were being roasted by the sun. instead of showing you our nasty sunburns, i'll leave you with this happy shot.
some three weeks ago jg had a successful job interview at an architecture firm. that very day it was determined that we would be moving to san francisco.
well, i'm pleased to report that we have arrived safely. we had a fun day driving 300 miles in separate cars. we left cloudy santa barbara at 8 am and arrived in foggy sausalito at 4 pm. it was an eventful and scenic trip.
here's the photo recap of the past few days:
thuy just got a cell phone, everybody! taken on saturday at our favorite weekend breakfast spot in sb
monday was my last day at hvs. jg+i went to lunch at the roach bowl, a chinese fast food joint. look at the fortune i got.
tuesday sunset, sb outlook on our daily urban hike note the smoke from the forest fire at mission canyon
wednesday morning sb was steeped in thick june gloom. i want to think that it was sad that we were leaving. i drove behind jg the entire trip in case the old car gets hiccups. the following series of pictures could be titled: the bike that could.
101 north near los alamos
passing through san luis obispo normally we take the hw 1 exit to big sur, but not today.
climbing cuesta grade at 20 mph
leaving the beautiful low fog behind in slo
heading toward templeton to visit justin+jill
...and the new arrival
home coming princess sparkling new from the hospital jg, justin, the star elena j, jill, and grandma
no pictures, please
the adventure continues
immediately after the picture above was taken, a giant cyclone of dust and debris whipped across the 101. jg wanted to avoid it so the bike wouldn't get ripped off the roof but he couldn't. he said it made the car super slow and hard to control as if the road had suddenly turned sandy. i saw how it whipped the car next to jg and made it swerve. very exciting.
eucalyptus grove near gilroy
280 north just past palo alto amazing fog bank coming in from half moon bay
heading into the city of fog
going through the tunnel
no toll north bound
crossing the golden gate
marvelled by joseph levi
the north bay
south street on a ridiculously steep grade my car actually burned rubber climbing up to the house
destination 312, phew!
we unloaded the cars and headed downtown for dinner at the spinnaker
bread crumbs and sun light through my glass of water
jg finishing up dinner
jg right outside the spinnaker nice panorama of san francisco and the bay bridge
low fog swallowing up sausalito
that wraps up our first day here in one of the coastal towns across from the big city. today we are unpacking while trying to figure out the basics, like finding a grocery store, least expensive form of public transportation across the bridge, and how to deal with the polar weather, etc. i must admit i'm feeling a bit lonely. i imagine this is what long term boot camp feels like, the nice kind that allows regular correspondence and visitors, of course.
jg and i spend our second day in sausalito wandering around the trendy downtown area. we walked from our apartment and studied the neighborhood. we spent a lot of time gawking at the bay. the views are a million dollar.
i took few pictures, mostly because there's nothing impressive about a tourist town; they all look the same to me. the shops are a bit more unique than those on state street (santa barbara), but the fake quaintness is exactly the same.
south entrance to sausalito, half block from our apartment
jg paying for our deli sandwiches at the golden gate market
nuclear free and cholesterol free zone
art through window
on the third day jg+i ventured into the city. we got a ride with jg's boss across the bridge. jg went in for some software training. i spent the day hanging around the hayes valley area, where jg's office is located...
right above a yarn store!
i walked up four blocks to see nervi's masterpiece
everything about this building amazes me. i was so pleased that it was open. i had never been inside. i took at least a hundred pictures of it. i'll have to show the rest another day. here's a shot of the interior.
the altar of saint mary's cathedral
i continued wandering around the streets with a big grin on my face. a homeless man said to me, "you have a cute smile." what a terrific thing to say.
hayes valley is fast becoming a trendy neighborhood. according to the yarn shop owner, it used to be a condoms-on-the-sidewalk sort. now a one bedroom apartment on the corner of fell+gough is rented for $1,800 per month.
jg got out of training over two hours later than expected. we headed straight for the ferry station. we officially began our adventure in public transportation by taking the trolley.
jg and the riders
i tried to read the signs above the window
next stop, milan?
we made it to the ferry station with ease
jg bought tickets while i took a picture of ghandi+the bay bridge
off to sausalito
it got unbearably cold as soon as the ferry hit full speed. i went inside and hid in a warm spot and watched jg roamed around.
we passed quite close to the infamous alcatraz
i took a lot of pictures but none looked good through the scratched up windows. one day i'll brave the winds for better pictures. for now, check out this picture taken on my way out of the ferry boat.
today is the one week anniversary of my sausalito experience. yesterday i spent the day doing small tasks around town. it was the first time i drove the car since i got here. i found the local hardware store, the library+city hall building, but not the post office. it didn't matter, because look what i got when i got home from the minor excursion:
yay, snail mail!
i've been going down to the mail box everyday as if i were a regular resident. i was hoping to see some junk mail or local circulars, anything but the dusty spider web that fluttered each time i pulled down the lid. it looked grim, but i was hopeful. and yesterday, a bright yellow postcard took down the web and deviginized my mail box!
it's pretty funny actually. just yesterday morning i emailed ucsb erin and asked her to send me old term papers so i could get mail. the semester is coming to an end. i figure she'd have plenty of submissions from her students which she could share with me.
so, if you're feeling generous and have a postcard lying around that you've been using as a bookmark for your cook book, please send it to me.
schmeebot the shameless beggar
312 south street
sausalito ca 94965 usa
internet access has been real shoddy here. it was never good to begin with. i'm wirelessly connected to jg's boss who lives directly upstairs from us but the transmission is horrible. on sunny days the strength is at most 60%. on windy days like today, it's around 35%. sunny or otherwise, i lose it all together each time a car goes by. yesterday i stayed connected for a total of 68 minutes for the entire day.
so if i go without blogging for an extened period of time, you know it's either very foggy or windy in sausalito. it could also mean that i'm lost somewhere in the public transportation system. despite the bad connection, i did manage to upload the pictures i took saturday, when jg and i spent the day in the city.
crossing the bridge in style
plane over bridge
first time through the tunnel south bound
passing by the transamerica building
walking toward the trendiest farmer's market in the world
first thing first getting our caffeine at the blue bottle coffee stand
where they swirl love into each latte
while toxic waste swirls behind them
jg holding my iced coffee while waiting for his capuccino
whale size onions welcomed us to the market
jg bought one wad of goat cheese while i bought seven loaves of bread
we couldn't escape the market's main attraction: the hollering water man
port of san francisco clock tower
meeting friends in the ferry building
fine specimen at the mushroom store
from the ferry building we walked up toward china town. we had excellent indian food at one of m+j's local favorites, where i had the best chai tea ever. we must have sat there for two hours, eating and talking.
then we continued wandering around chinatown, passing by live bands on the sidewalk and countless knick knack gift shops. i was too busy navigating through the crowds to take pictures. as soon as i know east from west, i'm going back for those gift shops!
m, j, and jg
a real high rise
is chinatown one word? anyway, i had no idea where i was but i was told that we were heading toward market street. we walked by the mac store and got sucked in. what a fantastic space!
i was inside a store full of high tech toys and all i cared to look at was the glass stairs. i waved the f401 around until a matrix looking store attendant whispered "no pictures" over my shoulder. but, obviously, he was too late.
after we took turns jumping up and down on the glass bridge on the second floor, we went to ross where jg stood in line twice to pay for three floor mats.
then we wandered around some more until it was time for jg+me to catch the last ferry home. we all walked back to the ferry building. we got warm drinks and loitered around waiting for the g t sonoma. i was very happy that m+j stuck around to see us off. it was the perfect end to the perfect day. how about a perfect shot to wrap up the perfect excursion?
bad things about sausalito:
. festered with tourists morning, noon, and night
. exorbitant cost of living
. pubic library card costs $20 without proof of residence
good things about sausalito
. downtown has dreamy views of san francisco
. small town
. library has an excellent collection of knitting books
bad things about 312 south street:
. no views
. located on a street with a 22% grade
. looks like a bed+breakfast gone bad
. smells like an antique store
. on going construction outside+downstairs
. no insulation and no heating
. no cell phone reception
. horrible wireless internet connection
. postman hardly ever delivers anything!
good things about 312:
. free rent
with that, i'm going to show you a badly lit low tech virtual tour of the vacation rental i'm living in, taken right before we moved in.
standing at the front door looking left
left to right, queen size futon, living room beyond, bedroom door
kitchen beyond blue corridor, dining table in foreground
built in cabinetry
looking back at front door
living room, bed at far left double door to a roof deck that's under construction
living room continued, another bed at bottom right
bedroom east windows
bedroom south window
from bedroom looking back, door to kitchen and door to front room
door to bedroom from kitchen
shelves above counter, dishes+tea ready
in kitchen looking back at blue corridor
bathroom sink+shower, mysterious soft spot on floor
it was a bit freaky moving into a furnished and seemingly well lived in space. it also creeped me out that there are beds everywhere. even so, it's pretty spacious for two. i don't care much for the antique looking furniture set up, but i appreciate the built in cabinetry and the various attempts at art. like this:
saturday morning jg and i went to visit my folks in san jose. it was the coldest and most overcast day since we moved here. but it didn't stop the good people of the bay area. we witnessed an event that i can only imagine seeing on television.
healthcare banner flown along the golden gate bridge
i couldn't take the pictures in time but there were hordes of people dressed in purple getting ready for the march on both sides of the bridge. i didn' t know how cold it was until i saw them getting whipped by the wind. everyone was clinging on to each other trying not to get blown over the bridge. what conviction. it made me feel very republican to just drive by.
i had a great time visiting my family. i've been feeling lonely dealing with an entirely new lifestyle so it was good for me to see familiar faces. i felt all better when we got back to sausalito.
the goodness did not stop there. look what i got sunday.
can you believe it? that's mail in my mail box! i stood and stared at the stash for a long time. then i ran back inside to get my camera. i just couldn't let this event go undocumented.
big thanks to gina, chauntel+tracy, and julie. you made my week!
today marks the two week anniversary of fog city living for me and jg. while the temperatures still hover around freezing, the house does feel a little better. jg likes his job very well so far. unfortunately, i'm having a terrible time embracing the new routines.
my optimism about settling here is wearing thin. i've got no enthusiasm left, it seems. i was taking hundreds and hundreds of pictures during the first week. i was elated just to find the local library. this past week i took at most thirty pictures. i wasn't even all that happy to find a knitting group a block away. my birthday is in two days. i should be really excited right about now. except i'm not. i can honestly say i've never felt this depressed.
how about another nice picture to stop this entry from dragging?
orange dragonfly in my brother's garden
more lists. things i dread:
. finding my way around in san francisco
. job search
. the wind
. the steepness of south street. i have to park perpendicular to the curb
and each time i open the car door, i'm sure the car would roll over!
things that make me feel better:
. mail and emails
. kqed radio+tv
. library and the used book store above it
. the fog horn going off every ten seconds every night and most days
. knowing that my family is just an hour south of here
things i have to do today:
. get an eye exam and sleek new glasses so i would look less lame among
. buy a hair brush
. buy more postcards
. find the post office
sunday night i had to take jg to the emergency room. his right foot was hurting on and off for a week and it decided to swell up sunday night. by ten it was twice its normal size. we found an emergency room on the map and immediately left the house. it took us half an hour to find it. if his foot was spewing blood, he'd be dead by the time we got there. the emergency room at california pacific looked really grim. i was a bit upset that there were no handsome doctors running around screaming clever one liners at each other. anyway, the foot got three xrays and, almost two hours later, was determined unbroken. i was hoping that the doctor would say, "your foot is reacting violently to the city. i order you to move back to sb." oh well.
this aint no ER
earlier that day jg decided to check out the marin headlands despite his inability to walk. we drove up to various vista points north of the golden gate. it was super windy and cold but sunny.
new perspective of the bridge
pilot: "watch the tourists take a picture of me."
how come there are no emergency rooms north of the bridge?
in case you didn't know which way to look
jg at one of many abandoned canon mounts near fort baker
two of sixteen canon mount bolts
the very next day there was a huge grass fire along the road where we drove around in the headlands. i'm thinking: somebody is obviously unhappy that we're here.
i hopped and skipped all the way back from the mail box this afternoon waving this postcard in the air. just a postcard. happy postcard.
friday i had a terrific time in the city. janeen took me places and then to lunch at chow. fabulous food! then i got to meet thai an. we spent pretty much the entire afternoon on our feet. we walked all over the place, from china town to north beach to the ferry building. we talked and shopped and ate and talked some more. i even got to meet two of thai an's knitting buddies!
thuy+mini birthday present cake from thai an
saturday jg and i went to sb for business. i really wanted to see g but i screwed up utterly and missed her all together. i did get to see erin and her rich husband though. we all wanted to see f911 but it just didn't work out.
sunday jg and i had breakfast at the usual spot before we headed back. look at this sad flyer i found.
harry went to heaven on my birthday
on our drive back jg and i stopped a few times for food and gas. each time we had to get back on the freeway, i kept looking for the 101 south on ramp. it was somewhat out of habit although i suspect it was more like wishful thinking.
we crossed the bridge toll free at around 8:45 sunday night. i was feeling a bit melancholy when i took these pictures. i think they turned out all right despite the crappy mood.