San Francisco, July 2018 - - Day Five and Trip Home, 7/17 and 7/18/18
Of course the day had to start with breakfast! We went to a place Howard hadn't been to before, Maritime Wine Tasting, which has delish grub in addition to wine. We had eggs Benedict and some other stuff I don't remember. Fantastic.
Paul and Annie picked me up back at Howard's apartment. They had rented a rather large minivan - - would you call that a van? As you would expect, the boys were in the way back, Paul and Annie were in the front, and Laura and I were in the middle. Such a treat to see Laura, so glad she was feeling better.
I had the choice between going to an architecture book store (William Stout Architectural Books) with Paul and Annie or going to the park with Laura and the boys. I chose the book store, natch. We were there for over an hour. I was amazed by the place and asked Annie on our way out, "Is this an unusual place?" She said, "It's the only book store of its kind in the world." Wow!
We walked down to the park and had some fun there.
Then we went to the Ferry Building for lunch and a bit of shopping. I had my eye on a grilled cheese sandwich at a place near the entrance, but the line was ridiculous. Funny how the line gets shorter the further you go down the hall. I got a fantastic meat loaf sandwich from the Golden Gate Meat Company. We all met up at a communal table and ate, drank, and chewed the fat. Paul and Annie and the boys peeled off on their own for a bit, so it was nice to have some one-on-one time with Laura. We struck up a conversation with a cute and hilarious guy sitting across from us. I think he was from Minneapolis?
Our next destination was the de Young Museum. Annie had worked with Walter Hood who designed the gardens and civic spaces of the museum. We walked around the grounds for a while, lolled around the lobby, used the loo. Here's a cute pic of some lolling:
We went to the De Young to meet Annie's friend Kirsten, aka Kiki. Kiki, Laura, and I are Sebastian's US-based godparents. I met his Australia-based godfather, Danny, when were were in Sydney. It was very meaningful to have this rare confluence of Sebbie's godparents, so it became a photo session:
Sebbie was happy to blow off some steam when THAT was over:
Laura took some great pix of Annie and Kiki:
The astute reader (or any Where's Waldo? fan) can see my reflection in both of those photos. What fun! And Annie capped things off with this priceless photo of me and Paul:
We ended the day at another park, where the boys ran about and the four adults talked. We all ended up on the carousel. I took a while choosing my perch, and naturally decided on the rooster. I could say something cheap and crude, but that's below me. Feel free to assemble the missing comment yourself, using the words "mount" and "enormous cock."
They drove me back to a spot where I could catch the cable car, which I took back to Howard's place. Our last dinner was at Mona Lisa, a charming Italian place down the street from his apartment.
Howard had the squid ink risotto, I had the spaghetti in pesto. Delicioso!
I took an Uber to the airport the next morning and got through security and on the plane with no trouble. But once I got there, I saw that I was on a different kind of plane than I had going out, a plane that didn't have the little TV screen built into the back of the seat ahead of me. No TV screen at all. We were encouraged to watch movies or whatever on the United app on our phones or other devices, but I didn't learn about that until AFTER we were wheels up, and my phone was in airplane mode. Would it be so difficult to make an announcement at the gate, BEFORE people board the plane?
I was really looking forward to seeing *The Post* again, but womp womp, not going to happen. Instead I listened to a 1962 Russian recording of *Lohengrin,* in Russian! The Lohengrin, Pyetro Bilinnik, had a definite snarl to his voice. He had pitch issues throughout (he sang sharp), which got worse as the show went on (and being Wagner, it does go on). The Elsa, Galina Sholina, was a little pale and wan for my taste. The Ortrud, Vira Lyubimova, was the star of the show, I could tell that she was tearing up the stage. My favorite moment in the recording was when she made her entrance at the end of the prelude in Act Two. The audience applauded, and I could just picture her walking onstage and doing one of those old school hieroglyphic poses.