Monday, September 24, 2012

San Franciso 2012 Days Three through Seven

San Francisco 2012 trip, continued.

Day Three.
This is the day the conference started. Frank and Brian attended classes all day while Lynn and I attended "Spousetivities" (activities specifically for the spouses that we signed up for ahead of time). We started the day with the get-to-know-you breakfast which was a buffet (eggs, polenta, fruit, pastries and coffee) and then a chance to win prizes. Lynn won a $25 gift card and I won nada. After breakfast we had paid for a walking tour, so we got going on that. Our tour guide was nice, but I don't know if he knew how to give a tour of San Fran. He would take us down allies, take short cuts through buildings and describe every bank, hotel and financial building we could see. Not exactly what I wanted out of the tour, so Lynn and I split once we got to the Ferry Building, which was perfect because we ended up getting a table at The Slanted Door- a highly recommended and reviewed Vietnamese restaurant. It was delicious!! Again, worth the expense. We got to eat on the patio right next to the water. We had two Royal "Pimm's" Cup drinks, the Slanted Door Spring Rolls, the Mesquite Grilled Range Brothers Berkshire Pork Chop, Lemongrass Chicken, and Sweet Corn. It was all amazing. I honestly think my favorite thing was the sweet corn, and believe it or not, the pork chop was cooked perfectly (it was the waiter's favorite dish).
After lunch Lynn and I headed out towards the Fisherman's Wharf. It was mostly touristy type shops and The Mechanical Museum filled with old mechanical toy machines (think the Gypsy fortune-telling machine in Big). They were all still working and you could pay 25 or 50 cents for each one. We had a good time looking at all the creepy stuff.
After that, we headed towards Lombard Street, which involved walking up the biggest hill I have ever walked up. I want to call it more of a mountain than a hill. It was an experience I don't need to have again. I'll take the cable car next time. After taking pics of the famous Lombard Street and watching a few cars drive down it, we continued our walk back to the hotel through German town and Nob hill. Both very nice areas.
I relaxed at the hotel until the guys got back from their classes. 

All four of us attended events by Commvault and World Wide Technologies in the evening. Lyndsey had to fly out late, so she left us to go home. Sad face. We took a cab home late and passed right out.

Day Four.

Having stayed out late the night before, I slept in while the guys went to their classes. I got up, had breakfast and did some shopping around Union Square. It's filled with a lot of shops we have around home (think Plaza type shops), but I didn't have a little guy slowing me down, so I had a good time and stocked up on Lush.

I met up with the guys around 4:30 to go to the Hall Crawl which was a part of my Guest Pass. It was pretty much exactly like the Welcome Reception so we only stayed for about an hour. 
We went back to the hotel and got ready for an event put on by Dell, and then, if we felt like it, an event by Veeam. Dell's event was at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. It was pretty fun (awesome specialty drinks, fancy food and small plates, a live band, and lots of service) and I saw one of the coolest pieces of art I'd ever seen. No pics allowed, so I can't show it, but just know it was cool. 
We tried going to Veeam's thing, but it wasn't very fun, so we left and went back to Dell.
We were pretty tired from the night before so we stayed for desserts and then went home.

Day Five.

Another day on my own while the guys went to class. I decided to go to see the ocean since we hadn't made it that far the day we visited Golden Gate Park. I made it to the ocean via the Haight-Ashbury district. I took a bus to Alamo Square (a pretty nice park where nearby Ken Kensey and Janice Joplin lived) and then walked to Haight street. Haight street is your stereotypical hippy/pothead street. I believe I even saw marjiuana dispensaries, but I didn't go in. 
From here I walked down to Golden Gate Park and hopped on the train down to Ocean Front Beach. The ride seemed to take FOR-EV-ER because the train stopped every 5 minutes. Once I made it, it was literally steps to the ocean. I sat and watched the waves for about 15 minutes. It was pretty foggy so I couldn't see very far and didn't venture very far. I only saw 2 surfers in the water- no one else. I guess the water is pretty rough and cold so they don't recommend swimming here.
After that I hopped on the train for a 45 minute ride back to the Moscone center to meet the guys. We then decided to go the Fisherman's Wharf. Lyndsey and I had already been there on Monday and we went in search of fish and chips, but all the booths seemed sorta questionable even though all the books say this is the best place to get fish, so we didn't up with anything other than Ben and Jerry's ice cream. 
We walked over to Ghirardelli Square thinking we would get to see chocolate being made, but all we got was another disappointment, just shops. I ended up buying a couple souviners for Jack and myself, so I guess I got something out of it. 

We were done shopping so we hopped a bus back to the hotel and relaxed before the last event of the conference- the Bon Jovi concert.

The Bon Jovi concert was actually put on by the VMWorld Conference. They had set up three different "areas" that had different food and different atmospheres. One was "sports" themed with giant TVs and table games, another was video game technology with different video game stations, and the third was the music hall with a live DJ. All had different food and beer and wine. Then Bon Jovi came out and played with the Kings of Suburbia. I was expecting to hear Bon Jovi music, but I was sorely disappointed. He played 3 Bon Jovi songs, and the rest were covers! I couldn't believe it. Bon Jovi, who has 34 number one hits, was singing Old Time Rock and Roll. Lame. We stayed for the whole thing, then went home and went to bed.

Day Six.

I went shopping again while the guys went to their last classes. They had free time in the middle of the day, so I took them to Haight-Ashbury and the ocean. We ate lunch at the Outerlands- it was delcious (Brian and I split the ham and roast beef sandwiches).
When we got back, the guys went to their last class and I finished up some shopping.

We ate dinner at the Woodhouse Fish Company- awesome. Best clam chowder ever. I then made Brian split a lobster roll, crab cakes and fish and chips. Gluttonous, but I had to try everything. We will eat there again.
We called it a very early night and relaxed in our room. I think we were ready to get home.

Day Seven and Eight.

Our last days. We were kind of ready to be out of San Francisco. We had a great time, but the city is filled with homeless people, and it gets old being shouted at every 5 minutes while you are walking down the street. Plus everywhere we went there were people, people, people and more people. And you know how much Brian and I LOVE people. 
Anyways, we bought some sourdough bread to take home and ate breakfast at Honey Honey near our hotel (we had breakfast there several times, and it was very good and fresh). We hung out in our hotel rooms until 11 A.M. when he headed to the airport. We got checked in, stood in the long line for security and got an email that said our flight was cancelled. Oh crap. Now what? Called my Dad, booked a flight for Saturday morning using the courtesy phone while Brian and Frank stood in the enormous customer service line, then ended up getting a red eye for Friday night, which was supposed to get us to KC at 2:30 P.M. Since we had 12 hours to kill, we headed back to the city, stowed our carry-ons at the hotel and headed to the mall to eat lunch and catch a movie (the best way to kill a few hours). 
We made our way back to the airport about 8:30 P.M. Guess what? Our red-eye was delayed until 1 A.M.! We got on the plane and two crazy people accused others of smoking crack on the plane. No one was smoking crack on the plane. Luckily nothing came out of that and we FINALLY took off for Chicago. We got to Chicago at 6:45 A.M., waited on standby for a 9:54 A.M. flight that was ultimately delayed until 11:45 A.M.. Frank ended up getting a seat on that plane, just in case our original flight at noon had issues. Brian and I finally left at 12:45 P.M. and got to KC around 1:30. On that last flight there was an empty seat next to Brian that a pilot from American Airlines took, and Brian and he chatted the whole time about some interesting things that I will save for another time.

And that was our trip! Jack had a WONDERFUL time with both Grammy and Nana and Papa. I don't think he caused too much trouble. We were glad to see him and glad to finally be home.


  1. Great write-up honey, I forgot how great that seafood was!

  2. It was almost like I was there. I can even imagine the disappointing Bon Jovi experience.

  3. What did the pilot and Brian chat about???

  4. You'll have to ask Brian sometime. They talked for a couple of hours about all kinds of scary stuff- like when is the most likely time for a plane to crash, how LITTLE pilots get paid, what to do if your plane stalls out, etc. I definitely would not have wanted to be talking about those things while flying!