Posts Tagged ‘ferry boat’

Itinerary

July 5, 2019

I got on it today!

I mean.

I really did a lot of travel prep for my upcoming trip to Havana, Cuba.

I got my passport out.

I slowly, painstakingly, double, triple, quadruple checked how to fill out my Visa, then I filled it our correctly.

I got traveler’s health insurance.

You have to have proof of insurance for entry into Cuba, and though I am fairly certain my health insurance was ok, I didn’t want to risk being turned away for not having the proper insurance or paperwork.  So.  I just used the health insurance that Cuba Travel Services, who I used to procure my Visa, recommended

Frankly, $55 was worth not having to worry about anything.

Then.

I started booking things through Air BnB.

The Visa I am traveling under is in the category of “Support of Cuban People” which is not a traditional tourist Visa, nor was it one of the two categories the current administration squashed.

“People to People” got pulled and so did the Visa that folks use if they’re on a cruise ship.

But.

In “Support of Cuban People” is still legitimate.

Plus I did my research and what I found was that Visa’s granted before the current restrictions were put in place will be honored.

I got my Visa in the mail the day before the sanctions came down.

I am so grateful that I listened to the little voice inside which told me to take care of my Visa before I traveled.

So, so, so glad.

I will have some restrictions on what I can and can’t do with this Visa, and frankly, I’m not bothered by them at all.

I can’t shop at military run or government supported stores or businesses.

Or stay in hotels operated by the government.

No big deal.

I am staying at a private residence that is called a “casa particular” which is pretty much a family owned bed and breakfast.

I had looked up some on Air BnB, but found nothing that was quite the right fit, then I googled for places and stumbled upon a Forbes article that called the place I’m staying one of the best secrets in Old Havana and I checked it out and made a request.

And.

Yes!

They have a room for me.

For 40 Cuban Peso a night including a full breakfast.

I’m pretty sure I posted up about the place before, but I really excited that I landed in such a sweet spot.

Plus, it’s in Old Havana, which is pretty much where I want to spend most of my time anyway.

I’ll be staying in one of the Art Deco rooms in Hostal Chez Nous next to La Habana Vieja, the old square.

I will pay when I arrive.

They don’t accept American credit cards for reservations.  I literally printed off the confirmation e-mail and I present that and the money in Cuban peso for my 8 night stay.

320 Cuban Peso.

For 8 nights including a full Cuban breakfast.

Seriously good deal.

And since I will have to bring plenty of cash, first converting to Euro because the exchange rate is better for Euro than the American dollar, I decided I would preemptively book some activities.

I had never really delved into the Air BnB activities before, really only just used it to book rooms for myself when I have traveled.

New York.

D.C.

New Orleans.

Paris.

I tend to do pretty well finding what I want to see and do without having to deal with a tour guide or the like.

But a friend of mine had gone Havana within this last year and sent me a private message about places to go and things to do that he highly recommended and two of them were Air BnB experiences.

So.

I checked it out and I was pleasantly surprised.

One.

As I can pre-pay for them and thus not have to carry as much cash on my person.

And two, that all the activities I booked fall under my Visa category, “Support of Cuban People” which made me very happy.

Most of the sites I researched suggested that it would be very unlikely that I would be asked for an itinerary, but just in case, I can show one in which every day I am doing something to support the Cuban people.

My first day in I didn’t book anything.

I was going to, but I figured I’ll be jet lagged and tired and may just want to check into the casa and chill out.

Maybe wander around a little bit and take myself out to dinner in the neighborhood, but nothing serious.

The second day I am going to go to La Marca  Havana’s only legal tattoo shop, also it’s first tattoo shop.  It is also an art gallery and what appears to be a pretty hipster little scene.  I tried to book online with them but it bounced back.  So I’m just going to show up and ask for a walk in appointment.

It’s in Old Havana and maybe a ten minute walk from where I’m staying.

I also plan on going shopping at Clandestina, Havana’s first independent clothing company that happens to be run completely by women.

I’m so in.

Next, yes, yes, I did.

I booked a classic car ride to tour the seawall and cruise along the Malecon.

Ironically, I’ll need to take a taxi to get there, but I couldn’t help but want to do at least one cruise around Havana in a classic car, I mean, really, I had to.

Wednesday I left pretty open.

I figure museums and cafes and I booked a couple of hours with an art student from the university to take me on a photo tour.

This I’m looking forward to, I love street art, and off the beaten track and that’s what this seems to be.  This was also the activity my friend raved about, so two hours in the afternoon wandering around taking pictures with a local student.

Totally down.

Thursday I picked a big adventure, basically committed myself to twelve hours of tour.

I booked a historical tour to the Vinales Valley, tobacco farms, coffee farms, a tour through some of the famous caves and horseback riding in and out of the valley.

What really nailed it for me was that they host come and pick you up where you are staying and drop you back off.

There’s no Uber there.

No Lyft.

I don’t speak Spanish.

Not much really, a few tiny phrases, and something about haggling with a taxi cab driver or getting lost really doesn’t sound like fun for me, so having the pressure taken off by getting picked up and dropped back off really sold me.

Plus.

Ahem.

The ride there and back is in a classic 50s convertible.

Um.

Hehe.

Yes please.

Friday I’ll be doing a ferry trip over the bay to a little known spot in Havana called Regla.  There was something about the trip that appealed.  I don’t know the neighborhood, but I like that it’s a tour guided by a women who is an art history graduate who lives with her grandmother and shows off the markets in the neighborhood.

Plus.

Ferry boat ride.

I’m a sucker for a ferry boat.

Then Friday night I am going clubbing.

But not by myself.

I’m a pretty self-assured woman, but I didn’t want to hit the clubs solo, but there was one place I really wanted to go, FAC The Cuban Art Factory, a gallery space with art and music and djs and it looks like the place to go.

I connected with a couple of women on Air BnB who I will meet up at a cafe and head over to the club and hang out with and get the lowdown and have a safety net.  Really quite pleased with this.

Saturday I’m doing a farm to table lunch with a local chef and then.

And then.

And then.

Holy shit.

It happened.

I was able to book a night with the Buena Vista Social Club!

I am over the fucking moon.

The experience was sold out the last time I looked and it appears that more shows go added.

Basically this lovely older woman books a dinner table for you at the club, you meet her, she’s bought your ticket, you hang out with her and two or three other folks, eat dinner at the club and get to see the floor show and hear the band play.

Never in a million years did I imagine when I bought that compact disc so many moons ago in Madison that I would actually be going to Havana and getting to see a performance of the Buena Vista Social Club.

Fuck.

I feel so grateful.

Sunday morning I’m doing a cultural market and food tour with a lunch to follow with a lovely women who after I booked asked if I wanted to be included in a trip to the beach, Santa Maria beach.

Why yes.

Yes.

Yes I do.

So after the market and lunch I will go with her in a, yes, heh, classic convertible to the beach for a few hours of swimming and laying in the oh so white sand.

Pinch me.

Seriously.

Who’s life is this?

My last day in Havana I want to relax and chill out so I sent a query off to the Manzana Hotel to book a spa pass for their rooftop pool and spa facilities.

60 Cuban peso is not the cheapest, but the pool is so pretty.

I figure book a massage, lay out by the pool and just relax before I head back to the foggy fog.

I am so pleased.

And very excited.

So excited.

It feels really good to have this planned out.

And really.

I don’t think I could have done anything much better with my fourth of July holiday than work on the details for this trip.

Seriously.

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Where Do I Start?

July 25, 2018

First.

Bon soir!

I have not seen my computer for a few days.

My best French friend insisted that we were to travel very lightly to Marseilles and so, no computer.

Also.

No makeup.

What?

I know I felt naked, until I didn’t.

But apparently, ahem, I still look nice without it.

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I think vacation looks pretty good on me.

It didn’t hurt that I have a tan.

Boy.

Do I have a tan.

The above photo was taken early in the evening yesterday on the island of Frioul.  If you look closely in the background you can see the city of Marseilles.  My friend and I took an early evening ferry-boat to Frioul and strolled around it and took photos.

It was such a pretty place, and it would have been great for swimming had we known.

Next time.

But.

Swimming was had!

I had my first dip, then my second, yesterday in the Mediterranean!

Here I am a touch blissed out:

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My hair is all wet, I am sandy, I went for two swims in the Calanque and it was extraordinary.

First, a slight aside, must get back to swimming, being in the water and swimming felt so damn good.  Screw yoga, I think it’s long past time I get back into the pool.

Second.

Wow.

It was so, so, so beautiful.

A calanque is, well, fuck, I’m not sure I can quite describe it, a sort of wild hill area with dry rocky terrain along the coast that stretches from Marseilles to Cassis, there are all these inlets and beaches and coves, it’s a national park in France and frankly I can see why, they are true treasures.

The clanque that we went to was the Calanque of Sormiou.

It was exquisite.

I mean.

So gorgeous.

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This is the view from the top of an hour-long climb through the hills.

I will not mince words.

It was hot.

I was sweaty.

And I was not exactly happy to be climbing so much.

But.

Fuck.

Once I got to the top.

Wow.

I don’t know how high the climb was, and yes, what goes up must come down, we had to climb back out, gratefully the way is paved and if you have a tiny car and balls of steel you can drive in, but we walked, or climbed.

According to my little app on my phone that counts my steps we climbed.

We walked 26,450 steps yesterday.

Which is 12.4 miles.

And.

We climbed 51 floors!

51!

Ooh la la!

My legs.

But again.

It was extraordinarily beautiful and I’m so glad we did it, even if for a second there my friend made me wear a damp towel on my head for a while, she thought I might be getting close to heat stroke.

I guess I was pretty red in the face.

I certainly sweated a lot.

I think I may have actually lost weight this trip, despite the cheese and charcuterie I have eaten here.

I seriously have walked miles and miles and miles each day.

And swam.

Here.

Enough of my prattle.

More pictures of the beauty:

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I mean.

Come on.

It was like being on a movie set.

Except.

Well.

It was totally real.

Stunning beyond words, even now, looking at these photos, I’m like, really, I was just there yesterday?

Swimming in the sea.

It was truly one of the most beautiful moments, that first cool plunge into the ocean, the taste of the salt, so salty, and then popping up from the water and seeing the mountains arising around me.

I was blown away.

I swam far out until I got a little spooked, and then headed back in to let my friend take her turn.

We didn’t want to leave our stuff unattended on the beach, it has a reputation for thievery.

While my friend swam I unfolded the towel filched from the hotel onto the sand, put on more sunblock and lay back enjoying the hot sun, the sound of the water, the people speaking Italian to my right, the couple canoodling in Catalan on my left, and closed my eyes.

It was glorious.

My friend returned with tales of being nibbled on by a fish, which didn’t exactly compel me to get back in the water, but get back in I did.

Only to be flirted with by some gentleman who tried to tell me that I should be concerned about the sharks.

Thanks man, here’s a pointer on flirting with a woman, don’t tell her there might be sharks in the water, all it does is make a lady want to get the fuck out of the water.

I swam off laughing and telling him he was horrible for telling me such a tale.

Another stint of laying on the beach and then my friend and I packed up our things and began the long, arduous walk back.

I won’t lie.

It was hard.

And it was hot.

Very, very, very hot.

But.

I also would be lying if I didn’t say that there was a part of me that was very proud of myself for doing the climb and having a true adventure with my friend.

We made it back to Marseilles alive, had a late lunch, then went to the hotel and freshened up.

That shower, let me tell you, damn good.

After taking some time to rest we headed out to the ferry-boat and our trip to the island of Frioul.

The first photo I posted was from Frioul.

Here are a couple more, it was truly lovely.

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I have to say, the South of France was very special to see.

And I haven’t even told you about Aix-en-Provence or really about Marseille itself, but you know, I have one last day in Paris tomorrow and it’s time I got ready for it.

Bon soir mes amis!

Bon soir!

Slowing Down

December 13, 2017

Not having any school stress hanging over me has really mellowed me out.

I got to debrief with my therapist about it all and the lecture and all the things love and relationship and work and family today.

It really amazed me to see that it was just one week ago today that I was on a stage giving a lecture in front of 100s of people.

It feels like it was last year.

There was so much that happened after the lecture that I quite lost sight of the fact that I had done it.

Even though I have had a number of people clamor for the video of it.

It has not been posted up yet and I’m rather loathe to watch it anyhow.

I don’t need to see myself, I was there, I know how it felt.

Even my therapist wants to see it!

My therapist went to the same school I’m in now and did the same program and had some of the same teachers.

It’s always a good feeling of commiseration with her about my life and school and all the things.

It’s almost as though we are contemporaries, friends.

We had a good session and there was much to process.

There always is.

And then off to work.

I went in early to help the family and got to spend an unexpectedly sweet day with the baby.

He’s almost a year now and it’s coming close to time to renew my contract with the family.

I’m very happy with them and they are happy with me.

It’s a mutual appreciation society.

Seriously.

The dad today said he didn’t know how they’d still be alive without me.

That was super sweet to hear.

It’s a trip though, working for a family with three kids, three really changes the dynamic, it’s a flat-out hustle sometimes and there is not a lot of down time.

There is always something for me to do.

Always.

I don’t mind, it’s good to stay busy.

Although not too busy.

The parents had asked if there was a day in the upcoming weeks that I might be able to help with an overnight and I gave them a night when I could and as it turns out that night doesn’t work and well, I have to say that I wasn’t really upset about that.

I don’t have solid plans to do anything on the days I have off, but I sort of like that I have some time off to do with what I will.

My therapist asked me about Christmas and what it was like for me and whew boy that opened up a lot of fodder.

I realized very much that the last few Christmases have been really hard on me and she was encouraging me to do something sweet for myself, a yoga retreat, a little road trip in my new car, something personal and kind and I will add, for myself, cheerful.

I often spend Christmas alone and I can get melancholic about it.

Last Christmas I was navigating through some personal landmines that surprised me but in hindsight needed to happen and helped me grow exponentially.

Nothing like pain to prompt some spiritual growth.

The year before I was with someone in Paris who couldn’t really be with me and that felt like throwing my heart on a bonfire and roasting marshmallows over it.

Burnt and crisp and super painful.

I’d rather not have a painful Christmas this year.

Soft and gentle and loving and I really want to let myself not freak out about it.

I don’t want to compare and despair.

Maybe the road trip to Stinson on Christmas Day, pack a picnic, go to the beach, have bonfire, collect shells, reflect on my life and what I want in the new year.

Or down to Santa Cruz and go to Bridges State Park for the Monarch migration happening now.

I tried to go one year with a boyfriend and yes, we made it, but so late in the day that the monarchs weren’t flying.

I might try to give that another shot.

I should also get my MOMA on.

I have a membership and haven’t been in months, now that I’m on break from school it’s definitely time to go again.

I also want very much to see the Klimt exhibit at the Legion of Honor.

I love Klimt.

That is a must do.

I will also do a movie at the movie theater.

Last year I went to La La Land on Christmas day for a matinée at Kabuki Theaters and then I took myself out to sushi.

It was super cold on my scooter and I felt pretty miserable riding around.

Not going to be a problem with year with having a car.

I’ll be taking her tomorrow.

The last two days I’ve been on my scooter to avoid the morning rush traffic and get to supervision and today to therapy, before work and then to my internship on time.

I haven’t those obligations tomorrow.

I’ll be taking my car.

I really love having that car.

Yeah.

The more I think about it the more I think a mini road trip will do me good.

Even if it’s just across the bridge.

Oh!

I could do a ferry ride too.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve I caught the last ferry to Sausalito, I got off the boat, walked to a coffee shop, bought a coffee and walked right back onto the ferry.

I got to see the city at night all lit up in Christmas lights.

It was stunning.

I got a lot of really gorgeous photographs from that little jaunt.

And of course.

I’ll find somewhere to go do the deal and get right with God, always that, especially during this time.

Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely.

Nope.

There will be many ways to keep it merry and bright.

Heck.

I can just sit and contemplate my Christmas tree and watch Holiday Inn.

I love me some Bing Crosby.

I do.

 

Puerto Rico

December 19, 2016

In the New Year?

Um.

Yes please.

So today was my birthday and like all good plans, hahahaha, plans you are just awesome and always so fucked, it didn’t quite go the way I um, planned.

Free Gold Watch was closed for a private party.

Which they hadn’t advertised and so when I showed up with my friends there was no pinball to be had.

And it was cold.

And I had stood outside for a long time waiting in line at Zazie’s in Cole Valley for brunch to want to stand outside any longer and figure out anywhere else to go.

So.

I called it a day.

And I have no regrets, no hurt feelings, because.

Ha, I had no expectations.

Which is actually a really nice way to roll.

And.

I had such a good time, such a lovely, sweet, warm, cozy, when we finally got seated in the restaurant as we had to wait in line for over an hour, but so worth the wait.

I had a delicious meal.

A lot of coffee.

And the company of some dear friends.

I am a very lucky girl.

Standing on the curb in Cole Valley outside a hopping French bistro waiting in line to have brunch on my birthday, feeling all the love.

I was a little disappointed to not play ye olde pinball, I love pinball, but I wasn’t upset that I was missing out, I had already had such a good time.

And.

My friends sang me Happy Birthday in the restaurant and the entire place joined in.

Wonderfully mortifying and special all at the same time.

Full, replete, and warm, I couldn’t have asked for more.

I also had an awesome talk with my dear friend who came over from Oakland to have brunch, we hadn’t seen each other in months, but sometimes, when there’s a connection, there’s a connection and it doesn’t matter that it was a little while, we were right back in it.

And.

Guess where he’d been?

Puerto Rico.

And guess where the airline I have the voucher for flies to?

San Juan.

Puerto Rico.

Of course, it’s too late to get a flight anywhere, all the holiday traveling, and I’m fine with that, but I corralled my friend on the curb and told him about my Christmas plans changing and that I had to cancel my ticket and now had a flight voucher that I could use to travel anywhere the airline had hubs.

It’s a small airline-SunCountry, so no Hawaii or international travel, except Puerto Rico, some spots in the Caribbean and Mexico.

Hello.

I said to the little map showing off Puerto Rico.

I haven’t seen you in a long time.

I mean.

A really long time.

And I have wanted to go back, to do it right.

To do it sober, for one, to go again to the bio luminescent sea, to walk the cobbled streets of Old San Juan, to swim in the water and lay on the beach.

So as I’m explaining to my friend about the ticket and my thoughts and wondering when he’s going back to Puerto Rico, he just starts smiling and smiling and then.

“Nena, open your gift.”

I looked at him, “ok.”

And opened my gift on the sidewalk outside Zazie’s and screeched with joy.

A travel book to Puerto Rico.

A bag of Puerto Rican coffee.

And a jar of Adobo spice.

OMG.

So made my birthday.

“How the hell?” I was so excited,  smacked my friend with the Adobo.

“I don’t know, but obviously the Universe provides,” he smiled.

We’ll be talking more, he’s got business there and will be going a couple of times a year for the next year and a half, two years, so sometime in the new year there will be a trip to Puerto Rico with my dear friend.

I am so excited.

And though the plans, they keep changing, I will be here for Christmas, I’m not upset about them changing, life happens, things change, roll with it.

Tonight will be an early night for me, despite it being my birthday I don’t need to go and paint the town eighteen shades of red, rather, I get to curl up here in my cozy home, by my sweet Christmas tree and have a little more tea and get a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow begins my last week with my current family.

It will be sad to say good-bye to the boys, but also I know it’s not a true goodbye as the next family I work with goes to the same private school.

I will see the boys at pick up and drop off and that will be a kind way to ease the transition.

Both for them and for me.

I have some Christmas presents for them and some things that I hope will remind them of me and keep me in their hearts, but I am ready to move onward to the next adventure.

I am also grateful that I have week off from said next adventure.

There will be much yoga.

There will be a little travel over to the other side of the bridge to help out a friend on Christmas Eve day.

There will be trips to the MOMA.

Dare I say it?

There will be naps.

There will be time to figure out my camera and why I can’t download my pictures to my computer.

There will be time to attend to a few school things–practicum applications, resume writing, gathering references.

As well as doing my FAFSA for the next school year and starting to order my books for the next semester.

Fingers crossed.

There will be time for at least one book that is pleasure reading.

There will be time for a ferry-boat ride on the bay me thinks.

I love to take the ferry once in a while, it’s my special solo date gig.

There will be lots of writing.

When isn’t there?

There will be plans that go awry and things that change and I will grow and change with them.

Hello 44 years old.

You look pretty damn good.

Glad we’ve made it this far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Christmas in the City

December 25, 2013

In the city by the bay.

Oh.

Oh.

Oh.

Yeah.

Like that.

What a gorgeous day today was.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Simply and unutterably, almost intolerably, beautiful for December in San Francisco.

I was almost done with my half day of nannying in the Castro, and though my little elf was a jolly doll to hang out with, I was ready to start my Christmas.

I took a load of photographs today, of which I just spent the last hour and a half sorting through and posting, some to facecrack, and one to my photography blog.

I may post more there, but as my computer was not happy about all the photographs and the blogging platforms and the down loading and shut down on me without my permission, I must say, I don’t know that I will be putting up a lot more photographs tonight.

But I will sneak in a few for you, because, well, it’s Christmas time and one of the gifts that I continue to give to myself because it makes me happy, and when I am happy I am a better person and damn it, that’s actually important.

“What principle are you practising today,” she asked me over the phone as I called to check in on my way to work.

“Brotherly love,” I said with a smile, I had already said good morning to every single person I had seen on my walk (since I was just a few blocks away house sitting already, I decided to leave the bicycle there and walk to the nanny gig) and smiled at them.

I continued to do that to the best of my abilities, wherever I went, to whomever I saw.

I have to say that by the time I made it to the 8p.m. at 2900 24th street I was a little blown out and had about enough of that principle at that time of night on Christmas Eve, but when the bum chatted me up not once, but twice, I just smiled and said, yes, you’re right and let it go.

I was reminded that I get to practice something on a daily basis that not most people practise, except, well, maybe, at Christmas  time.

It’s some how allowable to smile and say something bright and cheery at Christmas time.

Although, I do have my fur rubbed the wrong way when I am expected to suddenly throw showers of money on panhandlers because it’s the holidays.

Man, back off, I just paid my student loan payment today, don’t hassle me, I am working.

“Merry Christmas,” I said, and smiled instead.

That felt much better, let me tell you.

I even bought my little charge a Santa hat, he was all dressed up in Christmas colors, and I just couldn’t help myself.

I popped into the Walgreens at Castro and Market and picked him up a little velour red cap with fake white fur trim and a snowball pompom and watched faces light up with utter joy every time he hollered, “HI!” from his stroller.

The word is in contention for his first word, he waves and jumps up and down and wiggles and it is adorable.

He charmed the clerk so much once I had the little hat on his head, she came out from behind the counter to bat her eyes at him.

I felt like I was doing service, being of good cheer, and spreading some cute baby love to those around me.

And I took a ridiculous amount of photos of him.

I flooded mom’s phone with text messages and photographs.

Made me quite happy to do so, he’s such a photogenic child, it really is amazing.

Santa's Helper

Little Elf

Christmas Elf

Christmas Elf

Ornament

Ornament

I probably took 50 or sixty shots of him and the neighborhood today.

I left around 2:30p.m. in the afternoon with my time set up for Friday and a card with an hour and a half session with a body worker!

Yes, there really is a Santa Claus, and he wants me to get another massage.

Thanks boys!

I drifted to Castro and Market and hit up the F-Market line train down to the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero.

F-Market

F-Market

Shadow Selfie

Shadow Selfie, Ferry Building, SF

I wandered through the building headed toward the opposite side, taking in the crowds and the last-minute shoppers, the frenzied shop keepers and the bags and strollers, the tired children smacked out on sugar, the multitude of languages being spoken, French, German, a lot of Italian, and good old USA Midwesterners.

For a moment I thought about turning back around and saying forget this.

But I went through the building and headed outside, the light was gorgeous and I went to the ferry terminal, spoke with a gentleman there and bought the last round trip ticket out of San Francisco to Sausalito for the evening.

It left me with an hour to kill so I went back inside.

Hoping for some Hog Island Oyster action.

But they were swamped, the line too long, and the restaurant closing down.

So I just walked through the stalls and went to Book Passages and bought a magazine and a 50 cent postcard.  I sat in the book shop and flipped through a Nylon and wrote myself a little holiday note.

My tradition–to send myself postcards from my artists dates, it’s a cheap souvenir and I always remember what I did that day when I come across the card later.

I got up after a bit, checked my watch, ferry leaving in fifteen and headed to the terminal.

On my way I happened to pass the San Francisco Sea Food Company, and there they were, my Christmas oysters sitting fat and plump and tender atop some ice in front of the store.

Oh damn.

I bought five Blue Points and tipped the girl in the apron behind the counter and smiled, wishing her a Merry Christmas and a speedy end to her day.

Three oysters drenched in lemon juice.

Two oysters smothered in hot horseradish cream.

Oh heaven.

Thus fortified, I ducked over to the ferry, walked up the gangplank and set sail for Sausalito.

The $20.50 fare for the round trip worth it from the moment I stepped aboard.

The skyline.

Skyline

Skyline

The Bay Bridge.

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Then the cold wind whipping my hair around my face, thankful for my new warm scarf from my housemate, the tears streaming out of my eyes from the air blowing under my glasses, but my heart, so full.

To let myself do things like this and not listen to the head when it says, listen, it’s ok, you know, just stay back at the house with the cat and watch Sex in the City reruns on cable.

Because, you know that says Merry Christmas like nobody’s business.

I chatted with tourists from Houston, Texas and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I took photos for other folks.

I flirted, in a not too serious way with the boat hands and got smiles from grizzled ferry-boat operators ready for their Costco t-bones and six packs.

Then I got a quick walk, and I do mean quick, it was only a twenty-minute layover before the ferry turned back and there would be no more running for the night, around Sausalito and a few more photographs.

Skyline, Sausalito, CA

Sausalito Skyline

Back on the boat I thanked the operators again and headed back outside.

I munched an apple I had bought yesterday at Rainbow Grocery, a beautiful deep crimson red Arkansas Black Heirloom apple, and watched the dark indigo sky swallow up the bay.

Then, well, you know me, more photos.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

Skyline

Skyline

Magic.

It was absolute magic and the best gift I could have given myself.

Merry Christmas friends.

May all your dreams come true this year.

Love to you from San Francisco.

And to all.

A good night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pay Day

December 21, 2013

And like that.

Finally.

I have all the money for Barnaby.

I just made a deposit to my online savings account and without even realizing that I had, I pushed over the amount I owe him.

$1350.

No more.

I am done.

I hate having debt to someone, hate it.

Appalled that I had to take out that loan but there was no way, no fucking way I was going to be able to get back home without it.

Home, where I am supposed to be, though, currently not writing this from my home, rather my house sitting gig in the Mission.

Where there is a cozy kitty and a plush bed and yes, thank you very much, internet.

The guys I am house sitting for got the password to me after a few failed attempts last night, I now am home free and while I am not exactly at home, I do feel a lot better being here and also, I have to say, it is kind of nice to be in the Mission.

To get to see a few folks that I don’t typically see, not since moving out to the beach, and to re-connect with people who I used to see on a weekly basis.

“Oh!” She said to me over tea at Sugar Lump, a cafe on 24th between Florida and Bryant, “you should come over to my house for Christmas!”

We were discussing holidays, family, plans, New Years.

And as soon as she said it, I knew that was where I wanted to be.

There will be two sweet dear ladies there that I know and love, a three-year old who I got to hold in my arms in her first week of life and friends who I haven’t seen for a while, since they moved over to the East Bay, and their son, who is I believe also three.

Rock on.

Really relaxed, really sweet, intimate, in a cozy, cheerful home with dogs and little girls and boys running around, good, good people and good food too.

“Oh, I will be doing all the cooking,” she said adamantly, “I am making all the food I like!”

She’s a vegetarian and her family has just never quite gotten what that means.

“And I know what to make for you!”  She added, smiling brightly.

I don’t eat sugar or flour and she is well aware of it.

Oh my god, to not have to tell someone who I won’t be having the stuffing or that cookie, or no thanks, no pie for me.

Just to sit and have a nice meal and not worry about it and be amongst dear friends.

Sounds exactly like what I am supposed to be doing.

And when the checks for all the families and the money from the house sitting gig hit my account I was excited to see that I am doing exactly what I should be doing.

Paying off my debt and enjoying the little extras that I don’t always get for myself.

Nice toiletries, because it’s nice to have good smelling stuff of your own when you houses sit, some new hair clips, and I was even able to make a quick dash over to Nordstrom’s after my evening duties were finished.

I did not find a thing and I left quite happy to be, well, leaving, empty-handed, but with plenty of money still in my wallet.

I just got the things that I really can use today and decided to put the money in the savings and then see what was left over.

And there is left over.

Yay!

I am not planning on going crazy, but maybe I will get myself a little something for Christmas, I did give myself an experience–the horseback riding–for my birthday, so maybe something along those lines.

I was thinking as my friend spoke of Christmas plans, that I still do want to do a little small something for me, and as I was listening, a sudden thought popped into my head.

I could go on a ferry-boat ride on Christmas Eve out to Tiburon!

Or Sausalito.

Or Angel Island.

How fun would that be?

I am working on Christmas Eve, but just a half day in the Castro, and when I finish I could take myself down to the Embarcadero and catch a ferry out across the bay.

I could wander around the little towns, walk Sausalito, which I normally ride my bicycle through, oh, hey there, that’s a sexy idea, I could take my bike on the ferry!

And then ride the boat back at sunset with the lights of the city, all Christmas decked out, sparkling on the bay.

Maybe a little special dinner at the Ferry Building?

Oysters.

Mmmmm.

Or Slanted Door.

I could go to a movie at the Embarcadero Center, which has some of my favorite art house movies, and call it a night.

I am liking this idea.

I am also liking that I am making a run down to Ocean Beach tomorrow afternoon to drop off a few things at the house and grab some more clothes.

I can get my camera, which I did not bring with me.

If I am going to go out on a ferry-boat, I want my camera with me.

Ooh.

I am excited.

This is exactly what I want to be doing!

Christmas Eve ferry-boat ride in San Francisco followed by dinner and a movie.

Christmas Day dinner with dear sweet friends and their families at a warm cozy house with good food, I can eat!  And a tree and kids and Christmas movies.

Perfect.

Merry Christmas indeed.

 

 


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