San Francisco, 2010

Cris's brother was getting married, so we flew out to SF to attend.

Thursday May 6, 2010

I'd mostly packed up everything the night before, to bring to work and then on to the airport, but decided in the morning that I wanted to bring my backpack as well as the stuffed tote bag. Transferred some stuff and added a couple of things, and took the pressure off the silk dress that I wanted to wear at the wedding. Took the bus to Harvard Sq and stopped in at the bank to get cash, and decided to take a cab from there. A bit expensive for such a short trip, but it got me to work on time instead of an hour late. I ran out at lunch and got a burritto bowl to eat then and a sandwich to eat on the plane, then quietly left in the middle of a tcon (after warning them that I would) to head to the airport, by T this time. Got there a bit early, was aiming for 4:30, so settled in next to the salon and dug out a book. Checked in at a kiosk when Cris arrived, the system wouldn't let him check me in. Got my AC number on the boarding pass, so will get credit for the miles, which is good since I can use all the free flights I can get this summer! Security was a bit long, Cris left me to it while he grabbed food from the pre-security food court and we met up again at the gate. Had my tote bag hand scanned, I'd forgotten to take my headphones out of it, but other than that fairly painless (though I specifically took the longer/slower line so I'd be by the windows and not embedded in the crowd). We were sitting right by the Dunkin Donuts at the gate, and I caved and got a toasted plain bagel and a water, scarfing down the bagel just before boarding. The flight was packed, they kept asking people to gate check their roll aboard cases, Cris did his and it was good he did since he was in boarding group 3 and there were no spaces left once he got to me (my AC silver status nabbed me boarding group 1, only gold gets to pre-board, but that group was huge). I wasn't happy when as soon as it was allowed the guy in front of me slewed back his chair and crowded me a lot. :/ Luckily, when he got up to go to the bathroom, and I had to get something from my backpack under his seat, I was able to reach the seat angle button and move it up a bit, and he didn't notice when he came back. :) I napped a little bit, but mostly read, and gave in and ate my sandwich a bit early.

We had a bit of a wait for Cris's dad to pick us up at SFO, he got rerouted due to a closed exit ramp. While waiting outside, I had been trying to move upwind of a guy smoking, and then when he got into a car and left, I noticed smoke coming out of the trash can that he was ashing into. Yup, small fire. Flagged down an airport worker and told him, he said it didn't look too bad, and wandered off. I ended up digging out my empty water bottle and hustling over to the washroom and filling it up at the fountain, only to find that the guy had detailed a lower down worker into taking the bag out and stomping on it. Cris's dad, of course, pulled up at that moment, but I handed over the full water bottle to the fire putter outer guy and hoped it helped. Quick trip to the apartment in south SF, much closer than the hour drive to their house in Pleasanton. Said hi to his mom, she fed us (fruit for me, I was feeling low on green things) and then pretty much just took a shower and went to bed, it was after 11pm Pacific time then.

Friday May 7, 2010

Up early as the bedroom we were in was right next to the dining room, we had breakfast at around 7am. Lots of fresh fruit, fresh squeezed orange juice - I love eating in California. :) Cris's parents had let us use the SUV for the weekend, so after we finished eating we headed downtown to the Olympic club so that Cris could get his hair cut at the barber there. Parked in their garage, and I was escorted through the club (no runners allowed, business casual only, good thing I was wearing my fluevog boots and a skirt, even though I had a t-shirt on). It was still early, and I had an hour to kill, so I wandered around Union Sq, window shopping for a bit until the stores opened, getting a London Fog (earl grey tea with steamed milk) at a cafe. Browsed through William Sonoma, the Borders was closed, and then poked around in the designer boutiques in Neiman Marcus, enjoying the fashion. Found the source of the bagpipe music in Union Square proper, and then it was time to meet Cris. We walked down to Blue Bottle Cafe and I hung around in the square outside while he went through the long line to get his coffee beans. While we were walking back to get the SUV, his parents passed us in their car. We drove over to Fringale for lunch with them and Theresa, on a lunch break from work. Feeding the parking meter was painful, $3.50/hour. Not sure if I have the right link, but the food was awesome. Our waitress was originally from Toulouse. The dining room was bright and airy.

From there, we made our ways back to the apartment, and I helped Cris's mom and his old nurse/maid and Cris set up an assembly line to make up the 100 guest gifts for the wedding reception. I cut the pink netting to wrap the candies in, they tied them shut with flowers and ribbons and then I put them in little bags with foil wrapped cakes. They came out looking nice, but Cris and I had to leave after we'd done about 60 bags, to head to the wedding rehearsal at 5pm in Palo Alto. We beat Miguel, and there was some acrimony about people who were stuck at work or otherwise not coming to the rehearsal, but the wedding coordinator from the church got things moving soon enough and they ran through it fairly quickly. I'd hoped to have a chance to check out the Title 9 store nearby but it was closed by the time the rehearsal was done. Walked over to California Pizza Kitchen and had dinner with the rehearsal crowd, mostly Minie's family. We sat with Miguel and Minnie's dad (Louis I think), and the latter and I geeked out about living in Toronto and working in the biomedical field. The pizza was good, we all swapped slices. I think my 3 cheese one was a bit too heavy on the cheese for my stomach, it was aching for a bit. We popped into a bakery and I picked up a slice of blueberry sour cream pie and a chocolate souffle to go. We were too stuffed to eat it then, but kept it in the car while we headed to SF proper to meet up with Kest and possibly Forest at 9:30 (though the latter was busy with a play that didn't start until 9).

We had some time to kill when we found a parking spot right across from Smuggler's Cove, and went looking for tea. It was chilly, with a strong wind, and I was happy to duck into the coffee/tea place and get some strong chai (I swear I could feel my hair vibrating, it was house made, though not triple boiled like Indian chai). Just had time to drink up and then headed back to Smuggler's Cove to grab a table in the basement (there was also an upstairs and main floor, but they looked tiny) next to the water fall thingy. I put in an order for an Aviation and heard the comforting sound of a cocktail shaker when Cris went up to the bar. Kest arrived soon after and we chatted and plotted Convergence and Vegas stuff. I was talked into a second drink, the Saturn (gin, lemon, passion fruit, falernum, and orgeat). We made it to 11pm or so and then, as a drink was being flamed at the bar, we made our way out through the growing crowds. We dropped Kest off at the BART station and had a quick drive back to south SF and fell into bed soon after Theresa and Christina came in from the airport. Miguel had called us on the road to let us know he was going to be delayed, but it was a full house.

Saturday May 8, 2010

I'd had the wedding down as being at 2pm all this time, but it was actually at 9:30am, so we were up at around 7am, after dozing and listening to people getting ready, had a quick breakfast, got dressed and neatened up and out the door at around 8:15. It was a pretty fast drive at that time to Palo Alto and we got to the church just before when we were supposed to be ther at 9am. People filled in the benches and soon the cermony was under way. And all of a sudden it was done, it flowed really smoothly, despite the full Catholic mass being said in and around the wedding stuff. We had a bit of a wait as pictures were taken in the side garden, then got to blow bubbles at the happy couple when they came out. Minnie threw her bouquet and happily no one insisted that I take part (I ain't single no matter that I'm not married). From there we had a quick drive to MacArthur Park Restaurant (holy cow, is the web page I found infested with windows viruses, luckily I opened it from a linux system, but it was obnoxious!) for the reception. Mimosas and champagne were on offer as we waited for the tables to be ready (Cris's sisters put out the guest favours), but I had plain orange juice (no bubbles for me). I was amused to see that the guest favour I got was missing a ribbon, and had also been wrapped in two net pieces instead of one, the assembly line broke down at some point I guess. :) Cris was sitting across from me, and the other groomsman Anton and his wife were next to them, so I had someone to talk to. Cris had been sitting in the bench in front of me during the ceremony, I was next to his sisters and an aunt. More aunts were at the table, this was the groom's relative heavy one. I was able to swap meals with Irene(?, Anton's wife) since I'd been signed up for the spare ribs (!) and she didn't want the mahi mahi. I got to geek out a bit about parkour, but was mostly quiet. Really good cheesecake for dessert, but no dancing. Things wrapped up at around 3pm and we headed back to the apartment for a bit of a rest. Which turned into a power nap for me, and I was a bit muzzy when they woke me up to go to dinner at around 7pm.

We went to Viognier, above a gourmet grocery store that it was good I didn't have time to check out. :) I had a mushroom pasta appetiser that was just right, and then the pacific salmon. It was a bit much, I slowed down near the end. Then Theresa and Cristina and I all got the cheese for dessert and we got the tour of the cheese cart before each choosing our own three options. I was stuffed to the gills by the time we were done. We went back to the apartment, packed, and were asleep by 11pm.

Sunday May 9, 2010

Breakfast at 9am at the Olympic country club, with the whole family, including the newlyweds. I need to remember that if the menu doesn't say Belgian before waffle it'll be a flat one. Sucked down a pot of tea, passed on the tour of the grounds. Got a glimpse of the Pacific. Back to the apartment, changed into more casual clothes, and then Cris drove us into SF for a lightening fast trip to Ameoba records. I found a comp that I'd been looking for (Dancing Ferret's Pet Shop Boys tribute with Rhea's Obsession on it) and one that I didn't realise I needed (a dark cabaret comp from Project). Back to the apt for a quick lunch of leftovers, and then Cris's dad drove us to the airport for 1pm or so. I talked to my mom before we left, which turned out to be good as I didn't have much time between securty and getting food for the plane at the airport. The flight was a still full but less crowded, if that makes sense. I had a middle seat, the guy in front of me didn't recline at all, and the guy next to me was nice. Plus I unzipped my boots this time so my feet didn't swell up, and I was able to get up and walk a bit to stretch. Plus it was shorter going this way. We took a cab (a hybrid SUV) and got home at around midnight. Unpacked minimally, and forced myself to sleep before 1am.

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