Saturday, April 4, 2009

POST 100 - Ma & The Younguns Take on The City - Day 2

What do you do when you find yourself in need of a hotel room for the night and you haven't prepared with silly little details like packing? You count on "MacGyver" in the form of your teenage daughter to come up with ideas.

"Hey, that cat box we just bought is still in the trunk. We can throw our junk in there and use it for a suitcase," intones said daughter.

"I'm not walking through the lobby carrying a CAT box," I protest.

"Who cares? They'll never see us again. Who'll know?"

No one, I'm sure.

So here's a picture of our Samsonite Luggage Cat Box. It carried all our c-rap and we put a pillow on top - oh yeah, we had a pillow for the car - and schleped it right through the lobby like the back water, two teeth sportin', overall wearin', knuckle draggers we are.

And if you wanna go to the beach, don't buy pretty little sand and shell buckets. Just use the containers your kids ate their healthy french fries in.

No beach towel for the ocean? No problem. Plant your posterior on a floor mat. It indents pretty little patterns on your backside as a bonus and you'll look like your buns were grilled on a bonfire. That's sorta beachy don't cha think?
When it's time for dinner, go here. Polker Burger is our favorite neighborhood joint in San Francisco. It's on Polk St. if you're ever in the area. Great prices and food good enough to slop down the front of you when you don't have a change of clothing. Anyone who's known me for very long knows I can't eat ANYthing without spilling it on myself. Why not all the more so when what you're wearing is what you will also wear tomorrow?

Shampoo supplied in the room makes great laundry detergent for all your washing needs and the blow dryer works well, too. Kiss yourself right on the lips as you look in the mirror for thinking to wear two tops. Even though one is open and has buttons, the under one, once it's dry, can be slept in. Try to lay really FLAT all night long and maybe no one will know the difference the next day.

Hike the hills and take pictures of places like these. Don't linger too long with your dinner down your front. They'll take you for vagrants and have you hauled off. That might not be bad though. You get three hots and a cot for free.

Have your children, in this case Hannah-Bo and The Wild Man, sit on someone's stoop and look like they live there. We did. But some ultra-fit bicycle metro-sexual dude in his skin tight high-dollar bicycle outfit started scoping out Hannah-Bo. Kept turning around and eyeing her while nearly falling off his bike. We left before she caused an accident. Though it would have been fun to watch.

"The Thinker" here (aka TWM) was actually very close to the Legion of Honor Museum where they have an incredible Rodin exhibit. This happened to be on the deck of the hotel that Grizzly found for us online.......for $87.00. In San Francisco. On the spur-of-the-moment. It's good to have a husband who has worked a lot in this city and knows exactly where to send a stranded wife and kids. If you look really closely - or enlarge the photo - you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

This sculpture is in front of the building I go to at UCSF. We love the convoluted angles because everything that happens to me here is convoluted.

And don't these buildings look like they're falling toward one another into the middle of the street?

Welcome to the newly rebuilt Museum of Natural Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Now get out.

We weren't here very long when they evacuated us all. About 2,000 of us were escorted rapidly out. Why? We never knew. But I had a jaunty time visiting with the cutest kids from a Chinese private school. They wore plaid skirts (the girls, not the boys) and bright red sweaters. We chatted each other up like old friends and I found out all about their likes and dislikes, school projects, and why they hate uniforms. They didn't even mind about my backwater ways and two teeth (one on the top and one on the bottom fer good chewin'). I would have taken a picture but their parents weren't there to give permission and I'm funny about that with my own kids.

Back inside we visited the aquarium, sat through the MOST amazing Planetarium film, a 3-D movie on the life of bugs, and wandered through a green biosphere filled with birds and butterflies.

These choppers (below) were interesting. I think I should have a big blow-up of them to hang out in the entry way to my study when I'm feeling crabby. That would serve as a warning to all without the use of words. My kids would appreciate the signage, I'm sure. I could have used this warning sign after we visited the museum cafe. Mind you, my only possible carrying case was the Samsonite Cat Box which I truly DID refuse to carry through the museum. Consequently, we had nothing to pack our own lunch in. We were at their mercy.

I do not lie when I tell you they charged NINE.DOLLARS.AND.FIFTY.CENTS for a hamburger bun with cheese and turkey on it. No fries. No anything else. Chips were $2.50 a bag. I am feeding two teenagers here, for Pete's sake. But I wasn't about to be extorted three times over. I cut one sandwich up into three pieces, we shared two bags of chips, and, out of the goodness of their teeny tiny museum hearts, they gave us free cups of water. Then I lectured the kids on the evils of highway robbery, told them to buck up (you should know here.....they had each eaten their weight in free pastries at the hotel continental breakfast not many hours before), and promised to feed them again at a more financially prudent time.

What do you think this is? I have no idea either. But I like the color, shadow, and lines.

We left San Francisco headed east on the Bay Bridge. Halfway across we stopped at Treasure Island. I've always wanted to do this but it's been a Naval Base. It was recently decommissioned which opened it to the public. Every time I pass the exit I say we should stop and investigate. Someone told me you can even camp out there. We took the exit this time (it feels REALLY weird to exit a bridge in the middle of the ocean). As we headed down it became quickly apparent we weren't in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. Criminal types cruised around and looked very scary.

I was thrilled when I saw two police cars with someone pulled over. I stopped and asked the least busy one if it was safe out here with just a woman and two children. He looked dubious and then added cautiously, "Should be okay as long as you don't drive through any neighborhoods or stop the car." Feeling safe and welcome, we left.

But this view of the rest of the Bay Bridge connecting into Oakland was taken from the waterfront area. I don't think we'll be camping here just anytime too soon. But if YOU should decide to, bring your Glock. (Just kidding City of San Francisco! I know you have wonderful prohibitions against law-abiding citizens possessing handguns. Only the thugs of your lovely metropolis and now, apparently, Treasure Island as well, are permitted such favors.)

And when you exit Treasure Island and re-enter the Bay Bridge, you will merge immediately onto the bridge. You will have to go from a dead stop at a stop sign and you will have no merging lane. Traffic travels at around 170mph. Good luck. Plan for this to take two hours to get the guts to take off, and another hour to find a spot to fit into.

Thus concludes our tour. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial on survival and site-seeing in San Francisco. For all it's faults, it's still my favorite city in the world (so far). I hated to say good-bye but I knew we would be back. And maybe next time we'll bring the deluxe, COVERED cat box with the handle on top.

(All photographs courtesty of Hannah-Bo, except where she appears.)

P.S. In my last post, a few of you thought I was asking God to take me home. I really just meant I was ready for him to take away the migraine. I do feel death, in this situation, might be too permanent a solution to this temporary situation. But I'm glad to hear you would miss me!

P.S.S. This was my 100th post in the four months I've been out here. I am amazed that I have yakked on so much and still have so much to write about. Not a lot to SAY, mind you, but a lot I'll be writing. Thank you ALL for hanging with me this long. You're the BEST!

Copyright 2009


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  2. Hi Robynn! Glad to hear your migraine is going away! Just a reminder that you won the apron over at Lazy Moms! Contact us and we'll let you know how to claim your prize!
    Sounds like you had a great time on your trip! I'm loving the cat box suitcase and Burger King sand toys! That is something a Lazy Mom would do!

  3. I goofed...(LOL)...typos all over the place...could not leave my mess out in public...I am compulsive (LOL)...But I did want to say that your post is fabulous!!!! You never disappoint, and you ALWAYS make me smile...I laughed all the way through have such a gift!!!! And...Your kids are so good- looking, smart and their mom...And I can't believe it 100 posts? WOW! And you still have stuff to say...and are so witty? I am so glad that you still have stuff to say 'cause I'd be really disappointed if after having found you, I lost you...but I do stand amazed...I have very much less to my credit, and I am fast approaching the end of my ideas...I'm near panic...Throw me a lifeline... Quick! LOL! Love you; love your blog; love your style! Have a happy Sunday!

  4. What an adventure! One I am sure your kids will remember for a long time :) I am super impressed with Hannah-Bo and her quick thinking use of the cat box... I think as a teen I would have been mortified if someone suggested this, but I see how very mature she is! So glad you got this chance to spend an extra day with the kiddos! Loved all the photos too :)

  5. Thanks for the tour Robynn! What's with these $9.00 burgers on the coastal cities!!! Our youngest called yesterday about supper time and said guess where I am? Well, when one is in the military ( USMC ) it could be anywhere in the world so I didn't bother to guess. Where? At the brand spanking new Yankee Stadium opener game! He was retrieving his dinner...$9.00 burger! Waiting for pics from the event because they had a ticket mix up once they arrived and the Stadium made good on it..gave them some of the best seats in the house..guess military ID is helpful. Glad you've chippered up from the migraine.

  6. Brilliant post - and tell Hannah-Bo that I love her amazing photos!

    I think I'll definitely need to take a cat box and sit on a car mat to get weird bumps on my butt (wait - My butt is already lumpy so let's leave out that part...) wherever I go! ;-)

  7. Happy 100 posts! The pictures of your trip are beautiful!

  8. Wow. 100 posts. That is Major Good. Loved this one... especially the cat box. Deluxe.
    Poor you with migraine.. just coming out of one myself. Are they not the Pits.
    Looking forward to the next 100 posts. And the next.... loads of love. XX

  9. I would have taken the opportunity to go shopping for new clothes. Good for you for being smelly and looking for culture instead. ;)

  10. Glad you are feeling better! So, are you some long lost relatives of us Hick Town folks? You be soundin that way today! I am glad ya'll had fun though.

  11. So glad day two went better and sorry about the migraine. I'm with you on those. You may still want to live but it's hard to come up with a reason why. Ok, the best is a tossup between the Burger King carton that says "FRYPOD" on it (gah!) and the floormat/beach towel. No worries, you will all be fine when the bad times really come. You are all McGyvers and once we realize noone is really looking at us anyway life gets soooo much easier.
    BTW, my veri word is polynduc. Might ask your doctor if you have one of those.

  12. I'm glad you're feeling better, Robynn, and congrats on the 100 posts!!

  13. What a great trip and what great trippers you have with you. Despite the $9.00 burger heart attack, it sounds like a good time was had by all, despite needle sticks, etc.

    Congrats on the 100th post. Now are you going to do the 100 things about you and your life challenge?

    I've gotten 80 done so far... I hope
    To get done before 150 posts. lol

    You go, girl.


  14. You are a woman after my own heart! So practical, resourceful, and spend-thrifty! ....and $87 bucks?!? ...what a deal! And what beautiful pics! Great job to 'HB'.
    Funny enough, just last night, we watched a program about SF's Academy of Science Museum - even recognized some of your pics from there. When we were watching, I told my other half that I wanted to go there some day. He kind of raised an eyebrow (regarding SF, CA)... I told him it was the MUSEUM I wanted to see. ...and unless we drove *which is a bit far for me* we would have a hard time packing ..that is, legally 'packing' ...bringing along the 9 mm. I mean ...we are from Texas you know. :-)
    Loved your story and the pics ...and, of course, HOW you tell it!
    p.s. Congrats on your one-hundredth post! Your gaining ground on me (140).

  15. don't you DARE stop posting, or even slow down! I was away for the weekend and your blog was one of the ones i missed the most! See you again soon!

  16. Loved the photos! Nice Hannah! And loved the writing as usual. :-) You are definitely my superior...I don't think I'd be able to use a cat box as a suitcase :-p It's like using an airplane barf bag as a purse....:-p

  17. Robynn loved the San Fransico tour! Your children are adorable, and remember they'll learn a valuable lesson about thift, and the water was good for them. Sometimes we look cute going to hotels with our grocery bag luggage. I jealous you had a cat box!

  18. Loved the photo's and tour!
    Hope you're feeling better.

  19. Sounds like a great trip! The maturity of children...."no-one will ever see us again, of course we can use the cat box to pack". Love it!

  20. OMG! I've been there... and there... and there... and there!!!
    Well, of course I have. It's MY city and believe me girl, it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world! I base that remark on...ermmm.. my extensive travels.
    You can keep Paris and give me the Grand ol' Dame any day!

    I might even buy myself a suitcase just like yours! Do they come in pink? If you had only had the lid with it, you coulda hauled all the free samples out without any one noticing! Or filled it with a few unwrapped Tootsie Rolls and totally grossed people out!

    Please tell me that you kissed the ground for me!

    (oh...and guess who caught your migraine!!)

  21. You have got to be one of the funniest women on in blogland.

    Maybe some day you could author a tour guide book, sort of like Rick Steve, only written more like Erma Bombeck. ;-Þ

  22. What ingenuity and resourcefulness!
    Loved your little tour--and your humor--and even the scary parts about criminal types and trying to merge into 170 mph traffic!

    Congratulations on 100 posts!


  23. Sounds like you had a lot of fun and thats what matters..LOVE the cat litter tray!!!!!!!!haaaaa

  24. Wow, you're trip seemed much more entertaining then mine. If only I had a cat box to lug my stuff around it, then my day would have been complete!

  25. Even though you're smoking my butt when it comes to followers...I left something for you, at my place, today!

  26. wow - what a fun trip! I think spontaneous trips are the best and hey, if there's a cat box in the mix, all the better! (ps - glad you made it out of Treasure Island alive! Definitely glad you didn't go there at night!)

  27. Oh Robynn, I laughed at your beach towels, suitcase and descriptions of your day!

    THANK YOU for sharing!

  28. What fun! I can't wait to take my kids to San Fran... one of these trips. They've seen so much of it in educational kids videos, they recognize it anytime they see a pic of things it's famous for. The top and bottom teeth fer chewin actually made me snort my coffee, thank you very much. And ya know, if you outlaw guns, then only outlaws have guns. Can't wait for that to happen! Not.

  29. You are too funny!

    I was explaining to my 8 year old daughter the other day who MacGuyver is. I think that means I'm old now.

  30. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us through your marvelous writing and incredible photos. I love how creative you are with luggage ideas, etc. I'm definitely going to remember those tips. I lived in SF for many years and it is one of the most incredible places around so I sure enjoyed visiting it with you.

  31. I want some of what you are having, not the migraine though! You just crack me up! I know I can't be eating, chewing or drinking when I read your posts. Robynn. I love you for making my day!!!

  32. If I ever go to San Fransisco I will bring a copy of your wonderful tour guide.

  33. This is going to be one of those remember when we did and went to and Mom .....moments.

    Great Post.

  34. Hi Robynn! Just read your post (and your comment to my blog for today's post.) The post was great! i'm so glad you made it home from SF, and it looks like you all had a good time in the city, aside from the doctor's visit! I LOVED the "suitcase" for the hotel. Friend, I'm totally not joking when I say, I have NEVER laughed so hard (especially these days) in all my life! You are constantly bringing a smile to my face!!! On a side note, thanks again for the thoughts and prayers. They are so wonderful to have.

  35. Congrats on your 100th post. Thanks for the day trip!

  36. You washed your shirt after 1 day of wear? Are you crazy? I'm sure it still had a good week left! What a fun spontaneous trip! I'm next (without the pit stops at the docs please). I'm glad you were able to fit some fun stuff in with the pain-in-the-butt stuff.