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This Day in My History

TODAY's QUOTE

Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile...in the air there's a feeling of Christmas.

- "Silver Bells"


Yesterday's Entries

2000:  Party Girl
2001:  Happy Birthday, Ludwig
2002:  2-a-Day (More of my whirlwind Hollywood weekend.)


TODAY's FOOD

Breakfast:  a big ruby red grapefruit

Lunch:  shrimp ensalada at Baja Fresh

Dinner:  Take-away Chinese food.


TODAY's READING

"Angels and Demons," another thriller by Dan Brown (of "DaVinci Code" fame).  Great for reading on the train!


TODAY's EXERCISE

At least an hour's worth of brisk walking, combined with sauntering, around downtown San Francisco.


TODAY on the TELE

Frasier, of course!


TODAY's WEATHER

Cool and clear--perfect "tourist" weather.

 


IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME IN THE CITY

16 December 2003

You’d never know I was born and raised in San Francisco to watch me wandering around downtown like a tourist, my eyes bulging, my camera ever at the ready. I was the typical country bumpkin that we "real" San Franciscans used to laugh about.

I didn’t make it to WeightWatchers this morning. I had made plans to meet my friend Susan for lunch in San Francisco. The car is still being quirky and I don’t feel comfortable driving it long distances, so I decided I’d make a day/adventure of it and take the train down. This meant leaving home at 7:30 a.m. to catch the 7:50 train, and the Weight Watchers meeting starts at 8. Owell. It won’t kill me to miss a meeting.

The ride down was lovely. So peaceful and relaxed. The scenery is at the same time familiar and strange, since the train covers roughly the same route that the highway does, but from a different angle. The sun was just coming up and I got some lovely photos, especially as we passed by the graveyard for old Navy vessels in Suisun Bay.

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The train arrived in Richmond and I transferred to BART, which would put me in San Francisco at 10 a.m., an hour and a half before our scheduled lunch time, so I took BART all the way in to Powell & Market, the center of "downtown San Francisco."

I could have shopped. I could have spent lots of money, but I didn’t. (For one thing, the idea of carrying packages all over town stopped me!) Instead I just wandered around looking at the sights.

I had never been in the San Francisco Shopping Center, a gold and marble stronghold of commercialism, which used to be the old Emporium, in my youthful days. We used to go to the Emporium every December to see the window displays, sit on Santa's knee, and ride the terrifying ferris wheel on the roof.  There are no animated windows (or "roof rides") now, but a marvelous shower of stars falls from the stained glass windows several floors up.

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I walked up to Union Square to see the big Christmas tree there. I don’t know if Holzmuller Lighting is still in charge of getting that up each year, but when Jeri worked there, she was part of the crew that decorated Union Square and it was nice having that very thin connection to the festivities.

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Then I went into Neiman Marcus. This is definitely not my store. I don’t think I’ve ever been in the store before, and when I saw that the clothes racks started with size 2 (and not 2x), I wondered if there were "large" size people in Dallas! But I wanted to see the floor-to-ceiling tree in the lobby. When I was a kid, we also went to the old City of Paris, which had a huge tree each year and the fun thing was to go from balcony to balcony and look at the various ornaments, always an eclectic collection and different from year to year. Neiman Marcus, while preserving the magic of a gigantic Christmas tree has a bit more of a "decorator" flare to it, but still I stood there like a hick and gawked–and took pictures.

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I continued on down toward Fulton St., stopping en route at the Palace Hotel. The Palace Hotel is an old San Francisco institution (that for a brief black period was renamed "The Sheraton Palace Hotel," but I was happy to see that the word "Sheraton" no longer appears anywhere on any of the engraved plaques. At the turn of the 20th century, my great uncle was one of the bouncers for the Palace Hotel, so I feel a connection to that place as well. And I had to see the Garden Court decorated for Christmas. I had lunch there once or twice. It’s way out of my league, but it was fun to pretend for a moment.

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I finally met Susan at her office and we had a nice lunch and got caught up on who is doing what to whom, and for what reason. We then went back to her office so I could make a potty stop and she could show me the view she can almost see from her cubicle.

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I never tire of being up on things and looking out at San Francisco. I’m one of the city’s biggest fans and when I bring guests to tour the city, I usually end up taking more photos than they do!

I briefly considered walking back up Market St. and doing some more serious shopping, but my feet were starting to complain, so instead I stayed closer to the BART station, doing my bit for bookstore owners everywhere by dropping a few dollars in the pocket of Stacey’s Books, and then wandered around the Galleria shopping center, another beautifully decorated shopping mall.

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Finally, I got back on BART and rode to Richmond, the end of the line, where I discovered I had an hour’s wait for the next train to Davis. I happened to strike up a conversation with a woman I met on the platform. She was a delight and we discovered that we knew all the same people and our children had participated in all the same activities, but at different times. She even volunteered, for a time, with Suicide Prevention and she was quite aware of the band Lawsuit. The time passed quickly as we chatted and we rode the train together to Davis, meeting our respective husbands at the station.

It was a very full day, but something different. I may not have made it to Weight Watchers, but I definitely got my exercise for the day, and, as Susan is also on Weight Watchers, we kept well within our point ranges during lunch.

All in all a decidedly delightful day.

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST

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1987
Jeri and Paul bought the same gift for
everybody in the family!

For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog


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Weight Lost to date:  48.6 lbs

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Created 12/16/03