Friday, September 21, 2007

Reno, San Francisco and the big 3-0: Part II

I forgot to mention that my mom watched my kids while Chris and I were away so I have to give her and my brothers a serious shout out for the help. Thanks so much guys!

So on to part two. While we were in Reno there was an event called “Street Vibrations” going on. It is some kind of motorcycle convention or something, but there was hundreds of motorcyclist all over the city ad the surrounding areas. I don’t know exactly what they did there, but Chris was slightly fascinated by it and if he had the time he would have gotten his picture taken with a whole crew of the leather-clad hog riders.

When we were planning this trip last month we found out that San Francisco is only about a four hour drive from Reno, so we decided to make that part of our vacation. Some of the people Chris was working with while he was up there told him about a more scenic way to get there and it tool about the same amount of time. We thought that would be fun, so on Friday we left about our hotel around 10 to start adventure for the day. We stopped by a Starbucks so Chris could use the internet, he’ll say it was to get directions, but I think he was going through withdrawals because our hotel didn’t have internet access. Then we stopped by this really cute candy shop called the Chocolate Nugget, where I tried some of the jalapeño peanut brittle they had out for a sample. It didn’t taste bad, but after I was done my mouth was burning for about 20 min. So by the time we were actually on our way it was about noon. We were supposed to get the rental car back by 3 but we thought that since we had to wait almost a half hour to get it after we checked in that we might still have time to get it back to the airport and not get charged extra. The scenic route proved to be more stressful than we thought. The scenery was beautiful, but for about sixty miles we were on a two lane highway that took us through towns with stoplights so it wasn’t really as fast as we thought it was going to be. We did pass through this town called Kyberz that had its “Welcome to Kyberz” and “Now leaving Kyberz” messages on the same sign. But we were in to much of a hurry to stop and take a picture. We got about twenty miles from our destination and it was about 3:45 so we had hope that we would make it, then we hit California traffic. I know, we should have taken that into account from the beginning, but we didn’t and that last twenty miles took us over an hour to cover. We ended up dropping the car off at 5:00. We decided to fight the extra two hours they were going to charge us, because we had to wait so long to get the car in the first place. We were just trying to get one of the hours taken off, but they took off both so we were happy about that.

Our hotel was about nine miles from the airport, which when I booked it I didn’t think was a big deal, but there again was the traffic. It took us another 45 min. to get to our hotel, but it was so much nicer than the one in Reno, so it was alright. The place smelled nice and the décor was beautiful. We got ourselves checked in and unloaded then we headed to downtown San Francisco. Once again traffic, do you see a pattern here. Chris loved growing up in California, but I refuse to ever live there. If traffic wasn’t enough of a deterrent than the house prices are a sure sign that California and I were never meant to be. We finally got there about seven and we decided just to walk around the city. We found a place to have dinner called Mel’s drive-in Diner (even though it was a sit-down place) and it was really good, I would recommend it. We thought we wanted to ride the cable car, but we found out it was $5 each way so we decided to wait until the next day to do that. There was a ticket booth by the trolley stop but it was closed for the night. While we were looking at it this man came up to us and said he was going to give Chris a ticket for “not holding this pretty ladies hand”, and then proceeded to talk really fast about I’m not sure what, but he ended with asking for a donation for something. We were entertained by him so Chris gave him $5. We were still thinking about going on the cable car at this point, and he told us that we had to pay the conductor. He asked if we needed change and Chris said yes (which I couldn’t believe) so this guy pulls out a wad of crumpled up ones and was about to take the twenty Chris had in his hand. I quickly took the bill from Chris’s hand while Chris counted the “change” this guy was going to give us. I think it added up to about $13 and that was including the $5 we had just given him. We decided that wasn’t really a good deal for us so we told him we would find change some where else. I guess Chris got caught up in the novelty of the city, because after that he took all of the money out of his wallet and stashed it in different pockets, so we wouldn’t be easy targets again. The guy wasn’t even that helpful. We went to find change then came back to look at the ticket booth again where we were approached by a different homeless man. This one was very helpful and he even gave us a map, but when he asked for a tip Chris just gave him the loose change he had in his pocket. I had to laugh, and we decided at least it was a good story to tell about our trip. We walked around for about another hour or two then decided to go back to our hotel, and make a plan for the next day.

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