San Francisco, Part 1

We're back from San Francisco, and I've just finished downloading nearly 900 photos from my little Coolpix...and that's after erasing all of those I could bear to part with! Needless to say, I'll be posting in segments, while we settle back in and catch up on things at home.

I have always been fond of San Francisco, though I haven't spent any significant time there since my early teens. I have to say it was far more spectacular even than I'd remembered. Our trip was not without snafus (storm delays on the way out, and a flu that hit M & I pretty hard toward the end of the week) but in spite of these things it was one of the best trips in recent memory. We all three had a fabulous time, and I hope we'll be able to return before too long. QQ is the ambassador of this family, and was making friends before we'd even gotten to the departure gate at DIA. She found this family just as we were sitting down to lunch in the main terminal.
This being our first trip "with child" since returning from China, we'd left ourselvelves a huge window of time in which to make it to the airport, take a shuttle from the outer parking lots, and wrangle all of our luggage.
This little girl - almost exactly the same age as Q - was a real cutie!
It wasn't until we'd already been sitting at the gate for a half our that we discovered that a huge storm had slammed into the West Coast, backing up flights into SFO for several hours to come. Thinking fast, M. managed to get us transferred onto a flight into Oakland, which meant that we'd have to wait a little over two hours extra, as opposed to six for the SF flight. As a teen, I had stayed in Berkeley and Oakland with friends, and had made many a trip under the bay on the BART train. But that was decades ago, and neither of us was quite sure what sort of a latenight commute we'd face, luggage and child in tow, when we reached the coast.
In spite of having been too excited to nap on the plane, QQ remained her cheerful, game self for the entire, lengthy trip - complete with two bus rides, several luggage transfers and a long train trip. Making the trip from the Oakland airfield to the BART station in the pouring, pounding rain didn't phase her, nor did the long, ear-popping ride by commuter train under the bay.
Here we are on the BART, which is a bit grubbier and more run-down than the sparkling-new version I remember from the late '70s...but still a pretty nice way to travel on-the-cheap.
Bumbling along, we somehow managed to get off at exactly the right station in the city in order to get quickly to our hotel. Still, it was a couple of hours past Q's bedtime, and she had soaked through a couple of pairs of pants, by the time we arrived. As you can see, none of this affected her mood.
She was absolutely delighted by our room at the Hotel Kabuki, as were we!
I had pictured one of the tinier, funky boutique hotels of the kind we've stayed at in NYC. But the Kabuki is spacious and elegant with lovely amenities. We even had a little balcony with spectacular views over the city.
The deep Japanese bath was pure heaven (more on that in later posts) and every day there was a packet of eucalyptus bath salts awaiting our daily bathing ceremony. Let me tell you, if we ever have the means for any major home improvement, a Japanese bathroom is going to be the first thing on my list!...and the bed. Don't get me started! You can see how happy QQ was with it. She herself had to make due with a portable crib (hardly fair!) but each morning we freed her and let her snuggle under the eiderdown with us, which she adored.

I love the Obi at the end of the bed. Nice touch.

That's one happy girl, after a long, looooooooooooooong day of travel.
View across a misty, stormy city from our balcony.

Stay tuned! More on the way......


Yoli said...

Maia, the trip sounds devine. The photos are lovely! What a beautiful hotel. I hope you are having a great birthday.

Snowflowers Mum said...

I love4 SF..even when its grey and misty. The hotel looks lovely!

QQ must truly have the heart of a wanderer's daughter herself!

Vivian M said...

Wow what a lovely hotel room! I am curious as to what a Japanese bath is like - is the bath tub shaped differently?

Stacie said...

i wondered where you were! i heart sf and we have gone every year for 10 years but this last. we always fly into oakland. i will have to try this hotel next time it looks divine. QQ is a natural and i love both of your outfits in the early airport pics- so stylish!