skygoodwill and I were up early (okay, *I* was up early, she was up at her usual time) in order to hit the ATM, then catch CalTrain up into the city for an adventure.
The sky was slightly overcast, and it was chilly. But for some reason we both left without jackets.
We got to the CalTrain station, parked, figured out how to get tickets, and then got onto the waiting train. And we waited. And we waited. Finally, the conductor came over the loud speaker and said something about offloading the train and a bus bridge to Mountain View. So, like the rest of the sheep, we climbed off the train and stood out in the increasing coolness waiting for a bus bridge, whatever the hell THAT was.
Through snippets of conversation, and the little sideways moving light sign, we found out that there was a service interruption between Sunnyvale and Mountain View, and trains were turning back at both stations. Until it could be resolved, people had to take a bus between the two.
At this point, I realized that my new, yet thin T-Shirt was NOT going to be sufficient for the say, so I suggested that we return to the house, nab coats and drive to the Mountain View stop. Of course this whole plan hinged on the fact that I was under the impression that I *KNEW* where the Mountain View CalTrain stop was.
So we ran back, got coats and headed down the Central Expressway towards San Antonio Road.* On the way there, we passed several fire engines, and I smelled that smell that raises the hackles on the back of your neck and tells you "Get the hell outta here, Homie!" Gas leak. Not pleasant.
We got to San Antonio, and there was a train waiting to go to Mountain View. We got ourselves to the other side of the tracks to wait for the northbound train when all of the sudden everyone on the platform started running. Fortunately, it wasn't because of any gas leak, but because the conductor of the train on the OTHER side of the tracks was indicating that THAT was the train we wanted. And of course it couldn't be an easy trek back over... no. Run down a ramp, under an underpass and up the other side, all the while dodging people on bikes doing the opposite of what you're doing. Yeesh.
Anyway, we finally got on the train and were on our way to San Francisco.
It's at this juncture that I want to elaborate on how much I like trains-- when I'm ON them. Any other time, they can bite me. But when I'm riding on a train, there's just this soothing sense of comfort. I kicked back with a book (given to me by my Adventure Partner Sky) and enjoyed the relaxing ride northwards.
As we got closer and closer to the city, it became apparent that the sky was leaking on us. Little diagonal hash marks began appearing on the windows of the train indicating that we were going fast, and the water was coming down. But I refused to give up hope for a bounteous day.
Our arrival at the end of the CalTrain line was greeted with sprinkles from heaven and a thought of "Glad we went back for coats". We found the bus that would take us up to Market Street so we could catch the 5 over to Golden Gate Park and the Conservatory of Flowers. For those of you who missed my last entry, here's some more pictures:
It stopped raining by the time we got off the bus at Golden Gate Park, and by the time we walked to the Conservatory the sky was starting to show bits of blue. It was awesome, because all the flowers we passed on the way there had this light sheen of rain on them. Made for happy picture taking.
The Conservatory itself is pretty damn cool. Most of it you can wander for free, apparently. But if you want to go into the freakin huge greenhouse, you have to pay $5. Now, it'll take you two and a half hours to look through the whole greenhouse, but an hour and a half of that will be waiting for your glasses and camera lenses to unfog because of the extreme temperature and humidity changes between rooms. One picture, I just said, "Screw it! Let's see what happens if I don't wait!" and I'm not that unhappy with the result.
Post Conservatory, we walked to Haight Street. A visit to Amoeba Records was in order. I discovered just what an AMAZING foreign film section they have, and ended up picking up a copy of Russian Ark while there.
Up to Cha Cha Cha for lunch and Sangria. Let me tell you, Sky and I had a FEAST of tasty yummy Tapas. FEAST I SAY!! And the Sangria is always good. :D (Hey, technocowboy, tarotchan and lonespiritwolf2, I think Melissa's little waiter boy was there working, but I'm not sure). Much food was shared, much relaxation was done, and as we left for the leisurely journey down Haight Street, the sun was shining.
We found several fun shops to look in, and if I had money, I'd be buying lots of neat stuff. We also found a little bottle shop that not only had a couple bottles of Stone Vertical Epic 03.03.03 left, but some Arrogant and Double Bastard, too!! We picked up an Arrogant and a Double for tasting, and I picked up two Verticals for trading and we were off (with a MUCH heavier backpack).
Post Haight, we bussed over to Valencia street and spent a good amount of time in Flax Art, wandering around going "Ooooh! I want that some day!" It's a cool store, and the staff is pretty friendly it seems. I set the thief alarm off coming INTO the store, so the check-out guy re-de-magnitized the DVDs we'd purchased for us. He was THRILLED to see Russian Ark among the selections, and actually quoted a line from the movie at us. Unfortunately, at the time I didn't realize it was a line from the movie, but I recognized it when we watched it later.
The walk down Valencia was a long one, but well worth it. Sky did some power shopping at the Scarlet Sage Herb Company while I rested my weary feet and back.
From there, it was a hop, skip, half hour wait for the bus, and a jump to the 22nd Street CalTrain Station so that we could make our way back to Sunnyvale.
Unfortunately, I printed out the train times for the San Francisco stop, not 22nd Street, so we didn't understand why the first two trains headed south didn't bother to stop for us. By the time the third one passed us, we'd been informed by a nice passerby, and nearly an hour after we'd arrived at the train station, we were finally on the way home.
That hour wasn't wasted though! Sky came up with a name for the fish she got for me while we were there, and today we picked up some furniture for him, so here's Paolo in his new home:
We got home around 8:00, had leftovers and sat down to watch Russian Ark. The cool thing about that movie is that it's one 90 minute shot. The uncool thing about the movie is that it's one 90 minute shot, which is very soothing when you're tired from walking all day. No jarring changes in lighting or angle to keep you alert. So it was a little hard to watch in the mental state we were in, and as such, we both retired early to happy dreams.
All in all, it was a fucking FANTASTIC day!
*Now, those of you In The Know (tm) will realize that San Antonio Road is NOT the Mountain View CalTrain stop. I realized this too, as we drove past the Mountain View CalTrain stop. But hey, San Antonio had a stop, too, so... it was just one stop closer to the city.