You’ve heard of sunny California, right? What they fail to mention is that it may be sunny but it’s also kind of chilly…even in July. My first week of on the job training was held in San Francisco, which is an amazing and beautiful place as long as you bring a jacket. I did my research ahead of time and came prepared with the right wardrobe. Still, part of me felt like a goober wearing a coat and sweaters in the summer. The day temps would climb to the mid 60s, which was perfect when the sun was shining. But when the ol’ yellow ball in the sky would dip behind the huge downtown skyscrapers and the wind would come whipping in off of the bay, it would feel more like the temperatures were in the 50s. Brrrrr. Plus, it should be noted that I am pretty much a cold-natured wimp.
My hotel was about eight blocks from the office. I had grand intentions of walking to work every morning but that never happened. I was there during the XXX Summer Olympics and I could never get to bed before midnight. I blame Bob Costas. I meant to get extra sleep and wake up early but just when I was about to turn off the TV, he would announce something amazing like “Gabby Douglas on the uneven bars, up next!” and I’d be hooked. It was cute lil’ Gabby! I couldn’t miss Gabby! Darn it, Bob!
So, instead of getting up early enough to walk, I had to take cabs to work. I learned that cabbies don’t love you when you’re only going eight blocks. They’re all hanging out at the hotel hoping for the $50 ride to the airport fare or better, not the eight block $7 “short”, as I learned it was called. One morning I told a cabbie where I was going and he refused to take me. He told me he’d get me another cab and he did. Other drivers were nicer on some mornings. However, one actually chatted on his cell phone to a friend the entire way and loudly complained that he had “been stuck with a short.” Hey, I can hear you! Well, whatever. I got to work on time. I have enough friends and if San Francisco cab drivers aren’t going to be among them, I think I’ll sleep OK at night once Bob Costas leaves me alone.
Most of that week was spent in downtown San Francisco in the eight blocks between my hotel and the office. Downtown was an odd mix of business people, hoards of tourists in Union Square, and homeless people. It feels pretty heartless to step over someone with a cardboard sign to pop into Macy’s to pick up some lipstick. But, that’s just the way it is. I guess in Oklahoma, the people with signs are further away from the mall entrances, thus easier to ignore.
Luckily, my friends Cory and Tara live just outside of the city and came to take me on a field trip one afternoon. They loaded up their four beautiful girls and we went for a drive. It was great to see more of the city and Golden Gate Park. It was absolutely amazing. As we neared the Golden Gate Bridge, there was a haze hanging over the park. Cory explained that it was fog. As we neared the bridge, it looked like someone had a giant fog machine and was pumping it down the hills. It was pretty incredible the way it was literally rolling downhill. I had seen the bridge before in clear weather so I wasn’t disappointed to see the fog. It was actually really cool.
As we left San Francisco, the weather cleared and the sun began to shine. The temperature quickly climbed from around 60 degrees to 80. We had dinner in Berkeley and ended up circling through Orinda before heading back to the city. I took a great picture of the city tucked into a blanket of fog.
My trip home was uneventful compared to all of the trouble that I went through to get to San Francisco. I was thankful for that.
Travel lesson learned: Cabbies don’t like to drive you a few blocks. You don’t need everyone to like you.