Out West – Day 7

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Our room at the Huntington Hotel in Nob Hill was, by big city hotel standards, immense. It sported vast windows offering fabulous views to the south.* Unfortunately, the curtains closed at 8PM and so did my admiration of the world outside.

If I hadn’t imparted clearly enough the tribulation of maneuvering this city’s hills, I’ll add that pushing a 20-pound double stroller laden with 36 pounds of offspring uphill constitutes a major bitch. And, restraining it while going downhill is an exercise in frayed nerves, as one slip of a finger may send the stroller careening down a 15% grade. That hills are San Francisco’s most distinctive feature isn’t news. Yet, it’s considerate to advise visitors of the need for an extra helping of carbs in your morning diet to tackle the day’s wanderings. Also, driving becomes an entirely new experience. First is the fear your car won’t make it all the way up to the intersection, and if  it does, that you’ll shatter the knee of a pedestrian jumping into the crosswalk. Then, rounding the crest and plunging downhill, that you’ll shatter both knees and all parts attached thereto if your brakes don’t oblige.

* Our pockets are not deep nor our tastes refined enough for this life (four days, really) of luxury; all it took was a daring click on Hotwire for these royal accommodations at a reduced rate.

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Out West – Day 2

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Friday the 17th of April dawned eagerly at 445AM Pacific time with the Rising of the Twins. Let the games begin!

When the rest of the city awoke, we scored a Sienna minivan from Alamo and blindly pointed it uphill, due west from the airport. The closest thing to hills in Florida is that godawful Hills reality show which my wife thinks considerably more of than I do. Here in Northern California we found some major league mountains. The pavement starts off in a normal fashion, but then slopes and turns and weaves towards the heavens, requiring much muscle under the hood and in your pants to conquer. We then crested the range and zigzagged downhill to Pacifica Beach for a sniff and a view of the ocean blue.

That afternoon we dropped our bulging bags and still weary butts in a hotel in the businessy Embarcadero district of downtown.  We were located more in the thick of the action than the previous night–we just didn’t participate. As soon as the kids found slumber–no later than 8PM–we retired to the carpeted hallway just outside our door for an ornate dinner of takeout pizza, salad and wine, exchanging only whispers and peppercorn ranch.