SF Queen Anne June 1, 2003

We left with both the hummingbird and dove babies in the nests, knowing they will have tested their wings and flown by our return. We also willingly left the possibility of a hundred degree weather to celebrate David's birthday in San Francisco.

Lunch was a the Public Market in Emeryville, such a selection of food! We finally decided on Gyros and Falafels. Border's bookstore was right there where I ended up with a Gordon Lightfoot tape.

We wandered around at the wharf, saw a homeless guy with this black cat that just loved being in the bicycle basket, crackers purchased at Cost Plus for another seagull feeding frenzy where we wondered if we saw a shark, a drink at Castagnola's to warm up and bought a Ecudorian coconut wood and resin witch pipe at a street faire.

The Queen Anne Hotel, room 406. Wow. This is a top floor corner room with a nook of windows, an old wood corner seat nearby (with a trap door in it) next to a bar sink and a medicine cabinet looking thing in the wall. Very quaint, delightful flavour and just warm and comfy as can be.

David took me to the Cafe de Paris on Union. The valet scared me a bit with his driving, but what the heck, it's Frisco. David's steak was to die for, every bite of my salmon was treasured.

As usual, the Green Apple book store till closing and back home to bed. I was reading the hotel history and read about a fifth floor. Fifth? I peered at the Emergency Exit floor map on the back of the room door. Another stairway, presumably the service stairs, appeared around a hallway. Of course, I left the room to look. Sure enough, there is a stairway leading down to the third floor, and it's ceiling indicates there is another staiirway above it. Right around another corner, there it is. A dark, quiet straight stairway leading to a locked, unmarked door.

When we got back to the hotel, the clerk was unusually friendly so I went downstaris to the lobby where we got talking. She and I compared notes about the hotel sensations. The clerk actually held out the key to the haunted room, the Mary Lake Suite, right down the hall from our room. Did I want to see it? Does a bear do things in the forest?  Oh, the room is loaded. David didn't want to come see, but I made a relatively fast visit and felt that room would be a delight to stay in. When I returned the key, I asked about the fifth floor mentioned in the history outline of the hotel. The clerk called out the manager who said he could arrange a tour in the morning. Talk about can't sleep.

The next morning I tried to wait patiently until someone had the time to take me upstairs by photographing the hotel interior, including the door to the fifth floor. Finally, a bell boy appeared and up we all went, but through another door on the main landing and up a flight of stairs. Classic. Every so wonderfully dark and spooky. So many twists and turns, so many unused dusty rooms. I repeatedly had to refocus directions just to know where the exit was. There was a very old, lovely tapestry there, similar to the ones hanging all over the hotel.  Most of the attic was too dark for pictures, but it was a delight and I was really sorry to leave.

The rest of the morning was spent in the Fillmore, coffee and bookstores at he "Dog Earred Books" on Valencia. Lunch was at the India Curry House on Columbus in Lower North Beach. We wandered around the pigeons at St Peter's, and then back to the wharf to feed the seagulls and take pictures. One last Cost Plus stop for gifts for Jena and Bri and home.

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