San Francisco, Serrano Hotel - July 1999

David was working up in the San Francisco area so I drove (rare event) up to meet him at the Serrano Hotel on Taylor at O'Farrell, room #1404. The hotel had just gone through some extensive remodeling and their grand reopening advertised once in a life time reduced rates around $110, considerably lower than the usual $200 and up rates. The Serrano is a very nice, sophisticated and discreet place, valet parking, and would not advise me of our room number without checking with David, already in the room, first. I felt a bit out of place in jeans and I KNOW everyone noticed my hanger colours did not match. When I got to the room I was a bit surprised for the decorations rather remind you of a circus with wide striped fabrics even though in subdued colours.

We returned to the Gold Spike for dinner, one of our few three star places. We sat at the same tiny table in the same cozy corner again, the same old lady selling long stemmed roses came in again. That rose is still hanging off my dresser.

Saturday we walked to Chinatown, down through the Wharf, stopping at Cost Plus for a coffee bean grinder and bells. Lunch was a return trip to the Pot Sticker on Waverly, one of the really neat Chinatown alley streets.

Dinner was a return trip to Castagnola's on the Wharf for salmon and scalone, then off to our favorite bookstore, The Green Apple on Clement, until closing time.

Sunday we wandered around Union Square and ran into a homeless guy with a white cat on his lap wearing shades. (The cat was wearing the shades, not the guy.) There were numerous tourists taking picture of him, and the cat was eating up the attention. A few months later, we were astounded to see the same guy and his cat featured in our local paper.

The afternoon was spent wandering as usual, ending up at the greatest grocery store in the world, Andronico's, in the Sunset area, Irving and Funston. You could spend an afternoon wandering their shelves. We discovered Forbidden Rice there. Great stuff but cook it separately from other rices. This particular time we picked up a variety of goodies for a picnic lunch at the park while we watched people sail their toy boats in the lake.

Then finally off to the Golden Gate Park Strybing Arboretum and Botannical Gardens where we have tried to squeeze in a visit on past trips to no avail. I took a dozen pages of notes, flower names and descriptions. A fast walk on the beach and the weekend was sadly over.

I got just a tad bit lost going back home and ended up taking a rather odd route, and David left his boots in the hotel room. Bummer.

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