Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day One: Albany/Palomar

Apparently, a lot of people go away Memorial Day Weekend, and a significant portion of them to the City by the bay. Who knew? All weekend, everywhere we go, everything we do, is packed. We adapt, but occasionally have to give up on something. Like seats at the airport. We eat an extremely bad and cold sandwich on the floor by the emergency exit while waiting to board. Then a baby in the seat right behind Jarrah wins a prize for the biggest tantrum we've ever experienced at 26,000 feet. I mean shrieking, not crying. Jarrah is traumatized and whispers fiercely as we enter the return plane "Do NOT seat me next to a screaming baby."

Karl meets us at the airport—so awesome—and we're zooming past the sparkling bay in no time. The rest of the afternoon passes lazily, hanging on his couch or watching Jarrah and Ruby play at the schoolyard on their street. We meet their cats and very shy dog, who keeps looking at us like she formerly understood her reality but now needs to recalibrate. I keep telling Karl stuff to know about Jarrah, even as I realize he has raised two daughters and probably knows a thing or two without my help.

We sample the banana bread I baked for them, and I'm smug that it turned out perfect. While we nosh, Jarrah discovers Apples to Apples and we play a family game with Jarrah handing us our asses with every round. She's a weirdly intuitive player and everyone votes for her. We crack up when she puts in “the IRS” (which wins) and someone says “Do you even know what that is, Jarrah?” and she crows “NOPE!” while sweeping up all the cards.

When Carrie gets home, we all walk into town for dinner at Barney's Burgers, which in keeping with the cuisine of the region is scrumptiously good and all natural, local, sustainable and derived from pansies that were grown in the backyard in a redwood tub. It's a really pretty walk, too.

We get a much later start into San Fran than we intended, and promptly go the wrong direction on the train, so it's nearly 10:00 when we get to the Palomar (handily right next to the BART.) We are delighted by our suite and have fun taking photos—we might not have remembered to snap the animal-print robes, though—leopard for me, zebra for David. We're feeling desert-ish, but aren't sure where to go, even with David consulting his iPhone. That thing is like my nemesis after a couple days. We end up at Lori's Diner, amused because we recognize it from our last trip, and share a piece of apple pie David pronounces “ugly but tasty.”

Normally, I have a tough time falling (and staying) asleep that first night in any hotel, no matter how nice, but the Palomar seems to have magic beds and no sooner have I slipped beneath the featherweight down comforter and cool, white 600 thread count Frette sheets and I'm gone. The blackout curtains and the double-pane windows obscuring the all-night fabulousness of Market Street keep me that way until after 9:30 the next day--a sleep-in almost unheard of in my current reality.


Stephanie said...

Looks like David's camera caught the sunrise, even if you didn't...very jealous of a 930am wake up call.

Jen said...

Wow! 9:30! Good for you. I'm so glad you had a nice time and I can't wait for more installments!

Mary said...

Makes me want to be there right now!

Such a fun place to visit.