I raced home from school last Monday, and we left shortly after I arrived home, running only six times back into the house for this and for that. I think we've never gotten out in under six. I had swallowed a caffeinated drink while waiting on Dave for one of our runs back into the house and then drove as far as the Kettleman exit, when Dave took over.
I worked on my English Paper Piecing while continually checking FourSquare for destinations to check into. We were surprised at how many entries there were for the stench around mid-drive from the cattle ranch: Stinky Cows, Cowschwitz (the more polite version equating this muddy, smelly cattle ranch with concentration camps for animals), and many variations on the impolite term for cow dung. We were happy to have a "re-circ" option on the car ventilation system.
We arrived in the greater Bay Area as the sun was setting over the Pleasanton hills, and we slipped through the Altamont pass and past the spinning windmills. This town always causes us to think about our courtship, the beginnings of our life together, and how much has changed since Dave joined a newly divorced mother of four children and all our lives changed forever.
We found The Chancellor Hotel by following the directions on our smart phones--happy to be living in the day and age when we don't worry so much about having a printed map in the car (although we do, because we are of THAT generation). Unload, go up to our room--with a tiny view of Union Square--and back to take the car to the garage around the corner. First things first: check to see that the wireless works (it does), then relax while Dave figures out where to go in the morning.
For breakfast we eat the soda bread and the tangerines I'd brought, Dave headed to the Moscone Center to his meeting, and I headed out into the rain. It rained nearly the whole time we were there. At first the tendency is just to sort of put up with it, hoping for a clearing patch. I photographed these hearts, installed on all four corners of Union Square, in the grey day.
A building on Union Square.
Then I headed to Britex fabrics, where I shot this illicit photograph of their solids wall because as a quilter--we document. I bought some buttons for my raincoat, some trim and notions, then dropped them back at the room.
Lunch with David at Cafe Claude was on the docket, then he drove us up to Japantown, where I looked for tiny "blind box" figurines, little plastic Japanese doll-like toys.
They have a display with lots of boxes and you just choose a box, not knowing what you'll get. I ended up with a Goth horse (complete with tattoos) and an anatomically correct little rhinoceros angel boy-thing. Yep, didn't know that it was soooo boy when I bought it (false advertising?)
We met Jenna for a quick hello, then he took me back to the hotel where I waited for my Dave to arrive home from his meeting. This is a shot out the back window of our bathroom. Glad we didn't get this view.
Our rubber ducky has a cell phone, and under his arm--a tablet. Very vogue little duck. We were allowed to bring him home.
One last shot of Union Square under a beautiful tree with giant yellow lily-type blossoms. In the rain.
That night we took the car out of storage, and drove over to where Dave had arranged an alumni ETOX graduate dinner--those affiliated somehow with this graduate program where he teaches. This mural was near where we parked. (Yeah, I don't know what it means either.)
Some had driven in from Sacramento (Cal-EPA) and others were students and former students.
And here is Dave's very first graduate student: Hong Wei (on the left) with Jennifer, another alumni. Fifteen years ago, he graduated--hard to believe it's been that long. I thought it was quite cool that he could come and join us; all of these people were in town for the Society of Toxicology Meeting--over 7,000 attending.
We took Sharada back to her hotel, and drove Jennifer back to her friend's house where she was staying, then holed up in our little apple-green room, warm and dry out of the rain. Forecast: more rain. And then some more. I know all of California needs the rain, and San Francisco was getting theirs.