My First House Guest

A few weekends ago, I had my first visitor to my new home – my dear friend Renee. Although her main reason for being in my neck of the woods was work related, I was super glad to see her.

She arrived Friday evening and we spent the evening catching up over a great dinner at Tina’s Place in Pinole and bottle of wine. Then it was quickly back to the homestead to sleep.

Renee was a lovely houseguest. There was no judgment of my kitchen table (a borrowed card table), no anger at sleeping on the air mattress in the guest room (also borrowed), no bitterness about sharing a bathroom because I had no time to purchase a shower curtain for the guest bath. She even humored me when I said, “hey, let’s go into the city after you get finished working Saturday so I can wrap up my Christmas shopping. Oh, and by the way, I want to BART and MUNI (public transportation) in but don’t really know what I’m doing.”

And that’s where are adventure began. Renee got up early on Saturday morning (still on Indiana time) and then worked most of the day. There was an icky, drizzle all day. I had errands to run throughout the day while Renee was working in Berkley. We headed out from my house around 5:15 p.m. and to the nearest “safe” BART station.

Side Note: I’m always amazed what people will talk about in public. There was this woman having a very serious, passionate conversation with someone who I determined to be her best friend or former best friend. “I’m in a pretty bad place right now. I just don’t feel like you have time for me so I’m just dealing with it myself” was the main theme of the conversation.

I digress. Other than feeling like we were eavesdropping on a private conversation, the BART was pretty uneventful. Just traveling and chatting along the way. We got off at the Embarcadero stop and surfaced next to a beautiful Hyatt. It was very Christmas-y. Our next task was to get on the MUNI and take the F car to Pier 39.

According to my very fun app (511 Transit), it was supposed to be perfectly timed. And it was, except I crossed the street so we ended up waiting 5 minutes for the next one. I was so excited when we hopped on! Excited and proud to have successfully mapped out our adventure. After a few minutes, we’re at Powell Street to which I comment, “this is where Amber and Greg took me last weekend.”

Then it hit me – we are totally going the wrong direction. And then the map confirmed it. So we had two options – ride it out and get a nice tour or get off then back on going the correct direction. We selected option two. Although when we got off, we had to wait about 10 minutes for the next F car to come by.

After a moment of déjà vu, we were finally headed the right direction.

Until now, I have not mentioned the purpose of this trip. There was one reason and one reason only for this trip – Salt Water Taffy. I thought I had blogged about this already but apparently I have not. When Mom and I were here in August, Amber and Greg took us into the city, Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39. On our way to the car, my mom spotted a candy store with barrels, yes barrels, full of salt water taffy. And each barrel was a different flavor. No more of that “assortment” box. She could pick only chocolate, banana and strawberry. And $16 in taffy later, she was a happy girl. Since I now live in this grand salt water taffy filled land, I decided before I head home for the holidays I would pick up some taffy.

At Pier 39, we were on a mission – Salt Water Taffy. In fear the store might close before we got there, we searched and searched, passing up many other fun shops in the process. And at the end of the pier, Candy Baron emerged. And 3 pounds of taffy later, I was ready to be a tourist and eat a lovely dinner.

We went over to visit the seals, along with a few other shops, then we went to dinner at Pier Market Seafood Restaurant. Just a simple meal – two salads, two appetizers and a bottle of wine.

Then we headed back to the homestead. Here’s an interesting tip if you ever find yourself on the F line – the driver gets a 10 minutes break at the turn-around points.  Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful trip home. The number of BART stops are limited later in the evening so it was longer between trains. But around midnight we poured ourselves into bed.

And with an 8 a.m. flight back to Indy, my first visitor was gone. Hopefully to return in March!

Thanks Renee for being such a lovely house guest.

Now…..who’s next?


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