Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Western Star, and other fun

Back from San Francisco, and been at work almost two days now. It was a really good weekend. The first surprise was the hotel. Jayson had booked us at the Mandarin Oriental, one of the 5-star hotels in the city. The hotel is billed as the highest rooms in the city and that's not joke. We were on the 45th floor with only three floors above us. Plus the place was just downright nice. For some reason our room was upgraded two levels from what we booked, so we ended up with a 180 degree view from the Presidio to the Embarcadero, including the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, and the waterfront. Jayson had arranged a nice room service table to be in the room when we arrived so we entered the room to find shrimp cocktail, cheese and fruit, and margaritas. Not a bad way to start a trip.

Saturday morning we were headed off to breakfast and I knew there was something up, but wasn't sure what. Sure enough, when we get to the restaurant there is my wonderful friend Rick from San Diego waiting inside the place, along with my friend Wes who lives in San Francisco. Rick was the rest of the surprise for the birthday and it was really nice to have him there! After breakfast we all (minus Wes) rented a car and drove to San Jose to see the Winchester House. All of us except for Anthony had been there before but it's a fun trip and an interesting thing to do. We had a terrible tour guide who recited some memorized script from rote and had no enthusiasm about his job. The four us just tuned him out and made our own fun, plus the tour guide gave us something to make fun of later on. Back in the city Jayson and Rick decided to rest in the room while Anthony and I wandered around Chinatown. Upon entering the room and seeing the view Rick's first comment was "Oh. My. God." Saturday night consisted of going to dinner in North Beach and then going to see Beach Blanket Babylon. The show was fun as always, even though I've seen it at least 4 times. It changes so regularly that while some of the bones of the show are the same, it's never the same show twice.

Sunday the only thing we had planned was breakfast with Wes in the Castro, which of course went until after noon. Rick was again able to join us and the rest of the day consisted of wandering around the Castro and then spending a little more time in Chinatown before we had to head for the airport. Anthony bought himself a new harness (in the Castro, not Chinatown) so in effect we all have a new toy to play with. In the end we didn't see/do a whole lot in the city, but that's OK. It was more about just being there and spending time with friends, which we definitely did. I had a great time on the trip, and it was even nice having Rick there for the weekend.

So for the title of this post… On the trip down on Friday night after the sun went down I started telling Anthony (who was sitting in the aisle seat) that you could see this really bright star out the window. Jayson commented that it was the Western Star which is especially bright from the air since there's less pollution and we're above the clouds. The one thing Anthony didn't notice was that even as the plane turned, the star stayed in the exact same position outside the window. He was surprised how bright it was but thought it was pretty cool. It was only after the plane landed and was taxiing to the gate that I pointed out what the Western Star really was. You can see it very clearly in this pic at the immediate tip of the wing by clicking the pic to zoom in.
Yes, he was looking at the light at the tip of the wing. It never occurred to him that the star was still visible when the sky was hidden behind clouds, but we'll just say he was excited about the trip. Anthony was not necessarily pleased at the joke and every time we brought it up over the weekend it was met with a very curt "shut up". I think he really liked the attention though. Gullibility can actually be really cute.

Here's an album with the rest of the pics from the weekend. Enjoy!


Chris said...

Nice photos. Read the one caption, "On the 280" and stopped to think, "When did they go to SoCal?" but then I remembered, y'all are from San Diego where you put definitive articles in front of your freeway names. I forgive you ;)

Looks like fun, I miss S.F.

Grrrowler said...

I surely don't need to remind you that I'm not "from" San Diego. I merely lived there for 10 years. I've never been Southern Californian and never will be!

I love SF too, but I still prefer to live in Seattle.