Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Headed to SF, via subway, train, and plane

Getting to the airport in Queens by 6 am was an adventure of its own. Managing subway schedules, LIRR schedules and air train departure times is something I’m not used to dealing with. Normally, I fly out later in the day, when the frequency of the trains allows me to hop on a train headed in my direction every few minutes. But, alas I made it to my 7 am flight, passing through a sweaty Harlem subway platform, an eerie empty Penn Station and finally an over crowded airport with ridiculous long security lines.

Virgin America flew me in to the city by the bay on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. Although they got me there safely and my ticket was fairly cheap they did not live up to my expectations of making flying more fun. My personal TV -- full of news and sports stations -- seemed to “loose the signal” every 20 minutes or so, which happens to be the same amount of time for me to really get involved in a program. The seats were comfortable but the seat back did not recline as far as they do on other planes and no one was handling the row of children behind me (who seemed to be immune to my laser-like stares and stern tone). I don’t think I’ll shell out an extra 50 bucks in the future to fly them and still rate Jet Blue as my domestic airline of choice.

I stepped outside of the airport to meet my chariot, which as it turns out was not waiting patiently for me curbside, but was running a bit late. I occupied a spot of sun on the sidewalk of the International terminal, and took part in some very entertaining people watching. Once my parents arrived, we jetted over to Grandma Alice’s place in San Francisco. Alice had obviously been preparing for our visit and was dolled up for a day in the city. We promptly departed for the Inner Sunset to hit up one of my all time favorites for lunch, Park Chow. In their regular fashion, they kindly offered to open the rooftop for us and turn on some heat lamps to combat the fog that had settled on the neighborhood.

After our tasty lunch, which was a great welcome back to California fresh cuisine, we headed a block or so into Golden Gate Park. As we headed for the Academy of Science Museum we passed through some of my favorite Park spots, such as Shakespeare’s Garden and the Arboretum. The Science Museum was packed for free Wednesday but still wowed me with its shiny new fa├žade. So, we headed across the street to the De Young Museum and took in the amazing ariel views from its tower (the only building above the tree line in the Park).

After taking Alice home we left the fog behind and headed to Fairfax. My mom had already prepared an amazing dinner of garlic grape chicken, which happens to be my favorite. The icing on the cake, if a person can provide such a thing, was our guest of honor and conversationalist extraordinaire Jenny Bray. Aside from being one of the loveliest girls I know she has this inner drive and intensity that will always amaze me. Jenny and I headed down to Nave’s, the only real bar I remember from my college days left in downtown Fairfax. Jen Norman (now you see why I have to use last names) who could entertain a rock with her amazing stories and cross-country edge met us up for a spell. She warded the few men offering to buy us drinks off with a stare and cracked me up for a solid hour. She amazes me with her strength and openness and we always have a blast together.

Jenny spent the night at my parent’s house, as her car had broken down the night before, and I borrowed dad’s porche to drive to Jenny to work in San Rafael and head over to my hairdressers. The entire ride Jenny and I tossed back and forth between enjoying the car, and remising about how much we despised “girls like us” who received first tier cars in their high school and college days. It was a fun ride!

Haircuts in Marin are so much more than beautifying for me. They are a test of my wit, endurance of my humor and mini-therapy sessions. Rinelle has known me since I was 5 and never lets me forget who I really am, no matter how wrapped up I get in college, city life or a job.

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