Sunday, July 6, 2014

San Francisco, Mixing Business with Pleasure!

I wanted to meet my editor, David Ruiz del Vizo, and he just so happens to live in San Francisco. Convenient huh? Joe and I decided to make a day of it. I know many of my readers have been to San Francisco multiple times, but about half of my readers have never even been to California, so I decided to snap some photos.

Instead of dealing with traffic in and out of the city, we went to Concord and parked for free. By 8:45 we were on BART heading for SF. For those of you have never been on a commuter train, you should try it. It’s fun. But those of you who are accustomed to subways and trains, you should try this route because it goes under the San Francisco Bay. Years ago I went into a recompression chamber for SCUBA divers. It was a similar feeling. Ears popping, increased humidity, warmer, and I admit a little scary.

We got off at the Embarcadero, and had a bombardment of senses. Mostly visual and audio. The sky scrapers tower above and the traffic is, well traffic. A bum escorted us several blocks, talking mostly to himself. Oddly he was wearing a jacket from Guanajuato, Mexico, one of our favorite cities in Mexico.

The usual street market was set up down the road leading to the Ferry Building, and we lucked out and got to go to the open weekend food market in front of the pier. I’ve been to a lot of markets over the years, but I’ve never seen such beautiful veggies. I’m serious . . . they were perfect. And there were flower stands too.

Starbucks hosted our meeting. It was great to be sitting on the edge of the San Francisco Bay sipping coffee and talking business. We weren’t the only ones who mixed business with Starbucks. About six Department of Homeland Security Officers were in line behind us. They posed for me, though the guy to the right made it clear that he was “not photogenic.” I thought that was adorable, and just goes to show policeman are regular people too.

We spent most of the day inside of the Ferry Building. Of course we stopped for a glass of wine at an Italian shop, and later at a Spanish shop.

Musicians set up anywhere and everywhere. One girl had her violin case in front of her with a sign saying “college fund’. A guy had a bunch of cans, and lids, and junk. He spent the entire day hammering away on them. The perfect touch was the band playing “Sitting by the Dock of the Bay”.
We split a bacon cheeseburger from Prather’s Ranch restaurant, and ate it with the seagulls watching us from two feet away. One seagull grabbed someone’s bag of French fries and dumped it out on the sidewalk. It then tried to eat it while keeping the other birds at bay.

I thought it was cool that they had a set-up in front of the Exploratorium for kids. There was even an obstacle course for wheelchairs. They’d put the kids in the wheelchair and then help them through the type of obstacles wheelchair bound people face every day. It looked pretty fun.

All-in-all it was a great day. David was a joy to meet and has high hopes for my second book, El Tiburon, which he’s taken under his wing. Let’s hope it gets published!

Next trip is Trinidad, CA.

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