Archive for the ‘Reasons I dont live in the city’ Category

The August 5 (and a half) and Mission Peak

The August 5 lbs challenge is officially over. The tally this morning was 5.6 lbs! I didn’t reach my stretch goal of 7, but at least I comfortably made the 5! Woot!

With one virtual sugar bag less than I was carrying around with me a month ago, l’avocat suggested we hike Mission Peak this morning. I was slow, but eventually made it to the top. Three miles of steep up hill, then back down. I’m now safely laying on a towel in the backyard while Perl runs around. Trying desperately not to fall asleep under the tree. If you can’t find me later, please come wake me and gather my dog.

Here are some photos from the way up and the top.






And then…

Drunken shopping. Always a bad idea. But I had to walk south on the Magnificent Mile. Oh look! The place where Cub Scout and Brownie are registered. I printed out the registry. Crate and Barrel use a horrible semi-touch-screen Windows system. I [redacted ranting].

I said, “[redacted swearing] “, and went to the register and explained I’d been drinking and am incapable of buying something (but am capable of writing a comprehensive blog post about the situation), so, do they sell gift certificates? Amused as they were, they helped me obtain a gift certificate. I’m hoping Cub Scout realizes that half of his gift is this story.

Across the street from Crate and Barrel was Ann Taylor. Not Ann Taylor Loft, but I’ll give it a try. No dresses. No dresses. Dress. Damn, price tag. Try it on anyways. Damn, it is awesome. Drunken shopping. Buy it!

I spilled the beans to the cashier. I said, with an Eyeore expression, It isn’t on sale, is it?

Fifty percent off!

I win!

Saving that much means I can stop at Swarovski. Not really, but don’t forget, I’ve been drinking. And even more than drinking, I’m looking for a good story. I’ll do almost anything for a story.



Even buy ridiculously priced crystals.

Time to find the restaurant that @puls suggested. Something about a goat. Not on this street. Maybe in the alley. Nope. Oh there it is! In the utilitarian part of the city down the stairs.

Billy Goat Tavern.

Not what I was expecting.

I couldn’t order dinner from the bar, but was welcome to bring it back. I’m a new vegetarian. Oh. Grilled Cheese. Sure. Chips. Sure. Plain or BBQ? Never mind. You are plain. Okay.

Beer. Miller, Miller Lite, Natty Light, Billy Goat Ale. Yes. Where is it made? Germany. Yes.

Next thing I knew, I had a bet going with the bartender, for my drinks, that the Celtics would beat the Heat. Implanted Massholes to Wisconsin were there to back me up. They loved that I had lived in Salem because I’d
followed a full moon there. They don’t know it, but they bought me a shot of Jameson.

Some kid came in and ordered a shot of gin. Then he tried to order a coke as a chaser. I told him no. I didn’t know he couldn’t, but I was right. He had to get the coke where I got my grilled cheese.

The waiter was rooting for the Celtics too. The kid ordered a vodka shot for him and his friend. The bartender and I had already discussed how they probably weren’t of age. So I asked if it was their 21st birthday. Sure enough, it was.


The Celtics lost. Only by a couple points. I was supposed to take the bartender to the wedding if I lost. He changed it to just a hug. Close enough.

I took my Swarovski crystals, and half-priced dress and headed back to my hotel.

Expensive cardboard pizza.


Good night!




An expensive day (so far)

I had only one goal today: find a dress for tomorrow’s wedding.

I failed at finding a dress. Instead, I bought three jackets, three camisoles, two pairs of jeans, two pairs of shoes, and a turtleneck in a pear tree.

Luckily, I brought a dress with me. I think I can wear one of the new jackets with it.

I hate shopping—really, really hate shopping—so when I do it, I go all out. I’m not sure now how I’m supposed to fit it all into the carry-on bag I brought with me. I could wear it all on the plane but that would be ridiculous. My FMBs took up a lot of space in the bag, so I can wear those home. I purposely didn’t bring enough clothes for the week knowing that I wasn’t going to have enough room after shopping. Hrm. I did bring a pair of wool pants. Maybe those are more appropriate for a winter wedding in Chicago than a dress.


After shopping, I went back to my hotel and played fashion show. Realizing I hadn’t eaten lunch, I ate some celery I’d brought. Don’t feel bad for me. I had two more pieces of the pizza from last night for breakfast. Skipping lunch wasn’t a big deal. I felt bad for tossing the last two pieces. I wish I’d run into the homeless guys after dinner last night. I would have given them all my leftovers.

I put on the comfortable pair of new shoes, a cami and a jacket, then covered them with my big, grey, wool coat; lavender scarf; and wool cap; and headed back out into the cold and wind.

I love the architecture in Chicago. It is amazing. Without all the shopping bags, I could walk around and see the amazing buildings. Funny how shopping bags get in the way of that!

I didn’t take any photos. The sky was grey and the photos would look as depressing as it is, so I prefer to remember it in my mind as beautiful and intricate. To me, Chicago is Boston without the cow paths and with lessons learned.

The weird thing I saw on Michigan Ave was that there are two levels to the city. The ritzy shopping area that took all my money is on the second floor. When I was actually watching where I was walking, I realized there was a service level first floor. Odd, but at the same time, extremely utilitarian. I do like me some utility.

I checked out the old water tower. They had photos of before and now. I stopped at the visitor center to figure out what I was missing. Then I spent a half an hour at the John Hancock building on my iPhone trying to see if there was a way to buy drinks instead of paying to see the observatory. Better value for the price.

There is a lounge. 96th floor.

I started with the Rush Street: Bailey’s Irish Cream, Frangelico, Amaretto DiSaronno, cream.


I watched the sunset. Sort of. I really would have watched it except I am at the bar where it is mostly couples and single people. There were two guys. I don’t know if they were a couple or on a bro date. Either way, the sunset was over the shoulder of one of them. I kind of wanted him to buy me a drink, but I wasn’t going to take him home.

Commence blogging.

The smell is intoxicating. Spices. I have to have it.

The bartender had never given me a menu. I was ignored for a while, cleavage and all. So I looked up the drink menu on the internets. When he did pay attention, I was ready. It was a tough call between two of the drinks. This time I ordered the one that was spicy. The Seasonal Hot Spiced Pear Cider: Cruzan Spiced Rum, Butterscotch Schnapps, Hot Spiced Pear Cider.

I was on the phone with Meine Schwester. This isn’t the place to pick up single men. The bartender was much nicer this time. Maybe I smiled more. He asked later if I liked it. I told him that I’d been smelling it and couldn’t resist. He showed that it was brewed in front of me. I want to do a study about the number of people in this seat that order it.


I am paying the check. The bartender wanted to know which drink I liked better. I told the bartender how he had ignored me. When the check came, I think there was only one drink on it. I tipped him for two.

It is only quarter past five. I have more planned. I have to stop kidding myself about going to a city to see the sights. I eat and drink and walk my way around.

Tying to decide if I stop at the wine bar on my way to dinner.

It’s still early…

…but I’m afraid of the elevator.


Today is off to a bad start. Got to Caltrain and the parking lot was full, so I decided to drive to SF.

Didn’t have enough gas, so I had to stop and fill up.

Got to the highway and there was plenty of parking, so I immediately got off and went to a different train station.

The parking lot was full, so I drove back to my parking lot and parked half a mile away.

I had to almost run to catch the train that was half an hour later than the one I tried to catch originally.

Looking like a cloudy day in the city in more ways than one.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Bay to Breakers

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Howard St,San Francisco,United States

Ginko Biloba

Image from Greenspade.

I saw a tree like this while “walking the dog” today. It was the sun, brought down to earth, on an otherwise dreary day. The colors on the trees and on the ground this morning were spectacular.

A difference between fall here and on the East Coast is that we don’t get a lot of wind, so the leaves don’t mix. And since the leaves of all the trees don’t fall at the same time, I’ll see a tree spread its color from the sky above to the ground directly below. Ten feet away will be a different color. And then another. And then another.

You’d think, coming from Maine, I’d be better at recognizing species of trees, but I seem to lack this ability. Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ginko biloba tree in Maine, so that might be why it took me some researching to find it. I’m not usually a fan of trees that turn yellow. The trees that people normally “oooh” and “aaaah” over are often the reds and oranges of maple trees. But the Ginko Biloba tree, standing alone in all of its yellow glory, was spectacular. It made me appreciate yellow trees in the fall.

By the way, this has been my view for the last week.

Birthday party FAIL

I tried to go to a birthday party in the city. I got all dressed up. Drove up. Hit traffic. It wasn’t too bad.

Then I tried to find parking near Pacific & Hyde. On the hills. I drove around the block. Around a bigger circle. I drove around for an hour.

And then I quit. I wad tired and hungry and bitchy. Even if I did find parking 10 blocks away, I would not be a party girl after climbing those hills in four-inch heels.

So I drove home.

Got to Lilly Macs just as the kitchen was closing. They took pity on me and made me dinner anyways. Shephard’s pie and a Guinness later and I’m feeling much better.

But I’m sorry I missed the Party at the Pacific. Public transportation was going to take 2 1/2 hours each way, but after three hours in my car for nothing, Caltrain/Muni seems like it was the better option.