I think this was the last major trip for me this year, just in time for the hubby to gear up. Anyway, after England, we ewnt to Tarpon Springs for a long weekend, then to Charleston for another long weekend. And then it was off to San Francisco for a few days of work. Here's what I "blogged" while sitting in the user conference during breakout sessions (so, no visitors to the booth) and no internet connection ...
So, more traveling to be done, but I think this may be it for me and work travel for the year. I can only hope. Though, I have to admit that I’m not complaining about the travel itself. I’m complaining about the 18 hour days that come with attending a trade show. You’re always on, so it’s just exhausting. And when you get back to the room at 10pm after you’ve had countless client, prospect, and partner conversations, then you get to sit down and catch up on the work you’ve missed at home. I’m typing this (though not posting it) at about 3pm on Monday, and I just hit a wall. I was sitting in a break-out session listening to a partner/competitor talk about their products, and just had to fight the sleep. I was trying to take notes, but nothing was really going into my brain. I’m exhausted, and will be going to the event tonight. Should be a good event (an 80s cover band), but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay.
All that bitching and moaning aside, I have had a good time, and yesterday was fantastic. My hotel, the Westin St. Francis, is beautiful – a landmark, apparently, open since 1904.
From the pictures on the walls (some taken by Ansel Adams), it seems that an incredible number of stars, writers, and diplomats have stayed here over the years. I can see why, too. Oppulent is the only word I can think of to describe it.
Please tell me, though, how, with all the pictures I’ve ever seen of San Francisco, and movies I’ve seen filmed here, I managed to woefully underestimate the size of the “hills” here. Yesterday, I walked A LOT. I walked from the Union Square area along Powell to Lombard Street (up and then back down).
And then down to the North Shore where I rented a bike, and rode as close to the Golden Gate Bridge as I had time for. Then I headed back, returned the bike, walked along the wharf area and turned up Mason to go back to my hotel. I found out today that taking Mason up Nob Hill (I think that's Nob Hill) is the longest or highest or steepest (whatever) way to get back to Union Square. I have no idea the incline or elevation change, but it’s pretty rough. This is a very cool city, though, and I can understand why people like to visit. I’d like to have some more time, and Dave with me to really venture out. It would have been fun to have time to ride the bike across the bridge and then take a ferry back, eat at the wharf, and do some more touring – even if it meant more hills and walking. I guess I always thought the hills were a certain part of the city, but it’s pretty much the entire city. The outskirts are also much more developed than I expected. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with real estate as expensive as it is, that they would build wherever possible.
It's steeper, longer, and more difficult than it looks.
I’ve posted some more pictures up on flickr, if you want to see more than what’s posted here.
Headed home tomorrow, and I absolutely can’t wait.
After I wrote that part on Monday afternoon, there was a customer appreciation party at Ruby Skye, around the corner from our hotel. What a cool club – an old theater that’s been kept up very well. The company had booked Tainted Love, an 80s cover band that was fantastic (the audio on their site, doesn't do them justice). I was finally able to do the dancing that I haven’t been able to since Funkle Ester stopped playing so much, and apparently made an impression on some people in the balcony, judging from comments after the show, and on Tuesday morning. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
OH, and this one's for Stacy!