The DougBlog
"Et sans savoir pourquoi, disent toujours: Allons!" —Baudelaire

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Bay Area Bonanza, Part 1

Well, here it is…the beginning of my blog. Folks claim to enjoy when I send reports from my travels, so this will more advanced than emailing. And if I am so inspired, I may try to post some random musings even when I am at home.

But for the moment, I'm out West (in the Bay Area, as they say). I’m actually here for my friend Craig’s wedding on Friday, but I’m currently in Yosemite National Park. Right now I’m in the lobby of the famed Ahwahnee Hotel. It’s much nicer than the rather primitive accommodations I’m enjoying at the Curry Campground, and offers internet access. Missy Wilson can tell you more about my tendency to stay at two-bit flea-traps next door to fancy hotels—and then mooch their services. And this is quite fancy: a National historic landmark. Here's a picture I swiped off the web of the Great Hall in which I'm sitting:

Global comment: click on photos for a larger view.

Anyhoo, when I arrived in San Francisco I had a few hours to visit my favorite spot in town, Baker Beach. The surf here is always rolling, and there’s a terrific view of the Golden Gate Bridge disappearing into the Marin Headlands:

Incidentally, here is the sign at the entrance to the beach:

If that doesn’t spell good times, I don’t know what does. And being such a beautiful day, TWO different wedding parties arrived for their photo ops:

For the rest of us, the real fun was watching the bride try to walk on sand in a long dress and heels. Her bridesmaids didn’t seem too pleased with the whole thing. Then, because the sun was setting, I went out of my way to watch it from the west end of SF:

I spent the night in Emeryville, just on the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge. It’s an up-and-coming technology town, which was handy for running a few errands in the morning. The only sites of note were a funky apartment building:

And the headquarters of Chiron:

…the biochem company that makes IL-2 and will be out of business once my new drug launches! Perhaps the garbage in front of their sign was an omen…but I digress. My favorite sight in Emeryville was actually on the room service menu at my Sheraton. Every dish was named after something related to San Francisco, including:

Who the hell came up with that one? They should have also had the “We Wish it Was A Better Cut of Meat” Gristle and the “We Wish it Was Chicken” Mystery Meat Platter.

I spent Sunday with my dear college chum Carrie. She just moved into a beautiful house in San Leandro with her girlfriend Bonnie, who was also lovely. I can kick myself that I took no pictures! They have a virtual fruit grove in their backyard, and I got to take some fresh lemons right off the tree! Carrie showed me around the wonders of Oakland and we went for a hike in Redwood Park. Then we met up with Bonnie again for a delicious Indian dinner in her former neighborhood of Rockridge. For those of you who are Mel Brooks fans, I needn’t tell you that Rockridge is the town where Blazing Saddles takes place. And needless to say, I therefore spent the entire day with "The Ballad of Rock Ridge" in my head.

Monday, it was off to Yosemite.

It was only a few hour’s drive, and a beautiful one at that. I got to the park just in time to see the sun set on the famed Half Dome:

I’ll write more after I’ve explored. In the meantime, here are a few random pictures...

Price of gas in Yosemite. Ouch!…Especially when you consider that my baseline (from the last time I owned a car, around 1990) is 95 cents a gallon:

At the same gas station. What to do?!:

A hair salon:

This just seems like a fun name for a restaurant:

If I had no class, I’d make a Hiroshima joke. Wait, I just did.


  • I have many comments. First, welcome to blogworld (take two). Second, your pictures are fabulous. I am jealous! Third, how do you have spam comments when you have the word verification on?? Is my faith in blogger shaken?
    Fourth, a tip from one who knows, when you're doing a post with lots of pictures, save as draft frequently. I just lost a post that took ages to create.

    Your're so cute!

    ftrha (a great name for an Iraqi politician)

    By Blogger Colleen, at 3:46 AM  

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