Thursday, August 20, 2009

Peace, Love, Dope........

The Global Musings of an Educated Man.......vol.115
Greetings ladies and gentlemen. I'm back from the country we call California. Today's blog will be a travel log of that excursion out west with my future Fiance. So let's begin, as not to take all of your precious time studying up on the health care reform that Democrats and Obama are trying to get passed, which is more than likely just going to throw more gasoline onto the fire that is our national debt, but don't worry about that, marijuana is bad, bad, bad, and there would be no sense legalizing it and taxing the hell out of it to help pay for some health care reform.
We all want to be pro-life but once that baby's out, it's on it's own.
Sorry, about that. I am known to get carried away. Okay, on to the trip. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
On the Saturday of our landing in Colorado for our lay over, our voices were sent over the loud speaker, "Miller and Scharber, please report to gate 31, your flight is waiting." True. Troy and myself having been there years back, not in Denver, but in the airport in Phoenix, drinking to our hearts content on our layover and walking drunk and confidently aboard a plane that was waiting for us to head to San Diego and home of the comic-con, where we would spend quite probably one of the best three day vacations ever. My arms around two cute asian women at the Lamontagne concert at the House of Blues, getting free beer at the Padres game and watching Troy douse himself with water because he was redder than a lobster after spending all day Saturday at Pacific Beach, doing what he does best, mingling with the ladies and trying to score a beach volleyball game. The voice of my brother in his head, "I'll make you guys leave if I have to."  The gate attendant behind her desk looking annoyed as I explain that I am Scharber and that I am waiting for my girlfriend, no need to tell her future fiance, is in the bathroom, again, ha. Like we had anything to do with the delay in our take off from Minneapolis because of a thunder cloud. Sheesh. After then landing in San Francisco, and navigating the tram to our rental car, and waiting for about an hour in a stuffy un-air conditioned building, where Johnny Sweatback was noticeably uncomfortable, we got our white Chevy Cobalt and headed for downtown Soma district to our hotel, the Courtyard Marriot. Nice digs. That evening we crossed the Golden Gate bridge to head to my brother's place in Mill Valley, north of San Fran to meet and greet and see my new niece, Mizu, cute as can be, but sassy like her Momma, we headed to Pizza Antiqua for dinner, after of course the twins, Taiki and Tomoki climbed all over uncle Jon-Jon. Wow, they are exhausting. Saturday was a blur. Sunday morning came and Kristal and I walked down to the pier along the Embarcadero to weave our way amongst the vendors and crafts stands and took in some homeless people gazing and street performers playing before meeting up with my brother and the boys for the afternoon baseball game at beautiful AT&T Park where the Giants couldn't keep up with the Reds of Cincinnati, but what a stadium, what a display of media at the game. $8 hot fudge sundaes. No kidding. The Twins would be smart to send some people out there to look at how you do a baseball game right. Beautiful outdoor baseball, seated 29 rows up from first base just under the over hang of the upper deck, awesome seats, thanks mammy for those, priceless. Watching as the boys nervously eyed the cotton-candy man walking up and down the aisles, and my brother teasingly telling them, "I hope he doesn't run out before he gets here," the boys eyes widening in fear. Taiki trying to figure out how exactly to eat the stuff, balling it up on his fingers and my brother, prepared as always ready with the wet-wipes. 6 years old, Montessori kids and smarter than whips, but man oh man is Taiki a troubled eater. Ha. Tomo the general and order maker of the two had no problem.
Starbucks Starbucks Starbucks. They are everywhere out there. On every street. Like homeless people in Key West, Florida.
That evening Kristal and I took in North Beach and I finally made my pilgrimage to City Lights Bookstore, once home to such beatnik luminaries as Kerouac, Ginsberg and Corso. That was my wailing wall. But once again, no air conditioning in there. As Hoium would say, hotter than bologna sticks, and if you ever want to head to a strip club, there is no shortage in North Beach. Seriously, there was more strip clubs in that small part of San Fran than Minneapolis has total. No kidding. We walked around Chinatown that evening as well, and I watched as Kristal's face changed from shock to awe as she saw fresh chickens, dead, hanging in the storefront windows. Funny stuff. At least there was no bugs.
We had dinner at Viva's in North Beach where the server was as cute or cuter than the ambiance. Cute little French girl.
Monday we took the car up the north coast an hour north to Pt. Reyes Station where we took on the windy windy roads, amidst the huge redwoods and cedars, and I watched Kristal hang on to the car for dear life, she was truly frightened that we would fall of the small two lane road and down the hills to where our car would naturally explode like in TV.  Kristal finally got to see and experience the ocean, up to her knees, but not by choice. The hot sand almost burning our feet. We then headed to Kristal's favorite destination of the trip, the hippie Mecca, Haight Ashbury. The hippies are still there. Peace love dope. Good thrift stores, and I got a kick out the angry hippie, oxymoron, seriously that was harassing the girls. Tourists tourists tourists. Everywhere. French, Italian, Japanese, middle eastern, you name it you got it. Didn't see Michael Savage though. He's was problem in his
panic room somewhere.
Had dinner at Magnolias in the Haight and thought if you were to live in San Fran, scooters would be the way to go, because the parking sucks.
Tuesday we made our way down to the tourist trap that is Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. Had to see and smell the sea lions. Stinky. T-Shirts t-shirts t-shirts. Had lunch at the In & Out burger and thanked my lucky stars I would never have to work in a place like that. It made the floor of the New York Stock Exchange seem tired.
We then drove up to Twin Peaks but it was way too foggy to get a good view, but it did seem that you would fall through the clouds and were sitting somewhere up in heaven.  We then drove down the coast about 20 minutes south of San Fran to a town called Pacifica where we had dinner at the Pacifica Beach Resort. I could live there. Absolutely beautiful. Someday I will.
Wednesday was Alcatraz and Angel Island, and that was an event. An all day event. From 9am to 5pm. The ferry ride to Alcatraz was pretty cool and the audio tour inside the prison was amazing. You can sense the haunting spirits. Definitely worth the price, but you don't need to see Angel Island, or if you do, do it last like we did, or else you'll be asleep by the time you get to Alcatraz. Wednesday night, room service and stallionaires. In bed by 8:30.
Thursday the flight back home.
So there you have it. San Francisco in 5 days, from ultra liberal-tree hugging hippie-progressive thinker Johnny Scharber, and no vitamins either. Damn. "Peace, love, dope, now get the hell outta here!"

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