Monday, February 23, 2009

Babymoon, Day 1: Lost in the City, Lost in Beauty

Before I start recapping our babymoon trip to San Francisco, I'd like to make note of a few things:

1) These posts will probably be very photo-intensive. I used my new point and shoot as my primary camera during this trip and was very pleased with the results. My only real complaint is that it just can't handle having its ISO cranked up like my DSLRs can - which means that some of my pictures came out pretty noisy (grainy). That's what I get for refusing to use flash, yo.

Also, you may notice that many of my pictures from this trip are tilted. I think the fact that I took a lot of them from a moving vehicle had something to do with that.

2) Where's everyone been? I've noticed a really big decrease in the amount of comments I've been getting lately. Don't you love me anymore? Don't tell me you actually have lives!

3) How am I already exhausted? It's only Monday!

Okay, carrying on...

Roy and I woke up at the asscrack of dawn on Valentine's Day, and I was a total brat and took a picture of Roy's morning hair, which I am always so jealous of. My hair does boring things, like just laying there.

But Roy's... well, it's magnificent.

We did our last minute things and then picked up my mother-in-law, who dropped us off at the airport. I took pictures from the plane window. The flight attendant had to tell me to turn off my camera once the cabin door was closed. I had no idea "camera signals" interfered with all those airplane things going on.

At 8:30 AM, we landed in Oakland and took the shuttle to the rental car place. We spent awhile there because the rental car people kept insisting that we had to pay a $250 deposit since we were using a debit card to pay. Whatever. We climbed into our rental and took off. After paying the $250 deposit, of course.

I took a picture of myself, looking better than ragged and surprisingly well put together. This never happens, so I'm glad I documented it.

I had a pretty sad looking printed map that indicated we needed to take the 80 into San Francisco, but we didn't really know where the 80 was. We spent awhile driving around and trying to guess which way we should go, but it soon became clear to us that we didn't have an effing clue. So we stopped at a gas station, grabbed a map, and ate cheeseburgers at the adjoining Burger King. (Yes, cheeseburgers at 9:30 AM. It's a good life.)

With the help of the map, we made our way over the Bay Bridge and into the lovely and bustling city of San Francisco.

It was way too early for us to be able to check into our hotel, so we drove around some and then decided to head over the Golden Gate Bridge. It took us quite a long time to find the damn thing. We were following signs that eventually took us off the freeway and through some crazy street route that made absolutely no sense. I kept remarking how it shouldn't be so difficult to find a huge-ass bridge.

But it was. However, eventually we found it.

And we drove over it. (I didn't get a good picture of it. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of it during the whole trip. So here, look at some street art instead.)

We drove right into Sausalito, where we had a forgettable lunch at a restaurant with an excellent view.

Lobster bisque (very bland and boring):

Crab cakes (okay, but the sauce was weird):

But the graffiti in the bathroom was cool:

We took a walk after lunch; it was gorgeous there. We loved the houseboats.

We headed back into the city and decided to go in the direction of Union Square, where our hotel was. And I kid you not, it took us an hour and a half to get there. We ran into all kinds of issues (traffic, not being able to make left turns, etc.). I was one grouchy mofo by that point because I had to pee and was extremely uncomfortable from sitting in the car for so long. I wasn't a very good navigator either, because I kept dropping the map but couldn't pick it up from the floor of the car due to giant tummy issues. I ended up using my toes to pick it up. We finally parked our car in a lot down the street, and I begged the parking lot attendants to let me use their bathroom. While I was engaging in the Longest Piss Ever, Roy grabbed our bags. Bladder empty, we made the short hike to the King George.

We checked in and then found our room, otherwise known as the Smallest Room Ever. Seriously. (I had read about the small size of the rooms when I booked the hotel, but I guess it was just one of those things that I had to see to believe.) But the Smallest Room Ever didn't stop me from stripping naked and crawling happily into bed, where I crashed for several hours. (There I go with the TMI again. But honestly, if there's one thing I love more than sleeping, it's sleeping naked.)

By the time we ventured out again, it was dark, and we had a couple of hours to kill before our dinner reservation. We decided to walk around the financial district.

It was really embarrassing to be so out of breath while walking around. Roy literally had to push me up a few hills. Once we found flat land again, we came upon a couple of really cool art galleries. One of them featured the work of Robert Deyber. His pieces were a whole lot of fun with obvious Surrealist influences.

Ass Hole:

Rock, Paper, Scissors:

The Fire Ant:

There were some very striking paintings upstairs as well:

While I really enjoyed Deyber's work, I wasn't completely in love with it. I reserved falling in love for the second (and last) gallery we visited. We were walking by, and I saw this piece in the window:

I was immediately intrigued. The colors were so bright, so primary, and the characters were so simple - yet I was mesmerized by this painting. We went in and inquired about the artist.

His name is Coplu, and he has done some magnificent work. Roy and I definitely overstayed our welcome, sitting on the couch in the back room and looking at the Coplu pieces:

The pictures here just don't do the paintings justice; they were absolutely beautiful and perfect in person - so perfect that Roy and I were seriously considering paying $3000 for the piece we saw in the window. The girl who was helping us was really pushing us to buy it (naturally) - she kept calling it the most perfect Valentine's Day gift, and you know, she was probably right. But I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money, no matter how damn beautiful the painting was or how much I wanted it. So we left - reluctantly.

And we went to Cafe Andree for dinner.

I took some pictures of our food, but they didn't turn out very well due to everything being so dimly lit. So here, have some (really grainy) pictures of us instead:

Dinner was good - not stellar, but very good. We enjoyed ourselves, and then we went back to the hotel. Of course, I kept thinking about the painting all night. All $3000 of it. I realized that I would have accepted it if Roy had bought it for me without my knowing about it, but that I would never be able to spend $3000 on something "nonfunctional" for myself. (I put nonfunctional in quotes, because I do feel that art and beauty do serve a purpose.)

I'm still not sure if we made the "right" decision in not buying it. We certainly can't afford a $3000 painting, but it sure was beautiful. I won't forget the way I felt while looking at it. And I suppose that's what art and beauty are all about; no amount of money you spend can harness the feeling you get when you see something truly beautiful.

(I'm still hoping Coplu will do children's books as his next project. I think his style would be perfect.)

Day 2 recap coming soon!


jake said...

We're just really...busy! That's it. No, not really. But we always care what you write. Always above-average and with interesting photos! Actually, you never cease to entertain. I'm very glad to be a subscriber. Thanks for keeping the posts coming! Now if I can just get people to vote on this crazy poll of mine!

Peace holmes,

phairhead said...

not me. i almost always comment. : )

love the bridge shot. it feels clausterphobic. and thx for turning me on to a new artist. "Fire Ant" is brillant

amber said...

hey! i grew up in the bay area and now the 80 and the bay bridge well. SF is a pain in the ass to drive around in though. i'm glad you were able to make the best of it. :)

JennB said...

Oy I've been so busy, but I still read your blog! Looks like your trip is fun

Brenda said...

Oh how I miss the bay area. :( That art work was so amazing! I've been crazy busy at work. I still love you and I still read your blog even if I don't comment all the time :)

Angie Eats Peace said...

Gawd, I am loving all that art. I am eager for the next post, it gives me a taste of SF.

Nanette said...

Still reading! Just being a bad commenter. Meh.

kim said...

I love that last picture of you and Roy!