Tues. July 16, 2019:
Toronto flight to San Francisco, California:
This trip had been a long time coming. We had not seen Brent’s sister in years and we had both our wedding and hers to celebrate. Plus, despite two trips to San Francisco we had yet to go to a Giants game. It was due time.
Because I was coming to the airport straight from work (morning half-shift), I got to the airport four hours early. I assumed that I could find a place to sit at Starbucks in Terminal 3 while I waited for Brent. Nope. The whole airport was crammed and I ended up sitting outside on a low ledge. It was not ideal for my knees but at least I could read in peace. That did not last very long. Some guy had decided that this was the place- just outside of the airport doors- to clip his nails. While standing beside a luggage cart. I bailed and went inside, doing another lap looking for seats. Still no luck. I went back outside but this time sat outside a door closer to Wendy’s and far away from the gross guy. There was a guy standing in the road looking at his phone. A truck pulled up and honked at it him, like get out of the way! He looks up from his phone, clearly annoyed and walks back to the sidewalk- then continues giving the truck the stink eye and keeps making like he is going to go over and yell at them. Because they honked at him. Because he was standing in the road. In their way.
At Wendy’s we split an order of the bacon jalapeno cheese fries. They were good but they quickly got to be a bit heavy and too much. It would have been nice to have a half portion of that and a half portion of regular fries to alternate. When I had checked the status of our flight online earlier it said that the wait at security was 2 minutes. I thought surely that had to have been a typo. It was not, we were through so fast. And then it all came to an abrupt halt as we inched towards customs. That line was about 30 minutes waiting. Meaning neither of us won the bet, I had said 20min, Brent had said 40min. we also bet on which border guard we would get and of the three, it was the one neither of us had chosen. In my defence I did not know he was an option as at first it seemed like there were only two and I swear he was a late addition.
We had been at Terminal 1 just a few weeks ago and now I was all set to go and find that Sprite lemonade I had seen. Except it was nowhere to be found. I did manage to get another new soda flavour so that tamped down my fomo a bit. The cherry sorbet Coke was like cherry coke and vanilla coke mixed together, but it was too heavy on the vanilla for my enjoyment. We were lucky to have no delays, despite a momentary downpour that seemed like it would cause trouble.
We had seats in the exit row. At first it seemed great, so much leg room and it’s only two seats so no strangers! Except we only had one TV and it was too far to reach. I rotated through reading a chapter of my Patient H.M. book, listening to CrimeTown podcast and playing Mario Odyssey. We soon discovered another annoyance to exit row seats: the bathroom people. They saw fit to use our extra leg room space as a waiting space. One lady asked if she could sneak by us to look out the window. It is a tiny can’t-see-anything-out-of-it window on an emergency exit! Worse still were the periodic whiffs when the bathroom door opened. Once again, we were not given snacks on our Air Canada flight. Where’s my little bag of pretzels?! I had sort of anticipated this after Cuba, so I came prepared (overprepared?) with Bulk Barn snacks. The peanut butter M&Ms were a disappointment, I couldn’t find the Reese’s Pieces so I got those a substitute but it brought the whole mix (regular M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces peanuts) down.
Once in the airport, the BART was easy enough to find, despite the misleading signs pointing us to an out-of-order train. It was about a 30minute ride to Oakland and thankfully we did not have to switch lines. Our hotel was two streets over. We dropped our stuff in the hotel, remarked on the hamster-cage smell of our room and immediately headed back out. The plan was to meet Cait & John at Beer Revolution for one drink. It was close to 9pm, we were on East coast time and they both had to work the next day. The walk over was quite sketchy. A (cute) brown rat ran across our way. Things got way better once we cleared the underpass, it was completely different and more gentrified on this side.
Beer Revolution was everything I had hoped it would be. I found out about when I googled where to find Pliny the Elder beer. It did not disappoint and I even picked up some home decor ideas (a bar top of beer caps encased in polymer resin, a keg used as a table with a matching top). You can almost definitely tell a bar is going to be good if they have a giant chalkboard with an overwhelming amount of hard-to-read beer names. They didn’t have Pliny on tap… but they had it in bottles in the fridge! The bartender gently and skillfully removed the caps with minimal damage and I was able to add to my collection. I had a guava cider, aptly named You’ve Guava Be Kidding Me. It was nice and refreshing and totally hit the spot. One drink quickly turned into two. No complaints here, they had a blackberry sour from Almanac brewery on tap. It was decidedly not that sour, yet still really good. Was I starting to like beer? What’s a third drink if you’re already comfy and settled in? Seven Stills had a gimlet beer on tap with cucumber, lime and juniper berries. I never in my life thought I would have this complaint about a beer, but it was too cucumber-y.
The walk back felt far less sketchy. It may have been all the liquid courage we had imbibed. By the end I’d had 3 beers and Brent had 4.5 (he helped John finish his second Pliny). A girl hopped off her skateboard and it rolled towards us so Brent pushed it back to her. The beer combined with the lack of food and time change gave us a walloping. In the night Brent was asking me if I was “Ontario OK?” and I was very confused.