"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6/22/08: San Francisco


I'm not sure when I'll be able to update again, but we're headed toward San Francisco later this afternoon. My plan is to Couchsurf, but that seems unlikely because of the short notice so I'll probably just try to get across the Golden Gate Bridge toward Marin County/Sausalito and wing it from there continuing up Highway 1.

I'll update when I can, just a reminder that all of last week's stuff has been added to/expanded. Worth re-reading if you haven't yet!

EDIT 11:30 pm: Well, that was quick. Hello from San Francisco!

We all left the KOA at about noon and headed to Rio Del Mar State Beach in Santa Cruz for a day of relaxation before the 90 mile drive to San Francisco. For whatever reason, I chose to simply hang out in the RV for the day out of the sun, and just chill. I wound up checking my email for responses to my Couchsurf requests and talking to Laina at length about possibly cutting this leg of the trip short to return home to work for a few weeks to compensate for the loss of my security deposit money, that was of course unwisely counted on!

We decided that it just doesn't make sense to stop just yet. This has thrown a major kink in the plan, but more by way of removing a nice little safety net for things like purchasing pants when the crotch seam splits in one pair, and the other gets covered in tar...which happened, of course. I guess I'd better learn to sew.

So, I'm pressing onward. I had never even considered heading back before all this came up, but in reality the main problem is that I'm coming in over budget every week. If that weren't the case, this would really make no difference. Obviously I know what to address.

The drive from Santa Cruz to San Francisco was spent repacking the backpack and re-configuring my brain to road-mode after RV surfing for 3 days. I didn't really pay that close attention to the landscape between the repacking and playing with Paul.

 Just before we got into San Francisco I got an email from Couchsurfers Chloe and Greg that I had a place to stay for tonight AND Monday night. Happy times! That would mean no sleeping beneath trees in Sausalito AND I could see a bit of the city AND possibly surf long enough to stick around for THE Gay Pride Parade in San Fran next weekend! I mean, come on...when will I ever get a chance to see THAT again?!?!?

Florian made a stop to finally get his currency exchanged...at a hefty price...and spent another half hour trying to just find a parking place. In the meantime I connected with my surfer hosts and got directions to their place. I disembarked my new favorite RV and my first RV surfing experience came to a close. Florian, Veronika, and Paul were all hungry so Florian invited me in to Mel's Diner for a goodbye meal. I felt bad about taking more from them, but quickly realized how hungry I was and figured it would be too late (and I was too poor) to get anything anywhere else in this expensive city. So I ordered a big ol' burger and prepared to take my leave of my new friends.

We walked up the street a bit further together until he found a Starbucks where he could get Internet to check their plane reservations and that was it. We had exchanged information earlier, so we shook hands, hugged, they invited me to see them in Munich whenever I get there and we parted ways. I'm going to miss them. These are truly the type of people who enhance any experience, and like Pat, I felt lucky to have been able to spend time with them, let alone 3 days and a ride from near Hearst Castle all the way to San Francisco. Hopefully I'll be able to see them again.

I continued walking up Geary street and eventually asked some firemen directions to my surfers street. I crossed Market Street, seeing familiar sights all around from our trip here in 2003. I found 5th St., and eventually their loft with little trouble. Greg had given me solid directions, which always helps!

I am Chloe and Greg's first Couchsurfer although they have another coming in Tuesday from Brazil and staying for a WEEK! They're jumping in head first, eh? Nine straight days of CSers. Wow. We got acquainted over some beers and a fruit/Vodka concoction as I doted on their cats (of course). They are really nice people, with a very comfortable place. They also have a 2 1/2 year-old son. Lotsa cats and kids on this trip!

Tomorrow we may go to Chinatown, then REI right around the corner to see about exchanging my shoes to alleviate the blister problem. No REAL plans though. Also send off a couple CS requests for the rest of the week.