Momma's Spring Break
Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Momma’s Spring Break went well.

I was so traumatized by our missed opportunity with the handsome hunk of a football player on the plane, we knew the only way to get beyond it was to bump up to Club Level, once we made it to our hotel.

Very good decision.

We spent a large chunk of our time, nibbling on delicacies and sipping champagne.

Ahhh-Spring Break the right way.

Our first day was spent, in between champagne breaks, shopping.

That’s not my usual sort of San Fran day. Usually, I’m exploring the city, sightseeing all over that wondrous town.

But, on our first bit of Spring Break-Momma style, we spent the entire day in Chinatown and what a Whoop-It-Up, Spring Break Hot Time we had! The hours flew by as we wandered through Chinatown snatching up fake purses and silk scarves.

My girls adore fake purses. It’s their only shot at looking designer, at least, if it’s coming from my wallet. They love it when their mom returns home with a poorly made Prada.

And when it comes to fake purses, there seems to be some unwritten law about bagging up your customers’ purchases in Hefty Bags. So there we were, happily trudging about Chinatown, looking every bit the well-maintained homeless gals. It was excellent fun until we had to hike up the mountainous hills with our armloads of Hefty Bags.

We didn’t have enough breath or arms to take a picture of that one. I’m regretting it now.

Of course, all that hard work had to be rewarded with more champagne back at the club.

When we were fortified with enough Moet, we decided to wander down to the Ferry Building. The Ferry Building is a beautiful old landmark on the bay. It still houses a ferry terminal, but the building itself has been transformed into an upscale gourmet market.

And if there’s one thing Northern California knows how to do right, it’s upscale, gourmet food.

Since the Ferry Building is located on the Embarcadero, which is on one edge of San Francisco and our champagne sipping was happening on Nob Hill, which is not so close when you’ve been fake purse shopping and champagne sipping all day, we decided to have the ultimate tourist experience and hop on a cable car.

Forgive our cable car picture. There’s a reason behind its blurriness and it doesn’t have anything to do with champagne.

We made friends with our cable car driver. (He’s called a Gripman.) Lance was a lovely man who was genuinely interested in our Momma’s Spring Break story. He was supervising the new guy. (I didn’t get the new guy’s name.) But, since the new guy seemed to be well versed in steering the cable car and operating the enormous, vise-like brake that stops the cars on those steep hills, Lance got to sit down and fill us in on cable car lore.

One of the things we learned is that in the history of cable cars, there has only been one woman who could handle the job of Gripman (woman). Empty of tourists, those cars weigh ten tons.

Ten tons on those hills!

Climbing the hills with my Hefty bags full of fake purses, I'm pretty sure, those plastic trash bags were right at ten tons. I had to take quite a few breaks. Rigorous work, indeed. I can’t imagine how many Hefty bags that Gripwoman would have been able to tote up those hills.

To have the upper body strength to brake at least ten tons on a hill with the slope of a mountain is quite impressive. Even more impressive, was Lance’s route, which took him up California Street right in front of our hotel.

It’s a crazy, steep hill, almost perpendicular in its steepness. Walking it, even without being weighted down with trash bags full of fake purses, will bring on one serious asthma attack even if you don’t have asthma.

Braking a ten-ton streetcar on that hill is the stuff nightmares are made of.

But, Lance was very humble about it, even though a squeeze of his biceps told a different story. When we were almost to the Ferry Building, Lance asked if we had a camera so he could take a picture for us. We had Debbie’s phone, but I told him our picture would only be complete with him next to us.

I looked around the cable car. The only other passenger was a dude eating a sandwich. He was heavily engrossed in his sandwich, so I didn’t want to bother him.

Lance offered up the new guy driver. Before we could object, the new guy driver had stopped the cable car right in the middle of the financial district, hopped off the car and ordered us to say Cheese.

It took him a few minutes to figure out the phone as we yelled instructions to him.

I was a little worried about the traffic holdup and the dude with his sandwich. I apologized to Sandwich Dude who immediately assured me, it was no problem. He had his sandwich.

As soon as the new guy driver got the phone camera to flash, we told him one was all we needed. I’m not sure about San Francisco’s traffic rules, but I know I’d be a tad annoyed to be behind a stopped trolley full of Mommas’ Gone Wild, taking pictures.

Lance asked for a copy of the picture and we took down his number as we all hugged our goodbyes.

My favorite part: We were on hugging terms with our cable car driver.

After wandering through the gorgeous Ferry Building, snacking on Scharffen Berger dark chocolate, we made our way back to our Hotel Club to meet up with the Hubbies and of course, quaff more champagne.

As we were swilling our Bubbly, Debbie’s phone rang.

It was Lance, thanking us for the picture.

I’m so looking him up in June when I return to my fair city. A new rule in my book: Always be on hugging terms with your Gripman.

Today’s Must Have Download: “Keep Breathing” by Ingrid Michaelson, not only a soaring, beauty of a song, it was a motto to live by, when you’re trudging up hills on a 90 degree angle with ten tons of fake purses, stashed in Hefty Bags on your arms.

It’s also on my Ipod, now that I’m back to the real world. San Francisco, beautiful as always. We then went on to Wine Country for a little vino pilgrimage. Gorgeous, delightful times that I keep front and center in my brain as I unpack, clean up the mess and as always….try my best to keep up with my really, mean laundry. Laundry so, hurts my feelings.




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A good time was had by all. My legs still hurt from the climb! Next time, we call Lance to pick us up!!!!

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