I'm in San Francisco for a couple of days for a meeting with my publisher.
I love typing that--it sounds so impressive! Stephen King needn't worry about losing his place on the bestseller lists, though; this is a textbook I'm co-writing with 7 other people. Nevertheless, the publisher is paying to put us up at a swanky hotel, the Hotel Vitale. It's a new place with a minimalist/spa theme. The bathroom (complete with shower with a "rainforest shower head") is bigger than the bedroom in my first apartment. From my room I can watch the ferries coming and going across the street.
Watching the ferries reminds me of the time Thing 1 and I spent a couple days in the city when she was almost 5. I told her a friend was going to take the ferry to have lunch with us. Thing 1's eyes got very big, and she started jumping up and down with excitement, shouting, "A ferry, a ferry!" I was puzzled for a few moments, then I realized what she was actually shouting was, "A fairy, a fairy!" and she was picturing Diana showing up accompanied by someone with wings and a pink tutu. Of course, this being San Francisco, that wasn't so unlikely, but I did have to explain the situation to a disappointed child.
Anyway, I don't actually have to be available for the meeting until this evening, but I wasn't about to waste an opportunity to spend a day in one of my favorite cities. So I checked in early and then headed over to the Ferry Building, where I rounded up a strange and delicious lunch (risotto tartlet, organic blood oranges, and salt caramel from Recchiuti for dessert--these ought to be a controlled substance). This was a balanced meal, considering I once took Thing 1 to Ghirardelli and we had sundaes for dinner.
After lunch, I walked up Mission and paid a visit to one of my favorite yarn stores in the world, ArtFibers. ArtFibers sells only their own yarns, which you can't buy anywhere else. The store is fun, too. They have lots of swatches, and they encourage you to sit down and try out any yarn you want. I fell in love with Fauve, a cotton/hemp yarn with sections of shiny nylon. One of the employees sat down with me and custom-designed a pattern to my specifications. They do this for free, and even have a tape measure handy to help with measurements.
Happily sated on yarn, I wandered over to Gumps and daydreamed about being able to hand over $10,000 for a lovely glass vase. Then I headed back down Market, stopping at a newsstand to admire the magazines and pick up a bottle of Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray. I know, celery soda sounds gack-producing, but I like the stuff, and it's hard to find. During my walk, which was probably a little over a mile, I passed 9 different Starbucks. Nine. And that's not counting any on adjoining blocks.
So now I'm back in my room, Cel-Ray in hand. I love hotels, especially when they have wifi, and especially when someone else is paying for them.