Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Down and Out in San Francisco--Well, Sort Of...

Almond Croissant, The Coffee Roastery, San Francisco

Tuesday, February 22, 2011~San Francisco, California

I haven't written for a couple of days because I've been very busy in San Francisco. This wasn't my plan. On Sunday, I was heading into San Francisco and was planning to spend just one night at an RV park in Pacifica. But when I was just short of arriving at my destination, The Guppy began to make a high keening noise and then it overheated. I pulled over to the side of the freeway and let the engine cool off, then put water in the radiator. No dice, the vehicle would not start. So then I had to call AAA to get towed back into San Francisco to a garage.

By the time we dropped off The Guppy, it was dark and I was really tired and disappointed. I found a hotel near the garage and stayed there one night. The next morning, I found out that my RV needed a new engine and that it would take a couple of days for the work to be done (as well as it costing so much that I will have doubled my investment in The Guppy, not that I'll ever be able to resell it for that much).

Lucky for me, I have a childhood friend, Joni, who lives here in San Francisco and she took me in. My kitty, Sonja, is still living in the RV, in the garage. I figured she would be better off there, because she has her food, water, litter box, and the environs that she's become familiar with over the past week.

Joni is semi-retired and does a lot of interesting volunteer work. I was fortunate to arrive at a time when she was in town and not terribly busy, and she's been the most wonderful host, showing me the city and helping me find my way around with maps and bus routes and so on. This morning, Joni and I walked to The Roastery for coffee, where they serve a very respectable almond croissant--excellent pastry, a little short on the almond paste filling. Then Joni headed off to get her hair cut (doesn't she look great?), while I went to an A.A. meeting at The Dry Dock.

Afterward, I spent most of the day walking around the city. I walked all the way up Fillmore to Haight, then headed towards Golden Gate Park, shopping at thrift stores and vintage shops all the way. I found a lot of great inventory to sell on eBay, about a dozen designer silk neckties and about 10 designer silk scarves. I'm also going to sell some scarves for Joni, who doesn't have to dress up so much now that she doesn't go to an office every day. If I get all these things sold, it will add up to, hmm, maybe five percent of the cost of a new engine...

It's disappointing to be delayed on my trip and to have such a huge expense to cover, but I'm really trying to make the best of the situation. And, really, if you have to get stuck somewhere with your vehicle in the shop, San Francisco is a beautiful place for that to happen. Today it was sunny and I must have walked five miles. I could have taken buses, but I really enjoyed the sights along my walk, especially the beautiful USF campus, where I stopped for an afternoon cuppa Joe.

Joni and I had a fabulous seafood meal at Scoma's down at the Fisherman's Terminal, and we are planning to go to an art museum tomorrow morning before my Dolphin is ready for me to move on. I hope to be at New Brighton State Beach in Santa Cruz before dark tomorrow night. K84thihyg myytshi8eht crosweiud--whoops, that was supposed to read, "Keeping my fingers crossed," but, you know, I really can't type very well when I cross my fingers...

Gotta share these fun pictures of a "recreational vehicle" that I saw along my travels, the One-Log House in Garberville that I stopped at on my way to San Francisco. This log was hollowed out in the 1940s and was trucked around to be displayed to people on a semi truck for a while, but then came to rest (at several places previous to its current location) due to lack of funds to keep moving it. It looked like a delightful place to live, kind of like being a chipmunk or something.


  1. Fabulous Sue! I am so happy you are keeping everything in perspective and just enjoying the walk!! Looking fwd to nest installment! Life is never what one expects, eh?? Hugs Drinda

  2. Sue,

    What are they saying was so bad the entire engine needed to be replaced? Did they say "short block" or "long block"? What scares me is when a woman goes into a mechanics shop, more often than not the mechanic see's dollar signs and claims more is wrong than there really is.

    I would ask him specifically what's wrong with the current engine. If you want to contact me to discuss maybe I can help lower the cost unless it's too late by now and they have already finished the process.

    Comment on my last post at http://eriksrantz.blogspot.com/ and I'll get emailed. I don't want to post my email here because it's my work email.

    Good luck and if you feel the mechanic is being honest I meant no dis-respect. It's just I know how that industry works first hand so I try to help out when I can.

    Good luck and I hope they do an excellent job!


  3. Sue,

    Responding here.
    Good to hear, I hope the engine replacement goes perfectly and the Dolphin rewards you in new found power and more MPG!

    Good luck!

  4. More MPG would really be appreciated!