Saturday, March 5, 2011

Guess Where I Am?

Almond Croissant & Coffee
Haight Street Whole Foods

Did you guess San Francisco? That's right, boys and girls, I'm still here in the City of Love...oh, no, wait, that's Philadelphia. San Francisco is the City of Haight, where the Summer of Love was celebrated, just blocks from the garage where my cat lives inside of my RV and the hotel where I am living, probably until Monday or Tuesday.

Recap: If you've been following my blog, you know that I had planned to spend one night at an RV park in Pacifica, just south of San Francisco, about two weeks ago. After that I was going to visit friends in Santa Cruz and meander down the Central California Coast. However, my engine overheated on the rise that leads to the Pacifica exit and it turned out I needed a new engine. Then, about a week later when I got stuck at about the same place, we found out that the new engine was defective, so I was here a second week getting the second new engine.

Recent Events: On Thursday, I moved out of the hellish rooming house and went to pick up The Guppy at the garage. It was ready and the new engine runs so smoothly, it purrs. I drove around San Francisco, testing whether it had any trouble stalling out or with idling in low gears, at low speeds, up hills, etc. No problems! So I picked up Sonja from the deluxe cat spa and started to head out of town. Took the Great Highway south along the coast and got to the same hill that had buffaloed me on my last two attempts to escape San Francisco, and whaddyaknow...suddenly the gas pedal hit the floor and the engine was racing! I put on the brake, pulled over to the shoulder, and let the engine stall out, then called the garage to come out and tow me back to town.

The accelerator problem is a new problem, not related to the engine replacements. It's due to an old, rusted-out accelerator cable that needs to be replaced. It's a fairly straightforward job that should just take a couple of hours, but the problem is finding the part. Apparently accelerator cables for my particular vehicle aren't something you'll find at a standard parts store, and the used ones that the garage has been able to uncover at various wrecking yards are just as old and rusty as the one they removed from The Guppy. So now we are waiting for the part to come directly from a Toyota factory, hopefully on Monday.

So I'm back to living in the Stanyan Park Hotel, a couple of blocks from the garage. Fortunately the garage has paid me 100% of my expenses for the six days I was delayed due to the defective replacement engine, plus they have comped all of my tows. Right now, since the current problem isn't the garage's fault, I'm back to paying for my own hotel and other expenses. And I considered going to a cheaper place, such as a hostel, but I decided instead to concentrate on my eBay sales and just try to make enough money to meet this weekend's expenses. So I'm listing about 50 vintage designer scarves today.

I wasn't going to write another blog entry until I got out of San Francisco, because I felt like there just wasn't much to say. But My Favorite Sister Sharon said she'd looked for news of me on my blog all week and she was pretty sure everybody would want to know what I'm doing and that I'm okay. Sharon says my stay here is part of my journey, and, who knows, it may be a really important part of it. I have certainly learned acceptance, patience, and being okay with having little control over things, especially with this most recent return to the garage.

My Best Friend Helen says she thinks I'm not supposed to go to Pacifica--maybe I'm supposed to take the freeway to Santa Cruz instead of the coastal route. I dunno. I'm just taking it a day at a time, trying not to have expectations. I do know I'm a lot luckier than most of the other people who are staying at this particular hotel--it's near the children's hospital, and a lot of families are here to be close to their babies who have serious health problems.

I went to the Goodwill and a few other stores in Haight-Ashbury to buy some clean clothes and other things to make my stay here more comfortable. Now I have a real plate and silverware for the food I can purchase about a block away at Whole Foods, plus bubble bath and a small candle...might as well make the most of my stay in a hotel, I figure. I've learned a lot about what I need to keep in my "exit bag" for situations like these.

Almond Croissant Reviews: During the days I stayed at the San Francisco Guest House on Geary Blvd., I often had coffee at the Royal Ground, a coffee shop across the street. They serve a nearly mystical almond croissant. It had substantial, chewy, almost sourdough-like pastry with just a hint of almond paste in the center...just enough to keep you wanting more. So good I had it two days in a row.

The almond croissant pictured at the top of this blog entry is from Whole Foods on Haight. I don't know whether Whole Foods gets their pastries from local bakers or if they serve the same ones nationwide. The one I got here in San Francisco, I'm naming the Mucho Crustini, because it had so much edible matter (almonds, almond paste, and I'm not sure what else) spread on top. It also had more almond paste inside than I care for. Excessive on all counts. I probably would've liked it better back when I was a kid and liked gooey excessive things.

That said, I'm going for a walk in Golden Gate Park, probably to the De Young Museum for the afternoon. Then it's back to work on that pile of eBay scarves!


  1. It sounds like you have a good attitude and learning patience is definitely a good things. I for one, love any blog you write....much more fun reading about your frustrations than thinking about my own..ha ha... Now I'm DROOLING over almond croissants... :)
    God bless Sue....happy trails...

  2. I agree - one day at a time, and yes, others are going through bad things also. Seems everyone has something they are going through and have to learn from. Almond Pastries are my favorite, also.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, Rebecca and Teri!

  4. I'm with YFS Sharon - even though it sucks still being in SFO, at least we want to hear of your adventures while you are there. You rock!
    YBF - Helen

  5. go up that same hill and stop and take a pic of the backside of it when you finally escape San Fran. The skinny roads are the funnest roads. i used to live in Santa Cruz, maybe you will be able find some elephant seals on the beaches north of Santa Cruz. i forget what time of year they show up.
    Also , when you see a bunch of cars parked on the side along the coast road and no obvious access to the beach . And then you wonder " why are all these cars here ?" that will be a nude beach.


  7. Wish I was there with you!! It would be more fun for both of us!

    YFS Sharon