I Left My Heart You Know Where

Wow! It's been 11 days since my last post, that's probably the longest I've ever gone. But, I have a good excuse: I was in San Francisco without a computer. One week ago today I was strolling the pier of Fisherman's Wharf, contemplating what delicacy would satisfy me that night (frankly, I consider any food that I don't have to cook a delicacy). After three-and-a-half days, which include plenty of sightseeing (but not nearly enough) and great conference for graduate admissions professionals, I headed back on the red-eye via Chicago on Friday night. For the next couple of minutes, though, I'd like to savor some highlights of my great trip!

After arriving around noon last Tuesday, I checked into my hotel, the Hilton at Union Square (no, Annalisse, Paris Hilton was not there), and headed down to the lounge for a quick lunch. After lunch, I went for a nice walk until I reached Pier 1, the Ferry Port, which was about 20 minutes from the hotel. I went into some shops and found a great farmer's market, then arranged to meet some friends for dinner (and got a chance to watch the sea lions at Pier 39). By dinner time, which was around 10pm "my time," I was really dragging. One thing I will say about the time changed: it really kicked my butt!

The really funny thing was that this city reminded me of so many songs that it drove me a little crazy. It all started when I was in the taxi on the way to the hotel, and I saw the sign for "San Jose," (Do you know the way?), then a friend pointed out that Sausalito was just across the bay (Sausalito Summernight - Diesel - 1981...anyone?). And, of course, my pals, after a few drinks, resorted to "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Simply maddening.

On Wednesday, I had a 1/2 day to explore before I had to check in at the conference, so, after waking up at 3:30am and not being able to fall asleep, my friend Carlos and I headed out on the 9:10 ferry to Alcatraz. I would have to say, visiting Alcatraz was probably the sightseeing highlight of my trip. That place was very cool, and the mood was just right: a dark, overcast, windy, rainy day. The second "touristy" highlight was taking a trolley car. I really enjoyed the walkability of the city, and spent some time browsing the high end shops around the hotel and a stroll though Chinatown.

For the next two days I attended my conference, and caught up with friends and colleagues. We went out for some great meals (I felt a lot of pressure to eat Seafood while in SF, which is not really a problem since I LOVE SEAFOOD), and had a lot of laughs. Because I didn't really have very much time for sightseeing, I definitely would like to visit again to hit the spots I missed, and also to rent a car and take a couple of day trips.

And lastly, alright, I'LL SAY IT, I wish I had brought Mark and the kids along. Although Mark spent five weeks in SF for training when he first joined Oracle in 1996, I knew they would really enjoy all the sights and fun things to do. Maybe next time!

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