47° 36.792 N
122° 19.985 W
Need another hint? Here’s a photo collage of six places I found during a four-block walk from the hotel.
Waking up at 3am, I’m not even sure if I went to sleep, because last I checked the clock, it was well after 2am. We got to the Marin Airporter in Larkspur for the first trip of the day (4am). It made 3 stops along the way, including a seemingly unnecessary stop about 300 feet from a previous stop. The TSA says to get to the airport 3 hours before your flight, which we did. E-ticket check-in went quickly, as did security, so we had over 3 hours to wait until our flight. At the next gate, I saw an earlier flight to the same destination and asked about getting on that one, having no checked baggage, which meant we were placed on stand-by to get there two hours early. Since we had planned to have breakfast at SFO, we elected to eat small at our destination airport, then finish breakfast in town.
Arriving two hours early, our first meal was off the Burger King breakfast menu. After walking all the way across the airport terminal to the exit, we took public transportation to downtown, getting to the hotel about 3 hours before normal check-in time. We were still able to check in and drop off our stuff, then checked email in the hotel’s “business center” before going walking. I have to bring my laptop to the business center to connect, as I don’t want to pay $9.95 a day for wireless access in the room.
Coffee shops are more prevalent here than ABC Stores in Honolulu. We wandered through countless blocks to look for places to visit later, such as bookstores and a place to stock up on drinks and/or snacks, including toothpaste (not being able to bring any on the plane). Lunch was at a large mall food court (Westlake Mall), a 1-item combo (how does that work?) at Thai Go! You get Pud Thai (this is how they spelled it), steamed rice, an egg roll, and your 1 item, I chose lemon chicken and nothing to drink. I was tempted to get a bubble tea drink, but chose to wait until another time.
It might be weird to be working in the neighboring office buildings to look out your window and see people eating all day, as the food court seating area is on the fourth floor and very visible from outside.
The waterfront is packed with tourists and tourist-oriented shops, nothing unusual there. The water didn’t look too clean, and was litter-filled, sadly as expected. I made a souvenir stamped penny and bought a couple of postcards (from a girl resembling Mia Kirshner, even down to the voice), one to keep and one to send. Who wants it?
We plan to visit the aquarium, and walking back to the downtown area, I saw a woman (later discovered to be named Susan, unless she lied to me) with an aquarium gift shop bag and asked if she just came from there and what she recommended we see. It turned out that she was a volunteer there and after chatting, she gave us a free admission ticket, so we only have to buy one admission. Combine this with the $1 bill I found in the food court, 50 cents I found in the video arcade, and another dime and 9 pennies found through the day, and we’ve not done too bad on spare change. How much money will we find tomorrow? Stay tuned!
On the way back, we stopped at Rite-Aid for toothpaste and snack stuff. One 3-liter bottle of Big Fizz! Orange-flavored soda, two small bottles of fruit juice and a small bag of chips for snack, then it was back to the hotel for a break. It felt like a full day and it wasn’t even 3pm (which means the trip is 12 hours old already). However, I’ve been able to get by on little sleep for years (I never get affected by jet lag either, but that isn’t relevant for this trip, I just want to brag).
Dinner at the Fox Sports Grill was excellent. I was in the mood for salad, and they had a Caesar salad. However, all the walking and extended hours day meant a salad may not be enough food. So Rachael (another good-looking girl as well, lucky day for me) brought me a Chop House Burger (1/3 pound Angus beef burger) with seasoned fries and a side Caesar salad. After dinner, we sat upstairs for a few minutes to watch real football on the LCD screens. Then a quick walk to take a couple more photos for the collage you clicked on at the beginning of this entry (you did click on it, right?).