I got up, did my usual coffee-rushing, and we got food at Le Cafe Powell (which can only be said with a ridiculous French accent). We boarded the N train to Ocean Beach, because we were determined to see the coast before we left.
The train took an hour, but we made it. It dropped us right at the beach bathrooms, which were scary but also necessary. It wasn’t as cold at the beach as we expected.
We walked a long ways along the water. I was searching for whole sand dollars and beach glass, both of which are usually hard to find but seemed in abundance there. Stephanie was freaking out over the jellyfish, especially when we found a huge one laying there, still quivering. We tried to decide whether it was still alive, and whether it made sense to try to push it back into the ocean. It washed back out anyway, and by now has probably stung an unsuspecting surfer.
My favorite find was the mini-pumpkin with ‘ADDICTION’ scrawled on it in Sharpie marker. What did that mean? Was it some kind of therapy? Write your issue on a gourd and toss it into the ocean? I found it fascinating. I threw it back, on the off chance it might help the victim somehow.
We walked up to the corner of Golden Gate Park, by the weird giant windmill, and caught the bus back to Market Street. It’s a mighty pleasant neighborhood a few blocks down, one where you walk fast and don’t, under any circumstances, make eye contact. We picked up our bags, rolled them down to the BART station, and took the train to the airport. We had to walk about 30 miles to the terminal, since apparently Northwest Airlines hasn’t been keeping up with its protection money payments.
After going through security and discovering they had removed all the food from our terminal, we walked 30 miles back to the main one, shopped at the SFMOMA store (since we didn’t get to the real thing), and ate a veggie burger at BJ. Yes, BJ.
When we got back to the gate, we hung out for a while until they announced they had moved our gate. We went to that one and it was packed with tired-looking Minnesotans. They told us the plane was overbooked. I went to ask the desk people about my meal, wanting to switch it from diabetic to vegetarian, which has better odds for me. The guy told me they didn’t do special meals anymore. I asked if that meant it was safe for everyone, and he didn’t know. I bought some trail mix at the shop just in case.
When they served dinner, our choices were salami (which ended up being pepperoni, to Stephanie’s dismay), and turkey sandwiches. I asked the flight attendant if they had a vegetarian meal. She looked at me as if I had just told her I was hijacking the plane to Venezuela. She said, ‘Well! This has mineral water and carrots, and this protein bar thing.’ I took my meal, since she made me feel as if not accepting it could land me in some trouble with the law.
Within an hour, I had run out of knitting. This was a crappy old 757, not the pimped-out A330 that had just the other day been built specially for us, so there was no in-seat chick flick or overdetailed map to enjoy. I read the in-flight magazine with Lily Tomlin on the cover. I perused the gift catalog with immense interest, offering to buy my sister half the useless junk for Christmas. She seemed to enjoy being interrupted from her reading every 5 minutes.
With an hour and a half left to go, I was bored to death. I took photos out the airplane window. I wrote a poem. I wrote down the pattern for the throw pillows I was making, because I just made it up but they were coming out beautifully. I ate some trail mix. I interrupted Stephanie some more. I organized my bag. I kept trying to check the time on my phone, and kept finding it turned off. I peered out the window at South Dakota, and finally Minnesota. And then we were home, and it was even colder than in California.