Tuesday, January 5, 2010

She's Baaaack

Hello from the sunbelt.  I have returned from my great adventure. While travel may still be enjoyable for some, it is not so for me.  My hearing loss and unsteady gait make it less than fun.  And that is why I call it an adventure.

Someday this will be a funny story that my children will tell to all and sundry about when Mom got off the plane at the wrong airport.  I think I can even laugh about it now, but at the time it was definitely not amusing.

I failed to check my boarding information before I left and, like a typical person who knows all the answers, I failed to ask questions.  I was under the false impression that my flight was a through one and had no stops.  Wrong!   I was en route to Oakland, CA and when the plane arrived at the gate I assumed I was there.  (Bear in mind that I can never hear announcements so I am flying blind.  To be technical I am flying deaf.)  Guess what?  I found myself at the luggage carousel in Los Angeles.  I wondered why the wheel chairs had L. A.. airport on their back.  Ha! Ha! 

Of course this goof meant that I had to get a new ticket, go through the check point again and be patted down once more.  If I think I got a thorough inspection in Tucson, I just didn't know what a real one was.  I must have looked like a gray Granny who was about to blow up the plane because I really got a body search.  Bear in mind that this was before the Christmas day Detroit incident.  I never realized that I must look so menacing.

I made it two hours late and my dear daughter was smiling and assured me that my delay was no problem.  She is such a sweetheart.

And so the Christmas adventure began with the trimming of the tree. Gail is placing the lights before the girls start putting ornaments on it.

After Christmas we went to Union Square in San Francisco where they have their tree and ice rink similar to Rockefeller Center in NYC.  I took this photo as we were crossing the Oakland Bay Bridge.

After a lunch of panini sandwiches the girls got skates and took to the rink.  They stopped long enough for me to take their picture.

It was cold and my daughter had brought a throw for me to put over my lap.  No problem there, but it happened to belong to the girls and it had a cartoon dog in the middle.  I was sitting at an outside table waiting while Gail made arrangements for the girls to skate and I pulled the throw up to my chin.  A young man walked by and asked me if this was my blankie.  I had to laugh and decided this might be what is termed 'a second childhood'.

This is the tall tree as it looks in the daytime.  I will show a night version later.

This pillar dominates the center of Union Square.  You can see that it was not a sunny day.   

From Wikipedia I learned the following information  on Union Square: 

Union Square was built and dedicated by San Francisco's first American mayor John Geary in 1850 and is so named for the pro-Union rallies that happened there before and during the United States Civil War. Since then, the plaza underwent many notable changes with the most significant first happening in 1903 with the dedication of a 97 ft (30 m) tall monument to Admiral George Dewey's victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish American War. It also commemorates U.S. President William McKinley, who had been recently assassinated. The figurine at the top of the monument, "Victory", was modeled from the likeness of a local heiress, Alma de Bretteville Spreckels. The second major significant change happened between 1939-1941 when a large underground parking garage was built under the square that relocated the plaza's lawns, shrubs and the Dewey monument to the garage "roof." It was the world's first underground parking garage and was designed by Timothy Pflueger.

The girls take to the ice. Sarah on the left and Rachel in the striped shirt.  I will continue with the story of my adventure on the next post. 


Cowtown Pattie said...

Beautiful girls! I know you are proud.

Glad you made it home safe!

Ugich Konitari said...

Nice pictures. Have never really seen SFO in winter, as the few times i went there (Bay Area) it was always summer . But the bridge did look familiar ....glad you had a great time..Happy New Year !

Joy Des Jardins said...

So glad you're back Darlene...and I love your adventure so far...but not the getting off at the wrong airport. Sorry about that. The girls look wonderful. Hey, looks like you weren't far from where my daughter Jory lives in Oakland....actually Piedmont. Nice pics. Happy New Year dear friend.... ~Joy

Rain said...

Glad you had a good time despite the travel glitches, which sounded pretty scary to me, and thanks for sharing the pictures. The girls are lovely.

Darlene said...

*Cowtown Pattie - Thank you, I am proud. "Tis good to be home.

*Ugich Konitari - Happy New Year to you dear friend.

*Joy Des Jardins - Maybe we can take a trip together to visit our daughters someday. I can dream, can't I? Happy New Year to you, too.

*Rain - You are welcome. I will share more pictures later. Thank you for the compliment on the girls.

Granny Annie said...

So glad you are back! What a great trip despite the wrong debarkation and the unkind security screeners. Hopefully all the PC has changed now and they aren't targeting elderly and children. Your children seem wonderful and obviously treasure you and love you. Can't wait for second edition.

One Woman's Journey said...

Darlene, so happy you are safely home. Some of your comments sound like what I would make. I just do not want to travel anymore - and may not.
Your girls are beautiful.
Take care and rest!!!!

Looking to the Stars said...

Glad you're Back! We hate to travel anymore, sorry you had a glitch in your trip.

The pics are great, I've always loved southern Cal because of the weather but nothern Cal is beautiful too just a tad cooler and windy.

After going on a trip I always feel like I need a vacation to regroup from my vacation :)

I bet you are resting, I usually do. Good to have you back :)

20th Century Woman said...

I think that grannies get searched and patted so that the security people won't be accused of profiling. I wonder how much it costs per granny to search us, just so they can prove themselves politically correct. They must be able to look at you or me and know for an absolute certainty that we are not terrorists.

I am glad you are safe at home, and your girls are indeed lovely.

Paula said...

Happy New Year, Darlene! Welcome home.

Darlene said...

*Grannie Annie - I did feel loved there and it's a great feeling. Thanks, Annie.

*One Woman's Journey - I will pass along your lovely comment to my girls. Thank you.

*Looking to the Stars - You are so right. I do need a vacation from my vacation. Tee Hee!

*20th Century Woman - I didn't mind the patting down, but the way the gal in L. A. patted me down, made me take my neck safe off, etc. was overkill.

Thank you for the compliment on the girls. I will tell them.

+Paula - Happy New Year to you. Thank you for the welcome home.

Kay Dennison said...

What a glorious trip you had!!!!! And welcome back -- I missed you!!!!

Baino said...

Hey Darlene. I have been very slack. So glad you had a nice trip to San Fran. My daughter said it was the closest thing to Sydney that she'd experienced in the US and LOVED it.

la peregrina said...

Hey, your back! I missed you- and all your girls are beautiful. :)

Anonymous said...

Darlene--Although, as you said, it wasn't funny at the time, it surely made your trip more interesting to have debarked at the wrong airport. In the early 1980s, delivering a small plane to Monterey CA, I was forced by the weather to stop in Fresno. The control tower asked me to follow a certain model airplane in for landing, which I did.

It wasn't until the next morning (I had stayed at the motel nearest the airport) that I discovered that I had followed the wrong plane, to the wrong airport. Oh, me!

Ten years later, working in the bay area, I loved exploring the area; but, the only time I drove over the Bay Bridge was in 2007...at night...in the rain...lousy visual conditions. But, I made it to the regional FEMA office that night for my Red Cross volunteer duty during the wildfires that raged farther south. We moved the operation to Pasadena the next morning.

Thanks for the photos, for the memories, and for sharing your family with us.
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