San Francisco, the Last Part.


On Thursday, we awoke with one goal in mind — to bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge.  We made our way via train and streetcar down to Fisherman's Wharf, whereupon we rented equipment from some Irish blokes who were friendly enough and well-meaning, but had poor communication skills.  At one point I threw my hands in the air in exasperation and exclaimed, 'Just give us our money back so we can go somewhere else, if you don't have the right equipment!'  I probably added a few expletives in there for good measure.  But eventually they understood which equipment we wanted and to which bikes we wanted it attached, and we were on our way.

The weather was gorgeous — it was one of the two days in San Francisco without fog during our trip.  We rode along the wharf and then along Crissy Field.  As we were going up the steep, winding road to the bridge itself, my bike chain fell off the sprockets and I was left literally spinning my pedals, going nowhere.  Curses!  We stopped, Greg fixed them, and we carried on.  However, my gears were never the same.  They slipped the rest of the trip. 

At the top of the hill we stopped at the visitor's center.  I changed Ethan's diaper in the trailer I was towing because there was a long line for the women's restroom and the men's, well, it was plumb closed.  Then we headed on across the bridge.

Ethan liked the ride, but hated riding on the bridge, I think because of the close proximity of the cars whizzing by.  He was frightened and screaming, and the bridge was terribly crowded with pedestrians and cyclists alike, most of whom did not follow the ONE BASIC RULE of U.S. travel — keeping to the right except to pass (folks, it's the rule for a reason — good order — and it's just as valid when you're a pedestrian as when you're on wheels).  Therefore, the trip took a good while, and because we were intent on making it across the bridge as quickly as possible, we were far ahead and unavailable to assist when my mother fell off her bicycle.  I'm afraid we've not heard the end of that yet (sorry, Mom!).

Once we reached the other end of the bridge, we set our bikes in a higher gear (well, except mine, because by that time it didn't seem to matter what gear I was in — it would alternate between, say, 3rd and 7th as it pleased) and flew down the hill into Sausalito.

Sausalito is gorgeous.  It's right on the bay, and though I hear it is nearly always foggy, on this day we had a reprieve.  We coasted all the way down to the ferry terminal where we parked and locked our bikes in anticipation of finding a little restaurant in downtown Sausalito where we could grab lunch before boarding the ferry back to the Wharf.

As I bicycled past the little restaurants, I had noticed one which advertised a crab sandwich.  All week long I'd had a hankering for crab of some sort, so I thought that would be a great place.  Unfortunately, that was not to be (I will post about that separately).  But the restaurant next door also had a crab sandwich (a very good one, I might add) and so we all was not lost.  We returned the bikes without incident.

That evening, we had pizza and Ethan held his own at the dinner table:


Friday morning we finished packing up, Greg and I had breakfast at an awesome little crepe place, and we headed for the airport.  We even got a chuckle out of the scolding my mother received from the automated voice on the automated people mover that she should "move out of the doorway.  You are delaying the departure of this train."  Everything went swimmingly until we were actually on the flight when Laurel was seated behind Crazy Lady.  Crazy Lady could not be pleased.  First she asked Anita to tell Laurel to stop kicking her seat (Laurel did kick her seat once on accident).  Most people would overlook one kick, but not Crazy Lady.  Crazy Lady then asked to be seated elsewhere (I think she believed the turbulence was Laurel kicking her seat), but there was nowhere else to go, so she wandered up and down the aisle.  When the in-flight movie was announced, Crazy bought some earphones and then returned them, asking for her money back.  When the flight attendants came with the cart, Crazy Lady did not want to buy their bag of chips but asked the attendant to get her personal bag of chips from her carryon in the overhead bins.  The attendant did so (oh, but you could tell it was all she could do to be civil) and then left the carryon unzipped.  Crazy made her get back in the bin and close the bag.  This went on for the entire flight.  At least she was entertaining.

Meanwhile, Greg and I were trying to get fussy Ethan to nap.  I knew the only way to do this was to pretend I was napping myself, in hopes he would follow suit.  He did, but not before we fielded dirty looks from Dog Man.  Dog Man was sitting in front of us and across the aisle, with his dog in a crate next to him.  At one point he gave me an outright glare, but I opened my eyes from my faux nap and stared him down.  He must have recognized my inner vigilante, because he quickly turned away.  Mom told Greg that he was glancing back and shaking his head, though.  Had I known that, perhaps I'd have offered to switch seats with him to see if he could do better.

At any rate, Ethan fell asleep and the rest of the flight (other than Crazy's antics) was uneventful.

I think we were all very glad to be back in Missouri.  I know I was.

The End.