12/22/2008

Greetings from a wet San Leandro, CA.

Jared arrived last evening around 8:30pm… his plane ended up being delayed at Midway due to late arrival, weather and a passenger having medical issues. Jared lives in Chicago, and is the “Second Alter Boy of the High Priestess of the Immaculate Winnebago”. He’s visited us before when we were in St. Louis. John had a crock pot full of chili waiting for him… it was good, but quite filling…. We were all hungry and it was tasty…

This morning we took the BART into San Francisco and then the Muni over to Castro street to check out the new Passionate Struggle exhibit put together by the GLBT Historical Society. The exhibit was smaller then I expected, but it was still interesting. They had lots of items that give the story of the GLBT’s existence and struggle through the years. They had a high heel shoe with marabou trim that was thrown at a lesbian cop in the early 1980’s, an Anita Bryant dart board, and lots of odd, quirky items from the 1930’s through the 1990’s. One of my favorite items was one of Sylvester’s pink sequined pant suits – very over the top – made me start humming You make me feel, mighty real…. They also had the suit Harvey Milk was wearing when he was murdered. I found seeing the blood soaked suit and shirt just sitting there in a display case very sad. I was going to take a picture of it, but out of respect I didn’t – just did not seem right….

After spending around 45 minutes at the exhibit, we walked down the street to the building were Harvey Milk’s camera shop was located. Today it is a bright and cheery gift shop – the interior was completely redone and nothing like what we saw in the movie. There is a painting of Harvey on the second floor looking out of a window and down at the sidewalk… It is too bad the old camera shop could not be turned into a museum.

We then walked around the Castro for a bit and then stopped by Orphan Andy’s for lunch. It is a simple diner right around the corner from the Castro Theater with yummy comfort food. I had a turkey Reuben and John and Jared had hamburgers. The food was good and the service was friendly.

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Jared at Orphan Andy's

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John and I...

We then decided to head down to the Pier 39 area to see the waterfront – so we hopped on one of the vintage F-Line street cars.

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John and I on the F-Line Street Car

We were on a green one that was originally used in Philadelphia. For a $1.50 it is a great way to get down Market street, and over to the piers. For our $1.50 we also received some “urban flair” as a group of younger kids who appeared to be in a gang boarded. They did not smell very fresh and had some interesting choices of rap music being played on a cell phone…. they were only on for a few stops. By then the tourist crowd started to pile in the car – to the point where you could not have gotten very many more people standing in center aisle. We did finally make it to the Pier 39 area.

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John and I checking out the scenery

By this time we all needed to use the restroom – like right now. We walked over to the public restrooms John and I usually go to, but they were closed for cleaning. We then walked back to a set of automated restrooms we spied earlier.

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San Francisco Self Cleaning Public Toilet

They are the type that are self cleaning and only one person at a time can use. Jared and I patently waited at one and finally got to use it. Each person is allowed to use it for a maximum of 20 minutes – so homeless people go into them and use them for the full 20 minutes. John was waiting outside another one where he waited and waited and waited some more… still no one came out… to help him out – I stood in line at the other facility and when it was my turn to use it – I called John over and gave him my spot. I earned my princess points for the day.

We then checked out the old mechanical toys and attractions at the Musee Mecanique. I like seeing all of the old mechanical arcade games, player pianos, steam powered motor cycle and etc. We then walked down the pier and checked out the sea lions. Today there was less then 2 dozen sea lions around – but they were still loud and fun to watch.

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Toby Keith in "Beer for My Horses"

We then walked down the rest of the piers to Market Street, hopped on the BART and made it back to San Leandro. On the drive back to the motor home from the station, we stopped at Safeway and rented the movie “Beer For My Horses” starring Toby Keith. The movie was in the basic red neck genre and was funny enough… plus Toby is pretty easy on the eyes….

For supper I made a pan of lasagna – it turned out ok, but I did not let it cool enough – so it kinda fell apart while getting it out of the pan… but it tasted good…..

So now we are getting all packed up for our flights back to the Midwest tomorrow. I will be spending Christmas with my family in Illinois and John with his in Wisconsin. Our flights leave within a few hours of each other so we will ride the BART together to the San Francisco Airport. Spending a day flying is not my favorite thing to do – I hope it goes well without delays and etc….

Jared will be heading to his family in Dinuba, CA

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