Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hot child in the city

Today was another smokin' hot day of sunshine in San Francisco. Apparently, San Francisco's summer months are September and October (they call August "Fogust"), but even so, it's unseasonably warm here. This was my last day within the city limits since I transferred to my hotel in Burlingame for my conference, which started this evening. I'm pretty proud that I was able to cover as much ground as I did for the five days I was here. I feel like I could spend weeks here and still have full days packed with sightseeing. If you look at this map, you'll see a breakdown of all of the neighborhoods in San Francisco. Here are the ones I roamed in: Union Square, Financial District, Nob Hill, Chinatown, Mission, North Beach, SOMA, Fisherman's Wharf, Russian Hill, Outer Sunset and Outer Richmond. Whew! My quads, calves and hammies are all sore from hiking the hills all week, but I'm a happy girl, and I'll always remember this trip.

I accidentally mapped the location of my USA Today meeting using the wrong address, so I had to scramble this morning to make it there on time and so ended up grabbing a cab. Turns
out my Greek driver is related to Jim Rokakis, Cuyahoga County treasurer and the speaker at the annual meeting of Cleveland Heights' Home Repair Resource Center (I'm a board member). George said Rokakis was a Cleveland councilman 30 years ago and campaigned to establish a Greektown neighborhood. Didn't know that. He said he lost touch with Rokakis and gave me his contact info to pass along. Crazy coincidence.

My USA Today meeting went well, and we chatted mostly about biz applications for social networks, travel and 5ks/half-marathons. Apparently, there's a sold-out Nike half-marathon in San Francisco
every October that awards finishers with an exclusive Tiffany pendant. Sign me up!...Next year, of course, cuz this year's event falls on my bday.

Had a bit of bad luck trying to find a lunch destination. First walked from the Financial District to MOMA in SOMA (closed) where I had hoped to grab a bite and see the Frida exhibit...guess I'll have to wait till it comes to Cleveland. Then, I walked back toward my hotel to Canteen for brunch (was supposed to be open till 2 p.m.), but also was closed. Ugh! Finally walked to Nob Hill and crashed at Sugar cafe since I had already checked out of my hotel. Fueled up and caught up on e-mails/calls.

I had one hour before my next meeting, so I g
rabbed a drink nearby at Top of the Mark on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins. During WWII, it was customary for servicemen to have a farewell drink here with their sweethearts and toast the Golden Gate Bridge for good luck. Then I walked a few more blocks to the Cable Car Museum for a two-minute stop to see the winding wheels that pull the cables for all of the cable cars. It was pretty cool. Right outside, I grabbed the cable car down Powell to Market and jumped off to make my meeting, with minutes to spare. Yessss!

Here's some advice for your next trip to San Francisco. Don't wait in the long lines at the cable car turnarounds (at the end of each line) to board. Just walk up the street a little and hop on at the nearest next stop. There's usually zero wait compared to 30 minutes or more.

Also, if you're staying in Union Square, always stay to th
e east of Taylor or risk exposure to some shady individuals. As with any major city, a posh neighborhood can turn on a dime based on what street you're on.

I stayed at Hotel Adagio this week, and I loved it! It's part of a boutique hotel chain, joie de vivre, and right across the street from Hotel Monaco. When I was looking into hotels months ago, I stumbled upon Hotel Adagio after completing a hotel matchmaker quiz based on my personality.

My conference started tonight, and so far, I've made friends with Monika with Discovery Channel in Warsaw, Poland, and Jane, who lives in San Francisco. Monika and I bonded over our sunburned hair parts since we both got in this past weekend and got more sun than we bargained for. There are only 27 conference attendees from across the country, so it should be fun getting to know everyone.

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