13 October 2009

Ambitious Vacation (fin)

Monday, 31 August 2009
This was the least action packed day of the entire Angie Extravaganza. And we started the day with a 9 mile run. The run was a make up for Saturday. I felt I had to get it in because I had already missed the official training for that week. As an incentive for my beloved friend, I planned the run to go across the Golden Gate. Fair? Maybe not, but she agreed to it. So we set off Monday morning to have a good run.

It won't surprise to know Angie runs with a camera. She keeps it tucked in a case on her arm. It's not her official telephoto-lens-compatible-camera, but it gets the job done. And we used it to capture the height of our athleticism. You'd never know this, but we weren't exactly "active" children. We didn't spend our summers climbing ropes and playing catch at camp. We mostly talked on the phone. And when we were together we mostly sat, ate Tyson / OreIda products, and watched TV. I've known Angie for 19 years and running those 9 miles was the most athletic thing we had ever done together. It was fantastic.

After the run, the day got a lot easier. We went down a basic tourist checklist. We ate sourdough at Boudin - where I'm pretty sure I saw a man steal a bread bowl. We bought shot glasses and trinkets for family members. We dawdled, wasted time, and took a boat tour out to Alcatraz.

The Alcatraz outing was great. I was a little worried that there would be more sight-seers than sights to actually see. The tour boat left every half hour and it was full every single time. And let's face it, the rock wasn't picked to house a jail because of its size. Still, it all worked out. Angie brought sunny weather and calm water. It was warm, without being too hot to walk. And even though there were hundreds of people on our boat, it didn't see that crowded once we docked.

Alcatraz was basically functioning one day and shut down the next. The facilities are all still there and could totally be fixed up to run again. If there were an Extreme Makeover: Prison Edition it would be a great candidate. I mean it's just sitting there. It could be used for all sorts of things. Of course then it wouldn't be the attraction that it is. No one would pay to see a shiny, functioning prison. So I guess the wasted, dilapidated space wins.

If there's a way to see the Golden Gate, Angie will find it.

We took the Alcatraz audio tour and I liked it more than I thought I would. We paused when we needed to pause and we did our best to stay in sync. We were in no rush to  leave the Island and that meant Angie had all the time to take all the pictures she wanted. But even she recognized too much of a good thing and at one point said "I have to stop." She didn't. But it was a nice gesture.

If I were a criminal, this is how I would look.

For our reunion finale, we returned to the scene of great happiness: The Cheesecake Factory. I was determined to eat some food and get a slice of cheesecake. Know what? The desserts have fewer calories & less sodium than the meals. I'm not going to elaborate. But that nutrition guide is a real eye  opener. We sat with the sun shining over Union Square victorious. We were able to do all we set out to do. We didn't spend a lot of money or waste a lot of time. We were the epitome of efficient travelers and I was proud. We're awesome.

Once Angie was packed, we made a mad dash to the train station. On the way, we saw a man urinating at us. I mean that wasn't his intention (I don't think) but he was facing us (and the rest of the street) and just going.

Angie had picked a good time to go.

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