Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Stay in the City by the Bay

After my good fortune and a successful business meeting in Los Angeles, we made it to San Francisco for the weekend. While it rained all weekend, the weather did not put a damper on my spirits.

Again, my Priceline skills came into play, and the folks at the Mark Hopkins wow-ed us with a stunning room with a view to die for. I looked out our window and saw cable cars, the bay, the Trans America building, Alcatraz and Grace Cathedral. Jeff even shared our beautiful view

with Silvan via Skype on the laptop computer. Not bad for the same price as a dump near SFO, thank you very much!

We saw our good friend Charles, who works and lives at Grace Cathedral. Charles and I have been friends since I was 16, so in the ten years we have known each other (wink wink) we have shared many memories and great times. He has so many connections in San Francisco and Jeff and I are entertained with all the stories he can share. Who else can tell us of dinner with Desmond Tutu and Ashley Judd? Charles was our tour guide and it getting a behind the scenes tour was awesome. There is something magical about the church sitting high up on the hill at Christmastime, with rain
and fog, it is still quite spectacular, even for a Jewish Princess like me.

Jeff and I had lunch in Sausalito with our friend, Susan RoAne. We were combining business and pleasure during our weekend and it felt great to rekindle our connections. We got caught up on all the latest and greatest speaker gossip, happenings and of course, Jeff and Susan shared ideas and brainstorms. To say it was a working lunch would be an understatement. The waiter had to practically kick us out because we sat there talking and laughing for so long.

I made sure we hit Chinatown. I needed to bring back a gift for the kids and I knew they would love some Chinese pajamas. With their admiration for Ni Hao Kilan, some red silk sleepwear was the perfect choice. I wanted a souvenir that could serve a purpose, as opposed to some crappy plastic toys or games.

We had the pleasure of taking Charles to Jeff's client, The Palomino Euro Bistro for dinner. We were blown away by the meal, the service and the view of the Bay Bridge from our window table. Charles and Jeff tossed ideas back and forth. They were busy thinking about all the concepts they could do to in promoting this fabulous restaurant with Grace Cathedral as the beneficiary. As we shared a delicious meal the creative juices were flowing. With Charles San Francisco contacts, Grace Cathedral connections and Palomino's great location and menu, it will be fun to watch things blossom. It is what we love to do.

Jeff was high on life after his meeting with the client in San Francisco. We talked about all the unique opportunities ahead as we drove back to the airport. As I used the kiosk to generate my boarding pass,
this is the screen that always cracks me up. Who knew I would take on my husband's last name and get this kind of special treatment from the airlines. I just love it when the gate agent has to page me. They call me by my ticketed name, and it is sheer entertainment to hear them butcher it.

As I quit giggling, I noticed our flights were all messed up from the snowstorm cancellations in London, intense rain in California and the Christmas crazy. When it was all said and done we were going to miss our connection to Columbus no matter how they re-routed us. All the flights from SFO were delayed or cancelled. When the local news showed up with cameras, I knew we were screwed. The media always had to put the fear of getting stranded into the minds of people who are staying home watching the news.

Fortunately, I was able to whip out my i-phone, get a customer service agent on the line and rebook us through Dallas for the next day. I did all this while Jeff stood in line with a few hundred other irritated passengers. By the time he got to the agent all the flights for the next day were gone, and I was beaming with pride that I had already snagged our seats via my phone. We exchanged the boarding passes for confirmed tickets and grabbed a cab back to the hotel.

We made it back to Columbus a day later than expected but not a moment too soon.

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