By: Revanche

833 miles, $200, 3 days: Quarter-century road trip

September 4, 2007

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! Mine was packed with fun and excitement. I feel like we played road trip Monopoly, only without buying property, just talking about it. I see that everyone in blogland has blogged up a storm as well, so I’ll have to take some time and catch up on my reading.

This Saturday was my best friend’s 25th birthday so she and I spent the day with her family up north (two hours away). At 6:30 pm, we jumped in the car and headed for San Francisco. She insisted on driving the whole way, and also paying for gas so I can’t really include gas in the cost of the trip but on the way back we bartered labor for gas. Er, BoyDucky’s labor, not mine. 🙂 She bowed to his need to do his Man Duty of driving us home on Monday after we’d eaten lunch in the car. And he managed to win the fight at the tank to pay for one fill-up as well.

As for the trip itself: BF paid for our dinners at Carl’s Jr. in the world’s smelliest town. I’m serious. That town, (Harris Ranch?) smelled to the high heavens and beyond. Even though we’re city girls, we’ve also had our fair share of Cow Town experience, and mucking out stables. This smell was unbelievable. It was so bad that we rolled down the window approaching the order box, rolled it back up gagging, and refused to roll it back down to order for at least 5 minutes. I’m sure the person taking orders must have been annoyed, but she couldn’t possibly have been surprised!

We got into BoyDucky territory by 10:30 pm, so we’d made decent time. The next morning, she and I walked up and down the length of the Small Town Art and Wine Festival in search of some Killer Brownies and snagged a bag of Ends & Edges ($7.50). A stop at the Small Town BART station ($14.80) and off we went to 16th & Mission. Um, why didn’t anyone tell me that Mission District is quite seedy and smells of urine? And is NOT the most efficient way to get to Haight-Ashbury on foot? Well, we never got to Haight-Ashbury. We got as far as Mission & Market Street and gave up on Haight. Instead, lunch somewhere towards the downtown area was sounding really good, so off to Civic Center we went!

I tried to treat us to lunch at Nordstrom’s Bistro (I know, it was no hole-in-the-wall, chock-full of character restaurant, but I needed clean and comfortable after Mission Street) but BF beat me to the check after a glorious white chocolate bread pudding. Little did she know that I was going to get the dinner check. Hah! Lunch: ~ $30.

We wandered for hours, shopping and sightseeing. I played mock tour guide at first, but it was actually a great way to really learn my way around, I’ve only been in the city alone once before and otherwise BoyDucky always navigates so I’ve felt more than a little handicapped.

For a joke, we popped into the Tiffany store in Union Square to take a picture of rings to send to her hubby; he one-upped us and sent back a picture of a receipt for a ring with strategically placed “glare” spots. To add to my authentic aura of a tour guide, she wanted to go the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa and look at a price menu. For those of you who’ve been there, (or not), the sign is prominently placed over the door, but you have to go into an empty lobby/hallway to an elevator and go up a few flights. Stepping through the glass doors, I immediately noticed the signs on the wall with the various businesses and the floors they were on, but BF hadn’t. Not knowing this, I pompously announced “Red Door Spa, Fourth Floor” once we got into the elevator. She was floored.

“You DO know where everything is around here, you’ve been everywhere! How can you say that you don’t feel at home in this city when you know where everything is???”

“Er …. I didn’t. It said, it said on the wall.”

“……..oh.”

Our foray into Macy’s yielded a brand new wallet for BF with my coupon and a sale, the wallet was $22 from $34. I like getting people presents they want, need and will use. Forever 21 had a nice pair of brown (real brown, not the brown that turned out to be gray like my pants from Banana Republic), stretchy work pants ($20), and Ann Taylor had a lovely brown/white patterned halter top in XSP. Mine! Unfortunately, BoyDucky distracted me at a crucial moment, and BF beat me to the cash register with my goods.

Parking in Union Square for an hour was $2.50; BoyDucky was kind enough to come pick us up and drive over to the Embarcadero and Osha Thai for dinner so that we wouldn’t have to BART to Embarcadero and back home. I treated BF and BoyDucky to dinner as it was her birthday dinner and I rarely treat BoyDucky, $71 with 3 entrees, 2 drinks, and 1 side dish and parking was validated for 3 hours, so: Free!

BoyDucky got our round of drinks and pool at the local brewery, and our 4-miles-walked day ended at 11 pm. Actually it didn’t, BoyDucky also drove Oakland friend back to Oakland because we didn’t want her to BART home alone at that time of night. She has a lovely apartment in Oakland, and an even lovelier popcorn popper; we got home at 2 am.

Monday was our day of travel. Other than gas, and a couple bottles of water because we were dehydrated ($2), we spent very little else. Eight hours later (thanks to an hour spent in traffic on the 152) we ended Operation: Mini-vacation and BoyDucky retrieval!

All under $200 including lots of yummy food and presents. Not bad, eh?

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