Sunday, June 20, 2010

News from the Left Coast

SAN FRANCISCO: We got here – Maggie the Cat and I made it to San Francisco! She’s even been to Starbucks for her very first time, in the Los Angeles airport. I liked it better than she did.

Here are some notes on the past few days, for you – and also for me, to make sense of it all.

Weds. June 16: Resale shop picked up office furniture in the morning; I closed on the sale of the condo in the afternoon and then spent the evening packing every last thing I was responsible for. Went to bed early, fell asleep quickly, work up two hours later and repacked some stuff. Sigh…

Thurs. June 17: Movers arrived at 9:10 a.m. and were impressed with how organized I was. I accepted all the compliments and then lay on the couch, exhausted, until they needed to shrink-wrap it for storage. They carried out and loaded the last of the 117 boxes (!!!!) about 3:20 p.m. Then Gerry and Tom arrived, cheerfully took out the last of the trash for me and helped me load my stuff in their car.

They drove me to the Drury Airport Hotel, which I chose because it is across the street from Lambert and because they take cats. In our room, I took Maggie out of her little crate. She looked around the room and got back in the crate. (It was a LOVELY room!) I decided I needed to hang out with her for awhile before going next door for dinner. Finally she started exploring, coming back from time to time to where I was lying on the bed dozing, to express her concerns about our adventure. Then she settled in under the dust ruffle on the bed. I heard munching. She was eating half a Cheerio some other guest had left behind. I gave her a cat treat, put her in the bathroom with food and water and left, in search of something more filling other than half a Cheerio.

Had a DIVINE dinner at Lombardo’s – great family owned place (they also have a Lombardo’s at the Drury Hotel at Union Station and Carmine’s downtown) with delicious food. It was only 4:45 or so, so I got to know the young man at the next table, who just moved from Quincy, Ill., and wants to be a firefighter. We spoke of many things. Then I headed back to the room, showered and went to bed, exhausted, about 7:45 p.m.

Fri. June 18: With a mildly sedated Maggie in tow, I arrived at the American Airlines desk (I flew free; her ticket was $100) at 7 a.m., where we learned our flight to Chicago was cancelled. They decided to send us to Los Angeles instead, there to transfer to another flight to San Francisco. Saw a woman from my water exercise class and then was seated next to a woman my age wearing a blue tie-dye shirt with a peace symbol on it. Love this part – her name was Glinda! The good witch and I had a lot of fun talking on the flight, plus I got to see the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon from the air! Very cool. Once in LA, we had a three-hour delay before we finally took off for San Francisco.

But you know – eventually we did get there, and I actually recognized Santa Barbara and Monterey Bay from the air. At last we were in Joel’s car (and care) and headed for the home of Susan Fox, my daughter-in-law’s mom, who kindly offered to put us up for a bit before the transfer to Joel’s. Maggie meandered around a lot at first and then seemed to settle in. Me too – slept soundly.

Sat. June 19: Joel and I set out with a list of six open houses at one-bedroom apartments in the Glen Park neighborhood and two other locations. The first was too small. Way too small. The second was even smaller, and had three flights of steps down to it. The third was a possibility, though it was not very interesting. The fourth, the most expensive on the list, was really bad – crummy and dirty.

We drove around looking for “For Rent” signs and saw none in the neighborhood. Heading back to Joel’s for lunch, driving through what is known as Upper Cole Valley/Twin Peaks, Joel pulled over to park and pointed to a sign across the street: “Open: Large 1-Bedroom with View.” I popped out and went into the building.

Long story short: The view is astonishing – three big living room windows from high on a hill look north, to Marin. You can see the city. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge. You can see Point Bonita. You can see the PACIFIC OCEAN!!! The view literally took my breath away – I gasped and tears ran down my face. So much for not letting on to the manager that I liked it. We talked at length. The apartment is in a quiet six-unit building, 725 square feet, lots of closets. Not much charm – no hardwood floors or bay windows or the look of San Francisco on the inside – but did I mention the view???

I went to the car and asked Joel to come in and meet the manager and look at the place. We decided to go home and eat lunch and think – was it too soon? Had I seen too few? What the hell was I thinking? I hadn’t even been in town for 24 hours! I told the manager I would be back in touch either way. Patricia was at home – back from a business trip – and the three of us discussed the pros and cons. Then we all three went back to the apartment. They encouraged me to go for it. (Did I mention how much I love these two people?) I put a hold on the apartment, with money up front.

Then the three of us went out for celebratory drinks -- iced tea for P and smoothies for J and me. We had a toast to the future – I’ll know Monday or Tuesday if I got it – and then we went to their house to get ready for a wonderful dinner at the Tadich Grill (I was there 29 years ago with Joe Schneider…) with Mary Kay (Joel’s aunt who is in town for a conference), her friend Gina, and Susan.

Not bad for my first day in town, huh?

Sun. June 20: Woke up convinced I have made an excellent choice, got a good price, and want to go buy a shower curtain right this minute for My New Place. Only of course it’s too soon. Susan went to church and I walked to the grocery store and got some food for us. Maggie is sleeping in the sun. I’m sitting here by her, grinning.


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  2. ANOTHER great early birthday present! Love it, love the view, love you! Can't wait to see a pic with the view. Maggie is going to love to sleep in the sun pouring in from THOSE windows! Nicely done, my friend! Nicely done!

  3. You are sitting there grinning, and I am sitting here crying. Well, not really crying -- but there are tears welling up in my eyes. I am SO HAPPY for you. The apartment sounds perfect. You say it hasn't much charm, but what could be more charming than a view of San Francisco and the PACIFIC OCEAN!! You will soon give it Pat Corrigan charm, and what could be better that that? "God, I hope you get it!" (With a nod to A CHORUS LINE..."

    I miss you. And have I told you that I am so HAPPY for you?

    (I deleted my previous comment because of a typo -- couldn't find any other way to correct it.)

  4. Pat, it sounds like the move was definitely meant to be! Only reason I can think of for an apartment to be waiting for you! Hopefully you will get it, get moved in, and continue enjoying western life. By the way, have you been in touch with Bebe? I thought about her as well. I used to think of you, Bebe and Mom as the 3 Musketeers:)

  5. ... is wishing you a very many happy returns of the day ... British Style...