Friday night, we nearly had a repeat experience of our hideous incarceration with the Wyndham timeshare presentation. Earlier in the week, Andrew called me from work and said, “I’ve done something you’re not going to like.” He’d gotten a phone call from a salesperson from the Sacramento Kings—the local NBA team, for anyone who, like me, drew a blank at the name—offering him free tickets to Friday’s game in order to learn more about season ticket packages. Andrew’s love of any sporting event led him to momentarily forget the consequences from the last time we’d accepted a “free” offer, and so we found ourselves heading to Arco Arena for a game against the Clippers. During the second quarter, a man in a suit introduced himself, offered Andrew a folder of information about ticket packages, and left. That was it. Whew.
This weekend, we also had a Sacramento breakthrough: we used public transportation, including the Sacramento light rail, and Amtrak train, and an Amtrak bus, to get ourselves from here to San Francisco. Granted, our breakthrough concerns our ability to escape Sacramento; but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that we were able to pack a toothbrush, hit the road, and spend a fabulous night in a big city—without troubling our Volvo at all.
San Francisco was sunny and blue-skied this weekend, but the Christmassy feeling was there regardless: in the big tree in Union Square; in the bustle of crowds laden with shopping bags; in shops’ decorated windows, particularly those from the jewelry store Shreve & Co., with small, ornately rendered fairies cavorting with nickel-sized gems. On Saturday, we arrived in time for lunch and headed straight for Chinatown, where we ate at a dim sum restaurant I’d read about on the super-food-snob website Chowhound. As promised, it was dingy, crowded, delicious, and cheap, and we were the only non-Chinese enjoying the shu mai and turnip cakes.
We spent the day wandering in and out of shops and taking in the city; that night, we went to see Margot at the Wedding (which, among so much else, will not be coming to Sacramento) and had dinner at a restaurant in North Beach. We had a drink later at Vesuvio, next door to the City Lights bookshop. On Sunday, we had a brunch of “little pancakes” at Sears Fine Food, then did a bit more shopping before sadly catching the bus that would lead us to the train that would lead us to the light rail that would lead us home.