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Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Time Event
Saturday in San Francisco
I had a great day Saturday. I met a friend of mine, Melinda, near Aquatic Park in San Francisco about 11:15a. The Navy's in town this weekend and I wanted to catch part of the air show. We walked through the growing crowds at Aquatic Park and towards Fisherman's Wharf for a while, and doubled back to have kabobs for lunch (passing on terriyaki [sic]).

The first draw of the airshow was the Red Bull airrace. Little planes about the size of Cesnas zipped through a salom course set in the San Francisco Bay at upwards or over 200mph. Melinda and I and 500,000 of our close friends watched these planes make their runs through the beautiful blue sky. After all the pilots had their first run (of two) we broke off in search of something less directly in the sun.

I did not know there was an arcade along Fisherman's Wharf with machines dating back to the turn of the century. At least, I didn't know it until today. Musee Mecanique houses arcade attractions from between modern (Pirates of the Carribean pinball) to very old (1880s). Very impressive. We got our 8 quarters worth of entertainment, easily.

I wanted to catch the Blue Angel's show at 3p so we headed back, stopping at Ben & Jerry's along the way. Mmm... By now the crowd at Aquatic Park was pretty dense but we still managed to find some standing room where we had a pretty good view of centerpoint for the show. I'd also brought my image-stabilized binoculars along with, and it was fun to look at the distant boats covered with people, as well as the planes. The Blue Angels did their thing for about an hour, including the expected but still made me jump feature of one of the F-18s zooming in from behind the crowd while we were all watching something else far in front of us. Nice. Around 4p the show was over and everyone headed out.

I was glad I hadn't driven all the way in to the city, because parking and driving on Van Ness would have been frustrating. Melinda and I figured to catch a 47 or 30 or 19 back toward Market from the show, but even the buses were moving very slowly and were jam-packed. We managed to get on a 30 and enjoyed the trip for about 30 minutes, before realizing it was going the wrong way! It wasn't a complete disaster, it was going in the general direction of the buses we wanted, but we'd intended to take "the other 30" to take the long way back to Market. We jumped off, and only then also figured we'd travelled about 6 blocks in 30 minutes. Ugh. We waited 10 more minutes for the Right Bus, and finally gave up and walked all the way along Van Ness back to Market. The Right Bus never caught up with us; walking was faster than driving this evening. Yeesh.

Anyhoo, it was a great day. I got to visit with Melinda, I got to see fast planes, I ate ice cream, I played some pinball, I got some sun, and I know how to use the bus system in San Francisco now. The best way to polish off this weekend is to bake cookies tomorrow. Mmm... cookies...

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