July 19th, 2005
You wont find any flowers in my hair, and it’s not like summer either. It is freaking cold when one is used to the mid to upper 90′s of Kansas. That’s right, I’m in San Francisco for the 7th annual WebCT conference. I had an interesting time getting here too. Sparing details, I arranged for a last minute flight in order to arrive for my three pre-conference workshops and the regular conference.
I find San Francisco to be an interesting place. I flew into Oakland because that’s where Southwest flies (via LAX) and with the help of someone local to guide me I found myself taking the bart subway/train to a station close to my hotel. It was an interesting experience – a little frightening too. It was about 9:45 pm and although it was a Sunday the streets were buzzing with people. Among them are quite a few bums/beggars/homeless types of folk. We’ll get to that later.
Monday night I took off touring the local shopping. Among my first stops right across the street was the Apple store. Hooah! This place was awesome. It sure beats the one back at Kansas City’s Plaza. I was immediately impressed with the all glass staircase in the center of the store. Upstaris they had a genius counter and a small presentational area setup like a movie theatre where newcomers could learn about Mac OS Tiger.
My second stop was at the Segafredo espresso shop. It was really good coffee. I had a pannini sandwich, a single shot of espresso and a cafe mocha to go. I had trouble going to sleep last night. I wonder why? After that I just walked around for a while; a little too long. I got a little turned around and found myself in an area of town that my mini map didn’t have. I ran into a guy who asked me if I knew where I was going. To be honest, I didn’t and the street I was headed toward had two guys sleeping on the ground and a group of people with matching leather jackets at the end of the street. So I told him I was headed back to fourth street and of course, he informed me "Well, you don’t wanna go down that way to get there." I ended up walking with the guy three to four blocks. We talked about all the good places to see and eat, to which he asked "So can you give me a lift?" I gave him a few bucks to get some dinner. I figure it was worth it being I was definitely headed toward a not so great area of town.
Today I took the 1/2 day I had free to go to Fisherman’s Wharf. It was busy, and I ran into a couple of guys selling bay tours on a boat. "Golden Gate! Alcatraz! 1 hour guided tour! Ten dollars! Half price from down the street" I thought to myself, "I can’t even eat dinner around this place for ten bucks!" So I got on the boat. It was fantasitc. I love being on the water and while it was very cold the two gentleman had blankets and jackets for those that needed them. It was well worth the ten dollars, and I had a really good time. After I got back I ventured down to Pier 39. It’s the most packed area I’ve ever been in (besides the trolley cars I took to get there). It should be called 39 Sardines, because that’s what I felt like. Street performers all around I got the chance to see some guys breakdancing. It was pretty sweet.
After I got back downtown I remembered that Aaron said San Fran had wasabi funyuns(his wife works for Frito Lay). They aren’t available yet back home, so I found some at the Walgreens around the corner, and the corner around the block which has another Walgreens two blocks from it. They’re worse than Starbucks. Anyway, they’re good. Hopefully everyone will see them on the shelf soon.
For the next three days I’ve got a whole load of conference stuff. I saw a Peets Coffee three blocks away so I’m going to get down there sometime soon. I’ve heard lots of good things about them. I suppose we’ll see.