On Tuesday, my wife and I left San Diego around 10am. We were going to leave earlier but we had to take my niece to kindergarten class because her Mom was working late at the hospital. Anyway, by the time we got to SF it was around 7:30pm. We checked into the Adante Hotel, bought some take out dinner from Tai Chi Restaurant near Nob Hill and just checked into our hotel room to have dinner and just rest up after the long drive.
On Wednesday morning I got up around 8am and did 90 minutes of yoga and meditation. In the late morning my wife and I walked the three blocks to Union Square, had coffee, a sandwich and browsed around the local stores. We took out some food from a Chinese/Vietnamese Seafood Restaurant across from the hotel (forgot the name nor could I pronounce it) and the food was excellent… well I had some vegetables and rice basically.
By early afternoon we had to load our equipment (which all fit into my SUV… that’s what big vehicles like this are really used for). We had to load into the side loading dock on Sacramento Street, which was literally a 45 degree angle, which was quite difficult! And by around 4pm we finished loading in, moving everything up to the ballroom, and set up our instruments. I barely had enough time to get back to the hotel to rest a bit, before I filled the tank with gas and had to make my way back to ballroom for a proper soundcheck.
I was able to get back to the hotel around 5:30pm. By the grace-of-God I was able to find a free parking space out on the street near the Fairmont Hotel! Parking in downtown San Francisco as many of you know is like “gold”… at a premium. I just couldn’t bring myself to go into a parking garage to pay $47.00 at the Fairmont, and there was $27.00 parking at the local cathedral but they close at 12 midnight. I didn’t want to take a chance at not being able to get my vehicle after the gig. That would’ve been a disaster.
By 6:00pm we were shown to the “green room” and I changed into my tuxedo. Our dinners were served to us around 6:30pm and we started at 7pm.
I expected (based on the size of the Venetian Ballroom) that this gala event would have a huge amount of people. This was a corporation from the midwest, and 80 people were present… a rather intimate crowd compared to other corporate events I’ve done. Anyways, they seemed to really like the band and they clapped from the very first song to our last.
It was a good gig.
But we had to pack up and load everything once again into my SUV. I was utterly exhausted, and finally got back to my hotel room around 12:30am. As usual, I couldn’t sleep and watched Conan O’Brian while eating some leftover dinner. Then sort of drifted off to sleep around 1:30am.
I was awoken around 4:00 in the morning. It was weird. The walls of this hotel were rather thin and it was a very old hotel. I distinctly heard the sound of a child running up and down the hall outside! I was thinking, “who would be letting their child run around at this time of the night?”. Anyway, I couldn’t sleep and laid down in bed staring up at the ceiling. Then, I got up and did some yoga and meditated for awhile in the dark.
I think I felt tired again around 5am, and slept until around 9am. We packed up our things, showered, got dressed and we left SF around 10am. There was a bit of a misunderstanding at the front desk of the hotel that I don’t want to get into. But it was resolved.
We took the 101 South and ended up at my sis-in-law’s house in Santa Barbara around 4:30pm. Chilled out for a while there, had some excellent vegetable red curry dish that my sis-in-law picked up from a local restaurant. And just got caught up on things, then had to leave at 6:30pm. We finally got back to San Diego at 10:30pm on Thursday night.
We left our two sons at home to look after the house and because they had school, of course. The oldest is now 18, so this was his big test of being responsible, being on his own and taking care of his younger brother. Well, they didn’t burn the house down and it looks like no one was arrested. So, mission accomplished!
Too bad we didn’t get much free time to enjoy San Francisco… well, a little. But it felt like this was mostly business, and not much time for play. But there’s always next time….